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Donald I. A. MacLeod, Dirk Beer; The extended Maxwellian view. Journal of Vision 2003;3(9):341. doi: 10.1167/3.9.341.
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In Maxwellian view, a lens forms an image of a compact light source in the eye pupil. The viewed field is brightly lit since light travels undispersed from source to eye. For typical computer-controlled displays, CRT monitors serve as both source and viewed field, so Maxwellian view is not feasible. But in most current electronic projectors, a compact lamp source illuminates LCD or DLP panels. These panels can be viewed in a Maxwellian configuration if the source, already imaged at the projector objective, is re-imaged in the pupil by a large Fresnel lens. A supplementary positive lens immediately in front of the projector objective makes the projected image coincide with and fill the Fresnel lens, a foot or two from the projector.
Such a setup yields intensities far higher than achieved with any CRT and, in fact, higher than typically wanted. However, by introducing a holographic diffuser in the plane of the projected image, light can be uniformly dispersed over a region around the pupil. This sacrifices (unneeded) intensity, and allows a less restrictive chinrest to replace the customary dental impression. The diffuser-extended Maxwellian image can even be big enough to allow binocular observation, while still providing pigment-bleaching light levels. In addition, the color gamut of this display system can be greatly enlarged (approaching the physical limits) by placing thin dichroic filters in the internal light path of three-panel projectors. We describe experiments that demonstrate the advantages of the new “BIGMAX” stimulator. Dynamic range, light level, color gamut and spatial and temporal resolution are all sufficient for demanding applications in vision research.
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