Photography and graphic technology


23 March 2010

One of the International Organization for Standardization's (ISO's) oldest Standards has been fully updated with the latest technological innovations and market requirements. Photography and graphic technology – Density measurements ISO 5:2009 is the latest edition of one of the many original ISO Standards, which, more than 30 years after publication, are still having an impact today.

ISO 5 was the fifth Standard to be developed by ISO and is one of the oldest still being actively updated and maintained. ISO 5 is a well-known, multi-part Standard referenced in technical specifications for photography, graphic arts, paint, paper, image permanence, and radiography, among others.

'To meet the industry's latest trends, this revision enables the use of modern spectrally based instruments, while preserving the validity of traditional filter-based instruments for measuring density,' says David McDowell, Convenor of the working group responsible for the revision. 'At the same time, it ensures compatibility of results using both types of instruments.'

ISO 5 consists of four parts.

  • ISO 5-1:2009 Photography and graphic technology – Density measurements – Part 1: Geometry and functional notation
  • ISO 5-2:2009 Photography and graphic technology – Density measurements – Part 2: Geometric conditions for transmittance density
  • ISO 5-3:2009 Photography and graphic technology – Density measurements – Part 3: Spectral conditions
  • ISO 5-4:2009 Photography and graphic technology – Density measurements – Part 4: Geometric conditions for reflection density

For the first time, all four parts were revised together to achieve a new level of consistency in terminology and requirements. The review was carried out by many of the same experts working on two other key photography/graphic technology Standards that have also been updated.

  • ISO 3664:2009 Graphic technology and photography – Viewing conditions
  • ISO 13655:2009 Graphic technology – Spectral measurement and colorimetric computation for graphic arts images

ISO 5, ISO 3664, and ISO 13655 form the basis for viewing, metrology, colour management, and process control within the graphic technology and photographic industries.

Order hard copies of these ISO Standards from, or purchase PDFs by emailing, or call 0800 782 632.

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