Definition of gamut

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JimKasson Forum Pro • Posts: 13,694
Definition of gamut

In the now-closed QE thread, there was a discussion of the definition of the word "gamut" in the context of color.

Andrew said that

Only devices, or systems, that render color have a color gamut. To quote Dr. Roy S. Berns from RIT in the book Billmeyer and Saltzman’s Principles of Color Technology, "Color gamut: Range of colors produced by a coloration system." To be a little clearer about this, the concept of a color gamut applies to systems that produce color (e.g., color printer, color television, color monitor, or color projector).

and cited Mark Fairchild, who said:

A color gamut is the range of colors produced by a device or system.

I thought that the concept of gamut is broader than that, and cited Pointer's use of the term in his 1980 paper "The Gamut of Real Surface Colors".

I would define gamut as "A color gamut is a range of colors". I don't think any device or system is necessary. I cited a Fairchild paper where he used the term gamut without tieing it to an output device or system, but for a range of real-world (and with different usage a range of possible real-word) colors:

In the above paper, Mark and Heckaman show CIELab (D50, 1937 2 degree CMFs) representations of both Pointer's gamut and the gamut implied by the MacAdam surface color limits.

The question before the PS&T house: should my broader definition of gamut be used, or shunned?

Note that this question is completely independent of this one: "Do input devices have gamuts".


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