CIE (2012) 10-deg XYZ “physiologically-relevant” colour matching functions

Data key


  1. Wavelength (nm)





These 10-deg colour matching functions are linear transformations of the 10-deg cone fundamentals of Stockman & Sharpe (2000), ratified by the CIE (2006) as the new “physiologically-relevant” fundamental CIE CMFs. The transformation produces a form similar to the CIE 1964  ,  and  CMFs, a form still favoured by many engineers and scientists.




where ,  and  are the Stockman & Sharpe (2000) or CIE (2006) 10-deg cone fundamentals tabulated here.

The derivation of this transformation is straightforward. The  CMF is the luminous efficiency function originally proposed by Sharpe et al. (2005), but then corrected (Sharpe et al., 2011).  The  CMFs in the  cone fundamental originally proposed by Stockman, Sharpe & Fach (1999) scaled to have an equal integral to the  CMF for an equal energy white. The definition of the  CMF owes much to the efforts of Jan Henrik Wold. Its derivation depends on the following requirements:


1.      Like the other CMFs, the values of  are all positive.

2.      The integral of   for an equal energy white is identical to the integrals for  and .

3.      The coefficients of the transformation that yields   are optimized to minimize the Euclidian differences between the resulting ,  and  chromaticity coordinates and the CIE 1964 ,  and  chromaticity coordinates.

Following the usual convention, ,  and  are given in units of energy.

The proposed CIE standard is also much concerned about defining the precision of the CMFs. Thus, the coefficients of the transformation are defined to 8 decimal places (as in the equations above), the results in linear (energy) units are tabulated to 7 significant figures, and the CMFs are calculated from the cone fundamentals given in linear (energy) units to 9 sf given here.  In addition, the standard is strictly only for the CMFs tabulated at 1-nm steps, since only at this step-size are the integrals of the three CMFs precisely equal.

The functions are provided here at 0.1, 1 and 5 nm steps.

Please note that these are proposals that have yet to be ratified by the full TC 1-36 committee or the CIE.


CIE Proceedings (1964) Vienna Session, 1963, Vol. B, pp. 209-220 (Committee Report E-1.4.1), Bureau Central de la CIE, Paris

Stockman, A., Sharpe, L. T., & Fach, C. C. (1999). The spectral sensitivity of the human short-wavelength cones. Vision Research, 39, 2901-2927.

Stockman, A., & Sharpe, L. T. (2000). Spectral sensitivities of the middle- and long-wavelength sensitive cones derived from measurements in observers of known genotype. Vision Research, 40, 1711-1737.

Sharpe, L. T., Stockman, A., Jagla, W. & Jägle, H.(2005). A luminous efficiency function, V*(λ), for daylight adaptation. Journal of Vision, 5, 948-968.

CIE (2006). Fundamental chromaticity diagram with physiological axes. Parts 1 and 2. Technical Report 170-1. Vienna: Central Bureau of the Commission Internationale de l' Éclairage.

Sharpe, L. T., Stockman, A., Jagla, W. & Jägle, H. (2011). "A luminous efficiency function, V*(λ), for daylight adaptation: a correction." Color Research & Application, 36, 42-46.