Modulation transfer function (MTF) metrology and interpretation for digital image capture devices has usually concentrated on mid- to high-frequency information, relative to the half-sampling frequency. These regions typically quantify characteristics and operations such as sharpening, limiting resolution, and aliasing. However, a potential wealth of low-frequency, visually significant information is often masked in existing measurement results because of spatial data truncation. For print or document scanners, this influences measurements in the spatial frequency range of 0 to 2.0 cycles/mm, where the effects of veiling flare, micro flare, and integrating cavity effect (ICE) often manifest themselves. Using a form of edge-gradient analysis based on slanted edges, we present a method for measurement of these characteristics. By carefully adapting this well-established technique, these phenomena can be quantified. We also show how, in many cases, these effects can be treated as other spread-function or device-MTF components. The theory and field metrology of several devices using the adapted technique are also presented.© (2003) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.