Processing of correlation fringes obtained from electronic speckle pattern interferometry (ESPI) requires the use of a digital filter to reduce the speckle noise. Even though smoothing algorithms based on the Fourier transform significantly suppress speckle noise, they do not preserve the image characteristics. The application of a scale‐space filter to reduce speckle noise in ESPI fringes is reported. Results obtained using both computer‐simulated and experimental fringe patterns are used to test the scale‐space filter and they are also compared with those obtained by Fourier, convolution, and median filtering. © 1996 Society of Photo−Optical Instrumentation Engineers.