Recently we published theoretical expressions for the eigenvalues and eigenvectors for a twisted-nematic liquid crystal spatial light modulator (LCSLM) as a function of the twist angle and birefringence using the Jones matrix formalism. These polarization eigenvectors are of interest for newer video graphics adapter (VGA) resolution (640×480 pixels) LCSLMs that are thinner and consequently have a lower birefringence. Although these devices can produce excellent amplitude modulation, they cannot achieve phase-only modulation using linearly polarized light. In these cases, the polarization eigenvectors are required to obtain phase-only modulation. We present experimental measurements for both the transmission and phase shift for these polarization eigenvectors. These results are in excellent agreement with theory and show that phase-only modulation can be obtained for these high-resolution LCSLMs. © 1998 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.