We have studied the effect of real-time optical image processing (OIP) in an image intensifier/television (II-TV) radiographic imaging system by using a liquid-crystal display (LCD) placed between the II and the TV camera. The LCD compresses the dynamic range of the transmitted image by modulating the spatial distribution of the light intensity of the image from the output phosphor of the II. The degree of dynamic-range compression can be designed so that the dependence of the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the LCD-TV system on x-ray intensity matches that of the quantum noise. We measured the physical properties of an LCD and evaluated its capability for OIP. Our experimental results demonstrate that it is feasible to use an LCD to compress the dynamic range and to improve the SNR of the image. The advantages of implementing OIP with an LCD in image acquisition systems in which a TV camera is used are discussed.