High resolution electron backscattered diffraction (HREBSD) is a novel technique for a relative determination of both orientation and stress state in crystals through digital image correlation techniques. Recent works have tried to use simulated EBSD patterns as reference patterns to achieve the absolute orientation and stress state of crystals. However, a precise calibration of the pattern centre location is needed to avoid the occurrence of phantom stresses. A careful analysis of the projective transformation involved in the formation of EBSD patterns has permitted to understand these phantom stresses. This geometrical analysis has been confirmed by numerical simulations. The results indicate that certain combinations of crystal strain states and sample locations (pattern centre locations) lead to virtually identical EBSD patterns. This ambiguity makes the problem of solving the absolute stress state of a crystal unfeasible in a single-detector configuration. (C) 2013 Elsevier By. All rights reserved.