In recent years phase-measuring techniques have been applied to the problem of extracting information of photoelastic data. We present a new phase-measuring algorithm for extraction of the isochromatics of photoelastic fringe patterns. The algorithm permits the extraction of the isochromatic phase with almost no influence from the isoclinics, thus avoiding the usual problems of low-modulation areas associated with isoclinics. The isochromatic phase map obtained with this algorithm is well suited for a full separation of the stress components in a sample. The algorithm can be used with any commercial diffuse-light circular polariscope.