Noble gases and liquids are excellent scintillators and this opens a unique opportunity to directly detect the primary scintillation light produced in these media by photons or particles. This signal can be used for several purposes, for example as a start signal for TPCs or for particle's identification. Usually photomultipliers (PMs) are used for the detection of the scintillation light. In our previous work we have demonstrated that costly PMs could be replaced by gaseous detectors with CsI photocathodes. Such detectors have the same quantum efficiency as the best PMs but at the same time are cheap, simple and have high position and time resolutions. The aim of this work is to evaluate various planar type gaseous detectors with CsI photocathodes in order to choose the best one for the detection of the primary scintillation light from noble gases and liquids. © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.