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Vision Res. 1990;30(1):33-49.

Theory and measurement of ocular chromatic aberration.

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  • 1Department of Visual Sciences, School of Optometry, Indiana University, Bloomington 47405.


We have determined the transverse chromatic aberration of the human eye by measuring the apparent offset of a two-color vernier viewed foveally through a displaced, pinhole aperture. For the same subjects, we also determined the longitudinal chromatic aberration for foveal viewing by the method of best focus. In both cases, the results were closely predicted by a simple, reduced-eye optical-model for which transverse and longitudinal chromatic aberration are directly proportional, with the constant of proportionally being the amount of displacement of the pinhole from the visual axis. Further measurements revealed that the natural pupil was closely centered on the visual axis for two subjects and slightly displaced in the temporal direction for three other subjects. One implication of these results is that, although the eye has substantial chromatic aberration, the pupil is positioned so as to minimize the transverse component of the aberration for central vision, thereby optimizing foveal image quality for polychromatic objects.

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