We describe and analyze an optical device capable of generating tilt, defocus, astigmatism, coma, and spherical aberration wave-front deformation. This optical device consists of a pair of aspheric plates that produce aberrations by laterally shifting one plate relative to the other. The surface descriptions of these optical plates are provided, and their aberration-inducing properties are verified with ray-tracing software. In addition, we examine the versatility and the limitations of using variable aberration generators and provide insight into how aberrations may be controlled by a simple lateral shift. The device may find application in aberration control in lens systems that are nonrotationally symmetric.
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