Abstract

Depth of focus of the human eye is determined by the loss of resolving power (visual acuity) with increase in out-of-focus blurring of the retinal image. An instrument is described which permits accurate measurement of these phenomena, using psychophysical methods with the checkerboard visual-acuity test chart. All test conditions are held constant, binocular vision is maintained, and time of exposure of the test target is limited to 0.2 second. Depth of focus was measured under the two following conditions: (1) increase in the angular size of the test target, and (2) increase and decrease of pupil size as effected by suitable drugs. With the angular size of the test target equivalent to 20/25 Snellen notation, for three subjects the mean total depth of focus was found to be 0.94 diopter at the 50% level of probable visual resolution of the target details and 0.63 diopter at the estimated 99% level. It was found that for each step of increase in target size (20/25 to 20/30, and so on) the total depth of focus increased by about 0.35 diopter. It was found also that over the range of pupil size from 2.5 to 8.0 mm the total depth of focus decreased about 0.12 diopter per millimeter of increase in the size of the pupil. These results were reviewed with respect to hyperfocal distance.

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  1. F. W. Campbell, "The depth of field of the human eye," Flying Personnel Research Committee Report No. 868 (Great Britain, March, 1954).
  2. J. Adamson and E. F. Fincham, Trans. Ophthalmol. Soc., United Kingdom 59, 163–179 (1939).
  3. K. N. Ogle, "Measurements on the depth of focus of the human eye with various test objects," (unpublished thesis, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, 1927).
  4. Gunnar von Bahr; Acta Ophthalmol. 30, 39–44 (1952).
  5. Sukeyuki Oshima, Japan. J. Ophthalmol. 2, 63–72 (1958).
  6. "Adjutant General's Office, PRS report No. 742, studies in visual acuity, report of progress," Research Progr. N. V. PR-4075 (Personnel Research Section, Washington, D. C., 1947).
  7. F. L. Dimmick and L. M. Rudolph, "Checkerboard visual acuity targets: An experimental validation: Variations in visual acuity under different conditions of illumination," Report No. 1, BuMed. Research Project NM 003 008 (X-423), U. S. Naval Submarine Base, New London, Connecticut, December, 1948.
  8. Morris, Katz, and Bowen, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 45, 834–838 (1955).
  9. Badal, Ann. oculist 75, 5–13 (January–February, 1876).
  10. G. A. Fry, Am. J. Optometry. 30, 22–37 (January, 1953).
  11. M. Françon, Rev. opt. 30, 71–80 (1951).
  12. Ogle, Imus, Madigan, Bannon, and Wilson, A. M. A. Arch. Ophthalmol. 2, 1179–1189 (1940).
  13. G. W. Hartmann, J. Expertl. Psychol. 16, 383–392 (1933).
  14. P. W. Cobb, Am. J. Physiol. 36, 335–346 (February, 1915).
  15. Gerald Westheimer, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 47, 714–718 (1957).
  16. F. W. Campbell and J. G. Robson, Nature (London) 181, 362 (1958).

Adamson, J.

J. Adamson and E. F. Fincham, Trans. Ophthalmol. Soc., United Kingdom 59, 163–179 (1939).

Campbell, F. W.

F. W. Campbell, "The depth of field of the human eye," Flying Personnel Research Committee Report No. 868 (Great Britain, March, 1954).

F. W. Campbell and J. G. Robson, Nature (London) 181, 362 (1958).

Cobb, P. W.

P. W. Cobb, Am. J. Physiol. 36, 335–346 (February, 1915).

Dimmick, F. L.

F. L. Dimmick and L. M. Rudolph, "Checkerboard visual acuity targets: An experimental validation: Variations in visual acuity under different conditions of illumination," Report No. 1, BuMed. Research Project NM 003 008 (X-423), U. S. Naval Submarine Base, New London, Connecticut, December, 1948.

Fincham, E. F.

J. Adamson and E. F. Fincham, Trans. Ophthalmol. Soc., United Kingdom 59, 163–179 (1939).

Françon, M.

M. Françon, Rev. opt. 30, 71–80 (1951).

Fry, G. A.

G. A. Fry, Am. J. Optometry. 30, 22–37 (January, 1953).

Hartmann, G. W.

G. W. Hartmann, J. Expertl. Psychol. 16, 383–392 (1933).

Ogle, K. N.

K. N. Ogle, "Measurements on the depth of focus of the human eye with various test objects," (unpublished thesis, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, 1927).

Oshima, Sukeyuki

Sukeyuki Oshima, Japan. J. Ophthalmol. 2, 63–72 (1958).

Robson, J. G.

F. W. Campbell and J. G. Robson, Nature (London) 181, 362 (1958).

Rudolph, L. M.

F. L. Dimmick and L. M. Rudolph, "Checkerboard visual acuity targets: An experimental validation: Variations in visual acuity under different conditions of illumination," Report No. 1, BuMed. Research Project NM 003 008 (X-423), U. S. Naval Submarine Base, New London, Connecticut, December, 1948.

von Bahr, Gunnar

Gunnar von Bahr; Acta Ophthalmol. 30, 39–44 (1952).

Westheimer, Gerald

Gerald Westheimer, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 47, 714–718 (1957).

Other (16)

F. W. Campbell, "The depth of field of the human eye," Flying Personnel Research Committee Report No. 868 (Great Britain, March, 1954).

J. Adamson and E. F. Fincham, Trans. Ophthalmol. Soc., United Kingdom 59, 163–179 (1939).

K. N. Ogle, "Measurements on the depth of focus of the human eye with various test objects," (unpublished thesis, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, 1927).

Gunnar von Bahr; Acta Ophthalmol. 30, 39–44 (1952).

Sukeyuki Oshima, Japan. J. Ophthalmol. 2, 63–72 (1958).

"Adjutant General's Office, PRS report No. 742, studies in visual acuity, report of progress," Research Progr. N. V. PR-4075 (Personnel Research Section, Washington, D. C., 1947).

F. L. Dimmick and L. M. Rudolph, "Checkerboard visual acuity targets: An experimental validation: Variations in visual acuity under different conditions of illumination," Report No. 1, BuMed. Research Project NM 003 008 (X-423), U. S. Naval Submarine Base, New London, Connecticut, December, 1948.

Morris, Katz, and Bowen, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 45, 834–838 (1955).

Badal, Ann. oculist 75, 5–13 (January–February, 1876).

G. A. Fry, Am. J. Optometry. 30, 22–37 (January, 1953).

M. Françon, Rev. opt. 30, 71–80 (1951).

Ogle, Imus, Madigan, Bannon, and Wilson, A. M. A. Arch. Ophthalmol. 2, 1179–1189 (1940).

G. W. Hartmann, J. Expertl. Psychol. 16, 383–392 (1933).

P. W. Cobb, Am. J. Physiol. 36, 335–346 (February, 1915).

Gerald Westheimer, J. Opt. Soc. Am. 47, 714–718 (1957).

F. W. Campbell and J. G. Robson, Nature (London) 181, 362 (1958).

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