Abstract

The Shack-Hartmann wave-front sensor offers many theoretical advantages over other methods for measuring aberrations of the eye; therefore it is essential that its accuracy be thoroughly tested. We assessed the accuracy of a Shack–Hartmann sensor by directly comparing its measured wave-front aberration function with that obtained by the Smirnov psychophysical method for the same eyes. Wave-front profiles measured by the two methods agreed closely in terms of shape and magnitude with rms differences of ∼λ/2 and ∼λ/6 (5.6-mm pupil) for two eyes. Primary spherical aberration was dominant in these profiles, and, in one subject, secondary coma was opposite in sign to primary coma, thereby canceling its effect. Discovery of an unusual, subtle wave-front anomaly in one individual further demonstrated the accuracy and sensitivity of the Shack–Hartmann wave-front sensor for measuring the optical quality of the human eye.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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