Alvarez and Lohmann lenses are variable focus optical devices based on lateral shifts of two lenses with cubic-type surfaces. I analyzed the optical performance of these types of lenses computing the first order optical properties (applying wavefront refraction and propagation) without the restriction of the thin lens approximation, and the spot diagram using a ray tracing algorithm. I proposed an analytic and numerical method to select the most optimum coefficients and the specific configuration of these lenses. The results show that Lohmann composite lens is slightly superior to Alvarez one because the overall thickness and optical aberrations are smaller.
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