★ Reducing the pupil size minimized the effect of aberrations on subjective DoF. ★ Combination of SA4 and SA6 in opposite signs leads to the largest increase in DoF. ★ DoF can be predicted by measuring the variation of vergence in the pupil size.
We optimize the subjective depth of focus (DoF) with combinations of spherical aberration (SA4) and secondary spherical aberration (SA6) in various levels. Subjective DoF was defined as the visual interval for which three 20/50 high-contrast letters was perceived acceptable (objectionable blur limits). We used an adaptive optics system to dynamically correct the observer's aberrations and control their accommodation. DoF was measured with a 0.18-D step on three non-presbyopic subjects. The target seen by the subjects was modified to include 25 combinations of SA4 and SA6 (i.e. 0, ±0.15 and ±0.30 μm) for 3, 4.5 and 6 mm of pupil diameter. We found a mean DoF of 1.97 D with a 3 mm pupil size, which decreased by 28% with a 4.5 mm pupil and by 34% with a 6 mm pupil. For 6 mm pupil we found an increase of subjective DoF of 45% and 64% with the addition of 0.3 and 0.6 μm of SA4, and of 52% and 117% with the addition of 0.15 and 0.3 μm of SA6. The largest DoF measured (4.78 D) increased 3.6 times that of the naked eye and was found for a combination of opposite signs of SA4 and SA6 of 0.6 and 0.3 μm respectively. Reducing the pupil size minimized the effect of aberrations on subjective DoF. Combination of SA4 and SA6 of opposite sign could increase DoF more than three times for pupils larger than 4.5 mm. Subjective DoF is well predicted by measuring the induced variation of vergence arising in the pupil size.