Purpose. Design a device for accurate measurements of local optical properties of progressive addition lenses (PALs).
Methods. A point diffraction interferometer has been adapted to measure local prescriptions of PALs.
Results. The most basic configuration of the interferometer for the measurement of PALs showed in this work presents high dynamic range and accuracy as well as the possibility of choosing the number and position of measurement points. Measurements are taken within a region of interest within a radius of about 0.4 to 1.5 mm. Different PAL designs are measured by the method proposed here and compared with results by a last generation commercial lens mapper. With the point diffraction interferometer we also compared several PAL designs in order to analyze their properties in the progression zone.
Conclusions. The device is compact, robust, and fairly accurate, and the operational principle is very simple. By direct measurements it provides the local dioptric power, i.e., the second order wavefront properties, of the lens for selected regions of interest. The position and area can be chosen by the user. The only mobile part of the setup allows for the selection of the measurement points without any additional prismatic correction or movement of the PAL.