The relative merits of three standardized methods for assessing the imaging quality of intraocular lenses are discussed based on theoretical modulation-transfer-function calculations. The standards are ANSI Z80.7 1984 from the American National Standards Institute, now superseded by ANSI Z80.7 1994, and the proposed ISO 11979-2 from the International Organization for Standardization. They entail different test 60% resolution efficiency in air, 70% resolutionefficiency in aqueous humor, and 0.43 modulation at 100 line pairs/mm in a model eye. The ISO working group found that the latter corresponds to 60% resolution efficiency in air in a ring test among eight laboratories on a sample of 39 poly(methyl) methacrylate lenses and four silicone lenses spanning the power (in aqueous humor) range of 10-30 D. In both ANSI Z80.7 1994 and ISO 11979-2, a 60% resolution efficiency in air remains an optional approval limit. It is concluded that the ISO configuration is preferred, because it puts the intraocular lens into the context of the optics of the eye. Note that the ISO standard is tentative and is currently being voted on.