The effect of novel intraocular implants and refractive surgical techniques on visual acuity and contrast sensitivity is normally determined by the outcome of human clinical trials. Even if intraocular lenses (IOL) are optically `bench tested' prior to implantation, and their contribution to the patient's vision modeled by computer simulation, the clinical outcome is often poorer than mathematically predicted. This is due in large part to the approximations made in the schematic eye used for computation and the biological variables, such as iris geometry, the implant centration, and location with respect to the three-dimensional position of the visual axis and foveal plane. In vitro laboratory optical testing of novel IOLs and lens refractive procedures, such as capsular bag refilling and inflatable balloons, are non-existent. As animal experiments cannot resolve this dilemma, we took a new in vitro approach at assessing the vision of surgically modified and/or implanted human eyes. Using stock parts, a new optical instrument was built to measure the in situ optical resolution and OMTF of fresh cadaver eyes and to comparatively assess novel surgical techniques and implants by pre- and postoperative optical measurements of the retinal image.