We present the use of polyacrylate membranes for the fabrication of pneumatically actuated variable lenses. Whereas the most commonly used membrane material for tunable liquid-filled lenses is polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), polyacrylate membranes have the advantages of high resistance to swelling in silicone oil and enhanced compatibility with a wide range of aqueous optical liquids. These features are quantitatively demonstrated by comparing the material properties and performance of PDMS and polyacrylate membrane lenses. The optical transparency of polyacrylate is more than 92%. The surface roughness is below 3.3 nm rms, and reversible elastic deformation could be demonstrated. Optical measurements show that the cutoff frequency of the modulation transfer function of polyacrylate lenses with different liquid fillings, using a reference contrast of 0.2, is more than 1.5 times larger than that of the same system assembled with PDMS membranes filled with water.