Surface topography measurement is an important tool widely used in many fields to determine the characteristics and functionality of a part or material. Among existing methods for this purpose, the focus variation method has proved high performance particularly in large slope scenarios. However, its performance depends largely on the effectiveness of focus function. This paper presents a method for surface topography measurement using a new focus measurement function based on dual-tree complex wavelet transform. Experiments are conducted on simulated defocused images to prove its high performance in comparison with other traditional approaches. The results showed that the new algorithm has better unimodality and sharpness. The method was also verified by measuring a MEMS micro resonator structure.