Abstract Experiments are described in which the dynamic accommodation response to a stimulus whose vergence was varying sinusoidally with time between 1.33 and 2.38 D was measured as a function of frequency for 19 subjects, with ages distributed between 18 and 49 years. Response to abrupt stimulus change between the same levels was also measured. The results showed that at any age, for the sinusoidal stimuli, gain fell with frequency and phase lag increased: at fixed frequency, gain fell with age and phase lag increased. Neither reaction nor response times for step stimuli changed with age. Analysis of the sinusoidal data suggests the possible existence of a cut-off frequency of about 2 Hz, which varies little with age and above which the system cannot respond. The phase data is compatible with the existence of a frequency-independent time delay, which increases with age from about 0.17 s at 20 years to 0.48 s at 40 years. The results are discussed in terms of current knowledge of the factors contributing to the development of presbyopia.