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The concept of the modulation transfer function, which is used to evaluate high quality optical systems, components and materials, has been adapted for the first time in a systematic way in ultrasonics to characterise high frequency focused transducers. The additional complexity of ultrasonics compared with optics has been analysed and treated. A 2-D MTF characteriser is presented, as a counterpart to the 1-D function in optics. An example of a complete experimental procedure providing the full performance of focused transducer is presented.