Imaging system performance can be described in the spatial domain, where the optical blur diameter is compared to the detector size, or in the frequency domain [modular transfer function (MTF) approach], where the optics cutoff is compared to the detector cutoff. Both comparisons provide a metric that is a function of , where is the focal ratio, is the wavelength, and is the detector size. is applied to three models: Schade’s equivalent resolution (visible systems), Snyder’s MTFA (MTF area; visible systems), and target acquisition (NVThermIP—an infrared system model). All models produced curves that exhibit a transition in the region , representing a change from detector-limited to optics-limited performance. NVThermIP’s contrast equations are simplified to easily calculate resolution and acquisition range. Trade-off analyses include range versus detector size, versus focal ratio, and versus field of view (FOV). When , no aliasing occurs. This may be important for medical imaging, where sampling artifacts may be interpreted as a medical abnormality, or for space probes, where it is impossible to obtain ground truth.