We present the abilities of diffractive elements for imaging with extended depth of focus. The elements of interest belong to the class of diffractive structures focusing incident light into a segment of the optical axis. We describe the imaging properties of the two following elements of this kind: the annular axicon and the light sword optical element (LSOE). In particular, the point spread functions and the modulation transfer functions of axicons and LSOEs are analyzed experimentally and numerically in detail. The obtained results correspond to different defocusing parameters. The performed experiments confirm the usefulness of axicons and LSOEs for imaging with extended depth of focus. © 2005 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.