This paper describes a Fourier propagator for computing the impulse response of an optical system, while including terms ignored in Fresnel and Fraunhofer calculations. The propagator includes a Rayleigh–Sommerfeld diffraction formula calculation from a distant point through the optical system to its image point predicted by geometric optics. The propagator then approximates the neighboring field points via the traditional binomial approximation of the Taylor series expansion around that field point. This technique results in a propagator that combines the speed of a Fourier transform operation with the accuracy of the Rayleigh–Sommerfeld diffraction formula calculation and extends Fourier optics to cases that are nonparaxial. The proposed propagator facilitates direct calculation of aberration coefficients, making it more versatile than the angular spectrum propagator. Bounds on the phase error introduced by the approximations are derived, which show that it should be more widely applicable than the Fresnel propagator. Guidance on how to sample the pupil and detector planes of a simulated imaging system is provided. This report concludes by showing examples of diffraction calculations for a laboratory setup and comparing them to measured diffraction patterns to demonstrate the utility of the propagator.