PURPOSE. To examine the relationship between short-wave-length-sensitive (SWS) resolution acuity and epidemiologically defined stages of early age-related maculopathy (ARM). METHODS. Subjects consisted of 88 adults aged 51 to 87 years. Psychophysical testing was undertaken in only one eye of each subject (the study eye). All study eyes had a LogMAR acuity of 0.30 (20/40 Snellen) or better. SWS and achromatic grating resolution acuity were measured at 6 eccentricity from the fovea. Stereoscopic color fundus photographs centered on the macula were taken on both eyes of each subject and were graded using the Wisconsin Age-Related Maculopathy Grading System (WARMGS). After grading, features of ARM were combined to assign a severity stage from 0 to 5 using the methods described by the Rotterdam Eye Study. Relationships between visual function, study eye ARM stage, and fellow eye status were examined with the use of standard statistical analysis. RESULTS. Although SWS resolution acuity was significantly reduced in eyes classified as having any ARM compared with eyes classified as having no ARM (p = 0.002), there was no relationship between the severity of functional deficits and the morphologic severity from stage 1 to stage 4. On reassigning subject eyes to a revised severity staging (stage 0, stages 1 to 4 combined, and stage 5), SWS acuity was significantly different among these three groups (p <0.001). No significant relationship was found between achromatic resolution acuity and ARM staging. The status of the fellow eye (advanced macular degeneration present or absent) was not significantly related to visual function in the study eye. CONCLUSIONS. Significant functional deficits in SWS resolution acuity were found in eyes with ARM features, but the severity of functional loss did not correlate well with the currently accepted method of assigning a morphologic severity stage. Longitudinal studies may reveal further information on the relationships between functional deficits, ARM status, disease progression, and outcome.