Computerized visual field testing with the Competer automatic perimeter including automatic profile perimetry revealed early glaucomatous field loss in 9 of 10 eyes with photographically demonstrable retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL) defects after optic disc haemorrhages despite the fact than conventional routine perimetry had failed to do so. In 7 of these cases the Competer central pattern test was abnormal; in 2 cases field defects could be shown only when automatic high-resolution static profile perimetry was performed and directed according to the information present in wide-angle RNFL photographs. A field defect was also found in one of five eyes with no photographic RNFL changes. Visual field defects seem to occur in a higher proportion of cases with RNFL defects than was previously thought, but they can be very subtle and hard to find. There are, however, cases where in spite of the presence of an indisputable RNFL defect no visual field defects can be shown even with painstaking technique and conversely field defects may be present without RNFL defects. Automatic perimetry and RNFL photography complement each other in early detection and quantitation of glaucomatous damage.