Straightness measurement is a very important technique in the field of mechanical engineering. A particular application for straightness measurement is high-accuracy machining on a diamond-turning lathe. We propose a novel, to our knowledge, optical method for measuring the straightness of motion, and its mathematical analysis is outlined. The technique is based on measurement of the lateral displacement of point images by use of reflection confocal optical systems. The advantages of this method are that (i) the lateral displacements in the direction of the two axes perpendicular to the optical axis can be measured, (ii) the rotation angles around all three axes can be measured, and (iii) reflection optical systems are more compact in length than are transmission optical systems.