Imaging faint companions (exoplanets and brown dwarfs) around nearby stars is currently limited by speckle noise. To efficiently attenuate this noise, a technique called simultaneous spectral differential imaging (SSDI) can be used. This technique consists of acquiring simultaneously images of the field of view in several adjacent narrow bands and in combining these images to suppress speckles. Simulations predict that SSDI can achieve, with the acquisition of three wavelengths, speckle noise attenuation of several thousands. These simulations are usually performed using the Fraunhofer approximation, i.e. considering that all aberrations are located in the pupil plane. We have performed wavefront propagation simulations to evaluate how out-of-pupil-plane aberrations affect SSDI speckle noise attenuation performance. The Talbot formalism is used to give a physical insight of the problem; results are confirmed using a proper wavefront propagation algorithm. We will show that near-focal-plane aberrations can significantly reduce SSDI speckle noise attenuation performance at several λ/D separation. It is also shown that the Talbot effect correctly predicts the PSF chromaticity. Both differential atmospheric refraction effects and the use of a coronagraph will be discussed.© (2006) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.