Gear Lens mod

MartinMarty
Architect

Gear Lens mod

I keep reading about people swapping the (non-fresnel) lenses from Gear VR into their Vives and Vive Pros and raving about how clear everything is and how it eliminates God rays and reduces screen door effect.

 

But certainly if it was that simple, HTC would have used that type of lenses.

 

Some people admit to some "barrel distortion" which they correct by tweaking some parameter file(s) and sometimes something called pupil swim.

 

I am not at all expert in these subjects. I must admit I am tempted. I would hate to mess up my HMD but truthfully I could probably do the swap successfully. I would like a response from Vive about what the downside to this mod is, as they did not choose these clear lenses for the second time (Vive Pro). If it was all great and no bad, certainly my HMDs would already have this kind of lens.

 

Thank you.

VROne
Explorer

Re: Gear Lens mod

Pro owner here. Got my lens + adapter kid today off ebay for a little less than $60.

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/COMPLETE-GEAR-VR-LENS-AND-ADAPTER-UPGRADE-MOD-V3-3-FOR-HTC-VIVE-AND-VIVE-PR...

 

Honestly, I was expecting a marginal improvement. Having used it now for a couple of hours in many games, I can tell you it's more than that. FYI: I wear glasses. Both with them on and off (but obviously better when on) - the picture is noticebaly improved in the following ways:

 

Godrays essentially eliminated

"Sweet spot" much larger

Smaller objects sharper/clear

Most noticeable of my tests: various consoles in Elite Dangerous. Major improvement.

 

Running at max VR settings on 7700k and 1080Ti.

 

Bottom line is it's much more than I expected. I'm sort of amazed a DIY product was able to make such a significant improvemet over an $800 HMD. No offense to HTC but you guys should look into this.

MartinMarty
Architect

Re: Gear Lens mod

... I'm sort of amazed a DIY product was able to make such a significant improvemet over an $800 HMD. No offense to HTC but you guys should look into this.


Thanks. That was kind of the point of my post. I don't know if I made my point.

 

I would appreciate a response from HTC/Vive regarding what it is that all these happy modders are not understanding. Why is it that I should not tear my Vive Pro apart tomorrow and do this mod? What would I be losing?

 

I mean no offense also. I am very curious if this was so easy why they didn't build it this way. 

 

Thank you.

VROne
Explorer

Re: Gear Lens mod

Just to be clear: there's no scenario where you're tearing anything down on the HMD (original or Pro). The only tearing down you may do is if you choose to buy the Gear VR and make your own adapter, in which case you'd be tearing down the Gear VR.

 

If you're buying the kit which has the Gear lenses already in an adapter (like the one I bought: https://www.ebay.com/itm/323285586590?ViewItem=&item=323285586590) then it's just a matter of prying the original lenses from the Pro. They are not fixed to the rims so you can remove and replace them as necessary. Installing the adapter/lens kit is as simple as snapping them in after removing original lenses.

 

There is no dismantling or removal of adhesive or tearing down involved here.

Highlighted
CaTaPulT
Architect

Re: Gear Lens mod

If I still had my Vive, I would be awefully tempted to try this since the original Vive lenses is the reason I sold my Vive, the sweet spot was way too small and I had to have the headset in a very uncomfortable possition on my head to see through that sweet spot. Even the Lenovo Explorer's Fresnel lenses have a bigger sweet spot than that of the Vive. I'm sorry to say but I had to go to the Oculus Rift due to their optics suiting my eyes so much better and now I enjoy VR once again just due to the comfort level and being able to see clearly in VR.

Regards: Jack

AshAuryn
Contributor

Re: Gear Lens mod

I have a pro as well, and regardless of what community-created settings I use, the barrel lens/fishbowl effect is so bad that it's unusable. I have the lenses inserted correctly, etc etc.  I'm wondering how your experience was and whether you did anything differently.

Vive Staff

Re: Gear Lens mod

@AshAuryn - From what I've seen, many people report having the least distortion with the "V3" calibration file.

 

Overall, you're swapping fresnels for double convex lenses designed for a completely different VR product and optical stack. It's a mod - distortion is a byproduct of that mod and the conversation becomes managing and reducing the distortion to an acceptable level. When preforming the GearVR mod, your swapping out the limitations of one lens shape with the limitations of another shape - and then adding on a bunch of extra complciations because that lens is not designed/optimized for Vive's display and housing. 

 

One thing to note is that your physical morphology (astigmatism, the distance between your eyes and the lens, ect...) can play into the perceived distortion; this is important when you take into account your dropping lenses into housing that aren't calibrated for that lens. Another thing to keep in mind is that each person will have varying sensitivities to the distortion.

 

I've tried dozens of modified Vives over the last 3 years. For my vision and morphology, every lens mod I've tried had substantially worse pupil swim and barrel distortion than the stock lenses. Alot of it will come down to what you personally experince in there and what tradeoffs you're comfortable with. 

To reach Viveport's customer service team, email customerservice@viveport.com

To connect with a live support agent for hardware support, go to www.vive.com/support, click on "contact us" in the top righthand corner, and then opt to speak with a Live Chat agent

David R

Technical Specialist - San Francisco, CA; Monday-Friday

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AshAuryn
Contributor

Re: Gear Lens mod

I am using a Vive Pro. I have two HMD's. I have done the swap on one, and kept the other as an unmodified backup. Is the V3 you mentioned for the Vive, or Vive Pro? Thanks for the response, by the way! Much appreciated.

Vive Staff

Re: Gear Lens mod

@AshAuryn  - I think it's the V3 profile posted here: https://www.reddit.com/r/Vive/comments/86uwsf/gearvr_to_vive_lens_adapters/dwdigxa/

 

To my understanding, the Vive Pro and Vive are similar enough that the distortion profiles are similar and use the same profiles with this mod.

 

What's really important to note here is that these distortion profiles are guesswork by the community. Normally these profiles are derived by engineers who preform measurements using specialized optical equipment; with these distortion profiles, people are basically using a guess and check method to get as close as possible. 

 

As I said, it's a tradeoff. Most users will likely encounter barrel distortion, greater pupil swim, and more eye strain than with the stock fresnels - this is why we ship the Vive with Fresnels. I personally find the GearVR mod to be physically uncomfortable and not conclusive to long sessions - to others however they report an increase in UX so it's simply one of those subjective things. 

To reach Viveport's customer service team, email customerservice@viveport.com

To connect with a live support agent for hardware support, go to www.vive.com/support, click on "contact us" in the top righthand corner, and then opt to speak with a Live Chat agent

David R

Technical Specialist - San Francisco, CA; Monday-Friday

Click here to send me a PM