Original VIVE with Gear lens mod

Soldato
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I've recently started playing Elite dangerous in VR after a long break, I'd forgotten how great this game is in VR.

The big thing that lets the Vive down is clarity especially when trying to read text.

I looked into the Gear lens mod when I first got the Vive but never pursued it and now I'm wondering again if it would be worth while.

It's a mixed bag of reviews out there but mostly positive, a few people saying they suffer more from eye strain and barrel distortion which can possibly be fixed with some modded files but isn't guaranteed to work 100%. Most saying the boost in clarity and image quality is worth the trade offs

just wondering if there is any one who has done the mod and is still using the Vive what your thoughts are, is it worth the swap.

Unfortunately a new hmd is out of the question so hoping I can get some more life out of the Vive yet.

cheers.
 
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Yep, I spent ages deciding whether to do it or not. Probably read all the same things you have about possible barrel distortion etc etc.

In the end I took the plunge and it's been great. No more annoying god rays, a sweet spot that isn't the size of a 5p piece and best of all no distortion. Maybe I got lucky but i didn't need to do any software tricks as I can't notice it at all.

Really improves clarity, plus you can always put the old lenses back in if you're not happy with it.

I did get a couple of bits of dust behind the lenses though so I'll have to take them out at some point again and wipe it.
 
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I've never heard of this before. Is it just another pair of lenses you put in? How easy is it to do?
 
Soldato
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Cheers for the reply.
I found a UK seller on ebay so took the plunge. His listing said he had adjusted the lens holders to compensate for the barrel distortion so fingers crossed I wont have to mess around with the config files either. Just waiting for them to arrive and I'll report back.

ZeroG this video explains it all and the process of fitting the lenses.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fj6JC2DMVLk

You can pick up the lenses and adapters from ebay for about £30.
I got mine from seller luc.tyrre but he only has 1 set left and I can't confirm what they are like yet, but watch this space.
 
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Cheers for the reply.
I found a UK seller on ebay so took the plunge. His listing said he had adjusted the lens holders to compensate for the barrel distortion so fingers crossed I wont have to mess around with the config files either. Just waiting for them to arrive and I'll report back.

ZeroG this video explains it all and the process of fitting the lenses.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fj6JC2DMVLk

You can pick up the lenses and adapters from ebay for about £30.
I got mine from seller luc.tyrre but he only has 1 set left and I can't confirm what they are like yet, but watch this space.

That was certainly an interesting watch. I might see about doing this if I don't end up selling the Vive heh.
 
Soldato
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One benefit is it can easily be put back to original if desired, just have to remember to mark the lenses left and right as you take them out.

@Teknobry did you notice any difference in screen door effect?
 
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Not as such, as the pixels are on the screen behind the lenses so doesn't change anything that way. I instantly noticed a big increase in clarity, being able to read text & everything looked more sharp.

I've had my vive since oct 2017 or therabouts so tbh i don't tend to really notice SDE anymore.

I bought a gear VR off ebay earlier this year and then the adapter lenses seperately. Cost was about £18 doing it that way.
 
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Got the lenses yesterday. Fitting was straight forward, I used some isopropyl alcohol around the edge of the lens to soften the double sided tape used to hold them in place.
They then popped out with a small flat head screw driver.
The gear lenses just pop into place held by friction fit.

I did have to remove and refit the lenses several times to get dust out, luckily I have an electric dust blower otherwise I would have gone through a few cans of compressed air.
The smallest spec of dust shows up tenfold once the lenses are fitted so care has to be taken to avoid getting dust inside the unit, thankfully I got it all out.

The difference in clarity is amazing. I've only tried it with ED so far for a few hours but the visual improvement is great. I'd say the sweet spot is marginally larger but the image over all is so much clearer. this is made very obvious when looking at the side panels in ship, with the original lenses I had to move my head to the perfect position to read text, now I can see the text clearly enough just moving my head in the general direction of the panel, a great improvement on it's own.

I'm also noticing small details from textures and environments that I was missing before.

I would say the increase in image clarity has made SDE slightly more noticeable because the image is sharper but I'd say the increase in clarity is worth the trade off.

The slight barrel distortion is noticeable at first. I saw it mostly in the Steam VR home, however I didn't notice it at all in ED.
As I'm 90% a sit down sim VR user I don't think this slight distortion will bother me but I need to test a few more games to be sure.
It may be more of an issue for stand up move about games, though again once immersed I'm not sure you'd notice it?

I'm not going to mess with the config files if I don't feel the need to.

So initial reaction is very positive, clarity increase is very noticeable, barrel distortion is slight, I'll have to use the unit for longer to see if eye strain is an issue but from the few hours I've played so far my eyes actually felt better as I didn't have to strain them so much trying to see text, Vive is still as uncomfortable as ever though, after a few hours I have to have a break any way.
 
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Glad it worked out for you! I read to do the lens swap in a bathroom after someone has had a shower. The steam removes the dust from the air, lol.

The distortion mods are very straightforward apparently. I just couldn't notice any distortion so never them.

Have you got the deluxe audio strap? I found that was more comfortable than the old one, plus changing the face cover to a much thicker padded one.
 
Soldato
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yeah I read that too but couldn't be arsed to do it, it's a fiddley process and not one I'd like to do in the bath room :)

yeah I'll see how I get on with the distortion, it's very slight and in game I've not really noticed it.

I only have the original head strap, I just change the face cover to the narrow faced version and it's a bit better. I'm not going to bother spending any more money on the Vive now as I may upgrade in the near future.

Cheers for your help.
 
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