Samsung Gear VR Lens Mod for HTC VIVE

FrgMstr

Just Plain Mean
Staff member
Joined
May 18, 1997
Messages
54,082
The latest rage is voiding your HTC VIVE and PRO's warranty by ripping the fresnel lenses out and replacing those with the clear lenses from the Samsung Gear VR headset that you would use with your smartphone. The upside is that you get rid of some of the banding associated with fresnel lenses of the VIVE, but the downside is that you lose some field of view and of course you probably want to do this work in a near dust free environment. There are some software issues you have to work through, which are not incredibly difficult, and you will need to have some parts 3D printed to install your new lenses in the VIVE. It looks to be near impossible to get rid of barrel distortion doing it this way, but some folks are getting very close to perfect and a lot of folks seem to like the non-fresnel view much better. There is another build video here for the non-PRO and the guy includes all the links for outsourcing the 3D printed parts as well. And most importantly, a lot of VR gamers are finding that the tradeoffs are good with them. Thanks Monte.

Check out the video.
 

Rahh

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 14, 2005
Messages
1,607
Sounds like HTC needs to redesign theirs and they're practically being told what's wrong and how to fix by these mods.
 
Last edited:

Monte

Dir. of Events & eSports at Gearbox Software
Joined
Oct 21, 2000
Messages
363
There are quite a few people who have done this on Reddit and the quality of the Samsung lens are clearly a big upgrade over the softer plastic fresno lens.

I started looking into replacement lens shortly after we got our Vive. There are scratches on both of my Vive lens that popped up after my son did not move the lens back far enough after wearing the headset with glasses on. One time and both scratched. Soft plastic lens on something this expensive is lame.
 
Last edited:

Sonicks

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 24, 2005
Messages
1,401
It's an interesting choice HTC took to use fresnel lenses on the Pro. My understanding was they were used to keep weight down on the HMD but from what I hear the Pro already weights significantly more than the non-Pro so why even save the extra grams of weight.
 

MatthewK

n00b
Joined
Aug 12, 2004
Messages
48
I was one of the first to try this mod and suggested curved/rounded edges for comfort with the 3D printed parts. To my eyes it is MUCH better. Those godrays were godawful annoying and are thankfully gone! Sharpness is a lot better too. One thing I keep seeing over and over again, including in this video, is people nearly completely disassembling their GearVR to remove the lens. That's completely unnecessary! On the side where you put the phone you can see three tabs, you just need to push one or two of those in with a small tool and then the black plastic ring on the other viewing side will come off easily. The GearVR lenses will fall out, so be careful not to scratch them.

My tips:
 

cbutters

Gawd
Joined
Dec 30, 2005
Messages
514
One thing I keep seeing over and over again, including in this video, is people nearly completely disassembling their GearVR to remove the lens. That's completely unnecessary! On the side where you put the phone you can see three tabs, you just need to push one or two of those in with a small tool and then the black plastic ring on the other viewing side will come off easily. The GearVR lenses will fall out, so be careful not to scratch them.

Good to see you are on hardforum as well. I read your post on reddit when you posted it :). In my video I did mention that removing the screws on the outside was unnecessary, but makes it possible to get at the tabs at a slightly better angle.
 

MatthewK

n00b
Joined
Aug 12, 2004
Messages
48
Good to see you are on hardforum as well. I read your post on reddit when you posted it :). In my video I did mention that removing the screws on the outside was unnecessary, but makes it possible to get at the tabs at a slightly better angle.

Oh! You caught me, I didn't actually watch the video, I just skipped around in it. Sorry. :happy:
 

LstBrunnenG

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jun 3, 2003
Messages
6,677
Some things to keep in mind before you do this:
  1. The right and left original lenses are different. Actually, it's more accurate to say that no two are alike. Rather than manufacture them with exacting tolerance, HTC performs a calibration on your headset after your lenses have been installed. Store your lenses in labelled bags or something.
  2. Even if you put the right lens back on the right eye and restore the config file, you're not going to get the lens in exactly the same position as it was glued into place at the factory. The headset would need to be recalibrated to get it exactly right. So, technically, there's no going back.
  3. Though others have claimed the updated config file fixes all distortion problems for them, personally I still notice some distortion when moving my head. The amount and nature of distortion changes depending on where exactly on my head the lenses are.

    It's possible that if I start tweaking the coefficients myself I may be able to reduce this further.
  4. Unless you're in a clean room, dust will get in. Doing it quickly is not enough. There are probably ways to mitigate this, but I haven't gotten that far yet.
  5. Some complain about FOV loss. That's not something I've noticed.
TL;DR: Yes, it's a lot clearer, but for the moment there are enough caveats that I'm glad I tried this with my out-of-warranty Vive and not my brand-new Vive Pro.
 
Last edited:
Top