So today I am doing a MOD that I have wanted to do for years but unfortunately never had the equipment or courage to try and that is the Gear VR lens swap for the Vive. This MOD popped up in the community a few years ago when the original Vive was getting close the the end of its life cycle. I was always amazed to hear the reports of those who had done it saying how much better it made the experience because finally there were no more “God Rays”
For those who are new to VR or don’t know what I’m talking about lets flash back to 2015 when most people in the very small VR community were still using the Oculus Rift DK2. This early VR headset used non Fresnel lenses and that meant that there were none of these light artifacts that we see today in most modern headsets. The view in the trusty old DK2 was clear but the old lenses it used did have their own problems with some very slight barrel distortions and chromatic aberration but honestly I would take those issues any day over having beams of light flashing all over the place when presented with a high contrast scene!
So after almost 2 years of using the DK1 and DK2 with aspheric lenses it came as a complete shock to see the first generation retail headsets come out with a change to using Fresnel lenses. These do have there advantages over traditional aspheric lenses but the trade off was the introduction of the “God Ray” artifacts.
Gone was that clear view of space that I had always marveled at in my favorite game: Elite Dangerous. All of a sudden I found that and many other games almost unplayable because everywhere I would look there was a beam of light shooting into my eyes. Needless to say but myself and many others that had waited so long for the consumer VR headsets to finally release were not happy. In fact, I was so heart broken over this change that for the longest time if you did a Google search for “Oculus God Rays” you would find an article I wrote for vrspies.com as the #1 search result complaining about this issue ! [;]-)
So for years now I have longed to see VR without Fresnel lenses and thanks to the fact that I have a few different HTC headsets I decided it was time to finally attempt this MOD. I am happy to say as you will see in this video that it went well and the results were stunning! No more God Rays… Huge Sweet spot… and no barrel distortion or CA that I could see in the time I was testing this by watching a movie in Bigscreen. I finally had my clear view of VR back and I am so happy I did this now!
If you want to attempt this mod for yourself there are a few things to take into account… First it will most likely void your warranty with HTC if your headset still has one but the awesome thing is that this MOD is fully reversible as well so if you take your time and don’t damage anything you can put it back to factory shape in minutes.
The second thing is that there are two methods I have seen for doing the MOS… You either take the lenses out of an existing Gear VR and 3d Print or purchase a 3d printed set of adapters like I did or I have also seen some great reviews of another complete kit that is sold on Etsy that is already assembled and ready for installation into your Vive Cosmos or Cosmos Elite. I will include links below for both the adapter rings that I got on eBay and also to the complete kit that I read about on Reddit.
Lens adapters on eBay:
Complete adapter + Lenses kit on Etsy: