Focus issues with the HW55ES... - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
View Poll Results: Do you think this is "normal", or that it's a fault that Sony Support should fix?
This is a fault, that Sony should fix. These focus issues are not acceptable fir such a kind of unit. 4 66.67%
This is normal for this kind of unit. There are no real focus issues. Sony should not fix that. 2 33.33%
Voters: 6. You may not vote on this poll

Forum Jump: 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 15 Old 01-27-2015, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 1
Focus issues with the HW55ES...

I have picture quality issues with the HW55ES... the whole details are here: Owners thread Sony Hw55ES

For the shorter version, here are the pictures. As I took them with a smartphone, quite close to the screen, you can see the shadow of my hand and of the phone on the screen (it's the shadow, not my hand and my phone themselves..). The shadow itself is sharp, it's actually a good reference to determine what "sharp" would be.

- focus made on the centre, picture shows the centre of the screen:

It's nicely sharp, as it should be.

- focus made on the centre (unchanged), picture shows the top right corner:

It isn't as sharp. Could still be within acceptable limits, though one could have hoped for better results...

- focus made on the centre (unchanged), picture shows the bottom left corner:

Well, THAT is something I'd call blurry... And definitely not acceptable, for a product that is definitely not an entry-level projector.



- focus made on the bottom left corner, picture shows the bottom left corner:

Using the focusing ring, I try to get a sharper picture on the bottom left corner. I cannot reach the sharpness I had in the center, but it does show the corner can focus... If I could have had that while keeping a sharp pciture elsewhere, I would have been happy...

- focus made on the bottom left corner (unchanged), picture shows the top right corner:

Of course, by trying to improve the bottom left corner, I made the rest of the picture very blurry...



- focus made on the top right corner, picture shows the top right corner:

Just to get a glimpse how bad it could get, now I focus using the top right corner as reference...

- focus made on the top right corner (unchanged), picture shows the bottom left corner:

... and as expected, the bottom left corner is now VERY blurry.


In your opinion, should this be considered "normal", and "the way the product is built"?
n_m_d is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 15 Old 01-27-2015, 07:29 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Seegs108's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Schenectady, New York
Posts: 4,962
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 873 Post(s)
Liked: 388
This seems like normal behavior with the lens this projector has. It's also an issue with the HW50ES and HW30ES (both of which uses the same lens as the HW55ES). Here's a thread with a little more information:

Sony VPL-HW50ES Focus Nonuniformity

Whether or not this issue should happen is personal opinion. But I think a projector in the $2000+ price market shouldn't suffer from this issue this severely. It seems it's better or worse on a unit to unit basis.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
For Sale: B&W Bowers and Wilkins HTM-4 Diamond Center Speaker - $1649
For Sale: Marantz VP-15S1 1080p High End DLP Projector - $999
My Crazy Projector Journey!
Seegs108 is online now  
post #3 of 15 Old 01-27-2015, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 1
Just to get external opinions on that. Sony says it's normal, it's the way the product is built, I shouldn't complain. My opinion is exactly the opposite.
Sony says I ask for too much, I should buy a VW1000 if I'm asking for more. After all, maybe they're right, a HW product is in their low-end offer and shall offer low-end performance.
Your opinion? Just curious...
n_m_d is online now  
post #4 of 15 Old 01-27-2015, 07:34 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Seegs108's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Schenectady, New York
Posts: 4,962
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 873 Post(s)
Liked: 388
Whether or not this is Sony's "lower end" unit shouldn't matter. What matters more is the price of the projector. For a projector with an MSRP as high as it is on the HW55ES, it shouldn't be an issue.

How much zoom are you using? Does the issue persist even when you make the image as small as possible?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
For Sale: B&W Bowers and Wilkins HTM-4 Diamond Center Speaker - $1649
For Sale: Marantz VP-15S1 1080p High End DLP Projector - $999
My Crazy Projector Journey!
Seegs108 is online now  
post #5 of 15 Old 01-27-2015, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seegs108 View Post
This seems like normal behavior with the lens this projector has. It's also an issue with the HW50ES and HW30ES (both of which uses the same lens as the HW55ES). Here's a thread with a little more information:

Sony VPL-HW50ES Focus Nonuniformity

Whether or not this issue should happen is personal opinion. But I think a projector in the $2000+ price market shouldn't suffer from this issue this severely. It seems it's better or worse on a unit to unit basis.
Well, the question isn't whether other units also suffer from this as well. But whether this is something acceptable for a $2000+ projector.
I do know a plastic lens can't be perfect. But, to me, this looks worse than imperfect...

Thanks for the link anyway. Looks like the original poster did get a replacement unit (even though also with some focus non-uniformity... still better than what I currently have). In my case, Sony won't accept any replacement, perhaps because this unit was already a replacement (for a unit which had other kinds of issues, itself replacing another unit which had developed colour nonuniformity).
n_m_d is online now  
post #6 of 15 Old 01-27-2015, 07:43 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seegs108 View Post
Whether or not this is Sony's "lower end" unit shouldn't matter. What matters more is the price of the projector. For a projector with an MSRP as high as it is on the HW55ES, it shouldn't be an issue.

How much zoom are you using? Does the issue persist even when you make the image as small as possible?
Zoom is max, I haven't tested with smaller zoom settings, as the projector is still at Sony - they just tested it, and said it was OK...
In my current setup, if I use less zoom, it won't fill my screen (and I cannot push the projector further back to compensate, as it's already too close to the wall).

I'd agree with what you say, about MSRP etc... The "low end" or "mid end" answer is the one Sony is giving me.
n_m_d is online now  
post #7 of 15 Old 01-28-2015, 03:09 PM
Newbie
 
lupoal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 10
@n_m_d
if your screen is not too big and you dont have to face problems of dim image try switching the automatic iris to off and close it down to 20 (roughly)... check again the focus issue, should be better...

I agree with you... this kind of problems should not be considered as a "standard" for a product that is not an entry level unit... seems that Sony is joining the Epson style with poor quality control, unfortunately they don't join the Epson service quality (at least here in Europe)... so about Sony: an expensive unit with poor quality and poor customer service

at least in my experience...
lupoal is offline  
post #8 of 15 Old 01-29-2015, 11:11 AM
Member
 
dbturbo2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 71
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Anyone with the focus uniformity issue also have a problem with focus that drifts? Every time I turn the projector on it requires a focus adjustment. Also during the first 30 minutes or so it will frequently drift again and need adjustment. I have tried not adjusting the focus when I turn it on to see if the focus comes back after 30-45 minutes but it does not.
dbturbo2 is offline  
post #9 of 15 Old Yesterday, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 1
@lupoal
Got the projector back from Sony... The focus issue is still there, of course...
I've tried to close the iris: improvement looks very negligible, only at very small values (close to 0) do I see some change (and it's still extremely far from sharp). This is strange, since closing the aperture should normally strongly reduce the bokeh/focus blur.

@dbturbo2
Quite often, the heat does change the geometry and thus the focus - but if you focused it properly after it was on for an hour, then the next time you turn it on and wait one hour it should still come back into focus. If it doesn't, then yes you have some real drifting issue...
I've read of people using duct tape to ensure the focus ring isn't turning by itself... hopefully, this could fix it.
n_m_d is online now  
post #10 of 15 Old Today, 12:30 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
mark haflich's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: brookeville, maryland, usa
Posts: 20,523
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 818 Post(s)
Liked: 673
This is normal for this model. Actually I would say for this model your unit is sharper than normal. There is no chance in hell that Sony will replace it. Your poll is more faulty than the lens. There is an issue with the lower end of Sony ES models and that is the use of a plastic lens that simply is not capable of sharp uniform focus across the screen. However, when viewing normal content from say 1 1/2x the screen width away from the screen, no lack of close up sharpness will be visible. what the voters here think is no relevant. The weakness of Sony's lower end plastic lens machines has been well reported. I am sorry to be harsh but that is the way this model is and Sony would have had to use a more expensive lens to obtain close to the screen sharpness and would have ha to charge a higher price for the machine. the trade off was cheaper but no real adverse effect on the image when viewed at normal distances. Sony made a deliberate choice to do what it did and no improvement would be obtainable without substitution of a higher quality lens using optical glass in the most important areas necessary for up close sharpness. Your unit is normal and most of the voters no it. they just don't like Sony doing it.

Mark Haflich
markhaflich@yahoo.com
call me at: 240 876 2536
mark haflich is online now  
post #11 of 15 Old Today, 01:55 AM
Newbie
 
lupoal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark haflich View Post
... they just don't like Sony doing it.
that is right! especially because 3300 euro are not peanuts and I expect to have form unit like this, classified here in the range of hi-end products (!), better performance...

Last edited by lupoal; Today at 02:06 AM.
lupoal is offline  
post #12 of 15 Old Today, 01:57 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Kelvin1965S's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Berkshire, UK
Posts: 3,286
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
Liked: 53
If you wanted a sharper picture to look at non moving text, then I would suggest a JVC model since they all share the same lens from the top model down. Economy of scale kicks in here, so the cheaper models get a better quality lens this way (although the top models use the best ones 'cherry picked' from the pile so to speak).

However you then have the issue of motion blur on JVCs which bothers some people more than others, so if it's a moving image you want to watch then that's something else you need to consider.

It's just a question of choosing your poison since there will always be some compromise, even if you spend many thousands more I'll bet there is something that could be changed/improved.

I noticed the image softness at the sides of the screen when I was demo'd a HW55ES against a JVC X55 a few year back. However it was only because we were looking at a computer desktop on a very large screen. Once the film started it wasn't obvious at all. I happened to prefer the JVC (also the Sony wouldn't work with my A-lens as the image was too big for my screen due to long throw), however the sharpness wasn't an issue in this decision.

It's also a reason why I tend to recommend people don't use maximum zoom in their set ups too. I know there is an obsession about getting the brightest possible image with some people, but keeping even just a little way back from the maximum might make all the difference to having a sharper image and yet make very little difference in terms of image brightness. Of course you need a smaller screen in this case, but again that's something that can be worked out before buying a screen/projector.

Zooming: Been there, done that, bought the lens...

Last edited by Kelvin1965S; Today at 02:02 AM.
Kelvin1965S is offline  
post #13 of 15 Old Today, 07:18 AM
AVS Addicted Member
 
mark haflich's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: brookeville, maryland, usa
Posts: 20,523
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 818 Post(s)
Liked: 673
Quote:
Originally Posted by lupoal View Post
that is right! especially because 3300 euro are not peanuts and I expect to have form unit like this, classified here in the range of hi-end products (!), better performance...
Kelvin1965S post is right on. All projectors have weaknesses. You should have purchased another one without this weakness. JVC has projectors in this price class with better lenses and so does Epson. As Kelvin stated they have other weaknesses which may not be bothersome to you. There is no requirement that some particular weakness bars a projector from being in this price class. Sony made a design decision based on the cost of development and production and its targeted selling price to distributors. They have sold plenty despite this weakness because it doesn't seem to affect normal viewing performance.

Mark Haflich
markhaflich@yahoo.com
call me at: 240 876 2536

Last edited by mark haflich; Today at 07:23 AM.
mark haflich is online now  
post #14 of 15 Unread Today, 08:45 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark haflich View Post
This is normal for this model. Actually I would say for this model your unit is sharper than normal. There is no chance in hell that Sony will replace it. Your poll is more faulty than the lens. There is an issue with the lower end of Sony ES models and that is the use of a plastic lens that simply is not capable of sharp uniform focus across the screen.
The lower-left corner focuses 1 meter in from of the screen, the projector being 3.5 meters from the screen. If this kind of non-uniform focus distance is normal (more than 1 meter discrepancy, at 3.5 meters projection distance), then a high number of units would show the exact same same behaviour. It's not what I've seen here and elsewhere.
This is not what I'd call a problem of materials, but a problem of manufacturing & QC (symmetry issues).

By the way, I've had other Sony HW units: none of them showed such a misuniformity of focus. Which means that Sony is perfectly capable of delivering better units, with the same choice of materials, and from the same manufacturing plants.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark haflich View Post
However, when viewing normal content from say 1 1/2x the screen width away from the screen, no lack of close up sharpness will be visible.
First, it depends what you call "normal contents"... and let's not forget that, a few years ago, the "normal content" was DVD, and for some people it still is (just compare DVD vs BluRay sales charts...).
By the way, if you mean that's "no lack of sharpness" in "normal conditions", then, what in your opinion is the need for 4k projectors, for example? Why do manufacturers try to reach higher sharpness, if sharpness is as irrelevant as you write?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark haflich View Post
what the voters here think is no relevant.
Not relevant to Sony for sure - since that's the kind of answer I got from them.
But still relevant of what expectations could/should be.

By the way, let's answer on that question: if this exact unit had been received by test sites and confirmed as "normal behavior", do you think it'd have received as much praise for its picture sharpness?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark haflich View Post
The weakness of Sony's lower end plastic lens machines has been well reported. I am sorry to be harsh but that is the way this model is and Sony would have had to use a more expensive lens to obtain close to the screen sharpness and would have ha to charge a higher price for the machine. the trade off was cheaper but no real adverse effect on the image when viewed at normal distances. Sony made a deliberate choice to do what it did and no improvement would be obtainable without substitution of a higher quality lens using optical glass in the most important areas necessary for up close sharpness.
That's where QC kicks in. You do not necessarily need higher-end manufacturing machines, or to design a much better lens. If you design proper control procedures and benches, you should be able to detect and scrap the bad lenses (I'm not saying imprefect sharpness here, but a unit where a part of the screen focuses 1 meter in from compared to the center - that's more than a good 30 degrees of focus ring).

Yes, that's an additional cost, but remains pretty far from doubling the price or so - maybe a few hundred $/€ more I'd say (labor cost in China isn't that expensive...), which means it still stays in the same market segment.

And, yes, a deliberate choice was made, and IMHO it is to maximize the margins. When considering that the HW40 is very close to being the same unit as the HW55 (the dynamic iris doesn't cost that much to manufacture; as for the higher ), for sure there was some

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark haflich View Post
Your unit is normal and most of the voters no it. they just don't like Sony doing it.
Their choices and motivations are theirs, not yours.
n_m_d is online now  
post #15 of 15 Unread Today, 09:00 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 13
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Liked: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelvin1965S View Post
If you wanted a sharper picture to look at non moving text, then I would suggest a JVC model since they all share the same lens from the top model down.
Since this unit is a replacement sent by Sony, I wasn't having the choice to get a JVC instead... (and my previous Sony unit had much better sharpness in the corners, as they did not suffer from such a large focus distance issue).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelvin1965S View Post
It's also a reason why I tend to recommend people don't use maximum zoom in their set ups too. I know there is an obsession about getting the brightest possible image with some people, but keeping even just a little way back from the maximum might make all the difference to having a sharper image and yet make very little difference in terms of image brightness. Of course you need a smaller screen in this case, but again that's something that can be worked out before buying a screen/projector.
I've tested it at lower zoom levels and lowest zoom level as well: the blurry corners are still there. From what I understand, the misalignement is on the back elements of the lens, not the front ones - as the bluriness doesn't change with lens shift.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark haflich View Post
Kelvin1965S post is right on. All projectors have weaknesses. You should have purchased another one without this weakness. JVC has projectors in this price class with better lenses and so does Epson.
Yet, I've seen other Sony units, and NONE had a focus misuniformity as bad as this one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark haflich View Post
As Kelvin stated they have other weaknesses which may not be bothersome to you. There is no requirement that some particular weakness bars a projector from being in this price class. Sony made a design decision based on the cost of development and production and its targeted selling price to distributors.
I do agree that nothing prevents an unit to be in a certain price class; that's entirely a marketing choice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mark haflich View Post
They have sold plenty despite this weakness because it doesn't seem to affect normal viewing performance.
My only remark is that MOST units (and I'd even say, the vast majority of units) are, by far, not as badly affected as what I see on mine.
n_m_d is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply Digital Hi-End Projectors - $3,000+ USD MSRP



Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off