Ok, I completed my lens-painting mod.
For those who are interested, the purpose of this mod is to reduce the tunnel-vision effect that casts a ring of light around the screen, distracting from normal viewing, and decreasing immersion. I have virtually no experience with taking things apart, or putting them back together. Still, I found the process fairly straightforward, but it is very easy to damage something.
Before we get any further, I'll give you my conclusion right now: It doesn't really help, and in disassembling and painting you risk breaking something, leaving you worse off than you started.
If none of that deters you, let's carry on. I couldn't cover every detail, and pictures wouldn't have shown much, so feel free to ask about anything you're having trouble with.
The materials I used:
- a philips head screwdriver (says PH-000 and 1/16 on mine)
- a wooden toothpick
- a small brush (as small as possible, the lenses are small, and the area to paint over is about a millimeter wide)
- black chalkboard paint (latex based)
Disassembly (I used this video
as a reference)
- The big difference is that the HMZ-T1 has an easily removable forehead rest. The T2 forehead rest requires some additional unscrewing to remove it from its sliding track. It's also connected to the circuit board, which means it will be dangling by that wire for the duration of the project.
- There are tons, and I mean TONS of screws. There are 3 different sizes, with two of them being so similar they fit into each others holes. At the end of the project I had one left over screw, but it doesn't seem to have affected anything. Two particular screws are so small, and in such an awkward position, it was almost impossible to get them back in place. My screwdriver was not magnetic, so I ended up using the toothpick to put them in place.
- There are several fragile wires that you'll have to be careful with. Again, they will be dangling from the side at times. Eventually the lens contraption itself will be somewhat separated and easier to work with.
- There is a small piece of black tape with a screw hiding behind it. If you just can't seem to separate the nose-piece/buttons from the lenses, make sure you didn't miss it, or any other hiding screws.
Forehead rest removed.
Optics detached from circuit board. Hard to see, but the right lens has its cover partially removed, exposing the edge underneath. You will need to remove the cover entirely to get at all of the edges. This can be tricky because of the way the cover is hooked in place. Instead of just pulling on it, try pushing it in slightly and depressing the tabs that hold it in place before pulling them out. Do NOT remove the screw just above the center of the lens. That keeps the OLEDS attached, and you don't want that exposed.
- The area you want to paint is tiny
. You need as fine a brush as you can find and a steady hand. The 'edge' of the lens is made up of two parts: a 'flat' perpendicular part, then a 45 degree angle part, followed by the curved part your eyes actually look through. Personally, I was confident in my skills and painted right up to the edge of the curved part. I accidentally got a small amount of paint on the lens, but was able to remove it easily with the toothpick.
- It will require multiple coats. After putting on the first coat, you will probably still be able to see light shining through the paint.
- Once you reattach the circuit board to the lens hardware and try to mount it in the frame, make sure the focus sliders work. I made the mistake of reassembling it most of the way, only to find that the left slider wasn't in place and could not adjust it, which meant disassembling it all over again.
- I found it very difficult to put it all back together without getting the lenses greasy. Might as well wait until it's all done to clean them instead of doing it over and over.
- Everything still works! Woo hoo!
- There seems to be slightly less of a ring of light, but it's still there, and it's still noticeable.
I can think of two reasons why this mod does not solve the problem. Either there is a tiny sliver of light making it through the edge of where I painted but it's too close to cover without also painting the lens itself, or the tunnel-vision is simply a defect of the lenses. Many people have wondered why Sony didn't make lenses with blackened edges like other manufacturers do. It's possible their engineers already knew this wouldn't fix anything.Edited by chibiracer - 2/17/13 at 7:56pm