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Sony VPL-HW50ES Focus Nonuniformity - Page 2

post #31 of 65
The issue with QC is what specs Sony requires the lens to meet. I suspect but don't know that most of the lens imperfections some are err bitching about are within the spec and would not be rejected in QC. The RC I suspect was put in to compensate for the lens less than steller performance.
post #32 of 65
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mark haflich View Post

The issue with QC is what specs Sony requires the lens to meet. I suspect but don't know that most of the lens imperfections some are err bitching about are within the spec and would not be rejected in QC. The RC I suspect was put in to compensate for the lens less than steller performance.

Mark, with all due respect, please look at the following image at 100% (click on it, then right-click on the image in the pop-up to download or open in a new window so you can examine it at 100%) before you say that what I'm bit*ching about is within spec. Pay attention to the 'Mid-Right' portion; all other magnified portions are completely acceptable to me. But the Mid-Right section was appalling:



I don't think Sony thought it was within spec b/c they sent me a new replacement. Unless they did so out of the kindness of their hearts or Mike rooting for me wink.gif

P.S. Thanks again for your help, Mike, if you're listening!
post #33 of 65
Thread Starter 
Put another way: w/ the optical performance of the HW50ES I've seen on the 2 units I've owned, I don't know why I was being all snotty about the extremely poor corner performance of the BenQ W7000. I was spoiled by the performance of the cheap Epsons (8350, 3010).

Go figure!

Price-wise:

Sony HW50 > BenQ W7000 > Epson 3010 > Epson 8350

Optically:

Epson 8350 ≥ Epson 3010 > BenQ W7000 > Sony HW50

Sorry, but, that really makes me scratch my head. confused.gif

On the bright side, the lens elements do appear to be multi-coated, as I see reflections of different colors when I shine a light source through the front element. So they did get that right.
Edited by sarangiman - 11/24/12 at 7:06pm
post #34 of 65
Thread Starter 
By the way, Mark: I am appreciative of your input as you clearly have a lot of experience & knowledge in this arena. So I don't mean to sound unappreciative; I thank you for your input.

I admit my 2nd unit could possibly be acceptable, which is why I was asking for further opinion on others to see what others were experiencing and whether or not I could expect better from this projector (having seen much better from the Panny AE-900 I've owned for 6 years & in other cheaper Epson/BenQ units I've auditioned when I decided to upgrade).

Hopefully you can understand where I'm coming from.

Cheers.
post #35 of 65
I do and Thanks. My post was not meant to express an opinion as to whether your first was within spec. Rather, that many of the comments re the less than stellar lens performacre of the 30 and 50 lens would probsably be about Sony lenses that were within spec.

Re replacement of ES projectors, once you convince the help desk that something is wrong, they ship an advance replacement without actually inspecting the unit being replaced.
post #36 of 65
Thread Starter 
I quickly compared a Panasonic AE8000U to my second Sony HW50. Maybe I shouldn't be complaining about the Sony, b/c the Panny was terrible. Hopefully this falls at the lower end of their QC, or maybe the lens got damaged during shipping. Below are the same NEC test image shot on the Panny vs the Sony, from the same position, same lens, within minutes of each other:

Panny AE8000U:
http://f.cl.ly/items/072T2Q1V0h1k333j3z2E/PT-AE8000U-LensIssue.jpg

Sony HW50:
http://cl.ly/LSbD/SonyHW50ES-Unit2-FocusUniformity.jpg

The entire left half of the Panny is out of focus. You can make it a little better by tilting the projector completely off axis & pushing lens shift all the way to the right, but that's silly, & the image becomes this asymmetrical trapezoid if you do that.
post #37 of 65
Thanks for your posts, sarangiman, I'm definitely following with interest.

For what it's worth, I am upgrading from an AE7000 and I always felt that the focus was off in areas.

I ended up using the focus test pattern that is on the Disney WOW disc to confirm and it clearly showed that the left side was out of focus. I actually had the optical block replaced, and it seemed to actually then make the left more focussed than the right! There is definitely a problem. Unfortunately I wasn't aware of the NEC pattern at the time but it would have really helped demonstrate the issue clearly.

On the AE7000 ghosting made 3D unwatchable, which is a shame because it was one of the main reasons I upgraded from an older Epson.

I viewed a HW50 yesterday after reports of its inferior lens but to be honest I was very impressed with sharpness, coming from the 7000. So your post above is very relevant to me. I was also very impressed with the 3D. Definitely some ghosting on tricky scenes in comparison to a DLP I viewed as well, but way better than the 7000 ever was.

Out of interest, are you looking at selling you HW50? I've narrowed down my choices to the HW50 and RS46. I'm still waiting for reports on the 3D on the JVC, but my expectation is it won't be great. The HW50 is looking like the best all rounder so I'm interested that you're potentially looking at replacing it.
post #38 of 65
Just to clarify, I meant I'm interested as to why you are looking to replace it. Not looking to purchase yours myself (I'm not in the US).
post #39 of 65
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your compliments and input, moviefan123. Good to know about your experiences with the Panny 7000.

No, no longer really looking at getting rid of my Sony. After my poor experience with the AE8000U (ghosting in 3D was worse than Sony, & image was dimmer all-round; Detail Clarity is nowhere near as powerful as RC either), the Sony kind of looks like a gem. Possible that a higher end Sony or JVC would be better, of course, but I think I'm willing to be happy with the Sony. Yes the focus uniformity is still bothersome, but it's so much better than that Panasonic...

Now I just have to get this lamp flickering issue sorted out. My replacement HW50 flickers all the time in low lamp mode. It's really pretty bad. Hope that's just a lamp replacement issue.
post #40 of 65
I'm interested to know, anyone report similar findings on sony vpl-hw30es projector?
post #41 of 65
Thread Starter 
It's interesting: after owning the 2nd unit (replacement) for a while now, and fiddling with focus every now & then, I've now found a point of focus where almost all of the screen is perfectly in focus for a 110" screen (still can't get it all in focus for 120"), save for a small portion at the upper left & lower right (which isn't a big deal to me).

Furthermore, it's now even in focus within a few minutes of turning the projector on. And stays in focus hours later.

Seems to me that:

  1. If you fool around enough, you can find a focus point that leads to generally sharp throughout most of the screen (well, probably not with my 1st unit which was way off to begin with)
  2. At a certain focus/zoom setting, the 'depth of focus' of the lens is enough that the focus doesn't change too much over a warm-up period. If you're outside of this zone, it can take 30-60min to come into best focus

Have to say I'm quite happy with the HW50 now... eye-poppingly sharp. Still have lamp flicker though frown.gif
post #42 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarangiman View Post

It's interesting: after owning the 2nd unit (replacement) for a while now, and fiddling with focus every now & then, I've now found a point of focus where almost all of the screen is perfectly in focus for a 110" screen (still can't get it all in focus for 120"), save for a small portion at the upper left & lower right (which isn't a big deal to me).
Furthermore, it's now even in focus within a few minutes of turning the projector on. And stays in focus hours later.
Seems to me that:
  1. If you fool around enough, you can find a focus point that leads to generally sharp throughout most of the screen (well, probably not with my 1st unit which was way off to begin with)
  2. At a certain focus/zoom setting, the 'depth of focus' of the lens is enough that the focus doesn't change too much over a warm-up period. If you're outside of this zone, it can take 30-60min to come into best focus
Have to say I'm quite happy with the HW50 now... eye-poppingly sharp. Still have lamp flicker though frown.gif

what is lamp flicker issue can you please give some extra info, sorry for my english
post #43 of 65
Thread Starter 
Yeah... it... uh... flickers, at what appears to be like 48Hz (based on the frequency of flicker being similar to what I see at some IMAX film theaters & while watching 3D on the Sony HW50 itself), in low lamp mode. Goes away in high lamp mode. Kept it in high lamp for hours but any time I switch back to low lamp it flickers.

Honestly I was surprised as I thought Sony, in general, didn't really have flickering issues. My old Panasonic AE-900 flickered all the time though, intermittently.
post #44 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarangiman View Post

Yeah... it... uh... flickers, at what appears to be like 48Hz (based on the frequency of flicker being similar to what I see at some IMAX film theaters & while watching 3D on the Sony HW50 itself), in low lamp mode. Goes away in high lamp mode. Kept it in high lamp for hours but any time I switch back to low lamp it flickers.
Honestly I was surprised as I thought Sony, in general, didn't really have flickering issues. My old Panasonic AE-900 flickered all the time though, intermittently.

Ah oke I got it thank you very much btw are you happy with sony s 2D performance, image quality, colours are rich,sharpness oke or it is dull? thank you
post #45 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarangiman View Post

Yeah... it... uh... flickers, at what appears to be like 48Hz (based on the frequency of flicker being similar to what I see at some IMAX film theaters & while watching 3D on the Sony HW50 itself), in low lamp mode. Goes away in high lamp mode. Kept it in high lamp for hours but any time I switch back to low lamp it flickers.
Honestly I was surprised as I thought Sony, in general, didn't really have flickering issues. My old Panasonic AE-900 flickered all the time though, intermittently.
I also have this lamp flickering but it also does this at high lamp mode although I have to look better since the extra light seems to make it somewhat more difficult to see (iris in my eyes shuts down).
This looks to me as some sort of problem with the modulation of the lamp and I hope Sony will soon release a firmware update for this problem. The easiest way to see this flickering is pause a movie with a large light evenly coloured content, for instance a large light sky.
In a movie I don't notice it that much unless such scenes are in it.
post #46 of 65
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kjelt View Post

I also have this lamp flickering but it also does this at high lamp mode although I have to look better since the extra light seems to make it somewhat more difficult to see (iris in my eyes shuts down).
This looks to me as some sort of problem with the modulation of the lamp and I hope Sony will soon release a firmware update for this problem. The easiest way to see this flickering is pause a movie with a large light evenly coloured content, for instance a large light sky.
In a movie I don't notice it that much unless such scenes are in it.

Ah, thanks, I think you're right. I do see it faintly in high lamp mode as well, though when I switch back to low lamp mode (within seconds), it's diminished compared to how much it flickered right before I switched to high lamp. Eventually the flicker develops again to become quite distracting.

You don't think it's the lamp itself?
post #47 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarangiman View Post

You don't think it's the lamp itself?
I hope not! Normally with standard UHP lamps the flickering starts at low lamp mode after a few hundred hours and this is a sign that the arc is not steady between the electrodes (the arc dances around at one of the electrodes). If you then apply high lamp mode for a couple of hours the higher current (voltage is constant with an uhp lamp but rises with age) will let the arc grip on another place on the electrodes After some hours the electrodes are worn and switching back to low lamp mode results in a new place on the electrodes where the arc stays stable.
What I see here is that it starts right out of the box and that is not normal, a new lamp should have a steady arc. So I suspect it is another phenomenon we are seeing here and my best guess is the modulation of the lamp to have a higher lumen output.Another clue is that the flickering is much more subtle then with a normal low lamp mode flickering which is more bothersome to watch (almost unwatchable).
My hope is that this message reaches Sony and that they investigate the problem and hopefully can update the firmware of the lamp driver.
post #48 of 65
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kjelt View Post

I hope not! Normally with standard UHP lamps the flickering starts at low lamp mode after a few hundred hours and this is a sign that the arc is not steady between the electrodes (the arc dances around at one of the electrodes). If you then apply high lamp mode for a couple of hours the higher current (voltage is constant with an uhp lamp but rises with age) will let the arc grip on another place on the electrodes After some hours the electrodes are worn and switching back to low lamp mode results in a new place on the electrodes where the arc stays stable.
What I see here is that it starts right out of the box and that is not normal, a new lamp should have a steady arc. So I suspect it is another phenomenon we are seeing here and my best guess is the modulation of the lamp to have a higher lumen output.Another clue is that the flickering is much more subtle then with a normal low lamp mode flickering which is more bothersome to watch (almost unwatchable).
My hope is that this message reaches Sony and that they investigate the problem and hopefully can update the firmware of the lamp driver.

If it's not the lamp, why would it be so variable & intermittent?

Also, why didn't I just buy a plasma TV? smile.gif
post #49 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarangiman View Post

If it's not the lamp, why would it be so variable & intermittent?
Also, why didn't I just buy a plasma TV? smile.gif
I will try to have another look tonight the only way to judge this is to freeze the picture. I don't think you can judge it on moving pictures since that introduces other variables like the auto iris and FI.
What we actually need is a very fast optical sensor that can determine the frequency and amplitude.
post #50 of 65
Would like to chip in.

Just installed my new JVC-DLA-RS56 and ran the test pattern.
Extreme left lower corner is a tiny bit out of focus and cannot be completely focused, but certainly better than Panasonic AE-8000 (the unit that I returned was horrible and was deemed "within spec") and certainly not as pronounced as the pictures of the first Sony projector in this thread.

At this point I think I am done swapping projectors - they are heavy and it's really not an enjoyable activity. Mounting the 34 pound JVC monster was not fun...
post #51 of 65
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by durack View Post

At this point I think I am done swapping projectors - they are heavy and it's really not an enjoyable activity. Mounting the 34 pound JVC monster was not fun...

Haha, try swapping fixed frame screens.

I know how you feel. Swapping projectors, swapping screens, running tests... it's ridiculous. Fun at first, but when it turns into a job that detracts from your real job(s), it can quickly get extremely annoying.

I'm sure you'll be happy with the JVC. I'm pretty happy with my Sony; was able to get it so maybe the right 20% of the screen in the middle is slightly less sharp than the rest, but it's not that bad. You basically see it as a loss of microcontrast from my seating distance for the NEC test pattern. Probably less obvious in real material, especially with RC. Not ideal, but definitely much much better than my first Sony.

Still haven't gotten around to uploading a video showing the flicker; Sony customer service said they wanted a video. Although I feel like it should be pretty straightforward what flicker is. They say they've never heard of it. I seriously doubt that...
post #52 of 65
I had no idea you were having problems with both your projector AND screen. I knew about this thread but didn't realize you were the author of it. Wow...
post #53 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by durack View Post

Would like to chip in.
Just installed my new JVC-DLA-RS56 and ran the test pattern.
Extreme left lower corner is a tiny bit out of focus and cannot be completely focused, but certainly better than Panasonic AE-8000 (the unit that I returned was horrible and was deemed "within spec") and certainly not as pronounced as the pictures of the first Sony projector in this thread.
At this point I think I am done swapping projectors - they are heavy and it's really not an enjoyable activity. Mounting the 34 pound JVC monster was not fun...

How much vertical and horizontal lens shift are you using? If you're using a considerable amount of either, or a modest amount of both at the same time that could explain why one corner is hard to focus. As a test try and re-position the light to come out of the middle of the lens and see if there is still a problem.
post #54 of 65
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seegs108 View Post

I had no idea you were having problems with both your projector AND screen. I knew about this thread but didn't realize you were the author of it. Wow...

Haha, thanks for the empathy smile.gif

It amazes me what passes for QC with a lot of these products. Two Epson 8350s I tried were wildly misconverged, a PT-AE8000U I briefly owned had about 40% of its screen completely out of focus... it's perhaps b/c of all those experiences that I'm quite happy with the current HW50ES, minus the flicker problem of course, which I'm hoping is just a lamp issue.

To be fair, though, a lot of convergence/focus issues could be shipping (then again, that doesn't explain why apparently most JVCs fare very well, according to these forums).

But a new $1200 screen shipped dirty... seriously? Even my lowly Optoma GrayWolf screen never needed to be cleaned in the 6 years I owned it.
post #55 of 65
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seegs108 View Post

How much vertical and horizontal lens shift are you using? If you're using a considerable amount of either, or a modest amount of both at the same time that could explain why one corner is hard to focus. As a test try and re-position the light to come out of the middle of the lens and see if there is still a problem.

Yeah, I'd suggest fiddling around with position, focus, lens shift, etc. You'd be surprised how much the performance changes when trying new combinations of these variables. At first I wasn't happy with my replacement HW50. But after a lot of fiddling, it's quite good. Depending on how I focus it, I can usually keep the center in focus, but keep varying focus (there's some depth of focus in the center) such that either the left side goes more out of focus, or some patch on the right, etc. For me, I don't think it's that the lens is decentered; rather, I think it's just not ground very well/evenly, so random patches of the image have slightly different effective focal planes. But all locations will likely still have some acceptable depth of focus. So you just need to find the best compromise.
post #56 of 65
I think it has more to do with the fact that most people don't know the difference or don't know any better to check. I'm sure there are tons of units like yours that people own but are ignorant to their unit's defects. Misconvergence from a certain seating distance and a difference in peoples' visual acuity can explain why people don't see it and most of the time it's no where near as obvious as texture on a screen. You know the saying... ignorance is bliss.

I'm lucky I only spent ~$400 on my Da-Lite Deluxe Model B with the HCHP material. I'm currently in the works with my dealer of either a trade for the same screen to see if it's any better, or getting a new screen.
post #57 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seegs108 View Post

How much vertical and horizontal lens shift are you using? If you're using a considerable amount of either, or a modest amount of both at the same time that could explain why one corner is hard to focus. As a test try and re-position the light to come out of the middle of the lens and see if there is still a problem.

I do a considerable amount but it doesn't make things any worse. Before I mounted the projector, I put it on a bench and aimed it almost squarely at the center of the screen with lens centered.

Interestingly, unlike my previous focus problems with previous projectors where there is focus non-uniformity but by changing focus you can focus on various parts of the picture, with this one it is never fully in focus and looks the best when the rest of the picture is focused. So I wonder if this is not a lens issue but something else.

It is so minor so I am certain that this will be declared "within spec".

My wife rolls her eyes and says that I should stop spending money to entertain my OCD because she says that I will always find something wrong. smile.gif Then again, she is the person who will watch horrible looking SD (the one with a blurry square in the middle of your TV screen) because she can't be bothered to find the corresponding HD channel. smile.gif
Edited by durack - 1/9/13 at 9:43am
post #58 of 65
The fact is the projector manufacturers have cut as much cost out of the units as possible to maximize profit/unit since they are low demand products to begin with.

Like any CE device I recommend to not go looking from problems because you are bound to find them especially with display technologies.

3-chip units will always have some panel alignment or chromatic abberation problems.

DLP units have rainbows and dancing pixels in darker image areas.

All the lower cost units have low grade lenses. If 4K does make into this segment of the market I don't know if any of the current lenses that most units use would be able to fully resolve a 4K image.

Generally I say if you can't see alignment, CA or focus issues from a typical viewing distance don't go looking for them because you will find issues.
Edited by Toknowshita - 1/11/13 at 2:47pm
post #59 of 65
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by durack View Post

Interestingly, unlike my previous focus problems with previous projectors where there is focus non-uniformity but by changing focus you can focus on various parts of the picture, with this one it is never fully in focus and looks the best when the rest of the picture is focused. So I wonder if this is not a lens issue but something else.

I've seen this before as well. On a PT-AE8000U. And on various camera lenses. Sometimes for a short focal length lens, there are areas on the outer areas of the image circle that just have bad aberrations that cause those areas to never come into focus. If it's on the edge/corner of the screen, I really wouldn't care. Not after seeing how bad performance can be for some of these units...
post #60 of 65
OK, couldn't resist so I played with it a bit more, just out of curiosity (yeah, watching test pattern instead of movies like I should).
Interestingly, if you go into options and decrease the aperture of the lens, the unfocused corner becomes more and more focused, at the very end the picture is obviously quite darker but the focus is near perfect.
Anyone who knows optics care to comment?
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