Cleaning PlayStation vr lens

SpareReality

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Jun 24, 2018
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Lens Cleaning
The lenses in a PlayStation VR headset are not replaceable, so you will want to take good take of them.

Official Instructions
The only Sony approved way of cleaning the lenses of PSVR is with the microfibre cloth provided in the box (grey in the US blue in the UK).

There are warnings against using any kind of fluid to clean the lenses, as it can damage the lens coatings. You should also never clean lenses with any kind of paper or tissue as this will cause scratches.

Official lens cleaning instructional video

Additional Instructions
Instructions after this point are additional to the official instructions. Use of any the following is at your own risk and common sense should be applied.

Remove all dust from the lens first
Before cleaning the lenses with anything, you should always remove any dust. Rubbing dust from lenses will cause micro scratches and eventually make the lenses cloudy.

You can remove dust from the lenses by using a rocket blower, compressed air or something like a goats hair photographic brush. You can buy lens brushes stand alone, or attached to a lenspen.

Once you have gently blown or brushed any loose dirt from the lenses, then you can go ahead and clean them.

Cleaning with a cloth
Make sure your cloth is clean and free from any dirt itself, which may scratch the lens.

Best practise when cleaning with a cloth is to clean from the centre of the lens outwards, in small circles. Any small particles are more likely to collect at the edge of the lenses which you do not want to drag across the lens. It isn't necessary to press down too hard, use gentle movements until the lens becomes clear again.

Replacing the cloth or cleaning the cloth
You may want to periodically replace the cloth as it will collect dirt and foreign particles. Some people have also reported success with washing the cloth with mild detergent. Use your judgement about this.

Lens grease and Lenspens
Sometimes the lenses may get more greasy than simply using the cloth can remove. Many have reported in this situation that using a photographic Lenspen has worked well for them.

A Lenspen works on the same principle as cleaning windows with old newspapers. It contains carbon power, which absorbs the grease from the lens. The pen has a round wide tip made of felt, which is slightly concave.

Official Lenspen instructional video

To use the Lenspen, make sure the lenses are free of dust. Twist the cap of the pen to apply carbon power to the tip of the pen. Use the pen in small circles on lens, working from the centre to the edge.

Warnings: It's even more important to make sure the lenses are free of dust before using a Lenspen than when using a cloth. More pressure is applied with a Lenspen and also if dust becomes embedded in the pen, it will scratch the lenses when used.

It's also very important to make sure the pen does not come into contact with moisture. If it gets wet, the tip of the pen will harden once it dries, which can also cause lens scratches when used.

Lenspen manufactures pens for a number of different brands. So there is no recommended brand of pen.

Lens Protectors
Lens protectors can serve two purposes, to protect the lenses from scratches when cleaning, or to protect the lenses from scratches when wearing the headset. Particularly if you wear glasses.

Full Lens Protectors
These will protect the lenses from both cleaning and damage while wearing. They create a full barrier on top of the lens, so if any damage occurs it will happen to the protector not the lens itself.

There are a number of different lenses protectors on the market which completely cover the lens. Some are made from plastic film which sticks to the lenses, some are made from glass and pop into the plastic surround where the lens sits in the headset.

Buffer Lens Protectors
These work by putting a putting a spacer between the headset and your face or glasses. The spacer can either be stuck to your glasses, or to the headset. You can buy these pre-made or make your own. Anything sits slightly higher than the lenses in the headset will work, such as felt pads, plastic spacers or rubber.

Lens Protector Making Tutorials
Everyday object hacks
3D Printed
Don't have a 3D printer? Check your local library, many libraries now have 3D printers the public can use and can offer assistance with printing.

Do I need Lens Protectors?
This has been a hotly debated topic. Many people feel they are unnecessary, that treating the headset well and being careful when you move the lenses towards your face is enough. Other people feel more secure moving around when they have some kind of protector fitted. It is personal preference.

Some micro-scratching is normal. This happens to all but the hardest of glass lenses, usually from cleaning. These types of scratches may be visible when you look at the lens in good light, but completely invisible when playing.

When PlayStation demo PSVR headsets to the public, they do not use any kind of protector and the lenses still appear to be in good condition.

How to determine if lenses have reflections on them or scratches
The lenses in PlayStation VR are very reflective. Sometimes it can be hard to determine if the lenses are showing reflections or are scratched, especially if you are feeling anxious about it.

You can easily tell the difference by looking down at the headset lenses which turning the headset around horizontally.

If the shape stays in the same position as you turn it, it is a reflection and you can breathe a deep sigh of relief.

If the shape moves with the headset as you turn it, it is either a scratch or some dirt or grease on the lens. Try not to panic, lines of grease on the lens can look very much like scratches. When you are feeling calm, follow the cleaning instructions above.

Light Shield Cleaning
The rubber light shield (silicone(?) part which attaches to the eye piece) can be completely removed for cleaning.

It has little lugs around the edge which push into the headset. If you gently pull it around the edges, they will pop out and release the light shield.

To clean it rinse it with warm water. Make sure it is completely dry before re-attaching it.

Then re-attach by gentle pushing the little lugs back into the headset.
 
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