I’m falling down my chair with this update… (well, not really, I expected a high probability for bad news like this…).
My main concern is lenses and my understanding is what Pimax has called “fine tuning” since weeks (which many here have understood as “improving quality”) is in fact cost reduction which results in a reduced image quality (compared to v2/v3) + a lot of new issues, issues directly induced by this lens change for cost reduction, issues that were not existing before with v2/v3 and which now need investing time and money and we are not even granted those issues can/will be fixed.
What makes me really upset is my current understanding is Pimax used optimized lenses for promoting the headset kickstarter knowing they won’t be able to keep such high quality lenses for production, because they cost too much or maybe can’t even be produced using automated tools.
This would mean the headset would have been falsed advertised, using a best case scenario (expensive handmade optimized lenses) which they perfectly knew they couldn’t use for mass production and perfectly knew this would make the v2/v3 heasets demonstrated for the kickstarter not reflecting at all the quality of what will be mass produced later.
Is this the case Pimax ?
I’m not a VR lens expert but from what I have read on this subject going from thick to thinner fresnel lenses WHILE KEEPING THE QUALITY OF THE THICKER LENSE is precisely the huge optical challenge that even big companies like htc, oculus, and all the makers of the windows MR headsets were NOT able to solve. Are you guys believing Pimax is going to make this happen within the few weeks they have till mass production begins ? With all the other induced issues which they also have to solve on top of that ? Don’t you see coming the probability of a mass produced pimax 8K which would be significantly lower quality than the v2/v3 shown during the tours ?
Those thinner fresnel lenses are what made oculus cv1 have a sweet spot not covering the whole fov + tons of godrays (contrary to the DK2 using thicker non-fresnel lenses), they are what made htc vive having an even narrower sweet spot and its own light reflection issues, they are what made ALL the WMR headsets have a very narrow sweet spot.
The very large sweet spot (some v2/v3 reviewers even reported no blur over the whole fov) and the lack of godrays (many reports for that too) were 2 aspects which played a huge role in my decision to participate in this kickstarter and I never expected nor have heard from Pimax at the time of this KS that the final product could have significantly lower quality, with a more limited sweet spot than what was shown to the public during the tour and with light reflection that were also not present during the tour.
Have you, Pimax, used such a trick to help the KS money come in by using an optimized lens you perfectly knew you couldn’t use for mass production ? In this update you only tell us “we have gone to thinner lenses and that’s what explains the issues reported from the CES” but you don’t say a word about the quality you are targeting for the mass produced units and if you target AT LEAST the same quality than the v2/v3 you used to promote the product and the KS.
This is what makes me not confident because with the v2/v3 you have shown a prototype with very few issues, leading many people to think you were already very close to be able to mass produce it, and now you have all those NEW issues to solve ? Some of which you admit you are not even sure to understand where they come from ? Who would put himself such workload on his shoulders, with lot of new issues to solve to be able to go to mass production when the previous prototype was that close to the expected quality from the end consumers, if it was not because you perfectly knew you could not and will not mass produce such a previous prototype due to cost or even you knew you technically could not do it ?
I have this bad taste in my mouth production difficulties and even production PLANS have been hidden to backers by you, Pimax. Facts and your communication are reinforcing the belief Pimax perfectly knew they could not produce the v2/v3 how it was built (especially lenses), that you didn’t knew (at best…) what quality you could achieve with your so called “optimized” thinner lenses (optimized for cost, but then concerning quality…), and that you consciously have hidden this information to the public knowing it would (or at least could) break the KS momentum.
The stupefaction from many backers when they discovered a CES headset with those many completely unexpected issues because they were not existing at all with previous prototypes and how you pimax handled and continue to handle this stupefaction by completely dodging those issues in the first update, then taking more than 2 weeks for this second update you could have made right away (this lens drawing… seriously ?), are supporting this theory you knew beforehand this would happen because you knew you could not go to mass production without significant changes, changes that were very likely to reduce image quality compared to v2/v3.
This update just tells us the new thinner lenses are the reason explaining many issues reported from the CES but nowhere I see you, Pimax, talking about the targeted quality you expect to reach with those new lenses.
You don’t tell us if you expect to obtain AT LEAST the quality level of the v2/v3 lenses.
You don’t tell us WHY you are doing this lens modification.
You don’t tell us if mass producing with the v2/v3 lens could EVEN be technically possible.
The new lens OBVIOUSLY added a SIGNIFICANT workload, DELAYING the production and implying a final quality that is still UNKNOWN with some issues we are not even sure they will be solved with the source of some of those issues not even identifyed.
So the question I would like you, Pimax, to answer is: are you doing this lens change because you think you can reach higher quality than v2/v3 AND this would be worth the (significant) effort of solving the issues this change implies, and with all the delay and uncertainty you “really will” be able to solve those new issues, or are you doing this lens change because you have NO OTHER CHOICE, because there is no way the v2/v3 lens could be used for mass production because it costs too much or can’t even be produced with automated tools and are only possible handmade ?