Focusing problems with your Lumia 1020? Try this crazy stunt..

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motoi_bogdan

Senior Member
Sep 8, 2007
318
337
I've noticed some people have encountered this problem. Simply put, the camera can't focus properly at objects situated at about 2-3meters or further. Autofocus can succesfully occur only at macro shots. Sometimes this is coupled with that infamous camera scratching sound, the one that sounds like a dying penguin or whatever. :p
Well, my phone does all of this and since it's a second hand unit without any warrany, why the hell not, let's fix it. A new sensor is expensive so i had to find other ways to fix the one i have.
After some investigation is seems that the internal construction of these sensors includes a mobile assembly containing the OIS and autofocus mechanical and optical modules. When you focus - relative to the sensor underneath, the lens have about 1.5-2mm travel space, again, relative to the sensor (that's fixed in the frame). When you focus the camera to an object far away, the lens assembly must travel inwards, closer to the sensor. Viceversa, when you focus for a macro shot, the lens travel further appart from the sensor. Pretty simple.
However, all but one of the lens are made from polycarbonate (plastic) like most of the sensor module's guts. This is not a bad thing actually. The choice was made because the optical assembly must be as light as possible and glass+metal would have weighted a lot more. But using plastic has some other problems.
When i disassembled the phone, i extracted the sensor module and activated it outside of the phone casing to make some tests. What i first noticed is that as soon as i enable the camera app, the sensor will get hot. Real hot. You can't touch it after some 2-3 minutes of it running. Most of the heat is generated by the photo sensor itself. It's how these things work. However the heat output from such a huge sensor is more disturbing then the situations found with other phone's small camera sensors. Even so, for example, it is known that HTC One M7 had a failure mode involving it's camera, due to the high heat output, the sensor would burn itself resulting in a pink/purple cast over the image you try to capture. Over time those sensors will fail, HTC replaced them with a different design.
In lumia 1020's case the huge heat output results in a another failure mode. Since the module uses gyroscopes and moving parts (bearings, actuators etc) in plastic rail, the plastic becomes brittle with an increase in temperature so the rails change their position relative to the sensor. So it's mechanical wear amplified by overtemperature.
The aufocus lens subassembly will actually swing out of the correct focusing distance. The 1.5-2mm distance will thus increase over time. Since it's a closed space, there's not enough space to accomodate the new lens position, so at some focal lenghts the mobile assembly will bash against the sensor casing resulting the dead penguin sound.

SO..... HOW TO FIX THIS?

If your phone's camera does the penguin sound all the time, then it's done. It's past feasable repair solutions. If it's only seldom happening or only at specific focus distances, you could still be good to go. Also, no penguin sound but only focus problems is the ideal case.
So, what to do. It could come as a surprise but if it were a human, your phone would have a typical case of short-sightedness or myopia. So... let's treat this condition like we would do with a human.
First step: find some glasses. From some experiments i've determined that my phone has a -2 to -3 myopia. So i found some corresponding glasses, placed one lens over the sensor area and voila : the phone now focuses properly. I can take a landscape photo.
So, with that in mind, find some lenses, specified for -2 to -3 myopia and check them with your phone. Try taking photos without using the flash at both landscapes and macro things. A good lens is one that enables the phone to focus at both macro and landscape. Larger negative value lens (-4 -5 etc) could correct landscape focus but prevent the sensor module to lock a macro focus. So.. experiment.
Second step, the ideal lens should be made from polycarbonate, not glass. You will need to cut the center of the lens itself. You can't cut glass with regular tools. If you find the right lens, proceed to disassembe the phone. Once you remove the sensor, you will see a glass lens glued to the back of the phone's casing (on that round black circle on the back). You will need to find a way to replace that lens with your new found one. Ideally, the piece of lens you cut should be as flat and thin as possible in order to make a flush fit inside the casing. Before glueing anything test the lens at the distance it will be mounted over the sensor. If everything is right, remove the original lens using some hot air (it's glued) and replace it with your custom one.
Third step. Improve the sensor's cooling. Some cooper pads should be already placed there by the manufacturer. Use the back of the screen as a cooling surface. Place cpu thermal compound (arctic silver, any good brand) over those copper pads and check to see if they make contact with the back of the display. If not insert some aditional copper pads. This will prevent further heat related problems and further sensor module damage.
Also... NEVER USE FLASHLIGHT APPS FOR TOO LONG WITH THIS PHONE!. When you use them, you are actually powering up the whole sensor not just the led. This can result in overheating and premature damage to the sensor itself.

I have completed my preliminary tests so i'm now searching for a good lens to place inside the phone, once i find one i'll update this post and ad a picture tutorial.
Meanwhile, feel free to experiment by placing different glasses in front of your phone's camera ( 1cm or closer) and check to see what works for you.
Hope it helps :good:
 
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motoi_bogdan

Senior Member
Sep 8, 2007
318
337
ok so i found a pair of used glasses. They have heliomate lenses, ie. they darken by themselves when exposed to sunlight but, i got them for free and figured out it's worth a try.
Also in Romania, you can go to a store specialized in manufacturing seeing glasses and buy lens separately. For example a single -2.5 glass lens will cost about 3 euro here and the polycarbonate ones (needed for this project) about 8-10 euros.
But since i have this glasses i used one of their lenses.

First of all, the lenses are too thick to simply place inside the phone. Therefore some DIY action is required.
Here's what i did:

1. First - removing the original lens over the black cap on the back of the phone. I used hot air, that thing is really stuck in there with some nasty glue stuff. Here's how it looks when removed:


2. I then made a drawing of what i must do with my lens to fit inside the casing.

Click on the image to see the full drawing. The first picture shows the new diy lens as viewed from the top, while the second one shows the profile of the lens. This thing is made using a single lens.

3. I removed one of the glasses lens and started cutting a triangle shape on the center of it. You must use the center portion because the thickness of the lens varies and if it's not constant in the center of your lens you will get a lot of barrel lens distorsion when taking photos. Also, you should use plastic lens, since cutting glass lens is impossible with DIY tools.

I cut the lens using a fine saw using a blade made for cutting metals, or you can use a bread knife, the ones that have jagged blades. It's a slow process, it toked 30 minutes to cut that triangle.

4. Now, I've begun grinding the edges of the triangle with a file, in order to begin forming the upper circle that must be inserted to the back of the phone's camera ring. Here's how it looks after the first try.


5. The hexagon shaped part now must have it's corners grinded. Some care must be taken not to scratch the upper and lower part of the lens. Using a spare casing (silver color one in the photos) i checked to see how much to grind in order to fit the part inside. After all of this is done, here's the end result.


6. I've then inserted the new lens inside my phone casing. A little more grinding is needed to align the lens with the case and the sensor. In order to adjust that - we have those 3 blunt triangle edges. I grinded those to make them sit flush inside the casing with the lens being parallel to the sensor itself.

Once the lens was inside, i temporarely placed the sensor over it and tested how some sample photos look. I took some pictures of far away objects looking for edge to edge sharpness or barrel distorsions. Once I found the optimum position i place a little bit of glue on the edges of the triangle to secure the lens inside.

7. Once that is done, i reassembled the phone. Here how the new lens look, as seen from the back.
.
It's a bit yellowish because of that heliomate coating but it doesn't seem to affect the pictures taken.

How this works? Well, i can now focus at things further apart then 2 meters from the camera. I can do landscape photos (that was totally impossible before). Also the new lens doesn't prevent macro focus.

After all of this I've also learned that a -2 lens would have been ideal, because before of this modification i was able to macro focus at about 15-16cm and now i can only focus at about 18-20cm minimum. The lower you go with these lens (-3, -4 etc) the further you increase the minimum focus distance. I don't care much of the lost 2-3cm but if anyone should try this --- try testing with -2 lens first.
Also, some optics stores (in my country at least) can grind the lens for you (i found this ...of course... after i finished all of this) . You give them the old lens you removed and they will measure it and make one from the new lens.

All in all, it took me about 2 hours since the plastic lens are really easy to grind, it's a pretty soft material.
I didn't post photos taken, just imagine a good working sensor, it simply works. They are not that valuable for other people. It's better to make your own tests, at first by just placing a -2 pair of glasses 1cm in front of your camera and try to focus. If it improves your focus, you may want to read this "tutorial" again and maybe give it a go.
 

meawmnj

New member
May 10, 2012
4
2
thx so much , am having the same problem and i tried an old pair of glasses in front of my lens and it worked , I'll file it and install it as in this tutorial .
 
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DenmarGwapo

Member
Jun 29, 2016
18
4
Specs of the finished product (DIY)

Hello can I know the ff: specs please.


What is the thickness of the glass?
Diameter of the Circle?

I need to do this..

I am asking a company to do this for me so they want some info..
 
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DenmarGwapo

Member
Jun 29, 2016
18
4
So the only fix for this problem is to.


Change the Camera Module? or Change the Lens with a grade of -2?



Am I correct?
Please response.


Thank you!
 

sree1456

New member
May 30, 2015
4
1
thank u for telling. my Nokia 1020 not focusing far objects, so where can i buy lenses type of glass either cylindrical or spherical glass please tell me:)

---------- Post added at 08:48 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:37 AM ----------

thx so much , am having the same problem and i tried an old pair of glasses in front of my lens and it worked , I'll file it and install it as in this tutorial .
where can u fing glass. iam asking at optical shop he asked cylindrical or spherical. iam confused tell me
 
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    ok so i found a pair of used glasses. They have heliomate lenses, ie. they darken by themselves when exposed to sunlight but, i got them for free and figured out it's worth a try.
    Also in Romania, you can go to a store specialized in manufacturing seeing glasses and buy lens separately. For example a single -2.5 glass lens will cost about 3 euro here and the polycarbonate ones (needed for this project) about 8-10 euros.
    But since i have this glasses i used one of their lenses.

    First of all, the lenses are too thick to simply place inside the phone. Therefore some DIY action is required.
    Here's what i did:

    1. First - removing the original lens over the black cap on the back of the phone. I used hot air, that thing is really stuck in there with some nasty glue stuff. Here's how it looks when removed:


    2. I then made a drawing of what i must do with my lens to fit inside the casing.

    Click on the image to see the full drawing. The first picture shows the new diy lens as viewed from the top, while the second one shows the profile of the lens. This thing is made using a single lens.

    3. I removed one of the glasses lens and started cutting a triangle shape on the center of it. You must use the center portion because the thickness of the lens varies and if it's not constant in the center of your lens you will get a lot of barrel lens distorsion when taking photos. Also, you should use plastic lens, since cutting glass lens is impossible with DIY tools.

    I cut the lens using a fine saw using a blade made for cutting metals, or you can use a bread knife, the ones that have jagged blades. It's a slow process, it toked 30 minutes to cut that triangle.

    4. Now, I've begun grinding the edges of the triangle with a file, in order to begin forming the upper circle that must be inserted to the back of the phone's camera ring. Here's how it looks after the first try.


    5. The hexagon shaped part now must have it's corners grinded. Some care must be taken not to scratch the upper and lower part of the lens. Using a spare casing (silver color one in the photos) i checked to see how much to grind in order to fit the part inside. After all of this is done, here's the end result.


    6. I've then inserted the new lens inside my phone casing. A little more grinding is needed to align the lens with the case and the sensor. In order to adjust that - we have those 3 blunt triangle edges. I grinded those to make them sit flush inside the casing with the lens being parallel to the sensor itself.

    Once the lens was inside, i temporarely placed the sensor over it and tested how some sample photos look. I took some pictures of far away objects looking for edge to edge sharpness or barrel distorsions. Once I found the optimum position i place a little bit of glue on the edges of the triangle to secure the lens inside.

    7. Once that is done, i reassembled the phone. Here how the new lens look, as seen from the back.
    .
    It's a bit yellowish because of that heliomate coating but it doesn't seem to affect the pictures taken.

    How this works? Well, i can now focus at things further apart then 2 meters from the camera. I can do landscape photos (that was totally impossible before). Also the new lens doesn't prevent macro focus.

    After all of this I've also learned that a -2 lens would have been ideal, because before of this modification i was able to macro focus at about 15-16cm and now i can only focus at about 18-20cm minimum. The lower you go with these lens (-3, -4 etc) the further you increase the minimum focus distance. I don't care much of the lost 2-3cm but if anyone should try this --- try testing with -2 lens first.
    Also, some optics stores (in my country at least) can grind the lens for you (i found this ...of course... after i finished all of this) . You give them the old lens you removed and they will measure it and make one from the new lens.

    All in all, it took me about 2 hours since the plastic lens are really easy to grind, it's a pretty soft material.
    I didn't post photos taken, just imagine a good working sensor, it simply works. They are not that valuable for other people. It's better to make your own tests, at first by just placing a -2 pair of glasses 1cm in front of your camera and try to focus. If it improves your focus, you may want to read this "tutorial" again and maybe give it a go.
    1
    I've noticed some people have encountered this problem. Simply put, the camera can't focus properly at objects situated at about 2-3meters or further. Autofocus can succesfully occur only at macro shots. Sometimes this is coupled with that infamous camera scratching sound, the one that sounds like a dying penguin or whatever. :p
    Well, my phone does all of this and since it's a second hand unit without any warrany, why the hell not, let's fix it. A new sensor is expensive so i had to find other ways to fix the one i have.
    After some investigation is seems that the internal construction of these sensors includes a mobile assembly containing the OIS and autofocus mechanical and optical modules. When you focus - relative to the sensor underneath, the lens have about 1.5-2mm travel space, again, relative to the sensor (that's fixed in the frame). When you focus the camera to an object far away, the lens assembly must travel inwards, closer to the sensor. Viceversa, when you focus for a macro shot, the lens travel further appart from the sensor. Pretty simple.
    However, all but one of the lens are made from polycarbonate (plastic) like most of the sensor module's guts. This is not a bad thing actually. The choice was made because the optical assembly must be as light as possible and glass+metal would have weighted a lot more. But using plastic has some other problems.
    When i disassembled the phone, i extracted the sensor module and activated it outside of the phone casing to make some tests. What i first noticed is that as soon as i enable the camera app, the sensor will get hot. Real hot. You can't touch it after some 2-3 minutes of it running. Most of the heat is generated by the photo sensor itself. It's how these things work. However the heat output from such a huge sensor is more disturbing then the situations found with other phone's small camera sensors. Even so, for example, it is known that HTC One M7 had a failure mode involving it's camera, due to the high heat output, the sensor would burn itself resulting in a pink/purple cast over the image you try to capture. Over time those sensors will fail, HTC replaced them with a different design.
    In lumia 1020's case the huge heat output results in a another failure mode. Since the module uses gyroscopes and moving parts (bearings, actuators etc) in plastic rail, the plastic becomes brittle with an increase in temperature so the rails change their position relative to the sensor. So it's mechanical wear amplified by overtemperature.
    The aufocus lens subassembly will actually swing out of the correct focusing distance. The 1.5-2mm distance will thus increase over time. Since it's a closed space, there's not enough space to accomodate the new lens position, so at some focal lenghts the mobile assembly will bash against the sensor casing resulting the dead penguin sound.

    SO..... HOW TO FIX THIS?

    If your phone's camera does the penguin sound all the time, then it's done. It's past feasable repair solutions. If it's only seldom happening or only at specific focus distances, you could still be good to go. Also, no penguin sound but only focus problems is the ideal case.
    So, what to do. It could come as a surprise but if it were a human, your phone would have a typical case of short-sightedness or myopia. So... let's treat this condition like we would do with a human.
    First step: find some glasses. From some experiments i've determined that my phone has a -2 to -3 myopia. So i found some corresponding glasses, placed one lens over the sensor area and voila : the phone now focuses properly. I can take a landscape photo.
    So, with that in mind, find some lenses, specified for -2 to -3 myopia and check them with your phone. Try taking photos without using the flash at both landscapes and macro things. A good lens is one that enables the phone to focus at both macro and landscape. Larger negative value lens (-4 -5 etc) could correct landscape focus but prevent the sensor module to lock a macro focus. So.. experiment.
    Second step, the ideal lens should be made from polycarbonate, not glass. You will need to cut the center of the lens itself. You can't cut glass with regular tools. If you find the right lens, proceed to disassembe the phone. Once you remove the sensor, you will see a glass lens glued to the back of the phone's casing (on that round black circle on the back). You will need to find a way to replace that lens with your new found one. Ideally, the piece of lens you cut should be as flat and thin as possible in order to make a flush fit inside the casing. Before glueing anything test the lens at the distance it will be mounted over the sensor. If everything is right, remove the original lens using some hot air (it's glued) and replace it with your custom one.
    Third step. Improve the sensor's cooling. Some cooper pads should be already placed there by the manufacturer. Use the back of the screen as a cooling surface. Place cpu thermal compound (arctic silver, any good brand) over those copper pads and check to see if they make contact with the back of the display. If not insert some aditional copper pads. This will prevent further heat related problems and further sensor module damage.
    Also... NEVER USE FLASHLIGHT APPS FOR TOO LONG WITH THIS PHONE!. When you use them, you are actually powering up the whole sensor not just the led. This can result in overheating and premature damage to the sensor itself.

    I have completed my preliminary tests so i'm now searching for a good lens to place inside the phone, once i find one i'll update this post and ad a picture tutorial.
    Meanwhile, feel free to experiment by placing different glasses in front of your phone's camera ( 1cm or closer) and check to see what works for you.
    Hope it helps :good:
    1
    thx so much , am having the same problem and i tried an old pair of glasses in front of my lens and it worked , I'll file it and install it as in this tutorial .