How to Convert a Canon 10D to Infrared

Written by eli mccormack
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How to Convert a Canon 10D to Infrared
Infrared images make striking landscapes. (infrared trees image by bawinner from Fotolia.com)

Producing photographs shot in infrared is an exciting way to create stunning landscapes and portraits with an otherworldly feel. Creating infrared portraits with a film camera or a digital camera with infrared external filters can be filled with technical difficulties, but converting a seldom-used digital SLR to infrared can eliminate most of those difficulties. Digital SLRs are equipped with an infrared cut filter over the sensor. This filter blocks most of the infrared light coming into your camera. In the process of converting your camera from visual light to infrared, you will be removing and replacing this filter with an infrared filter that has been designed to go inside of the camera body.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Glass infrared filter to replace the hot mirror
  • Soldering iron
  • Desoldering wick or gun
  • Black silicone adhesive
  • Small Phillips screwdriver
  • Tweezers
  • Canned air or bulb to blow out dust
  • Camera lens cleaning solution
  • Camera lens cleaning tissue
  • Grounding strap with current limit resistor
  • Printed directions from Resources
  • Double-stick tape

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Read all of the Canon infrared conversion instructions provided by Life Pixel (see Resources). LifePixel provides a step-by-step, do-it-yourself process to convert your Canon 10D to infrared, including pictures of each step.

    How to Convert a Canon 10D to Infrared
    Infrared beach photo (infrared black stone beach ocean image by Paul Retherford from Fotolia.com)
  2. 2

    Set up your workspace in a clean, dust-free and well-lit area. Have all of your materials and tools close at hand. Using double-stick tape, affix each removed screw to the printed directions. This will help you to reassemble your camera and get all of the screws back into the right place.

    How to Convert a Canon 10D to Infrared
    Infrared storm photo (storm image by Josef F Stuefer from Fotolia.com)
  3. 3

    Follow the directions provided by Life Pixel. After reassembling your camera, try out your infrared camera by photographing landscapes and scenes that include people. If you find that you have focusing problems, try increasing your aperture by a couple of stops to increase your depth of field. Also, try bracketing your exposure to ensure good exposure in your photo.

Tips and warnings

  • If you are uncomfortable with converting your camera to infrared, there are several companies who offer this conversion service (see Resources).
  • Modifying your camera will void all manufacturer warranties. DIY modifications to digital camera equipment can result in permanent damage to your equipment. After modification, your camera will no longer work in the visual light spectrum, so before attempting this modification, be sure that you want to dedicate your camera body to infrared only.

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