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This is a website dedicated to showing you how to convert a Nikon 1 camera to take infrared photos.

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The modification will permanently change your camera rendering it unable to take ‘normal’ photos.  It will however enable you to take photos in infrared without the need for an external filter.  It will also increase shutter speeds so that you will be able to take hand-held photos (compared to the 10s of seconds needed for using an external filter on an unmodified camera.)

It is not a terribly difficult modification, and it requires no soldering.  If you have built your own desktop or put your own fusion drive in a Mac mini then it is of a similar difficulty.   One thing I would suggest though is if you have big hands, you may find it a little difficult to reattach some of the cables.

If you have any questions, first check the FAQ and if you can’t find what you want, let me know.

Ok, so lets begin.

You will need –

1 – A Nikon J1 Camera (other models are likely similar.)

2 – A IR filter.   I used a 72nm sharp cut filter.

I used a sharp cut 72nm filter, but there are many others available.
The cheapest place I could find to buy one was here:

FUJIFILM – IR filter

3 – A can of compressed air.

(or blower, basically you want something to help you remove any dust from the sensor.)

4 – A 1.5mm phillips screw driver.

All the screws take the same size screwdriver.

5 – A plastic spudger.

  Useful for prying off the cable holders.  Use plastic as it won’t short anything out should you slip.

6 – A pair of needle nose tweezers.

Not essential but can be useful for reattaching small cables,

7 – An anti-static wristband.

I didn’t use this, but it would have been a good idea.  It will help prevent static electricity from damaging the electronics.

8 – A pair of gloves.

Again, I didn’t use these, but it would have been a good idea.  You certainly don’t want a finger print on your sensor.

9 – An ice cube tray.

I think these are the best way to store the screws, as you can also keep a not of the order in which they come out.

Move on to step one

There is also my youtube video with another walkthrough (much the same as this site tbh) but there might be some details I missed here..link (opens in a new window)

14 thoughts on “Home”

  1. Hi i saw your video 3 times, i will modify very soon a j1 i purchased. I will convert the camera to full spectrum, so all the steps are the same with the diference of the filter, so i will use a clear glass not ir filter. And use later ir filters, 720 850 and 590nm. The filter you cut is 18×21 or something like that, but how thin is? 1mm, 1.5mm because im afraid that the glass, if i use a uv or clear filter maybe is 2 or 2.5mm. Sorry if my english its not very good! Thanks from Argentina! And i will see the video again before do the coversion, this video help me a lot!!!

    1. Hello Pablo,
      Thanks for the comment, I am glad my guide was useful for you.

      Q – How thin is my filter?
      A – It is very thin, similar to a piece of paper. 0.05mm or something..I haven’t measured it.

      Actually, your idea is very simple.
      You just need to remove the original IR filter (which blocks IR) and leave the camera as it is.
      All the steps are the same but you don’t add anything.

      As the focusing is done on the sensor itself, there is no need to replace it with clear glass (which you need to do on some DSLRs.)
      This is one of the reasons I used a mirrorless camera.

      Although, with the IR filter removed you will be exposing the sensor directly to the air every time you change a lens, so adding a thin piece of glass may be a good idea..if it is too thick though it may be difficult to keep in place.

      Look at photos 6 and 7 on step 5 and you may be able to put it on top of the old low-pass filter holder and clip it in place with the original holder.

      My filter, as it was very thin, just sits directly on top of the sensor. (be careful of dust between them)

      1. Do you have the exact size of the filter? so i can cut a piece of uv filter or glass before i expose the sensor, and i can change it quickly! thank you again, hope everything works fine!!!:D

  2. i found it reading better, i didnt remember, i did a try cutting glass of the blood glass for microscope and was well! i will finish it and test it with my camera, and maybe i will cut a UV Hoya filter with multicoating. What do you think?

    1. Great, I think microscope slide glass will work well.
      I am not sure about how well cutting the Hoya filter will work..what kind is it?

      If it is a circular type it may be difficult to cut..
      Something like this
      Cokin A007 Filter, A, Infrared (89B)
      may be better.

      How did the conversion go?
      Is it working ok?

      1. Im just received the nikon 1 today, im already did a cut test of the blood test glass. So 1st i try tu cut it with the pencil glass cutter, and nothing not even a scratch, so i did it in the hard way, and i use a dremel tool with the circular metal cut tool. Everything ok on the test, later i need to clean the borders with sandpaper. Maybe this weekend i will start. Im not really sure about the ir cut sensor size and if is square or not. So i will cut the hoya filter in the last moment, i need maybe 20minutes to finish the piece. If no problems appears. Can you send me an email? I want to send you a picture question! Thanx!

  3. Martin you help me a lot! finaly i did the full spectrum conversion, i was with my ipad reading step by step, meanwhile i was doing the conversion. This post works perfect. I must wait for the Ir filters!! but i did the IR remote test and works perfect!

    1. Hey,
      Sorry for the late reply..
      Very glad everything went ok! Congrats on the ‘new’ camera!
      One of the reasons I chose a J1 is that it is an easy conversion.

      Did you set the white balance ok?
      Would love to see some photos when you take them.

      1. Yes no problems with the white balance!!! set on green grass! You can see it in my facebook, some pictures!! thanks again!

    2. Hi Pablo,
      I’m trying to do the same full spectrum conversion you did. I have a nikon 1 J1. Did the microscope blood glass worked well? What filter exactly is the IR filter I have to remove? If you can tell me any tips i would be grateful. Thanks in advance.

  4. Need help.. I think I screw up.. But don’t know which part.. I follow step by step.. When I power up, it prompt for setup date and time.. I can also view replay of previously taken photo.. Then I wanna shoot.. The screen turn black.. Press any button also no respond.. Need to remove battery and restart.. Prompt for setup date and time.. When complete, exit menu.. Screen turn black.. Press any button also no respond.. I dismantle again and assemble again also then same result.. Please advise.. TQ. Alan

    1. Hey, sorry about the late reply…

      To be honest, I am not sure what is wrong.
      It sounds like you haven’t connected the sensor…can you double check all the ribbon cables are properly attached?

      I am pretty sure the camera won’t take a shot if it is not in focus, so that is maybe what is happening.
      Set the camera to manual focus and see if it shoots.

  5. Hi, thanks for the interesting guide. Obviously I’m very late to the party, and not sure if you’re still maintaining this site, but I thought this would be helpful to any other future readers…

    I’ve tried a ‘full spectrum’ conversion – simply removing the two filters and leaving the sensor uncovered (it looks like there’s still a layer of protective glass after removing the hot mirror, so it’s not completely exposed).

    The problem I found is that lenses stopped focusing to infinity after the conversion. The 10mm in particular is rendered almost unusable, as anything more than 1m away is out of focus at f/2.8. It could only really be used for ‘macro’ infrared after the conversion.

    It looks like it’s definitely necessary to replace the camera’s hot mirror with another piece of glass to maintain the ability to focus to infinity. I’m currently looking for something of a suitable thickness to use.

    1. Hey Steve, thanks for the comment. It has been a while since I updated the site, but I’ll try to get on that soon.

      Interesting about the focus issues.. I am actually surprised.
      One of the reasons I went with a mirrorless conversion was to avoid the focusing issues.
      As far as I know the focusing is done on the sensor itself (as opposed to a dslr) so there ‘shouldn’t’ be the issue you are having.

      It sounds like the lens isn’t being attached correctly (meaning the lens is too far from the sensor) and can’t physically focus.
      Has everything been seated correctly?

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A Step by Step guide to convert your camera to infrared.