:::Nikon D40 Infrared Conversion, Tutorial:::

Started Aug 20, 2008 | Discussions thread
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MagicNikon Veteran Member • Posts: 5,445
:::Nikon D40 Infrared Conversion, Tutorial:::

Whew...what a rush. It worked, and I couldn't be happier. I'm still on a bit of a high after putting it all back together and finding that it actually worked!

My D40 IR filter arrived from LifePixel today. I have previously only had experience dissecting a Nikon D70. That was pretty easy and straightforward. There were only a few ribbon cables, and no de-soldering involved. I had some hesitation about doing my D40 the same way after discovering that there would be some soldering/de-soldering involved.

I debated about getting a D70s (I sold the first conversion I did, last year. Yes, I missed it enough, I wanted another IR camera). However, there is some inherent noise that creeps in even at low ISO's, so I wanted a model that would handle noise pretty well. D50's are scarce, so I decided on a tried and true D40. I actually have an unmodified D40 as my travel cam and backup to my D300. So, I picked up a used D40 last week, which has been waiting patiently for the arrival of the new LifePixel IR filter. I chose the normal filter...not one of the enhanced filters. I have had good experience using the original, and I like to do false color as well as B/W IR.

So...now on with the pics...

I assembled my screwdrivers, soldering iron, tweezers, and sensor cleaner and got to work.

remove all of the screws from the bottom and the bottom of the lens mount.

There is also a screw hidden in the battery compartment.

Leave this intact. Do not remove anymore screws after removing the bottom plate.

Remove 6 more screws: Two from each side (SD slot area and USB side), and two on either side of the viewfinder. Gently pull the back away, and disconnect the LCD ribbon cable.

The LCD cable is the one in the middle. Do not jerk the cable from its housing. Use a screwdriver, or sharp pointed object to gently flip the retention bar up, releasing the cable.

Seven ribbon cables to disconnect, and one large white cable, hidden under the PCB near the top four ribbon cables.

Now, before unscrewing the PCB from the camera, you must de-solder this pink wire. I touched the hot soldering iron to the blob, and it came free with no mess.

Everything is unseated, and the PCB is ready to be unscrewed to reveal....

...the back of the sensor board. Almost there...hang tight....not too much farther!

Three screws hold this baby down. Unscrew them and pull it out. How many here have seen the backside of their shutter curtain?

The heart of the image.

Two screws hold the spring loaded tension frame. Remove them, lift off the mount and gently lift off the black gasket.

AntiAliasing filter removed (thats the aqua colored filter), the sensor is covered by a Pecpad. I took this moment to clean the dark InfraRed filter with Eclipse fluid and PecPad.

I hope it's clean...no way to know really, until tomorrow. We'll see

Gently set the InfraRed filter into the rubberized gasket seat over the sensor.

Re-assemble the whole thing in reverse order. Lather. Rinse. Repeat as desired.

Some tips....

My big sausage fingers needed some delicate tweezers to re-seat the ribbon cables. I found that they re-seated rather easily and that the retention bars secured them just like it came from the factory. I do not recall the ribbon cables going back very smoothly in my D70 conversion....so this was a nice surprise.

Everything goes back together rather nicely, and certainly much quicker than the dis-assembly went. I popped in an SD card, a fresh battery, powered it up and fired off the shutter release. My hard work was rewarded with a functional menu screen and a decidedly pink picture!


Let's see how this baby handles tomorrow in the daylight! Stay tuned!

-- hide signature --

I've upped my ISO, now up yours.

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