I removed my DP1m hotmirror, step by step with photos

Started Dec 27, 2013 | Discussions
Nicholas Johnson Regular Member • Posts: 387
I removed my DP1m hotmirror, step by step with photos
8

Do not try this. I am literally an engineering school dropout with no idea what I'm doing. I am not responsible for whatever warranty voiding, $1000 camera destroying antics you perform. That being said I found this extremely easy.

1) Its a good idea to work in a clean space. I used a small toolkit with I think a #000 phillips and occasionally a very small flathead screwdriver to pry or mess with tiny connectors. I also used small bowls to hold my screws so I could isolate them from other steps. When possible I have shown the screws that go to that step in case they get mixed.

2) Do not force anything. Everything comes apart with virtually no force. If you have to force it you're doing it wrong. I missed the flash hot shoe screw for a day until Laurence Matson explained where it was.  Thank you Laurence. Some connectors are very difficult to reattach.  Relax. Give it time.

3) Remove all the screws from the rear of the body plus the screws around the tripod mount (all four, with two being on the front half of the bottom of the body).  There are screws hidden under the flash hot shoe. You have to remove the metal cover with a small flat-headed screwdriver and pry in the circular hole just in front of the main flash contact.  Watch the video.  It gets good about one minute in. (I removed three flash screws when I think I only needed to remove two)

4) There will be a ribbon cable holding the back to the main body. Flip up the brown connector with your finger nail and the ribbon should gently pull out. Gently. You can easily access it if you open the camera like a book, with the hinge/spine on the right, where the battery cover is. The back is free and can be set aside.

5) Under and to the left of the hot shoe there is another ribbon cable connected. Release this one, I suggest, with a small flat-headed screwdriver. First you see it closed. Second image is open. Gently push one side open, as in slide it away from the closed position. Not too much. Then the other side.  Alternate so as not to put too much force on either side. Half a millimeter at a time it will come off.

6) That big cable you just unhooked is still glued to the back of the sensor brick. If I had known ahead of time I would have used a sharpie and made a mark to know where the cable goes left to right, because I didn't know where the slack needed to be upon reassembly.  Anyway, the ribbon can be pulled off gently.  I would try not to bend it.

7) Remove the five screws from the back of the sensor package. Shiny to the right, black to the left. Notice the bottom right has only one screw.

8) See those shims? Don't mess with them.  Also don't try to use a can of air to clean your lens.  It will make it snow shims on your desk.

9) Back to the sensor, you see the three screws holding the greenish glass filter? Remove the screws and the filter. Notice there is a notched area on one corner. It seems the right way to lift the glass out. Again with the small screwdriver. Best I can tell there is no reason that plastic frame has to be there so I bagged that up with the screws and kept it.  No damage done.

10) Reverse the disassembly.  Notice I have before and after pics for the ribbon connectors. My big question was how far to push in the ribbon before I could close the connector on it and I hope the images help.

Most instructions I see on the regular DP1 says to break a piece of glass. I removed the holder here and haven't found any problems in terms of focus or anything. I also had one shim not get replaced when it flew out, but again everything seems to work fine.  I might do some testing later to see if I need to break the glass and replace the shim.

Ask away and I hope this helps people out. Also, I got my DP1m from Sigma as a refurbished unit knowing I would void any warranty anyway and they shipped the next day and it was only $10 for 2 day shipping.  For someone in the US there are few options before full MSRP and this was faster than buying an Asian import.

Sigma DP1 Merrill
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MOD Kendall Helmstetter Gelner Forum Pro • Posts: 20,206
Awesome report, thank you so much.

Bravo!   I want to thank you for making it clear how this works.  I may well try this on my DP1M also as I am itching for an IR DPM.

It gives me a lot of confidence knowing the glass is not somehow glued in...

Did you take any particular precautions in preventing dust from getting in the camera before you sealed up?

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OP Nicholas Johnson Regular Member • Posts: 387
Re: Awesome report, thank you so much.

Did you take any particular precautions in preventing dust from getting in the camera before you sealed up?

I gave the sensor a good blowing with a can of air as well as the inside of the lens (when I made it rain shims) but other than that no.  My workstation was disgusting and I was working fast so my wife wouldn't catch me tearing apart another piece of new electronics. I've shot down to f/11 and haven't noticed any dust when pixel peeping.  I'll have to take a minute to stop way down and shoot a clear sky when we get one here.  Been cloudy for days.

A word of caution: I've found increased flare for visible light shots (additional filter on the end), but I have ordered the hood.  I hope that helps.

SigmaTog
SigmaTog Contributing Member • Posts: 861
Re: I removed my DP1m hotmirror, step by step with photos

Congrats again Nicholas & thanks for sharing your journey

That is a trick idea about the Hot Shoe & concealed screws......!

The Hot Mirror can be left out like this.There is a dust seal there to stop dust from getting on the sensor. The Hot Mirror's surround may stop some stray light ?? If you are having any problems with reflections you could make a dummy black disc out of card with a rectangle hole & stick or screw it in place of the hot mirror.

The Sensor isn't really naked, it has its own glass cover that also cuts UV light.

Enjoy your Full Spectrum Sigma DP1M

ΣigmaTog

Jozef M Contributing Member • Posts: 917
Re: I removed my DP1m hotmirror, step by step with photos

So, ... What is a hotmirror? And why does it have to be removed? Does this improve the quality of your pixels?

 Jozef M's gear list:Jozef M's gear list
Sigma DP3 Merrill Canon EOS 30D Panasonic Lumix DC-G9
SigmaTog
SigmaTog Contributing Member • Posts: 861
Re: I removed my DP1m hotmirror, step by step with photos
3

Jozef M wrote:

So, ... What is a hotmirror? And why does it have to be removed? Does this improve the quality of your pixels?

The hot mirror, doesn't need to be removed & doesn't improve anything !

The Hot Mirror is the Infrared cut filter (IRC) that makes it possible for the digital cameras silicon image chip to only see visible light, 420-660nm, blue to red, so that the ultraviolet & infrared light does not contaminate the image. We can not see the UV & IR light but the digital cameras silicon image chip can, like this...

Sigma DP1 Digital Rich Full Spectrum without the hot mirror.

OR an Infrared converted to mono...

Sigma DP1 Digital IR 720-900nm filter & without the hot mirror, in mono.

The Sigma dSLR cameras have the hot mirror as a 'Dust Protector' & is removable & replaceable at any time, allowing you to take out-of-spectrum-photos any time

You can see more of my works here... http://www.flickr.com/photos/54724528@N06/sets/

Cheers

ΣigmaTog

xpanded Contributing Member • Posts: 535
Re: I removed my DP1m hotmirror, step by step with photos

Very impressive (and slightly scary). Looking forward to seeing your output.

Xpanded

PicOne
PicOne Veteran Member • Posts: 6,931
Re: I removed my DP1m hotmirror, step by step with photos

SigmaTog wrote:

Jozef M wrote:

So, ... What is a hotmirror? And why does it have to be removed? Does this improve the quality of your pixels?

The hot mirror, doesn't need to be removed & doesn't improve anything !

The Hot Mirror is the Infrared cut filter (IRC) that makes it possible for the digital cameras silicon image chip to only see visible light, 420-660nm, blue to red, so that the ultraviolet & infrared light does not contaminate the image. We can not see the UV & IR light but the digital cameras silicon image chip can, like this...

Sigma DP1 Digital Rich Full Spectrum without the hot mirror.

OR an Infrared converted to mono...

Sigma DP1 Digital IR 720-900nm filter & without the hot mirror, in mono.

The Sigma dSLR cameras have the hot mirror as a 'Dust Protector' & is removable & replaceable at any time, allowing you to take out-of-spectrum-photos any time

You can see more of my works here... http://www.flickr.com/photos/54724528@N06/sets/

Cheers

ΣigmaTog

How hard would it really be for Sigma to actually sell versions of these cameras without the hot mirror as a specialty product?    Kinda like Canon has done with their DA series of XXD cameras over the past years.

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'Everything in photography boils down to what's sharp and what's fuzzy.'
-Gaylord Herron

victorgv Senior Member • Posts: 1,591
Re: I removed my DP1m hotmirror, step by step with photos
1

Nicholas Johnson wrote:

Do not try this.

...........................................

Most instructions I see on the regular DP1 says to break a piece of glass. I removed the holder here and haven't found any problems in terms of focus or anything. I also had one shim not get replaced when it flew out, but again everything seems to work fine. I might do some testing later to see if I need to break the glass and replace the shim.

Ask away and I hope this helps people out. Also, I got my DP1m from Sigma as a refurbished unit knowing I would void any warranty anyway and they shipped the next day and it was only $10 for 2 day shipping. For someone in the US there are few options before full MSRP and this was faster than buying an Asian import.

On original DP1 hot mirror glued to base plate to which sensor attached so you do have to break it or use hi temp to remove or weaken glue. Somewhere on dpreview i saw article about removing hot mirror and using IDAS UIBAR-III filter in front as a result getting improved gamut, color etc..

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PicOne
PicOne Veteran Member • Posts: 6,931
Converting to mono question

SigmaTog wrote:

Jozef M wrote:

So, ... What is a hotmirror? And why does it have to be removed? Does this improve the quality of your pixels?

The hot mirror, doesn't need to be removed & doesn't improve anything !

The Hot Mirror is the Infrared cut filter (IRC) that makes it possible for the digital cameras silicon image chip to only see visible light, 420-660nm, blue to red, so that the ultraviolet & infrared light does not contaminate the image. We can not see the UV & IR light but the digital cameras silicon image chip can, like this...

Sigma DP1 Digital Rich Full Spectrum without the hot mirroOR an Infrared converted to mono...

Sigma DP1 Digital IR 720-900nm filter & without the hot mirror, in mono.

I've often seen examples of IR photo such as above, where greens are turned to white.   However, I can't grasp how this is happening?    If I take a picture of subjects of a reddish magenta color (like the color cast shown in the color IR example above -- eg. of Radishes or somesuch), convert it to mono, my eg. radishes don't turn white?    The digital sensor is still capturing R G and B pixel information, right?

The Sigma dSLR cameras have the hot mirror as a 'Dust Protector' & is removable & replaceable at any time, allowing you to take out-of-spectrum-photos any time

You can see more of my works here... http://www.flickr.com/photos/54724528@N06/sets/

Cheers

ΣigmaTog

-- hide signature --

'Everything in photography boils down to what's sharp and what's fuzzy.'
-Gaylord Herron

Laurence Matson
Laurence Matson Forum Pro • Posts: 11,969
I see you followed my advice

Glad it worked. And I am SURE that you contacted the techs at Sigma USA! Right! I don't want to get into trouble through your not slavishly following my instructions. Right!?!

In any case, a good guide for bookmarking.

Nicholas Johnson wrote:

Do not try this. I am literally an engineering school dropout with no idea what I'm doing. I am not responsible for whatever warranty voiding, $1000 camera destroying antics you perform. That being said I found this extremely easy.

1) Its a good idea to work in a clean space. I used a small toolkit with I think a #000 phillips and occasionally a very small flathead screwdriver to pry or mess with tiny connectors. I also used small bowls to hold my screws so I could isolate them from other steps. When possible I have shown the screws that go to that step in case they get mixed.

2) Do not force anything. Everything comes apart with virtually no force. If you have to force it you're doing it wrong. I missed the flash hot shoe screw for a day until Laurence Matson explained where it was. Thank you Laurence. Some connectors are very difficult to reattach. Relax. Give it time.

3) Remove all the screws from the rear of the body plus the screws around the tripod mount (all four, with two being on the front half of the bottom of the body). There are screws hidden under the flash hot shoe. You have to remove the metal cover with a small flat-headed screwdriver and pry in the circular hole just in front of the main flash contact. Watch the video. It gets good about one minute in. (I removed three flash screws when I think I only needed to remove two)

4) There will be a ribbon cable holding the back to the main body. Flip up the brown connector with your finger nail and the ribbon should gently pull out. Gently. You can easily access it if you open the camera like a book, with the hinge/spine on the right, where the battery cover is. The back is free and can be set aside.

5) Under and to the left of the hot shoe there is another ribbon cable connected. Release this one, I suggest, with a small flat-headed screwdriver. First you see it closed. Second image is open. Gently push one side open, as in slide it away from the closed position. Not too much. Then the other side. Alternate so as not to put too much force on either side. Half a millimeter at a time it will come off.

6) That big cable you just unhooked is still glued to the back of the sensor brick. If I had known ahead of time I would have used a sharpie and made a mark to know where the cable goes left to right, because I didn't know where the slack needed to be upon reassembly. Anyway, the ribbon can be pulled off gently. I would try not to bend it.

7) Remove the five screws from the back of the sensor package. Shiny to the right, black to the left. Notice the bottom right has only one screw.

8) See those shims? Don't mess with them. Also don't try to use a can of air to clean your lens. It will make it snow shims on your desk.

9) Back to the sensor, you see the three screws holding the greenish glass filter? Remove the screws and the filter. Notice there is a notched area on one corner. It seems the right way to lift the glass out. Again with the small screwdriver. Best I can tell there is no reason that plastic frame has to be there so I bagged that up with the screws and kept it. No damage done.

10) Reverse the disassembly. Notice I have before and after pics for the ribbon connectors. My big question was how far to push in the ribbon before I could close the connector on it and I hope the images help.

Most instructions I see on the regular DP1 says to break a piece of glass. I removed the holder here and haven't found any problems in terms of focus or anything. I also had one shim not get replaced when it flew out, but again everything seems to work fine. I might do some testing later to see if I need to break the glass and replace the shim.

Ask away and I hope this helps people out. Also, I got my DP1m from Sigma as a refurbished unit knowing I would void any warranty anyway and they shipped the next day and it was only $10 for 2 day shipping. For someone in the US there are few options before full MSRP and this was faster than buying an Asian import.

-- hide signature --

Laurence
laurence at appledore-farm dot com
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Brad Regular Member • Posts: 240
Re: I removed my DP1m hotmirror, step by step with photos External Shutter release?

Nicholas, thank you for posting this. I nearly dismantled my DP2M this summer to install a jack to allow a remote shutter release or Triggertrap but didn't know where the hidden screws were located.

The next time you have it apart, would you mind posting an image of the contacts used to trip the shutter?

Here is a link to a remote shutter mod performed on the DP1s. http://hgtweaks.blogspot.com.es/2010/09/sigma-dp1s-external-trigger.html

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xpatUSA
xpatUSA Forum Pro • Posts: 13,450
Re: Converting to mono question

PicOne wrote:

SigmaTog wrote:

OR an Infrared converted to mono...

Sigma DP1 Digital IR 720-900nm filter & without the hot mirror, in mono.

I've often seen examples of IR photo such as above, where greens are turned to white. However, I can't grasp how this is happening?

The camera is capturing the IR reflection from the leaves which makes them 'bright' in terms of luminosity. The camera 'red' and 'green' channels get a high exposure from the leaves, as compared the trunks, shadows or the water at right. When converting to mono, a high exposure of any color, or combination thereof, comes out white or almost so.

If I take a picture of subjects of a reddish magenta color (like the color cast shown in the color IR example above -- eg. of Radishes or somesuch), convert it to mono, my eg. radishes don't turn white?

If you take your radishes brightly lit by sunlight against a dark background they would get some white in them, I reckon.

The digital sensor is still capturing R G and B pixel information, right?

Sort of right, each Foveon layer captures quite a spread of colors which Foveon calls blue, green, red.

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Ted
SD9, SD10, GH1 and a lens or two

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Shawn67 Senior Member • Posts: 1,926
Re: Converting to mono question

"I've often seen examples of IR photo such as above, where greens are turned to white. However, I can't grasp how this is happening?"

Set a custom white balance and use green grass as your "white" target.

Shawn

PicOne
PicOne Veteran Member • Posts: 6,931
Re: Converting to mono question

xpatUSA wrote:

PicOne wrote:

SigmaTog wrote:

OR an Infrared converted to mono...

Sigma DP1 Digital IR 720-900nm filter & without the hot mirror, in mono.

I've often seen examples of IR photo such as above, where greens are turned to white. However, I can't grasp how this is happening?

The camera is capturing the IR reflection from the leaves which makes them 'bright' in terms of luminosity. The camera 'red' and 'green' channels get a high exposure from the leaves, as compared the trunks, shadows or the water at right. When converting to mono, a high exposure of any color, or combination thereof, comes out white or almost so.

Intense reds and greens don't convert to white when I convert to B&W.

Here's the color photo of SigmaTog's converted to B&W in picasa on my laptop (hope this is OK to illustrate what I'm asking?)

If I take a picture of subjects of a reddish magenta color (like the color cast shown in the color IR example above -- eg. of Radishes or somesuch), convert it to mono, my eg. radishes don't turn white?

If you take your radishes brightly lit by sunlight against a dark background they would get some white in them, I reckon.

The digital sensor is still capturing R G and B pixel information, right?

Sort of right, each Foveon layer captures quite a spread of colors which Foveon calls blue, green, red.

-- hide signature --

"For every opinion, there is an equal and opposite"
Ted
SD9, SD10, GH1 and a lens or two

-- hide signature --

'Everything in photography boils down to what's sharp and what's fuzzy.'
-Gaylord Herron

PicOne
PicOne Veteran Member • Posts: 6,931
Re: Converting to mono question

Shawn67 wrote:

"I've often seen examples of IR photo such as above, where greens are turned to white. However, I can't grasp how this is happening?"

Set a custom white balance and use green grass as your "white" target.

Shawn

I assume you mean the red grass (since it isn't green taken with the hot mirror removed)?   Wouldn't this turn all "greens" (or reds)  to white, not just the ones that emit IR ?

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'Everything in photography boils down to what's sharp and what's fuzzy.'
-Gaylord Herron

Shawn67 Senior Member • Posts: 1,926
Re: Converting to mono question

I mean point it at green grass (in real life) and set your camera's white balance that way. When converted to B&W this gives you white foliage assuming an IR pass filter of around 720nm. You can also do this with a custom camera profile in LR. This can have the advantage of setting the white balance color temp lower than what the camera can likely do internally. Around 1800k or so is about right.

With false color photography (around 620nm and above pass) you will still get white foliage. Most people swap red and blue channels in post to give blue skies.

IR is fun. I had a Fuji IS Pro for a little while and enjoyed it. It was a bit of a pain to work with though since you couldn't really see what was going on with the filters in place as its live view was very primitive. Still I got some very cool shots with it.
This site has some good info on IR (full spectrum) photography...

http://www.davidkennardphotography.com/blog/309-infrared-photography-with-the-fuji-is-pro-first-impressions.xhtml

http://www.davidkennardphotography.com/blog/324-more-on-the-fuji-is-pro-and-infrared-photography.xhtml

Shawn

dimsgr Junior Member • Posts: 26
Re: I removed my DP1m hotmirror, step by step with photos

SigmaTog wrote:

Jozef M wrote:

So, ... What is a hotmirror? And why does it have to be removed? Does this improve the quality of your pixels?

The hot mirror, doesn't need to be removed & doesn't improve anything !

ΣigmaTog

Hi there, and happy holidays Nice work, but I think there is more; the removal of IR filter could also improve on the green corners, unless SPP decides that there is the hot mirror always present and applies a correction nevetheless. From the pictures you posted I can not see any degradation from supposedly happening this, but you could try to alter WB in SPP and see what happens

regards

OP Nicholas Johnson Regular Member • Posts: 387
First shots, difficult color, difficult infrared

I considered making a new thread but I thought this info might be of use to someone attempting this in the future.

I went with my kids to Fairchild Tropical Garden to play with the newly modified DP1m. In this case I found some strange to difficult color problems when trying to take regular visible light photos.  The first thing I noticed was I couldn't get a skintone to come out right in some light sources. And I found the infrared to be difficult to... best I can explain I couldn't find a compelling image to make. Also, the IR had to be converted to monochrome because all I had to work with was red and a little blue, even when shooting full spectrum. Let the images speak for themselves.

Auto WB and greybalanced on the inside of the bowl + .8 saturation. Straight from SPP.

No amount of adjustment could give me a skin tone for this image.  This is my best from SPP.

Lots of adjustments in Adobe Camera Raw to the TIFF for increased saturation in yellow,orange,red and hue shifts in the same to hit these skintones.

I think this could use some cropping and I'd love to find a way to make the lines square in PS. Full spectrum if I recall.

Handheld. When shooting stopped down I had too much camera shake.

Also, that purple shirt is gray. At least it should be.

Shawn67 Senior Member • Posts: 1,926
Re: First shots, difficult color, difficult infrared

To try and square up that image give PTLens a try. It lets you alter perspective and you can likely get this square.

As for your color images are you using a IR/UV cut filter on the lens? If not you should as the extended IR sensitivity is going to play havoc with your colors. I would think this is more criticial on the Foveon as you altered the absorption between the layers which will throw off the color matrix SPP uses to determine R/G/B. Marumi makes nice UV/IR cut filters for reasonable prices. In essence you are using a screw on hot mirror when you want to shot normal pictures.

Are you using IR pass filters for the IR?

Shawn

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