Removing the IR filter from a color camera

Last Revision Date: 9/20/2016

Some customers wish to remove the IR filter from their color cameras to allow for the detection of IR wavelengths. 

There are two ways IR filters are placed in cameras:

    1. With glue—the IR filter is glued directly to the lens holder. This method is used for board-level (M12 Micro lens) models and Dragonfly2 (CS-mount) models.
    2. With screws—the IR filter is held in place by a removable retainer that is screwed to the lens holder. This method is used for all case-enclosed (C-/CS-mount) models, except Dragonfly2.

Note: There is also a pane of glass on the image sensor itself - removing it destroys the sensor.

Before you begin:

IMPORTANT NOTE: Removing the IR filter or protective glass voids the camera's hardware warranty.

It is also important to note that removing the IR filter alters the optical path of the camera, and may result in problems obtaining proper focus with your lens.

Because removing the IR filter exposes your camera’s image sensor and electronics, to minimize the risk of damaging the image sensor or introducing dust to the camera you should work in an industrial clean room.

For instructions on cleaning the IR filter or protective glass, see "Cleaning the imaging surface of your camera."

To remove the IR filter:

For cameras where the IR filter is glued to the lens holder, the only way to remove the IR filter is to destroy it. It is recommended that you remove the lens holder completely from the camera before trying to remove the filter.

For cameras where the IR filter is in a removable retainer:

    1. Remove the plate mounting screws.
    2. Remove the retainer
    3. Remove the IR filter.

To replace the IR filter:

For cameras where the IR filter is in a removable retainer, the IR filter can be replaced by inserting the new filter in the retainer and screwing the retainer back into place.

When inserting the new filter ensure that the side with the AR coating is placed facing the sensor. To identify the side with the AR coating, hold the filter at a 45-60 degree angle. The side with a green reflection is the AR coating (a pink reflection indicates no coating).

To switch the IR filter:

For Dragonfly2 cameras, you can purchase a different lens holder (ACC-01-5002 or ACC-01-5003). The advantage to this is that you can then swap the two lens holders if you wish to go back to using an IR filter in the future. 

For board-level cameras, you can purchase a different M12 micro lens holder (ACC-01-5000 or ACC-01-5001). 

For all other cameras, if users wish to switch the IR filter, the options are:

    • Purchase an M12 micro lens holder (ACC-01-5000 or ACC-01-5001).
    • Purchase a different camera.

Contact mv-sales@flir.com

If you have any further questions, contact mv-support@flir.com.

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