Canon Digital Rebel XSi (450D), XS (1000D), T1i (500D), T2i (550D), T3 (1100D), T5 (1200D), T3i (600D), T4i (650D), T5i (700D) & 6D Modification Instructions

Removal of IR Cut Filter for Astrophotography & Infrared Imaging

by Gary Honis

last update: 11/1/16

Page 1 - Configuration & Preparation

If you decide not to modify your own camera, I can provide a low cost modification service to convert your 450D, 1000D, 500D, 550D, 600D, 650D, 700D & 1100D. CLICK HERE for details.

Sale: New modified refurbished Canon T3 (1100D) including "EF-S 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS Lens" either Baader or Full Spectrum modified: Click Here for Details

For an ongoing discussion of DSLR modifications see my Yahoo support group "DSLR Modifications".....JOIN HERE.

Removal of IR Cut Filter


300D: In December 2004, I completed a modification of the original Canon Digital Rebel (300D) to remove its IR Cut filter. My web pages that detail the procedure are located HERE. The modified camera has performed well for me since then with no problems at all. You can see a gallery of astro images taken with the modified camera HERE. Some daytime infrared images are HERE.

450D: In April 2008, I completed a modification of the Canon Digital Rebel XSi (450D) to remove its IR Cut filter and a detailed procedure follows. Removal of the filter allows for a great increase in sensitivity to the color red and the H-Alpha wavelength important for deep sky imaging. Instead of installing a clear optical glass to replace the original Canon IR Cut filter as I had done for the 300D modification, I installed a Baader "DSLR Correcting Filter" which is a much milder UV-IR-Cut filter that allows the H-Alpha wavelength to pass for deep sky, but blocks higher infrared wavelengths that cause poor focus and bloated stars with refractor telescopes and camera lenses. This filter still allows the 450D to be used with an infrared pass filter, such as the HOYA R72, to take daytime infrared images with focusing via the live-view feature. The characteristics of the Baader coatings can be seen HERE. I purchased the DSLR version of the filter from Alpine Astronomical. It allows the camera's autofocus feature to work. The part number is FBCF400D and is the correct size for both the Canon XTi (400D) and the Canon XTs (450D). Another option is to install a clear glass of equal thickness (0.57mm) of the IR filter to maintain viewfinder focus accuracy and the camera's autofocus. sells such a clear optical glass. A third option is to just remove the original Canon IR Cut filter and replace it with nothing, but the autofocus will not work. Since the 450D has the live view focusing feature, using it instead would work well for astro imaging (and daytime images) even if the original IR Cut filter was removed and replaced with nothing.

1000D: In January 2008, I modified the Canon Digital Rebel XS (1000D). The 1000D is nearly identical inside to the 450D. I have updated the modification instructions here with notes labeled ***1000D in green. The differences are mostly related to screws. The original IR cut filter of the 1000D is the same as in the 450D.

500D: In November 2009, I modified the Canon EOS Rebel T1i (500D). There are some internal changes from previous models including a spring loaded CMOS Imaging Chip Assembly and use of TORX screws to mount the assembly. I have updated the modification instructions here with notes labeled ***500D in red.

550D: In July 2010, I modified the Canon T2i (550D). It is similar internally to the 500D but with some changes. I have updated the modification instructions here with notes labeled ***550D in brown.

1100D: In April 2011, I modified the Canon EOS Rebel T3 (1100D). I have updated the modification instructions here with notes labeled ***500D in orange.

600D: In June 2011, I modified the Canon EOS Rebel T3i (600D). I have updated the modification instructions here with notes labeled ***600D in dark blue.

650D: In February 2013, I modified the Canon EOS Rebel T4i (650D). I posted modification instructions as a video guide on Youtube and also updated the instructions here as well.

700D: In September 2013, I modified the Canon EOS Rebel T5i (700D). The 700D modification instructions are the same as for the 650D, but the 700D has one small plastic piece added as explained in the instructions. The 650D Modification Youtube video can be used for a 700D modification as well.

6D: In April 2014, I modified the full format Canon 6D. I posted modification instructions HERE.

1200D: In 2015, I modified a T5 camera for Full Spectrum. I posted modifications instructions HERE.


Full Spectrum Modification with Astronomik MC Clear Glass: In March 2010, this high quality multi-coated and optically polished clear glass replacement from Astronomik became available for DSLR modifications. I have updated the modification instructions here with notes labeled in the color magenta for the Full Spectrum modification. The Astronomik MC Clear Glass replacement fits all models and there is a special size made for the T3 (1100D) model. More info HERE.



Warning & Disclaimer:

Opening the camera will void your Canon warranty and you may ruin your camera. Proceed at your own risk; I am not responsible for any damage to your camera or injury to yourself. The camera contains a high voltage capacitor that stores lethal energy for the camera flash. The flash capacitor maintains its charge for a long time even after removing the battery and this charge can cause dangerous injury or even potentially fatal electrical shock. These instructions detail how I as an electrical engineer do camera modifications. If you attempt to modify your own camera it is at your own risk and I am not responsible for any damage or injury. I am an electrical engineer and have done other imager modifications including building a peltier cooled webam ; the Steve Chambers long exposure modification (SC-1) to the Philips Vesta Webcam; modified Logitech Fusion , Pro 9000 and Microsoft Lifecam Cinema HD webcams and modified Canon 300D. The most difficult part of the modification are the many ribbon (flat) cable connections involved and removal of the IR cut filter from its holder above the CMOS imaging chip. If you have a problem with your camera after the modification, it would most likely be due to a ribbon cable connection not being fully seated in its connector.

Tools Used:

The modification of the 450D, 1000D, 500D, 550D, 600D, 650D, 700D & 1100D is easier than that of the 300D from the standpoint that there is no de-soldering or soldering required. The tools needed are very simple as shown above. From left to right starting at the top of the photo: silicone glue, #000 size philips screwdriver (#Craftsman #45726), jewelers screwdriver set bought at the $1 store, exacto razor knife, magnifying glass, microfiber lens cleaning cloth, cotton photographer's glove and toothpicks. The cotton photographer's glove is for handling the bare replacement filter. For the ***500D, ***550D and ***600D modification, you will also need a Torx T-7 driver. For the Full Spectrum modification with the Astronomik MC Clear Glass replacement, a digital micrometer will be needed for measuring shims and a feeler gauge will be needed to fashion replacement shims. For the ***550D and ***600D, rubber tipped flat head tweezers are needed for removing and inserting ribbon cables. I made a pair by gluing thin rubber on metal flat head tweezers.

Comment by Brent Maynard on The 500D mod: "I tried two different T7 drivers, and could not get a bite on the screws. I used a T6, and that worked fine. Canon could be using different sizes."

Comment by Skyler: "A really handy item was Nitrile gloves. They keep the insides of the camera clean w/o leaving finger oil marks on components. Skyler also recommended using surgical forceps that have long thin noses and work great at grabbing those thin film conductors." See MODIFIER COMMENTS for his advice.

"Comment by Oz: "Use a fine tip sharpie and draw a line on each of the ribbon cables where the ribbon exits the connector before disconnecting the cable. This will give positive visual feedback when reconnecting the cables to assure they are fully seated and square before locking the connector tabs."

Camera Disassembly:

...Before beginning, you may want to take a few "before modification" photos to later check how focus and clarity of image is affected by the modification. Although only needed in a very dry environment, you may want to wear a grounded wrist strap for static protection while handling electrical components.

Before beginning the modification for the Full Spectrum modification with the Astronomik MC Clear Glass replacement only, make sure to disable auto cleaning of the sensor. Select Menu/Sensor Cleaning/Auto Cleaning and set to "Disable". After the modification is completed, be sure NOT to select "Clean now" in the same menu item. Always select "Clean manually" following the owner's manual instructions.

For the many small screws removed, you can tape them to a piece of paper with notes on step number and size, location and assembly step, in the order of removal. You can print out and use these these screw sheets for each model: 450D - 500D - 550D - 1000D -1100D

You can place the circuit boards removed in Glad plastic food containers to keep dust-free.

For the T5 (1200D) modification instructions CLICK HERE.

1. Remove the lens and place the front cover on the camera body to keep dust out. Remove battery, SD card and viewfinder cap. The viewfinder cap slides up. There will be three screws under the cap that need to be removed. The upper left screw may be longer than the other two. ***550D, 600D & 1100D: The 550D, 600D, 650D, 700D and 1100D only have two screws.

2. Remove four screws from bottom of camera as shown:

3. Remove one screw from side of camera:

***1000D has 2 (short) screws here instead of one long screw. For ***600D, 650D & 700D skip to Step 3A.

3A. ***600D, 650D & 700D only. The black rubber grippy material needs to be peeled back in order to access four screws. Use a small flat head driver to lift up the corner of the material and peel it back. Remove all four screws as shown. The 600D screws are the phillips type; the 650D & 700D are the torx type. The plastic port cover can now be removed.

4. Remove two screws from other side of camera:

***1000D: both screws are short. ***1100D: both screws are long.

5. Remove screws located near neck strap mounts. One screw is short; the other is long as shown:

6. Remove rubber piece as shown below. It is adhesive backed and can be easily removed by prying one corner up with an exacto razor knife and lifting the rest of the piece off with your fingers. The rubber piece needs to come off to allow the plastic camera body to come apart. It can be easily put back on after re-assembly.

***1000D & ***1100D: have no rubber grip piece so skip this step.

All screws have now been removed and the back half of the camera body will be removed as explained on the next page.

***600D For 600D only, continue with steps HERE.

***650D & 700D For 650D & 700D only, continue with steps HERE.

CONTINUED Next Page - Camera Disassembly Continued

----Order these two guides by Jerry Lodriguss for DSLR Astro-imaging----

So you now have a modified DSLR for astro imaging. If you are a beginner to DSLR astrophotography, your next best step is to learn all you can about using your modified DSLR. When I complete camera modifications for owners, I get many questions afterward about how to use the camera, including: How to get precise focus? Which exposure settings to use? How to calibrate, align and stack exposures? How to adjust white balance? How to process images?

I am happy to advise and welcome all questions, but the best advice I can give is to order "A Beginner's Guide To DSLR Astrophotography". The book on CD-ROM is authored by Jerry Lodriguss, a professional photographer, amateur astronomer and astrophotographer. Based on his over 25 years of astrophotography experience, he makes it an easy learning process to capture and process astro images. Jerry also has a more advanced book on CD-ROM available: "A Guide to Astrophotography with DSLR Cameras". Consider arming yourself with both these books on CD-ROM, read them at your leisure and maximize your potential for capturing and creating the most spectacular DSLR astro images your modified camera can provide.

Those located in the United States can place orders for Jerry's Books on CD-ROM here:

Domestic orders for "A Beginner's Guide To DSLR Astrophotography".

Domestic orders for "A Guide to Astrophotography with DSLR Cameras".

Those located outside of the United States can place orders for Jerry's Books on CD-ROM here:

Foreign orders for "A Beginner's Guide To DSLR Astrophotography".

Foreign orders for "A Guide to Astrophotography with DSLR Cameras".




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Astro Imaging with Canon Digital Rebel XT Camera