When converting a digital camera for infrared use, the general approach is to remove any filters that limit its sensitivity to the visible range of light wavelengths.
Some conversions replace the existing filter by clear glass, some by a dedicated infrared filter, and some seem to just leave the filter off entirely.
I wonder what difference leaving the filter off entirely and replacing it with clear glass of equivalent physical dimensions and refractive index makes. My current suspicion is that cameras with a purely contrast-based autofocus, like most compact and bridge cameras, can do fine without any glass in front of the CCD, but any camera with phase-detection AF needs the clear glass replacement for the autofocus to work properly. Is that correct?
How about protection of the sensor -- is it ok to leave the CCD surface uncovered inside the camera housing?