a First Person Shooter of Sorts

April 12, 2007

I’m thrilled to report the Canon 5d is infrared capable

I’ve been wondering if the 5d was able to take IR photos, and found at least one website that said it was. I decided to give it a try, and ordered a Hoya r72 filter for my 50mm F1.8 lens (since it has the widest aperture). It came yesterday and I took it out at lunchtime to test it. Not only does it work, but the results are better than I was getting with my Canon G5. Here’s an example shot:

The only downside as compared to the G5 is that you had the option to look through the viewfinder when setting up the shot, and it also tried to auto expose so you’d get a faint but visible image in the viewfinder. With the 5d, when you look in the viewfinder, you are looking through the lens, and so having an opaque black filter mounted makes it very difficult to focus and align the shots. For the shot above, I ended up removing the filter, setting the aim and focus, and then carefully putting the filter back on to shoot. But, it came out well enough to make it worth the extra trouble, so I’m not complaining. :)



  1. what’s the website that you found for the ir photography for the 5d? I found quite a few sites that want me (or them) to physically modify my camera. i am not willing to do that…but you purchased a filter? is that it? any suggestions are appreciated!

    Comment by Julia Varga — July 10, 2007 @ 7:12 pm

  2. Hi Julia-

    I didn’t find any website with this info. Another photographer who owns a 5d tested his and found it to work when using a filter.

    The filter to use is a Hoya R72. Expect long shutter times! Though I’ve found that with my 50mm open to 1.8, I can hand hold many shots, with shutter speeds in the 1/30 range. You typically have to use manual settings. If you use longer shutters and a tripod, use a timer or a cable release to avoid shake.

    Here’s links to the filter in several sizes:
    52mm 58mm 62mm 67mm 77mm


    Comment by vaughnsphotoart — July 11, 2007 @ 3:29 pm

  3. Hi!

    I am very interested to find out more about your experiments with IR photography with your 5D. I have a 5D and wondered how you metered for your IR shots as the auto exposure will not give you an accurate measurement through the Hoya r72 filter. Can you help give me some advice here?



    Comment by Robert — December 24, 2008 @ 3:24 pm

    • Robert…

      I use manual settings, and hone in the settings by trial and error. It doesn’t take long usually. If you have a tripod, you have a lot of latitude in your settings. If you are handholding, you better have a fast lens. :)

      Comment by vaughnsphotoart — January 1, 2009 @ 8:30 pm

  4. Hi!

    Great, I will have go at this, I was thinking of starting on ISO100 and start off at about 1/2 sec with a normal daylight condition (f11). Would this be a good starting place? Then increase/decrease shutter speed depending on result?

    I will use a tripod.



    Comment by Robert — January 2, 2009 @ 3:42 am

  5. I have a lot of experience with infra-red photography using FILM and tried digital using Nikon d200 with some success but when I tried with Canon 5D MkII I got nothing! at all!! with exposures of up to 15sec @ f4 iso100 tripod mounted and infra red filter, no visible image whatsoever!!!

    Comment by Bren — February 14, 2011 @ 12:28 pm

  6. Metering- if you think in the IR spectrum, your highlights are foliage and skin. Meter off your highlights with +1 EV with AELOCK (in aperture priority), or watch the meter in manual and set your shutter speed accordingly- and you’ll get really excellent consistent results without much trial and error.

    On that note, good to know the 5D has a weak IR cuttoff filter and IR photography is possible. Thank you for the post. I just picked up a like new 5D (no, not MK II or III) today and I’ll use my 72 on it. I have dedicated conversions too but if the 72 does well enough that may mean something else gets sold.

    -Carl Garrard (www.photographic-central.blogspot.com)

    Comment by Carl G — May 23, 2012 @ 7:09 am

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