a First Person Shooter of Sorts

May 1, 2009

Canon 5d Mark II infrared test

Filed under: Canon 5d Mark II, infrared photography — Tags: — vaughnsphotoart @ 12:01 pm

It seems the 5d Mark II is slightly less infrared sensitive than the Mark I, but with suitably long exposures I was still able to get some IR magic. Usually I convert IR to monochrome, but for some reason I was really digging on the hues the filter was producing, so I desaturated them a bit and went with it.

Results are below… note that these pics seem to have a hotspot near the center. I believe this was due to a smudge on the back of the lens. I didn’t notice the hotspot until I downloaded, and went searching for the cause. Nice greasy smudge, near dead center on the rear glass. Can anyone confirm this can cause a hotspot in long exposures?

No idea how I managed that one… I am so careful. Alas. Anyway, I’ll retest, sans-smudge, soon. The trees look excessively fuzzy because it was windy, and these were 6-15 second exposures.








  1. Wow, very cool photos. What kind of infrared filter do you use? I bought a generic one on eBay (I forget the name, but it sounded Russian) and they didn’t turn out well at all. It was just like a thick red filter was placed over the lens–when I converted to black and white, nothing was different about it.

    Comment by Seinberg — May 23, 2009 @ 12:39 pm

  2. Seinberg- So far I have used Hoya R72 infrared filters exclusively. I believe they are 720nm wavelength. How long was your exposure, and were you shooting in bright sunlight? The brighter/hotter the day, the better infrared works it seems, and it often takes exposures of anywhere from 2-15 seconds to soak up enough light to get the effect.

    Comment by Vaughn — May 23, 2009 @ 12:51 pm

  3. Interesting. The generic version I bought was also 720nm wavelength. The exposures were long enough (I used an f/1.2 lens so I could still do handheld during the daytime), but it was pretty overcast so perhaps that’s why it didn’t turn out very good. I’ll have to give it another shot.

    Comment by Seinberg — May 23, 2009 @ 12:53 pm

  4. Hi,

    wonder if you could tell me exact steps in taking IR photography. I can’t get mine to work :P

    I used 5D mkII, 17-40L and Hoya 720nm IR filter, but no matter wat I do, I always get only red tinted images, that when I processed it in PS, I end up with a blue image (after switching the red and blue channel).

    My guess was my process was wrong, but not too sure where. I read about white balance, to white colour (with the filter on) or to grass (with filter on).. Do you use custom white balance?


    Comment by Indra — August 29, 2009 @ 3:20 am

    • Hi there
      Exact same problem as you Indra, same camera too and same results. It got so annoying i have given up but am determined again to learn.


      Comment by Gerry — October 13, 2009 @ 5:23 pm

  5. Hi, absolutely cool IR pictures you’ve got there!
    I’m a rookie into IR photography – well, haven’t started yet, but have spent some time searching for information about the subject. I have a 5D MKII myself – and I’m trying to find the best lense and filter for the purpose.
    Several sites mension the problem with “hotspots” (only in IR photos) on a range of different lenses. Your’s seems to be one of them. So the problem is not a greasy smudge!

    Best regards

    Comment by Claus Lind-Rasmussen — November 10, 2009 @ 6:47 pm

  6. Interesting effect of slow exposure in #1, I love it. Question: since mark II has such a high ISO max, have you tried handheld with high ISO?

    Comment by James S — January 7, 2010 @ 3:47 pm

  7. I am pretty sure that you have to cover the viewfinder to prevent such problems; there is a small, rubber cover for it attached to the strap. Hope this helps.

    Comment by Leslie Upham — May 3, 2010 @ 4:56 pm

  8. Thanks for posting these – that first shot is great!
    Covering the viewfinder is a must – but i imagine the hot-spot would be far worse if you weren’t already doing that!
    I shot with a 17-40 on my 5d mark 2 and have no hotspot issue, BUT i do have a strange ‘hot’ smear down the bottom right corner of the frame that im assuming must be a grease smear on the sensor.

    Im interested in the results of the 720Nm filter on the Mark 2 vs older cameras. For sure, you need a longer exposure time, but i also imagine that with the stronger blocking filter on the Sensor, the actual IR light Vs visible spectrum light ratio thats hitting the CMOS is different? After all, the 720 only blocks a portion of the visible light with reds still coming through – the Hot mirror on the 5d will block the IR effectively, but the portion of the visible spectrum will still register. Thats why i imagine many people – myself included – are getting Red shots and minimal IR effect.

    The solution might be to use a much stronger IR filter – say 850, where all the visible light will be blocked, and the feeble amount of IR getting thropugh the hot mirror can build up a decent result. Anybody tried one of these stronger filters?

    Comment by Lans — August 28, 2010 @ 12:51 am

  9. Hi
    Your hot spot is due to not closing of your eye piece, it allows light in to the center band of the image.
    If you are after true to colour IR images and not partial (any colours you like) then manual WB to Green
    ie Grass leaves or a card. If you do not want to do that then run your white balance as low to the 2000
    end of the spectrum or shoot in RAW and then you can decide later.
    Also remember that the higher the IR filter number 720 vs 850 does not mean it is stronger, it just effects
    different parts of the IR spectrum, 720 is considered the best spectrum filter. Higher or lower ones will
    just give you differing effects in colour ect.

    Comment by David — May 15, 2011 @ 8:22 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: