Find out more

Canon EOS Infra-Red (IR) Compatible Lenses

All Canon EOS lenses pass infrared light and so technically can be used for IR photography with a filter such as a Hoya R72.

However with digital SLRs it has been found that a number of lenses prodice a fairly significant "hot spot" in the center of the frame. The origin of this "hotspot" isn't 100% clear, but it appears to be associated in some way with reflections off the sensor interacting with reflections off the lens elements. Whatever the cause, it can make an image significantly less usable.

It's quite difficult to see any pattern in which lenses do and do not "hotspot". It's not directly related to whether the lens is a zoom or a prime, whether it's an "L" series lens or not or whether of not it's an EF-S (digital) or EF lens.

The following list doesn't cover every lens and under some conditions it's possible that even lenses on the "good" list may show a slight hotspot, or lenses on the "bad" list might give an acceptable image. However if you're looking for a lens for use in IR work, picking a lens from the list on the left is probably a good idea.

Suitable for IR (no or minimal hot spot):

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5
Canon EF 17-40mm f/4 L
Canon EF-S 17-85 f/4-5.6 IS USM
Canon EF 22-55mm f/4-5.6 USM
Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L
Canon EF 28-135mm/3.5-5.6 IS
Canon EF 28mm f/2.8
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 MKI
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 MKII
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4-5.6 L IS
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro
Canon EF 135mm f/2 L

Sigma 400mm f/5.6

Tamron 28-300mm XR

Not suitable for IR (hot spot):

Canon EF 15mm f/2.8 fisheye
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
Canon EF 20mm f/2.8
Canon EF 20-35mm f/3.5-4.5 USM
Canon EF 24/2.8
Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5
Canon EF 28-70mm f/2.8 L
Canon EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5
Canon EF 35mm f/2
Canon EF 35-80mm f/4-5.6
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Macro
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO
Canon EF 85mm f/1.8

Sigma 30/1.4

Tamron 17-35mm
Tamron 19-35mm
Tamron 70-300mm Macro
Tokina 12-24mm