Sunday, 29 March 2015

Lens IR Performance & Hot Spots

Click on the link to see a detailed review.

 AF-D Nikkor 35mm f/2.0
 AI-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.2
 AF-D Nikkor 50mm f/1.4
 AF-D Nikkor 85mm f/1.4
 AF-D Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 Macro
 AF-D Nikkor 135mm f/2 DC

 FE Sony 28mm f/2.0
 FE Zeiss 35mm f/2.8
 FE Zeiss 55mm f/1.8
x FE Mitakon 50mm f/0.95

EF Canon 50mm f/1.2
EF Canon 50mm f/1.8 II
- EF Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM
EF Canon 40mm f/2.8
EF Canon 24-105mm f/4
FDn Canon 135mm f/2.0

Pentax-M 28mm f/2.8
- Pentax-M 40mm f/2.8
Pentax-M 50mm f/1.2
- Pentax-M 50mm f/1.4
Pentax-M 50mm f/1.7
Takumar 135mm f/2.5
Pentax SMC-K 200mm f/2.5

- Sigma 24mm f/2.8 Macro

 Konica Hexanon 40mm f/1.8
- Konica Hexanon 50mm f/1.7

 Voigtlander Nocton 35mm f/1.4

If you have any requests feel free to ask in the comments. Note there is a great list already at Kolari Vision. I'm doing this to have a little bit more information about the ones that I've tried rather than simply sticking them in a good and bad category. Just because a lens does produce a noticeable hotspot doesn't mean it's completely unusable for IR. Check out the individual lens reviews, or my article on 'Hot Spots' for more info.


  1. Saw your blog mentioned over on SAR. Thanks for testing the Sony lenses! I'm currently using a Canon 5D2 830nm LifePixel conversion for my IR stuff but have been moving away from Canon to Nikon and more recently Sony mirrorless for all my photography. I keep thinking about converting one of my Sony's to IR and the your tests are very helpful (I use both Sony and alt lenses, including the FE 55/1.8 and 28/2). Cheers!

    1. Thanks for the kind comment! I'm glad that you found the posts useful. I will continue to test Sony, Nikon and Canon lenses, so I hope I can help out some more. I have lots more tests on the go already. I just wish I had more time to do the tests and posts. I also need to rewrite the Nikon lens tests in the format of these Sony ones as I have a much better system now. If you convert a Sony mirrorless soon Id love to hear how it went. I'm currently tempted to do a pure IR conversion as opposed to a full spectrum one so I can eleminate filtet issues.
      All the best,

  2. A very good report on hot spot lens issues. I wonder if you've assessed any more lenses?
    I'm using an 830nm converted A7 and am trying to do the same testing as you, with older, manual focus legacy lenses, except here in NW of UK, clear skies are even rarer!
    The best lens I've yet to use is the OM Zuiko 50/1.8 in early single coated form. It equals or maybe betters the FE 55/1.8 performance.
    Where I'm still searching is for a good 20/21mm. I'm now waiting for clear skies to assess the Pentax M 20/4 and Nikon Ai 20/3.5.
    Others had reported good results with the Voigtlander 20/3.5 SLII, but my results on the A7 have been poor, with lots of radial patterns from wide open.
    Interesting to know that Iliya at KolariVision, now offers a coated filter conversion, which apparently reduces the problem a lot.

    1. Ah, I see from your Flickr site that you now have a KolariVision AR (Anti-Reflection Coated) converted A7. I'm jealous...though I prefer B&W only, so I'd go for the 850nm ;o)
      Having only recently had mine done by Protech Photographic of Uckfield, who did a good job, I won't be going for a KolariVision AR in the near future.

    2. I nearly went for the 850nm myself as I too love b&w. The reason I didn't wasnt so much for versatility but as an added benefit for removing hotspots because if a lens does hot spot it will be considerably worse at 850nm compared to 720nm.