An acousto-optic tunable filter (AOTF) is used in the development of hyperspectral imagers from the ultraviolet to the longwave infrared. The spectral response of the transmitted intensity from an AOTF with a rectangular transducer has a sinc2(x) distribution and so far the light leakage from the sidelobes is ignored in hyperspectral imagers. When unpolarized white light is incident on an AOTF, two orthogonally polarized diffracted beams at a specific wavelength with a narrow bandpass filter are transmitted for an applied radio frequency (RF), and an image cube is obtained by tuning the applied RF. We carried out a detailed study of light transmitted through the sidelobes of a TeO2 AOTF operating in the shortwave infrared region from 0.9 to 1.7 μm to image a scene containing a laser. The AOTF imaging system used telecentric confocal optics that compensate for AOTF aberrations. We used a 16-channel RF driver with independent amplitude and frequency control. By switching off specific RF signals applied to the AOTF, the detailed sidelobe structure for the transmitted intensity was measured and compared with theory. We found that close to 10% of the transmitted light is leaked through the sidelobes. Here, we present our experiment and analysis of the results.