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EF lenses on a full frame camera (Canon)

Discussion in 'Help Team' started by Meomyo, Nov 25, 2020.

  1. Meomyo

    Meomyo Member


    I am a tad confused about this, I have a Canon 2000d, now one day I may upgrade to a Canon full frame camera and wish to use my existing lenses on it. Is anyone able to tell me what I would require? I believe it is some sort of attachment that goes on the camera to enable me to use the EOS/EF mount?

  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member


    You cannot connect an EF-S lens to an EF mount camera. There would be no point. The image circle is too small. Physically EF-S lenses risk fouling the mirror, an expensive event.

    You can connect an EF lens directly to an EF-S mount camera. When digital cameras came out there were only EF lenses. Only later did Canon start making smaller, lighter lenses for these cameras. If you want to future-proof then buy EF lenses but they will be bigger, heavier and more expensive than you are used to.

    With the new R-mount full-frame mirrorless digital cameras you can use EF mount lenses with an adaptor. I very much doubt EF-S lenses are supported but I don't know for sure.

    Equally I don't know if there is an adapter to use EF-S lenses on an M-mount mirrorless Canon but I suspect not.
  3. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    In addition to @PeteRob 's comments

    Both the EOS R adapter and the EOS M adapter support EF-S.


    Some non-Canon produced lenses will physically fit on both EF and EF-S mounts, even though they are in theory, EF-S lenses. In which case, they work, but you get a vignette around the edge and reduced sensor coverage by the image.

    Canon produced EF-S lenses will not physically fit on a EF fully body mount.

    Canon brand EF-S lenses have a white dot, EF lenses have a red dot. Full frame (EF) bodies have a matching red dot. APS-C (EF-S) bodies have both a red and a white dot, to show you where to line up the respective lens types. As you can see above, the ES-M adapter has both a red and white dot.

    Canon DLSR body, and Canon lenses, EF will fit every Canon DSLR. EF-S will only fit Canon APS-C DSLRs.
    Canon EOS M body, can use EF-M lenses natively and all EF and EF-S lenses with a single Canon adapter.
    Canon EOS R body, can use EOS R lenses (can't remember short name) natively, and all EF and EF-S lenses with a single Canon adapter.

    EF lenses fit natively on all Canon DSLRs.
    EF-S lenses only fit natively on Canon APS-C bodies.
    EF-M lenses only fit natively on Canon EOS-M bodies.
    EOS R lenses only fit natively on EOS-R bodies.
    Petrochemist likes this.
  4. Meomyo

    Meomyo Member

    Thanks, that really clears things up for me
    RogerMac likes this.
  5. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    Just a footnote to the excellent posts above remember that using EF lenses on an APS-C body is sometimes an advantage and sometimes not. Generally long focus ones are better on the smaller sensors whilst short focus ones are better on FF
  6. Meomyo

    Meomyo Member

    Also would anyone be kind enough to link the adapter I would need?
  7. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    As per post #3 EF-S lenses will not connect to an EF mount camera. It is not possible. My understanding is that is because the rear of the lenses would need to protrude into the camera where they would contact the mirror as it moves. There is no adaptor. Canon decided to make dedicated lenses for their APS-C cameras as well as lenses for FF. EF fit all and EF-S only fit crop-sensor cameras. That's it.

    I don't know much about third party lenses but if you want to go to full frame in a Canon SLR body it is important to buy EF fit. Be mindful that the camera mount is proprietary. You cannot necessarily assume that an old EF lens will work on a camera newer than the lens itself. This has been a particular problem with Sigma lenses. There should be no issue buying new but buying s/h you need to try the lens on the camera before you buy.

    If you are interested in trying different lenses on different cameras then you can look at SRB https://www.srb-photographic.co.uk/lens-adaptors-1167-c.asp but beware that not all combinations are possible and often lens use is restricted to fully manual operation. Mirrorless cameras offer the greatest choice because there is only a small gap between the lens mount and the sensor. Adaptors can easily "add" gap to enable the lens to focus. They cannot take gap away. This is the main issue with adaptors and SLRS - there is usually a big gap (the mirror needs room to flip up and down) and the gap is different for each make. There are some adaptors that also need optical components for the lenses to achieve focus - this is adding complexity to an optical performance that is likely less than you'd get with a modern lens. There are more expensive adaptors than those made by SRB, good for the true aficionado of using legacy lenses, and these can cost almost as much as a new lens. Lots of cheap junk out there too.
  8. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I won't disagree with that but I will add that it is the Camera/Lens mount and interface that is proprietary. The mechanical lens mount is easily copied and I have never heard of a problem in that respect. The interface is another matter and it is in this area that Sigma, and probably Tamron and Tokina, have issues.

    For the benefit of Meomyo; the lens manufacturers can't buy a license to use the lens interface so they have to reverse engineer it, with varying degrees of success. Camera designers think several years into the future, sometimes longer, and a camera designed in 2020 may well have the capability to correctly interface with a lens that won't be available until 2025. Equally a lens released in 2020 may have features that won't be needed until a new body scheduled for 2025, Sigma* won't know anything about that though so their 2020 lens may not be compatible with that body when it is released. As an example when the Nikon F5 was launched VR wasn't offered and AF G (no aperture ring) lenses were some way off yet both can be used on the F5. Canon will do the same sort of thing.

    Sigma* produce some excellent lenses but caution is required if buying used to ensure that what you buy is fully compatible with the camera body you are using. I should add that a quick check in store may not reveal the problem, if one exists, because the errors can be subtle. I had a Sigma lens bought in the 1990s that was fin until I wanted to use it on a camera from 2007, it appeared to be fine, but some time later I found an issue with exposure in part of the zoom range. I never did find a used Sigma lens that worked properly.

    *Where I have used Sigma the comment could be applied to other manufacturers as well.
  9. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Yes sorry, I meant third party AF and AE lenses using a Canon mount and offering full function rather than just a physical connection
  10. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Fouling, in this context, means that the lens extends into the mirror box and gets in the way of the mirror movement, yes it will cause physical damage to the mirror and possibly, depending on which part of the lens is involved, to the lens. Fouling as an engineering term covers anything that by accident or design prevents, by some mechanical means, parts from moving in relation to each other. So the design of the EF mount to prevent the use of EF-S lenses could be described as "fouling" the fitting of EF-S lenses.
  11. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Good catch - I never considered that the word "fouling" could be the root of the misunderstanding.
  12. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Have a look at post 6

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