Can You Use Any Lens on a Canon Camera?

You can’t use just any lens with your Canon camera. You’ll need a lens with the same mount as your camera model. If you’re using a DSLR, you’ll want the EF/EF-S mount, while Canon’s mirrorless cameras use the RF or EF-M mounts.

My name is Caleb, and I have five years of photography experience. My primary experience comes from sports photography, where I’ve shot various leagues and teams from the semi-pro to college level.

In this article, I’ll talk about which lenses work with which Canon cameras and what you should consider before buying a new lens for your camera. I’ll also talk about lens adapters, which allow you to use a lens with a camera it wasn’t originally intended for.

If you’re looking for new lenses but don’t know if a certain one will work with your camera, keep reading for a full rundown of what you need to know.

Can You Use Any Lens on a Canon Camera?

In short, no. Cameras and lenses are designed with specific mounts. The mount determines which lenses a camera will work with, and you generally can’t use a camera with a certain lens if the mounts don’t match.

For example, many of Canon’s cameras have EF/EF-S in the name. These cameras can work with EF or EF-S mount lenses. On the other hand, a camera with the RF mount will only work with RF mount lenses.

This system exists because cameras and lenses can vary significantly in size and mechanisms. A lens that fits perfectly with one camera might not fit another camera at all. By using standardized mounts, we can easily see if a camera and lens are compatible.

There is a workaround for using a lens with a different mount. Some lenses work with external adapters, allowing them to be used with other mounts. These adapters are not universal. To make one work, it has to match both the lens and camera mount.

Using Lens Adapters

Lens adapters can be an excellent option for using a specific lens on a different mount. However, there are some things you should know about them first.

They aren’t a magic bullet solution for every problem. For one, not every lens can be adapted to every camera. If the two mounts are drastically different sizes, no adapters may be available. 

As a real-world example, it’s impossible to adapt a Canon RF lens to a Sony E mount camera. Also, using an adapter can result in losing some of the lens’ capabilities or producing worse image quality.

This largely depends on the lens and the mounts involved, so you should do your research before deciding on whether to use an adapter and which one to buy.

What Lens Mount Do I Need?

Now that you know how lens compatibility works, you might wonder what lens mount is compatible with your camera. Canon makes more than one lens mount, and the one that your camera has largely depends on the type of camera it is.

DSLR Lens Mounts

If you have a Canon DSLR camera, you’re in luck. Canon has a long history of making DSLR lenses, so you’ll have a lot of high-quality options to choose from.

Canon’s full-frame DSLRs use the EF mount, while their modern APS-C DLSRs use the EF-S mount. EF lenses are able to fit both the full-frame and APS-C models, while EF-S lenses only fit APS-C cameras.

The shared compatibility of the EF lenses between both mounts is why some EF lenses are branded as ‘EF/EF-S.’

Mirrorless Lens Mounts

Canon has two mounts for their mirrorless cameras, the EF-M and RF mounts. 

The EF-M mounts are for the EOS M series of mirrorless APS-C cameras. Despite having EF in the name, this mount has no compatibility with EF or EF-S cameras. It’s not seen as much these days, as the EOS M series isn’t a major focus for Canon.

On the other hand, the RF mount looks like the future of Canon’s lenses. The company is moving towards full-frame mirrorless cameras as its main product, and the RF mount is designed for those cameras.

It’s only compatible with Canon’s full-frame mirrorless models, not their APS-C ones. The RF-S mount is also compatible with the same cameras but produces a cropped image, similar to an APS-C lens.


These are some of the frequently asked questions about Canon’s lens system.

What Lenses Are Compatible With The Canon Rebel T7?

The Canon Rebel series is a line of APS-C DSLR cameras, so all the cameras in the line use the EF-S mount. They’re compatible with both EF-S and EF lenses.

Can Canon Use Other Lenses?

Yes, Canon cameras can use lenses from other brands. Some third-party brands like Sigma sell their own lenses for Canon’s mounts. Also, it’s possible to use a lens adapter to use certain lenses from other mounts with a Canon camera.

How Do I Know If a Lens Is Compatible With My Canon Camera?

You’ll have to compare the mount on the lens with the mount on your camera. For example, a camera with the Canon RF mount will require RF mount lenses.


It’s not possible to match any camera with any lens. However, using an adapter, it is possible to use a lens with a different mount than it was initially designed for. Before buying any lens, you should double-check that its mount is actually compatible with your camera.

What lenses are you looking at for your own collection? Let us know in the comments!

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