Can You Use Canon EF Lenses On Mirrorless

Let’s say you’ve just gotten a new Canon mirrorless camera. You’re looking forward to using it, but there’s a problem: you only have EF lenses. Luckily, you can use EF lenses on Canon mirrorless cameras. But you’ll need an adapter to do so.

My name is Caleb, and I have more than four years of photography experience. Canon is my brand of choice, so I have plenty of experience working with their lenses and the EF lens series in specific.

This article will explain how you can use EF lenses on Canon’s mirrorless cameras like the EOS R. Also, I’ll go into some drawbacks that you should keep in mind while weighing the benefits.

If you want to know all the details, make sure you keep reading.

Can You Use Canon EF Lenses On Mirrorless?

Before answering the question, we should clarify exactly what defines an EF lens. 

The EF lens mount is the most common type of lens mount for Canon lenses, and it’s designed to work with Canon’s line of SLR and DSLR cameras. 

It also has a couple of variants, the EF-S and EF-M lens mounts. The EF-S is designed for DSLR cameras, while the EF-M mount is for mirrorless ones. Right now, however, we’ll be focusing on the mainline EF series.

You can use EF lenses with Canon mirrorless bodies such as the EOS R and RP. However, you’ll have to go through the added step of using an adapter. Canon produces three of these, and they have differing features.

One of them is a simple adapter with no added features, while one comes with a lens control ring and the last one has the ability to use drop-in filters.

These adapters work with both the standard EF lenses and the EF-S variants. They allow these lenses to be used with any camera body with the RF mount system, which Canon utilizes for its modern mirrorless cameras.

It’s worth noting that if you use an EF-S lens on an RF mount camera with an adapter, the camera will only function as an APS-C camera and not as a full-frame one.

Potential Drawbacks of Using Adapters

Using adapters comes with some advantages. For example, you don’t have to buy new lenses after getting a mirrorless camera body.

But it also comes with some possible drawbacks. Whether you decide to use lens adapters or not, you should be aware of them when making your decision.

For one, you might notice a drop in performance in some aspects. DSLR and mirrorless cameras work differently due to design, and using a DLSR lens with a mirrorless body may result in some compatibility quirks, such as slower autofocus performance.

Depending on the camera and lens in question, using an adapter might result in some features like image stabilization working incorrectly.

You should stick to using lenses and camera bodies from the same brand for the best results. 

While adapters do exist that allow you to mix Canon lenses and bodies with ones from other brands, these are more prone to problems due to the products not being designed with compatibility in mind.

Finally, you might also want to think twice before using an adapter if size and weight are concerns for you. While this won’t make a difference for some photographers, adapters can add more size and reduce the compact profile of some cameras.


Here are some other questions photographers ask about lenses and compatibility.

Can You Use Canon EF Lenses On Sony Mirrorless Bodies?

Yes, you can use Canon EF lenses on Sony mirrorless bodies. To do this, you will need an EF to E Mount adapter, and you may run into some compatibility problems.

What Is the Difference Between E Mount and EF Mount

The difference between the EF Mount and the E Mount is the manufacturer. The E Mount is a design from Sony, while the EF Mount is a design from Canon.

What Is the Difference Between EF and RF Mounts?

Canon’s EF mounts are designed primarily for their DSLR cameras, while their RF mounts are designed for their mirrorless ones.


You can use Canon EF lenses on mirrorless camera bodies, and many photographers do this practice to save money and avoid buying new lenses.

However, lens adapters also aren’t perfect, and you should make sure to do your research on a specific adapter before buying it. Spending a bit more time on research can save you the trouble of running into a weird problem after the adapter is already in your hands.

Do you have any questions? Or do you have experience using EF lenses on mirrorless bodies? Let us hear about it in the comments.

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