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Why All Canon Lenses Don’t Fit All Canon Cameras?

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If you are a photographer, You will agree with me when I say; It is impossible to take great shots without the right lens. Lenses are one of the essential tools for photography. It can increase your photo’s quality by a big margin.

Selecting the right lens for your camera is very crucial. If you can’t choose the right lens for your camera, image quality won’t be desirable. Even it could damage your camera (If you try to use an incompatible lens). It doesn’t matter which brand you’re using.

That’s why the question comes for Canon camera users, do all Canon lenses fit all Canon cameras?  In this article, I will answer this question briefly. Besides that, I will also discuss different Canon lenses. So, let’s begin.

Different Types of Canon Lens for Canon Cameras

Canon produces four types of lenses. These lenses fit with particular cameras. If you want to know Canon lens’ compatibility, you must know about them first.

EF Lens

EF lens was first introduced in 1987 with the arrival of Canon EOS cameras. At that time it was the first lens that featured a full-fledged electronic connection system. Besides the camera and lens’ physical connection, other connectivities were also fully electric. Therefore, data transfer was fast and highly accurate.

Moreover, Canon introduced a unique motor design that drives focus inside each lens instead of using a motor inside the camera body. After that, many developments occurred in the photography field, such as image stabilization, focusing, weather sealing, etc. However, EF lens design remains unchanged.

A red dot marks the EF lens mount. If your camera has a single red dot, then it’s compatible with EF lenses.

EF lens is compatible with all the EOS cameras.

EF-S Lens

EF-S is a compact and lightweight lens designed especially for EOS DSLR. It is easy to carry on, thanks to its compact size. Though it is a small lens, it offers a wider angle for photographers; it was possible for its APS-C sensor. Therefore, EF-S mount camera owners can access a complete set of lightweight lenses from 16mm to 36mm.

A white square marks the EF-S lens mount. If your camera has a white square on the mount, it is compatible with EF-S lenses, in addition to EF lenses.

EF-S lens is compatible with EF and EF-S mount cameras.

EF-M Lens

EF-M is the first lineup of Canon’s mirrorless camera lenses introduced in 2012. It is more compact, lightweight, and portable than EF and EF-S lenses. EF-M lens exclusively designed for EOS-M cameras. It offers greater ranges from ultra-wide-angle to telephoto to macro. You can carry EF-M lenses easily.

If you are a creative photographer and approach your everyday photography creatively, EF-M is ideal for you.

Mount point of EF-M lens marked by a White circle. If your camera has a white circle, then it is only compatible with the EF-M lens natively.

The EF-M lens is compatible with EOS M series cameras.

RF Lens

RF lens is a new addition for mirrorless cameras from Canon. It was launched in 2018 aim of providing incredible photography experiences to professional photographers.

RF lens provides exceptional image quality with minimal light fallout. Its 12-point data communication point provides stable and sharp performances in every condition.

It features a control ring that helps to control shutter speed, aperture, and light compensation. Moreover, it comes in handy for taking quick shots.

Though the RF lineup is new, Canon produces more RF lenses in 1.5 years after its launch than EF and EF-S combined in 8 years. This series was designed primarily for professional photographers. Its price is decreasing day by day; therefore, ordinary users can use it now.

A red line marks the RF lens mount. If your mirrorless camera has a red line on its mount point, it is only compatible with an RF lens natively.

RF lens is only compactable with RF mount cameras.

Do All Canon Lenses Fit All Canon Cameras?

The straight answer is No!


All Canon cameras come with a particular mount point, and lens’ compatibility depends on it. If your Canon camera has an EF mount, then you can use only EF lenses.

On the other hand, if your Canon camera features an EF-S mount, you can use EF and EF-S lenses. EF-S mount cameras can use EF lenses natively; there is no need for an adaptor.

If your camera body has an EF-M mount, you can use EF-M lenses. If you add an adaptor, then you use EF and EF-S lenses.

When it comes to RF lenses, you can use them only on cameras that have RF mounts. Moreover, if you use an adaptor, your camera will be compatible with EF and EF-S lenses. If you use the EF-S sensor on the RF mount, then the camera will be in crop mode. It won’t cover the whole sensor. However, EF-M and RF lenses are not interchangeable.

So, all Canon lenses don’t fit all Canon cameras.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are EF and EF-S lenses interchangeable?

EF-S lenses are the latest offering from Canon compared to EF. And EF lens is backdated compared to EF-S lenses. You can’t interchange EF lens with EF-S. However, you can interchange an EF-S lens with an EF lens, thanks to the EF-S lens’s compatibility.

Can I use an EF lens on an EF-S camera?

EF lenses will perfectly work on EF-S cameras. But EF-S lenses won’t work on EF cameras. Moreover, EF lenses don’t work on full format cameras; they will work on crop cameras. For using EF lenses on an EF-S camera, you should multiply the focal distance on the crop camera by 1.6.

What is the difference between EF and EF-S?

EF-S lens designed for APS-C DSLR cameras. On the other hand, the EF lens is designed for full-frame and APS-C DSLR cameras. EF-S lens’ sensor is small and good enough to cover small sensors of APS-C DSLR. The EF full-frame camera sensor is big. EF-S lens won’t be perfectly compatible with EF cameras due to its large sensor.

How do you know if a lens will fit your camera?

Lens compatibility depends on the camera’s mount point. Check the mount point of your camera; if it has the same mount point as the lens, it will fit with your lens. Also, you can use an adaptor to increase the compatibility of lenses for your camera.

What does EF stand for Canon?

EF stands for electro focus. It is the standard lens mount on the Canon EOS family. Moreover, EF is the oldest mount system of Canon cameras.

Is it possible to use old Canon lenses on new cameras?

If your EF lens is not older than 1987, you can use EF lenses on modern Canon cameras. On the other hand, if your FD lenses are older than 1987, they won’t work on the latest Canon cameras.

Final Words

The lens is a lifeline for photographers. It is almost impossible to take desired shots without using the appropriate lens. Choosing the right lens for photography is as important as selecting the right camera. On our websites, we reviewed many of the versatile cameras so you can check out them.

Above I have discussed the compatibility of different Canon lenses. Hopefully, by now it’s clear to you that all Canon lenses don’t fit on all Canon cameras. If you have any questions regarding this topic, let me know by leaving a comment below.

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