Can You Use Canon Lenses on Nikon Camera Body?

Is it possible to use Canon lenses on a Nikon body? Not on its own, you would need to buy an adaptor.

This is likely to interfere with your camera’s focus ability. This is because Nikon DSLR cameras tend to have a longer distance between the lens flange and the sensor or focal point.

“Nikon has a flange focal distance of 46.5mm, while Canon’s EF mount is 44mm as can be seen in this chart. So while a 2.5mm thick adapter could be used on Canon DSLRs, it would be impossible to go in reverse direction on Nikon DSLRs” Photography Life

Can Nikon lenses be mounted on Canon DSLRs and Vice Versa?

Any Nikon F mount lenses, even up to the newest “G” type lenses (without aperture ring) can be mounted onto any Canon DSLR camera.

That being said, you will need a Nikon to Canon lens adapter for the lenses to work properly.

There are many brand options and generic adapters can also be bought. The Generic adapters usually only work with the older Nikkor lenses.

nikon camera body

Why Would You Do It?

Why would you go to the trouble of mounting a Canon lens onto Nikon bodies? Most of the time you would not bother with something like this.

Nikon camera lenses are made specifically for Nikon cameras. And Canon camera lenses are made specifically for Canon DSLRs.

Here are a few scenarios where you might need to swop lens brands

1) You might already own both a Nikon and Canon camera. Then it would make sense to have interchangeable lenses.

Whether you choose to mount Nikon lenses or to mount lenses on Canon cameras you need to make all considerations.

An adapter is cheaper than a full scope of lenses for each camera.

2) If you shoot videos. It can be quieter to change a lens from an adapter rather than taking the whole lens out.

3) If you are fond of the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G irresistible and desperately want to use it with your 5D Mark III

4) If you have changed from Canon to Nikon and you have lenses left over. Or if you have swapped from Nikon to Canon and have some Nikkor lenses. You might not want to get rid of them. An adapter would be the perfect solution.

Effects of using Adapters

There are a few things you need to consider when using adapters for lenses.

1) Autofocus does not work

2) The Vibration Reduction (VR) will not work

3) And the automatic Aperture control will also not work

4) If there is little surrounding light then the manual focus will be hard to perfect. You might need to open the aperture to allow for more light

5) If you do not buy an adapter with a chip there will also be no confirmation of focus

6) You will not have any lens-relevant EXIF information if your adapter is not chipped

7) Metering will work for the most part, but you will most likely struggle with accuracy

8) You will need to swap the adapter for each lens. Or you can buy an adapter for each lens. This can be pricey.

9) It is advised to use the lenses with aperture rings

10) If you use “G” type Nikkor lenses you will only be able to use the aperture on maximum or minimum. There is no clear sign for a specific aperture. You will most likely need to estimate what you see on the camera meter.

11) If you use a “G” lens you might need to remove the weather sealing rubber gasket so that the adapter can operate efficiently

You really need to know what you are doing if you are going to be using adapters. Most functions will need to be operated manually.

How to Select an Adapter?

Whether you are using a Canon body or a Nikon body there will be challenges. The essential thing is to make sure you buy a high-quality adapter that is made of metal.

Make sure to fit the adapter to your camera body and lens before buying it.

Buying an adapter of high quality is the best option. The last thing you want is for your lens to fall off the body of your camera. Or for a cheap metal filing to fall onto the mirror of your camera.

Lenses and More

Manual lenses mean that you will need to focus on your own. This is good practice so that you can upskill your photo-taking skills.

Canon Lenses and Mounts

1) Standard and Medium Telephoto lenses

These lenses are great for quick photo taking that is not serious. Short and manageable lenses with great quality.

2) Ultra Wide and Wide Angle lenses

Offering you amazing zoom ability. Offers a 360-degree view.

3) Canon EF lens

The Canon EF lenses offer a plethora of creative features. You can use the Canon EF lenses for compact, wide-aperture prime lenses, zoom with a flexible framing. There are also specific lenses like fisheye, macro, and tilt-shift.

EF stands for Electro Focus this means that the EF lenses use an electric motor that is built into the lens.

4) Tilt-Shift lenses

This lens is able to alter the depth of field. The lens can tilt.

5) Canon FD lenses

FD refers to a Fully automatic Diaphragm. This lens will stop down automatically when you use the shutter. The Canon FD lens was the first of its kind.

6) Canon EF mount

The Canon EF mount allows you to attach all lenses that Canon offers. They are specifically great with the EF and EF-S lens range.

They even work for the EOS M lenses like macro and fisheye.

It is lightweight and small.

Nikon Lenses and Mounts

Nikon offers a wide array of options for the Nikon lens. Here is some more information on the Nikon lens. Nikon lenses are versatile, to say the least.

1) Nikon F lens

The Nikon F lens is designed to be an interchangeable lens mount. This Nikon lens work for the 35mm format Single-lens reflex cameras.

2) AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm f/ 3.5-4.5G_ED

Insane wide-angle lens. Great wide-angle zoom for this Nikon lens.

3) AF-S Nikkor 120mm f/ 2.8E FL ED SR VR

The perfect Nikon lens for wildlife photography. This lens offers autofocus and VR. There is also a sport mode found on this Nikon lens.

4) Nikon to Canon EF (EOS) lens mount adapter

The Nikon to Canon EF (EOS) Lens Adapter allows you to use your Nikon lens with the Canon EOS camera. It is a non-permanent lens that can be taken off the Nikon F mount easily.

The Canon EOS means Electro-Optical System. This is ab autofocus single-lens camera.

5) Nikon F mount

The Nikon F mount is an interchangeable mount. It was created for Nikon’s 35mm format single-lens reflex cameras.

More: Nikon D vs G lenses compared

What is a Flange?

This is the space found between the lens and where it is mounted to the camera body. It also refers to the space between the camera body and the camera’s image sensor.

If the flange distance is short then the Canon body or Nikon body will be lighter and smaller.

The design of a short flange allows the camera lens to focus quicker because of an actuator. An actuator is a part of the camera that secures the focus to stabilize the images. The lens moves quickly inside the camera module at a high rate.

What is the Focal Plane and Focal Length?

“The focal length ( f ) is the distance from a lens or mirror to the focal point ( F ). Light rays (of a single frequency) traveling parallel to each other, but not parallel to the optical axis of a lens or mirror, will meet on the focal plane.” Pop Photo

What is Accurate Metering?

Metering is a mode that deciphers if the camera is reading light from a specific area or from a large area.

The metering mode can be called something different in different camera brands. That being said, the principle stays the same.

What are Mirrorless Cameras?

The sensor in the camera body is wide-open to light. Whereas a DSLR camera uses mirrors to direct the light.

The electronic viewfinder will display a live preview of what you are seeing.

When you take a photo a door will slide up to cover the image sensor. The door slides down again. And it is open to the light.

Once that happens a different door slides up to cover the sensor for a second time. This stops the light from entering.

This is when the photo is taken.

When the shutter button is pressed, a door slides up to cover the image sensor. The door will then slide down, exposing the sensor to light. After that, another door slides up to cover the sensor again, which stops exposure, taking the picture.

What is Infinity Focus?

Infinity focus is a camera setting that lets the lens focus on an extremely far distance. The distance will be far enough that the incoming rays end up parallel. This means they get to the camera’s sensor as points.

This will reduce the circle of confusion. It also helps to reduce blur. This is an efficient way to produce an effect where the whole frame is mostly in focus.

What is an Aperture Ring?

An aperture ring sits on a lens and allows the photographer control over the aperture inside the lens. These settings can be found on the lens as f/stops. Automatic cameras only allow the aperture to be controlled through the camera body’s f/stop setting.


When choosing between Nikon lenses and Canon lenses for your adapters things can get tricky. There are so many great options out there.

The Canon DSLR is such a great quality camera with all the standard canon lenses.

Finding the right camera mount is also tough. You could ask yourself forever if the Nikon mount is better?

The best thing to do is focus on what camera you have and what your needs are.

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