Imagine capturing stunning photographs with your favorite Canon lenses on a Nikon camera body. It sounds intriguing, right? However, is it really possible to use Canon lenses on a Nikon body without any issues? In this blog post, we will delve into this common question and uncover the truth.

While it may seem like a convenient solution, there are important factors to consider, such as the need for an adaptor and the potential impact on your camera’s focus ability. Let’s explore this lens compatibility conundrum in more detail to help you make an informed decision for your photography endeavours. So, can you really use Canon lenses on a Nikon body? Let’s find out!

“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

Key Takeaways

  • Nikon lenses can be mounted on Canon DSLRs and vice versa with the use of an adapter.
  • Adapters can be brand-specific or generic, but may have limitations with autofocus, Vibration Reduction (VR), automatic aperture control, and EXIF information.
  • Consider using adapters when you already own both Nikon and Canon cameras, shoot videos, or have leftover lenses from switching camera systems.
  • Using adapters may require manual operation of functions, estimation of aperture settings, and removal of weather sealing rubber gaskets for efficient operation.
  • It is advisable to use lenses with aperture rings and be knowledgeable about the limitations and manual operation involved when using adapters.
  • When selecting an adapter for your Canon or Nikon camera, it’s important to choose a high-quality adapter made of metal to avoid issues like the lens falling off or damaging your camera.
  • Try fitting the adapter to your camera body and lens before making a purchase to ensure compatibility.
  • Canon lenses and mounts offer a wide range of options, including standard and medium telephoto lenses, ultra-wide and wide-angle lenses, EF lenses with creative features, tilt-shift lenses, Canon FD lenses with fully automatic diaphragm, and lightweight EF mount for various lenses.
  • Nikon lenses and mounts are versatile, with options like Nikon F lens for interchangeable lens mount, AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED for wide-angle zoom, AF-S Nikkor 120mm f/2.8E FL ED SR VR for wildlife photography, Nikon to Canon EF (EOS) lens mount adapter for using Nikon lens with Canon EOS camera, and Nikon F mount for 35mm format single-lens reflex cameras.
  • Research and choose the right adapter based on your specific camera body, lens, and photography needs to ensure optimal performance and compatibility.
  • Flange refers to the space between the lens and where it is mounted to the camera body, or between the camera body and the image sensor. A shorter flange distance can result in lighter and smaller camera bodies, and faster autofocus due to the use of an actuator.
  • Focal length is the distance from a lens or mirror to the focal point, where light rays meet on the focal plane. It affects the field of view and magnification of the image.
  • Accurate metering in photography involves determining how the camera reads light, either from a specific area or a larger area, to calculate proper exposure settings.
  • Mirrorless cameras do not use mirrors to direct light to the viewfinder, but instead use an electronic viewfinder to display a live preview of the scene. They also have doors that slide up and down to cover and expose the image sensor during image capture.
  • Infinity focus is a camera setting that allows the lens to focus on extremely far distances, producing images where most of the frame is in focus.
  • An aperture ring on a lens allows the photographer to manually control the aperture, which determines the amount of light that enters the lens and affects depth of field in the image. Automatic cameras may not have an aperture ring and rely on electronic controls for aperture adjustments.

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.


In conclusion, when it comes to choosing between Nikon lenses and Canon lenses for your camera adapters, the decision can be overwhelming due to the plethora of options available. Both Nikon and Canon offer excellent quality lenses that are compatible with their respective DSLR cameras.

Additionally, finding the right camera mount can be a challenging task, and debating which mount is better, Nikon or Canon, can leave you in a perpetual loop of questions. However, the key is to focus on your specific camera and your unique needs as a photographer.

Consider factors such as your camera model, shooting style, and budget to make an informed decision. Remember, the best lens is the one that suits your requirements and helps you achieve your creative vision. So, take your time, do your research, and choose wisely to elevate your photography to new heights!