In a world driven by relentless technological progress, the realm of cameras has witnessed an extraordinary leap forward. Enter the mirrorless camera, an impressive result of cutting-edge advancements in this ever-evolving industry. Its emergence has sparked curiosity and debate among photography enthusiasts, and one question looms large: Can you use a DSLR lens on a mirrorless camera?

For over a decade, this revolutionary technology has continuously evolved, keeping pace with the demands of the modern era. The mirrorless camera stands as a formidable rival to its DSLR counterpart, offering a host of enhanced features such as compactness, lightweight design, and reduced noise during shooting.

Many of these marvels also boast an Electronic Viewfinder (EVF), elevating the viewing experience to new heights. Yet, as with any groundbreaking discovery, there exist both advantages and considerations worth exploring.

Join us on a journey as we delve into the intricacies of this fascinating realm, uncovering the pros and cons that lie beneath the surface. Prepare to be enlightened, captivated, and ready to make informed decisions about your photographic endeavors.

Key Takeaways

  • DSLR lenses can be used on mirrorless cameras with the use of an external adapter.
  • The adapter compensates for the difference in flange distance between DSLR lenses and mirrorless camera bodies.
  • It is recommended to purchase a mirrorless camera from the same brand as your DSLR to ensure compatibility and better functionality.
  • Camera brands like Canon, Nikon, Sony, Sigma, and Metabones provide adapters to facilitate the transition from DSLR to mirrorless systems.
  • Third-party adapters are also available, but compatibility and autofocus functionality should be carefully checked.
  • Mirrorless lenses cannot be used on DSLR cameras.
  • Various types of DSLR to mirrorless adapters are available, offering features such as full autofocus and aperture control.
  • Fotodiox and Sigma are popular brands known for producing reliable adapters.
  • Consider the trade-offs between autofocus support, lens compatibility, and price when choosing an adapter.

Can you use a DSLR Lens on a Mirrorless Camera?

As a consumer, you might have already spent a fortune buying different lenses for a DSLR you own to acquire the best picture quality possible. To upgrade with time and technology you may now desire to make a switch towards a mirrorless camera that is in trend and is considered better than the DSLR in terms of handling and performance.

The question is can you use the DSLR lenses on the Mirrorless camera which you now intend to purchase, or should you consider these lenses as redundant on your new mirrorless camera?

You can relax and breathe with a ray of hope as the mirrorless cameras are designed to accept DSLR lenses with an adapter. So yes! You can use a DSLR lens on a mirrorless system.

How to use a DSLR lens on a Mirrorless camera?

The mirrorless camera body allows you to use the DSLR lenses however you cannot use them directly, you need to mount them on the camera with the use of an external adapter. An external adapter has to be purchased that will allow you to mount the DSLR lens on the Mirrorless system.

The adapter is essential to compensate for the flange distance or the distance from where the lens is placed and where the sensor is in the frame.

It is highly recommended that if you are planning to purchase a Mirrorless camera make sure you purchase from the same brand as your DSLR so that the adapter you acquire is compatible with both devices for better functionality and support.

For instance, if you own a Nikon DSLR it’s best to purchase a Mirrorless camera of a Nikon if you intend to use the lenses of the DSLR in sync with the adapter or else you might face certain technical mishaps/

One example is diameter: If the mount on the lens of the long-flange distance device is considerably greater in diameter than the mount on the short-flange distance camera, there might not be enough room in the adapter to fit the wide lens mount and yet be compact enough to mount to the camera.

Brands like Sony, Canon, and Nikon make adapters to easily mount their DSLR lenses on their mirrorless devices.

There are also third-party adapters that are compatible with the Mirrorless devices that you can use to mount your legacy lens. However, before purchasing the adapters make sure to check it’s compatibility as there are cases where the autofocus functionality is preserved.

Can I use Mirrorless lens on DSLR?

SLR lens may be compatible with a Mirrorless lens but a DSLR will not allow you to mount lenses of the Mirrorless and it won’t be functional.

Types of DSLR to mirrorless adapters

Camera brands who are switching from SLRs to Mirrorless systems are providing with adapters to make the transition of lens easy for their customers.


The Canon company provides adapters for both of its Mirrorless systems (the APS-C EOS M and full-frame EOS R) so it can be used with SLR lenses with full autofocus and aperture control. Third-party glass from brands like Sigma and Tamron are also compatible with these adapters.


The Nikon has its Z system, for both full-frame and APS-C camera models. Its FTZ adapter provides full support for aperture control and autofocus to most lenses that are compatible with its F-mount SLRs.

However, if the lens is very old the adapter may not support autofocus but instead would work smoothly with modern lenses.


Sony also has its adapters, the LA-EA4 with its autofocus system, and the LA-EA3, which integrates with the camera’s autofocus sensor. They are extremely useful for all those who own A-mount SLR lenses from Sony and Minolta.

Apart from the above brands, there are third-Party Lens adapters also available with integrated Autofocus support and some are also useful for fully manual lenses.


Sigma provides the MC-11 that is compatible with Sony and MC-21 which is compatible with L-mount models from Sigma, Leica, and Panasonic; hence the canon and sigma SLR lenses can be integrated with other systems. The Sigma also has its own lenses and cameras.


Metabones provides autofocus adapters for other systems, like the smart adapter and speed booster for Fujifilm X mount.

Metabones for Nikon G Lens to Fuji G-Mount (GFX) expander 1.26x

Metabones for Canon EF to EOS R (RF mount) Speed booster

Metabones Hasselblad V to Fuji G Mount (GFX) Speed Booster.

Check out Metabones adapters here.


Fotodiox also produces a large series of adapters that are compatible with many brands giving you a perfect photographic experience.

The Fotodiox and the Sigma MC-11 Fusion adapter series are generally considered very good while using your camera in its basic AF-S mode, however, the performance may face certain disruption during the subject tracking and continuous autofocus.

Although if you plan to drop on the autofocus support the price of the lens may also drop easily and the basic options are also pretty good that completely serve the purpose of a photographer having a vintage lens with manual focus support with its own aperture control.


As we conclude our exploration into the compatibility of DSLR lenses on mirrorless cameras, it becomes evident that the journey is not without its challenges. While the option of using an external adapter may seem appealing, there are important considerations to bear in mind.

The lack of seamless integration between camera and lens, resulting in potential limitations with autofocus, auto aperture, and synchronization, can be a stumbling block for those who rely on quick action photography. However, for certain genres such as landscapes or architecture, where manual settings prevail, the adaptation can still yield satisfactory results.

Yet, it’s important to address the cost factor. Investing in DSLR lenses is already a significant expenditure, and the additional expense of adapters can further strain the budget. In such cases, for those transitioning from DSLRs to mirrorless systems, it is wise to consider the wide variety of lenses specifically designed for mirrorless cameras. These lenses offer optimal compatibility, preserving image quality and performance while delivering an immersive photographic experience.

Ultimately, the decision rests upon your specific needs and preferences. Are you willing to navigate the complexities of using external adapters, or would you rather embrace the seamless integration of purpose-built mirrorless lenses?

Reflect on what matters most to you as a photographer or videographer, and make an informed choice that aligns with your vision and creative aspirations. The world of photography eagerly awaits your next captivating frame.