item1

cameracanondigital8338Which lens?

One of the strengths of the Canon EOS system is in the range of lenses available – we make it 199 at the time of writing! As with anything, with great choice comes confusion, so here's a quick guide to the range and some of the key terms you'll come across.

Once upon a time, it was all simple. With the launch of the EOS system in 1987, the EF lens mount was introduced. This was the start of the single biggest native lens system for an interchangeable lens camera. If you bought a Canon EOS camera, you knew that any of the EF lens range would fit your camera.

That stayed the same for 16 years.

In fact, it's still true – all EF lenses fit all EOS cameras, one way or another.

Then, in 2003, with the EOS 300D Canon brought out the EF-S lens mount. This was done in order to bring lighter, more affordable lenses to match the new, affordable camera – the EOS 300D was the first sub-1000 DSLR. EF-S lenses are designed for a certain segment of EOS DSLR camera, namely those with the smaller APS-C sensor.

The EF-S mount is in fact a hybrid – it not only accepts the dedicated EF-S lenses, but also the original EF lenses.

And here, the confusion started.

Fast forward another nine years, and the EF-M lens mount was introduced. This is a dedicated lens mount for Canon's new APS-C mirrorless system, the EOS M-series. You can attach EF and EF-S lenses, but via an adapter – the EOS-EF M adapter.

Then, in 2018, a fourth new lens mount for Canon's new full frame mirrorless – the RF lens mount. Again, you can attach EF and EF-S lenses, but via a different mount adapter – the EOS-EF R.

Whilst the EOS R can accept EF-S lenses, the camera automatically switches to a cropped mode, to compensate for the smaller image circle produced by the smaller EF-S lenses.

EOSlensmounts

DSLR: Full frame

EF mount

DSLR: APS-C

EF-S mount

Mirrorless: APS-C

EF-M mount

Mirrorless: Full frame

RF mount

So which lenses fit which EOS cameras? Here's a quick rundown of camera/lens compatibility.

And to check which camera type you have, see this article, Which EOS camera do I have?

EF lens (plus TS-E & MP-E)
Fits all EOS cameras

Natively fits:
– Full frame EOS DSLR (and SLR)
– APS-C EOS DSLR cameras

Via adapter:
– EOS M-series (adapter EF-EOS-M)
– EOS R-series (adapter EF-EOS R)

MOUNT MARK: Red dot

EF-S lens

Natively fits:
– APS-C EOS DSLR cameras

Via adapter:
– EOS M-series (adapter EF-EOS-M)
– EOS R-series (adapter EF-EOS R)

Does not fit:
– Full frame EOS DSLR (and SLR)

MOUNT MARK: White square

EF-M lens

Natively fits:
– EOS M-series (APS-C mirrorless)

Does not fit:
– Full frame EOS DSLR (and SLR)
– APS-C EOS DSLR cameras
– EOS R-series mirrorless

MOUNT MARK: White circle

RF lens

Natively fits:
– EOS R-series

Does not fit:
– Full frame EOS DSLR (and SLR)
– APS-C EOS DSLR cameras
– EOS M-series mirrorless

MOUNT MARK: Red line

Why does all this matter? Well, knowing which lenses fit your camera – either natively (i.e. directly to the camera) or via an adapter impacts your purchasing power, lens choice and ultimately your photography.

hireslenses

Lens facts and figures
as at 25 January 2019

154 EF lenses
– 94 zoom
– 60 prime

24 EF-S lenses
– 21 zoom
– 3 prime

8 EF-M lenses
– 5 zoom
– 3 prime

4 RF lenses
– 2 zoom
– 2 prime

9 specialist lenses
– 8 TS-E tilt-and-shift
– 1 MP-E macro

We promise never to share your information

Samplercover1Free sampler
Collection of technique
articles on the Canon
EOS system yours free
plus regular newsletter


 

YOUR UNIQUE GUIDE TO
THE CANON EOS SYSTEM

Available exlusively to
EOS magazine subscribers

Find out how to get Everything EOS

EverythingEOSsinglepages
Homenew3OD16

Learn more about your EOS camera

Join EOS magazine today from only 24.95

Subscribe now >

item12

Here to help 01869 331741

fogoRGBHEX100

Here to help 01869 331741

IGGlyphFill
email2
CanonEOS80Dfrt

Other articles from the EOSpedia

fogoRGBHEX100IGGlyphFill