This simple guide will help you confidently find the right adapter and get out into nature to shoot with new lens combinations.
Words by Anastasia Charisiou
A lens adapter helps bridge the divide between mismatched brands and mount types of lenses and camera bodies. So if you want to use a Canon lens with a Sony camera, a lens adapter can make that happen.
Why would you want to use different combinations of camera bodies and lenses? Because you can get some great quality vintage and third-party lenses for a lot cheaper than their modern, big name counterparts. While a professional lens for a digital camera will cost thousands of dollars, you can pick up super high quality vintage or third-party lenses for a few hundred.
Put simply, a lens adapter is a handy tool for opening up new lens possibilities.
Finding your lens mount
From sourcing your next location to finding your next lens, the internet makes things easier; that includes identifying your lens mount. The simplest way to find out your lens mount is to search which camera the lens was originally made for. Look up that camera model followed by ‘lens mount’ to confirm what lens mount you need. Take an old Nikon lens for instance, you know it was made for a Nikon FM2 so you can easily find that the lens has a Nikon F-mount.
This is particularly useful for third-party lenses that are made for different mounts. For example, Sigma and Tamron bring out the same lens with different mounts including EF, F, E, so knowing which camera the lens was used on is a good shortcut. If you have an old secondhand lens but are unsure of the camera it was made for, take all the known details of the lens and search the web. For example, if you search Canon 50mm FD f1.8, you’ll find that it has a Canon FD mount.
Finding your camera mount
Back to Google you go in search of your camera’s model specifications, this will confirm your camera’s lens mount. For example, a quick search of Sony A7r shows it has a Sony E-mount. The camera manufacturer’s website is your best bet for this info.
An adapter for both
Now you know your lens and camera mount, it’s time to unite them with one of our lens adaptors. Go to our lens adapter page and select your camera system. You’ll then see a selection of available lens adapters where you can select your lens mount. E.g. If you have a Sony E camera and a Canon FD lens, you’ll see a ‘Canon FD lens mount to Sony E camera mount’ lens adapter. Remember our lens adapters are manual, which means all electronic functions, like autofocus, need to be adjusted manually.
A question for the curious
You wouldn’t be a creator if you didn’t feed your curiosity. So if you want to know more about the many possible uses of a lens adapter, check out our article on How to Use Your Old SLR Glass on Your New Mirrorless.