Lens Adaptor Buying Guide

27 March 2024

The world of photography is constantly evolving. This means new ideas are being explored and captured, and similarly new camera systems are born with which photographers can get creative. Thanks to the invention of lens adaptors, we can make transitions from one system to the next, without having to bid farewell to our camera lenses that we know and love. 

Read on as we discover why lens adaptors are becoming more and more essential to a photographer's kit, and we highlight some options that might be useful for you to invest in.

What is a lens adaptor and when should I use one?

For the uninitiated, we will start by highlighting, that different camera systems include different lens mounts, which means the lenses are not interchangeable. As an example, if you are the owner of a Canon EOS DSLR camera and a range of compatible lenses, these lenses will not be compatible if you decide to upgrade to that brand new Canon EOS R mirrorless camera that you have had your eye on. That is unless you purchase a lens adaptor for this very purpose.

A lens mount adaptor attaches to the lens mount of your camera, and it includes a different lens mount on the reverse side, which is where you can mount your existing lenses. A good quality lens adaptor includes pins in the correct places, which make contact with the contact plates of your camera, so all electronic communication and functions are maintained - this allows for full-featured shooting.

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As we've discussed, this solution is perfect for preventing perfectly good lenses from going to waste. It can also translate to significant cost savings when building a full-featured lens kit for your new camera system; you can keep using your existing lenses, eliminating the need to purchase entirely new ones. 

Furthermore, if you are a photographer who enjoys the versatility of working with two distinct camera systems, a lens adaptor allows you to seamlessly switch between camera bodies without your camera bag being jam-packed with two complete kits.

What lens adaptor do I need?

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Choosing the right lens adaptor depends on you knowing two crucial factors; your camera’s lens mount, and the mount of your lenses. Make sure you double-check these features before you start your search, and if you need some help take a look at our camera lens buying guide. You should also identify that you want an electronic lens adaptor if you want your lens to still autofocus, meter for automatic exposures, and record EXIF data.

Another term that you should be familiar with while searching for lens adaptors, is a speed booster. As well as adapting your lenses to suit a different mount, a speed booster will adjust both the focal length and maximum aperture of your attached lens, making the lens wider and the aperture brighter. As a speed booster contains optical elements, you should be aware that it can have an impact on your image quality, similar to a teleconverter.

Browse our favourite lens adaptors

Canon EOS R Mount Adaptor

The release of the full-frame, pro-friendly EOS R mirrorless range had many professional and enthusiast photographers seriously considering making the switch to mirrorless cameras for the first time. As many of these photographers were already EOS users, letting go of their favourite EF lenses would have been the only downside - thankfully, Canon released a range of high-quality adaptors so these photographers could keep using their kit. 

This particular Canon EF to RF lens adaptor provides a user-friendly way to enter the EOS R world while using your EF lenses. It even includes a handy customisable ring to adjust the key settings of your RF camera; this is a feature of modern RF lenses and it gives users the full EOS R mirrorless experience.

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Viltrox Mount Adaptor - Canon EF to Sony E

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Similar to the above, many Canon EF users are drawn to the Sony Alpha mirrorless range, thanks to their enticing mix of portability and power.

This lens adaptor for Sony, allows new Alpha users to put their existing Canon EF lenses to work. A high-quality offering, this lens mount adaptor allows full AF functionality, includes pins for electronic communication, and even offers a built-in stabiliser function for blur-free shooting.

Viltrox Mount Adaptor - Canon EF to EF-M

This Viltrox mount adaptor is a great choice for anyone who has opted to trade their EOS DSLR gear for the more portable EOS M mirrorless camera system. This product itself is compact and lightweight, so adding it to your camera bag does not counteract your move to a more travel-friendly kit, while to get the most from your lenses, autofocus remains functional.

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Viltrox FTZ Adaptor - Nikon F to Z

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Canon enthusiasts are not the only ones who are keen to put their existing glass to use on a brand-new camera system. Nikon lovers were also thrilled by the release of the exciting Nikon Z mirrorless camera range, and thanks to this Viltrox adaptor, they can continue to use their favourite Nikon F glass, if they make the switch to mirrorless.

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Lens adaptors offer a bridge between the past and present, allowing us to hold onto cherished equipment while embracing the advancements of modern technology. For more valuable insights and gear advice, be sure to follow our photography blog; you will even find the best mirrorless camera to push your photographic journey to new heights.

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