How do I know the compatibility of a camera’s lens?

Last Updated on: 23rd April 2024, 03:21 am

Whether you are a professional photographer or a hobbyist, having the right lens for your camera is essential for capturing beautiful photos. It’s a big step in photography to purchase your interchangeable lens camera.

Before making a list of lenses you want to purchase for your interchangeable lens camera, it is important to ensure that these lenses will fit your own camera.

To ensure compatibility with your camera body, it is crucial to research the complicated, acronym-laden world of lens mounts, even if it is from the same manufacturer that made your mirrorless or DSLR camera.

In this article, we’ll explore what factors you should consider to determine compatibility and provide tips on how to find the perfect lens for your needs.

What is a lens mount?

A lens mount is an interface between a camera body and a lens. It is used to secure the lens to the camera and align it with the sensor. There are many different lens mounts, each designed for specific camera models.

The most common type of lens mount is the bayonet mount, which consists of a flange on the camera body that mates with a ring on the lens. Other types of mounts include the screw mount, which uses screws to secure the lens to the camera, and the friction mount, which relies on friction to keep the lens in place.

Lens mount: DSLR vs. Mirrorless camera

The most important decision you must make when choosing a camera is getting a DSLR or a mirrorless model. Both types of cameras have pros and cons, but one area where they differ the most is the lenses they use. 

  • DSLR cameras typically use a lens mount that is specific to the brand. In contrast, mirrorless cameras have interchangeable lens mounts that allow you to use lenses of different types and brands.
  • DSLR lenses tend to be more expensive than their mirrorless counterparts, which can be offset by the fact that they offer more features and better image quality. Mirrorless lenses are less costly and often lighter weight but may provide a different level of performance than DSLR lenses.
  • A DSLR is the best choice in terms of image quality if you are willing to spend more money on lenses. On the other hand, if you are looking for something more affordable with less bulk, a mirrorless camera may be for you.

How Sensor size affects the lens options?

It is often said that the size of the sensor in a digital camera is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a camera. This is because the sensor size determines the angle of view and, consequently, the field of view for a given lens.

In other words, a larger sensor will result in a narrower field of view than a smaller sensor. This can have an impact on the types of lenses that are available for a given camera.

For example, wide-angle lenses are typically not available for cameras with small sensors. This is because the angle of view would be too narrow to be considered “wide.”

Conversely, telephoto lenses are often not available for cameras with large sensors. This is because the field of view would be too wide to be considered “telephoto.” The bottom line is that sensor size does affect the lens options for a given camera.

When choosing a digital camera, it is important to keep this in mind and choose a camera with the appropriate sensor size for your needs.

A guide to lens mount compatibility

This guide will provide you with a high-level overview of most of the most common mounts that you can use with your camera if you are searching for specific lenses to fit your camera: 

Canon lens mount:

Below are some categories of canon lens mounts:

EF Mount:

EF format was Canon’s most popular in the days before SLRs and DSLRs took over. It works with Canon autofocus film SLR, any Canon DSLR (regardless of sensor size), or Canon mirrorless cameras with an adapter.

EF-S Mount:

The lenses will fit the same cameras as the EF mount, but since the lens creates a smaller image circle than the EF mount, they will only be fully compatible with cameras with an APS-C sensor, like the Canon 90D.

RF Mount:

RF Mount are Canon’s full-frame mirrorless mount. Lenses with this designation will fit any Canon R-series mirrorless camera and will not be compatible with any other mirrorless camera outside that line. Canon is expanding this line aggressively, so now is likely the best time to invest in it.

EF-M Mount:

Canon EF-M stands for Electro-focus mirrorless, and the lens mounts for Canon’s EOS M-series compact system cameras. These cameras can accept EF-M lenses directly, while EF and EF-S lenses can be combined with the Mount Adapter EF-EOS M.

Sony lens mount:

Below are some categories of Sony lens mounts:

A Mount:

There will likely be no more bodies that support the A-mount mount natively since Sony discontinued its A-mount DSLRs only recently. The A-mount is a standard mount on Sony’s unique Translucent Mirror-type camera bodies in photography.

This mount had been around long before mirrorless cameras were introduced. With the help of some first-party adapters manufactured by Sony, A-mount lenses can also be used with Sony mirrorless cameras. 

FE Mount:

A lens designed specifically for full-frame cameras is called an FE lens. The FE lens can be used with an APS-C camera since they all use the same lens mount. It is easy to adapt older A-mount lenses to a camera with a 35 mm full-frame sensor, so you can still maintain all of the features, including autofocus, on an FE mount.

E Mount:

The E series is designed specifically for APS-C cameras, whereas the E series is designed specifically for smaller sensors. The E-mount lenses are designed for Sony’s mirrorless camera range (Alpha 7 series, Alpha 6000 and 5000 series, and NEX series). Not every Sony lens fits every Sony camera.

The E-mount lens can be attached to your full-frame camera, and then you can shoot in crop mode. You’ll get less resolution, but it’s a handy option if you have a high-quality E-mount lens you wish to keep while upgrading your DSLR.

Nikon Lens Mount:

Below are some categories of Nikon lens mounts:

F Mount:

The Nikon F-mount is a type of interchangeable lens mount developed by Nikon for its 35mm format single-lens reflex cameras. It was introduced with the Nikon F camera as a first-generation camera.

 In 1959, Nikon introduced the F-mount as a three-lug bayonet mount with a 44 mm throat and a 46.5 mm flange to focal plane distance. Nikon’s lens compatibility gets complicated beyond the simple mount, so the company offers many lenses designed to work with specific cameras.

Z Mount:

A Nikon Z-mount is a mirrorless digital camera interchangeable lens mount developed by Nikon. Nikon’s full-frame mirrorless cameras use the Z-mount, like Canon’s RF mount.

In late 2018, Nikon released two cameras with this mount, the Nikon Z 7 and Nikon Z 6. In late 2019, Nikon announced its first Z-mount camera with an APS-C sensor, the Nikon Z 50.

How do I know my camera’s lens compatibility?

It would be best if you looked at the mount. The mount is the metal ring on the camera body that the lens attaches to. Each camera manufacturer has their mount, so all lenses must be specific to that mount.

 For example, Canon EOS cameras use an EF mount, while Nikon DSLRs use an F mount. There are also third-party mounts from companies like Sigma and Tamron, which can be used with multiple camera brands. Just check the mount to know if a lens is compatible with your camera.


We hope this article has helped you understand camera lens compatibility better. Knowing your camera’s lens compatibility is essential to ensure you get the most out of your photography equipment and capture amazing shots. With some research, you should now have all the information you need to confidently choose a new lens and ensure it is compatible with your camera!


Do all Canon lenses fit on all cameras?

No, all Canon lenses do not fit on all cameras. All Rebel cameras, 40/50/60D and 7D, can take either EF or EF-S lenses. Full-frame cameras (all 1D, 5D, and 6D) use only EF lenses. Mirrorless cameras (EOS-M) use EF-M lenses but can use EF and EF-S with adapters.

Can I use a Nikon lens on Sony E-mount?

Mirrorless cameras are taking over the market. The Kenko mount adapter makes it possible to use Nikon F mount lenses on Sony E mount mirrorless cameras. This allows photographers to enjoy classic lenses on modern mirrorless cameras.

Can I use a Z mount lens on F-mount?

Using the Mount Adapter FTZ, the Z series cameras have full compatibility with a vast range of F-Mount Nikkor lenses. It can be used with roughly 360 F-Mount Nikkor lenses.

Which lenses are better EF or RF?

With RF lenses, you can expect better performance, control, and optical quality than with EF lenses of the same class. They offer better functionality and control. RF lenses are generally smaller and lighter than equivalent EF lenses because they have more design flexibility.

David Wanson
David Wanson

I have professional photography experience of about 18 years and I would to share my experience with lenses built by different brands. As a professional photographer from the USA, I have used a number of photography lenses during that time. As a result of my experience with these programs, I would like to share my experiences with you on this website. I wish for this website to serve as the final destination for people seeking the best lenses to suit their needs. Our unbiased reviews can be found on cameraslens.

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