Can You Use Nikon Lenses On Canon Cameras? (What Is Nikon Lenses Compatibility?)

Are you in the market for a new lens for your Canon camera, or are you new to photography? Irrespective, you are probably confused and really hope that your favorite Nikon lens would work on your Canon camera. This confusion is normal, as you would soon come to find out. 

So, yes! you Can You Use Nikon Lenses On Canon , but it isn’t as straightforward as you would think. You cannot casually buy just any Nikon lens and attach it directly to your camera. You would need a device called an adapter.

In this article, we shall be looking in depth at everything related to Nikon lenses and Canon camera compatibility. We would be approaching the problem wholly, targeting both professional photographers and those who know next to nothing. If you are a professional, kindly skip the early sections.

How Can You Use Nikon Lenses On Canon Cameras?

We shall be looking at the type of Canon camera that actually supports interchangeable lenses; the compatibility of Nikon lenses and Canon cameras; how to select the best adapter;  why you might ever consider using a Nikon lens on a Canon and the cons of doing so as well.

Type Of Canon Cameras That Require Change Of Lens

It is important to clarify that not all Canon cameras allow a change of lens. There are broadly three types of Canon cameras, each one unique, possessing characteristics that you must familiarise yourself with, so you don’t make a wrong buying choice.

The three types of cameras include the point-and-shoot camera; the DSLR camera and the Mirrorless camera. The point-and-shoot camera feature a fixed lens, and the DSLR camera allows a range of lens changes. However, the DSLR camera is specifically built to be used with a wider range of lenses built specifically for it.

Hence, when talking about the use of Nikon lenses with a Canon camera, the focus is on Canon DSLR cameras. Ensure your camera is therefore a Canon DSLR before even considering compatibility with a Nikon lens.

Compatibility Of Nikon Lenses And Canon DSLR

The Canon DSLR camera is notable for the wide range of lenses you can use with them. However, as stated, it isn’t as simple as it sounds, as not all canon lenses fit seamlessly with each DSLR Canon camera.

The two factors that determine the compatibility of a Canon DSLR camera with any lens is the type of Camera and the type of lens mount. Hence, RF-S Canon lenses are fully compatible with EOS Full-frame R System mirrorless cameras, but the same is not fully compatible with EOS full-frame DSLR .

However, in order to give photographers access to any kind of lens, a device called “Adapter” was invented. Lens adapters are devices designed to be used on cameras to allow you to connect a lens to a camera that it is not compatible with.

Fortunately, there are adapters that will allow you use a Nikon lens on a Canon DSLR. However, without these adapters, there is no way you can use any Nikon lens with any Canon DSLR camera. Ironically, there are no adapters that allow the use of a Canon lens with a Nikon camera.

Nikon lens to Canon camera adapter come at different prices, often determined by the brand you buy. The price range starts at 20 dollars to hundreds of dollars. The cheap adapters work with only old models of Nikon lenses that come with aperture rings. However,  new Nikon lenses, also referred to as “G” type lenses would only work the high-end adapters. 

Why You Might Want To Use A Nikon Lens On Canon DSLR

Now that you know what you need to use a Nikon lens with a Canon camera, what are the chances you might actually use one? In this section, we shall be looking at the various reasons why you might eventually have to get a Nikon lens to Canon DSLR camera adapter.

  • One of the most common reasons is often because you use both a Nikon and a Canon DSLR camera, but have more preferred Nikon lenses. 

So, you are left with two choices in a case where you are shooting primarily with a Canon, buy new Canon lenses or use the Nikon lenses. The latter is a better decision as adapters are less expensive.

  • You started out photography with a Nikon camera, but have now changed to Canon cameras but stuck with all those Nikon lenses. You have to get an adapter or else begin buying Canon lenses
  • You love a specific Nikon lens, like the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G, and you prefer to use it more than any other Canon lens.
  • You are a creative and just love experimenting with devices

Consequences of Using an Adapter

It is the key that you understand that using a Nikon lens with a Canon DSLR Camera adapter comes with some drawbacks. These drawbacks will require time for you to get used to, as you develop your ability to manage them so they do not affect your shoots.

Some of the cons of using a Nikon lens to Canon DSLR adapter include

  • Autofocus, VR(Vibration Reduction), and automatic Aperture control on your camera will not work
  • When using a “G” type Nikon lens, you are stuck to maximum and minimum aperture
  • Having multiple Nikon lenses would require you to buy multiple adapters which is a very expensive task to undertake.
  • Metering using an adapter is troublesome, as it is not always correct
  • Except for the chipped adapter, you will not get focus confirmation and lens-relevant EXIF information

Tips For Selecting The Best Adapter

Like all gadgets, you can either make a poor buying decision or a really smart one. So, in this section, we shall discuss a few things you should look out for and the general knowledge you need to make the right buying decision.

  • Avoid as much as possible cheap adapters, as they are made of cheap metals. Cheap metals are prone to wear, tear and breakage. Loose metal can end up on the sensor of your camera which can damage it.


  • Go for durable and sturdy adapters that will remain in place. The last thing you want is your lens falling off because of an adapter that won’t remain in position


  • Buy the right adapter, one that will fit well into your camera.

Individuals said, the best adapters in the market today are being manufactured by a brand called Novoflex. Another great brand is 16:9 as they are known for their programmable chip(which allows you to program focal length and aperture into the lens)

Asking Questions

Does using the Nikon lens on a Canon DSLR camera affect the quality of my image?

Much like how you might use your DSLR, the quality of your pictures is determined by how well you can hold the camera. Such is the case here. You must really understand how to use both the advantage and disadvantages to your benefit

How expensive are Nikon lenses to Canon DSLR adapters

This is dependent on the type you go for. We suggest you stay clear of cheap adapters and go for the best adapters.

Final Thoughts

Armed with the right Nikon lens to Canon DSLR adapter, you can use a Nikon lens on a DSLR camera. This comes with a few disadvantages, but altogether, with adequate knowledge, you will find the setup quite impressive.