Let’s presume you have jumped ship to another camera platform from the Canon EF mount type of cameras. You’re probably in the position of having a bunch of Canon EF mount lenses hanging around.
The first steps from here are usually thinking about selling all your pricey lenses for versions that fit the new camera platform. Then there is the option of using a Canon EF lens adapter to convert EF lenses to your new camera mount.
Some camera makers simply don’t have ways to convert Canon EF lenses to their own ways of working, which means this method at present will only apply to certain camera platforms.
Sony caused a stir when they released their current crop of mirrorless camera bodies with EF lens compatibility. Such as the a7, a9, a6500, and NEX mirrorless cameras, which could accept Canon EF mount lenses with an adapter. Then there is Canon’s own range in the form of the EOS-M and EOS R which can use an adapter to fit EF lenses.
Therefore, if you fit into any of the categories above, there is now a good selection of adapters out there which can suit your needs. As with lenses themselves, it’s always good practice to buy the best quality versions you can afford. Not just for build quality purposes, but also to gain the full functionality of each lens.
1. Metabones EF Lens to Sony E Mount T Smart Adapter (Mark V) (Overall Winner)
Those who are familiar with Sony cameras may have already come across the Metabones EF Lens to Sony E Mount T Smart Adapter (Mark IV) as it’s one of the original ways to strap EF lenses to a Sony camera body. It’s also one of the most solid and dependable versions on the market, providing full functionality to the vast majority of EF lenses.
The Metabones adapter is now in its fifth version, supporting Canon EF and EF-S mount lenses snugly fitted to full-frame and APS-C format Sony E-mount cameras. The fifth-generation has a rubber gasket for better weatherproofing, LED operation mode light, a switch for image stabilization, and compatibility with the Sony PXW-FS7 Mark II video camera.
Essentially, all electronic communication between lens and body has been covered with this adapter. The main points of interest includes full auto and manual focusing, transmission of Exif data and display information.
Physically, the Metabones has other useful goodies such as the black felt inside the adapter to stop reflections and a removable Arca-type-compatible tripod foot for heavyweight lenses. Firmware updates are also available to constantly improve performance and compatibility.
From zooms to prime lenses, the Metabones performs a stellar job of seamlessly connecting Canon cameras to the Sony platform. It may initially seem like an expensive proposition, but this thing simply works out of the box.
With all the lenses we tested, autofocus worked as it should, as with transferring of information to the camera. Therefore, if you need a one-stop solution for Canon EF lens conversions, you can’t go wrong with the Metabones.
Although there are other types of adapters on the market that can attach an EF lens to a Canon EOS M mount, it’s the Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS M which is the most trustworthy. This mount enables Canon EF and EF-S lenses to directly fit onto EOS-M mirrorless camera bodies or more specifically the EF-M lens mount.
This adapter is extremely lightweight, which is a good fit for EOS-M cameras. Fixed focus and zoom lenses are covered from the 8mm to 800mm range with seamless workings with macro and fisheye lenses as well. There are no fancy external features on this adapter, apart from the included tripod mount which in itself feels extremely sturdy.
As this is Canon’s own offering in this department, this adapter ensures a seamless fit between lens and camera providing full workings as expected.
The rather long titled Drop-in Filter Mount Adapter EF-EOS R with Drop-in Circular Polarizing Filter A is essentially for strapping EF or EF-S-mount lens to EOS R mirrorless cameras. This is the drop-in filter version, with the adapter on its own being available for a lower cost.
This particular adapter features the most expensive Variable ND Filter, which can be useful for lenses that don’t accept front filters. But, if you only need the adapter portion, this solution provides full control over the lens along with the EOS R control ring for adjusting settings such as exposure.
The adapter is water and dust resistant with rock-solid build quality. As you’d expect from a high-quality Canon offering, autofocus and image stabilization worked extremely well with all tested lenses. While autofocus can slow a little on older lenses, in general, this is an expensive but seamless way to attach EF lenses to the new R camera mount.
Although the Metabones adapter is the first choice for Sony cameras, it’s not exactly a budget option. The Commlite CM-EF-E HS is designed for Canon EF or EF-S mount lens to be fitted to the Sony E-mount with full electronic communication.
Autofocus and auto exposure is enabled, along with Exif data transmission. Support for phase Detection AF is included, while PDAD and Contrast AF can be changed by pressing the focus mode button on the side of the Commlite. Firmware updates are available via a micro-USB Type-B port and a detachable tripod foot rounds off the package.
While this is a very well built and usable adapter, you will need to test your own particular lenses to make sure of the full compatibility and communication. Luckily, we didn’t have any problems with the lenses we tested, but there have been reports that particular copies of lenses don’t have full communication.
5. Vizelex ND Throttle Lens Mount Adapter (Budget Winner)
Vizelex produces a range of adapters to seamlessly link EF and EF-S lenses to a range of camera mounts. In this particular case, it’s to link Canon lenses up to Micro Four Thirds camera mounts, while other versions are adapted for the Sony E mount, Fujifilm X series, Nikon, and Canon RF mounts. This particular version also has a built-in variable neutral density filter, with one to eight stops of light reduction.
The cool looking blue ring around the adapter is for adjusting the filter, but the main concept of this adapter is for manual use only, thus the reasonable price. This means manual only focusing of a lens. Essentially, this adapter is just a way to bolt a lens to camera without any other form of communication.
Cheaper adapters may be available, but they won’t be as robust as the Vizelex. Plus, this adapter doesn’t give any type of cropped view or reduction in optical quality. It may be a very simple solution, but it’s also ideal for Canon FD lenses if you’re happy with fully manual workings.
Concluding the Best Canon EF Lens Adapters
In the past, if you changed camera brands, then you had to buy a whole bunch of new lenses. Now there are options to keep your carefully chosen lenses and still use their full capabilities.
Which adapter you choose will depend on your particular camera body, but the options given above should cover most bases for EF and EF-S lenses.
No matter which adapter above is your preference, it’s advisable to test out your copy of lens with each adapter to ensure full compatibility and workings. There have been cases where certain copies of lenses have not had full functionality with an adapter. Which means in this scenario, prior testing is a must rather than an option.