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Building up a Canon lens collection can be costly, particularly if you’re lured by Canon L, Sigma Art and Zeiss Otus glass.
But for those of us who can’t afford a full suite of specialist optics, or are using a mirrorless system that doesn’t offer a specific lens, all is not lost. There are adapters available that may allow your lenses to focus closer, or bring distant objects closer, or allow you to use a lens designed for a different type of camera.
Lens adapters come in two forms: those that fit between the rear of the lens and the camera body, and those that attach to the front of the lens. The ones that go on the front are concerned with enabling a lens to focus closer than usual, but there’s a greater variety of adapters that attach to the back of the lens.
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Extenders (extend the focal length of a lens) and extension tubes (let you focus closer than normal) have been popular since the days of film photography, but since the launch of mirrorless systems like the EOS R and EOS M, an industry has built up around lens adapters.
These are basically short metal tubes that have a lens mount on one end and a camera mount for a different system on the other. They allow mirrorless users to mine the sea of EF and EF-S lenses, and in some cases, allow EOS users to use non-Canon lenses.
There are few mount adapters for EOS DSLRs, because Canon has such a wide assortment of EF lenses and there’s little need to use a different systems’ optics.
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