Use Nikon Lenses on Canon DSLRs

While testing some Canon EF lenses on the Canon 5D Mark III, I decided to try to compare the lenses to the latest Nikon lenses and see how they perform side by side. First, my plan was to mount Nikon lenses on the D800 and Canon lenses on the 5D Mark III and look at images at 100% view, but then I realized that it would be tough to do a fair comparison, since the cameras are different. That’s when I thought about using Nikon lenses on a Canon DSLR with an adapter. I knew that it was possible, since some people love mounting the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G on Canon cameras. In this article, I will share my thoughts and experience on using Nikon lenses on Canon DSLRs.

Nikon 50mm f/1.4 with Novoflex Canon Adapter

1) Can Nikon lenses be mounted on Canon DSLRs?

As I have said above, yes, you can mount all Nikon F mount lenses (even the latest “G” type lenses without an aperture ring) on any Canon DSLRs – you will need a Nikon to Canon lens adapter to do that. There are plenty of options available from different brands. Generic adapters can be bought for less than $20, but those will only work with older Nikkor lenses with aperture rings. For “G” type lenses, you will need specialized adapters that could cost up to $300 USD.

2) Can Canon lenses be mounted on Nikon DSLRs?

No, Canon lenses cannot be mounted on Nikon DSLRs. Technically it is possible to design an adapter to do it, but you will not be able to focus to infinity. This is due to the fact that Nikon DSLRs have a longer distance between the lens flange and the sensor (focal plane), which would make Canon lenses behave almost like extension tubes. Nikon has a flange focal distance of 46.5mm, while Canon’s EF mount is 44mm as can be seen in this chart. So while a 2.5mm thick adapter could be used on Canon DSLRs, it would be impossible to go in reverse direction on Nikon DSLRs.

3) Why Do It?

So, why mount a Nikon lens on a Canon DSLR? Normally, you would not want to. Nikon lenses are designed to be used with Nikon DSLRs and Canon lenses are also specifically designed to be used with Canon DSLRs. At times, however, there might be a need to do it. Here are some reasons I could think of:

  1. You shoot with both Nikon and Canon DSLRs and you have some good Nikon lenses that you want to be able to use on your Canon DSLR. You do not feel like buying a similar lens from Canon, so buying an adapter would be a cheaper alternative.
  2. You shoot videos on a Canon DSLR and you want to be able to change lens aperture silently using an adapter, rather than rotating the lens aperture ring or the dial on the camera.
  3. You really love the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G and want to use it on your 5D Mark III.
  4. You converted from Nikon to Canon and you still have some classic Nikkor lenses that you do not want to part with. Using them with an adapter on a Canon DSLR sounds like a good option.
  5. You just want to do it for fun!

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Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G VR Announcement

Along with the Nikon 18-300mm VR, Nikon has also released a cheap full-frame lens – the Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.6G VR, also known as “AF-S NIKKOR 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR“. The lens replaces the older 24-85mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S lens, which went out of production in 2006. It is a good quality affordable full-frame lens, designed to be used with the upcoming Nikon D600 DSLR, probably even as a kit lens.

Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G ED VR

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Nikon 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G VR DX Announcement

Nikon has just released a new DX lens – the Nikon 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G VR DX, also known as “AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR“. This 16.7x superzoom lens is designed to work only with APS-C DSLRs like Nikon D3200, with an equivalent field of view of a 27-450mm lens. Boasting 19 elements in 14 groups, this lens is designed similarly to the Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G VR, except it is even longer in size and heavier.

Nikon 18-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

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Nikon 85mm f/1.8G Review

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This is an in-depth Nikon 85mm f/1.8G review of the new, much anticipated prime portrait lens that was announced in January of 2012. The Nikon 85mm f/1.8G is a consumer-grade portrait lens for enthusiasts and seasonal pros that need quality optics of a fixed portrait lens at an affordable price point. Its large aperture of f/1.8 is great for low-light photography and the shallow depth of field helps isolate subjects from the background, beautifully rendering the background highlights, also known as bokeh.

Nikon 85mm f/1.8G

The Nikon 85mm f/1.8G replaces the older Nikon 85mm f/1.8D lens that had been in production since 1994. Compared to the AF-D version that has 6 optical elements in 6 groups, the new 85mm f/1.8G has a very different optical design with 9 optical elements in 9 groups. You would think with so much glass inside the new 85mm f/1.8G would weigh more than its predecessor, but in reality it actually weighs 30 grams less. The lens is designed to work on both DX (cropped-sensor) and FX (full-frame) cameras from Nikon. On DX sensors, the lens is equivalent to a 128mm lens, which is a good range for portraiture, but may be a little too long for most other types of photography.

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Nikon AF-S 28mm f/1.8G Full Frame Lens Announcement

NOTE: A full review of this lens can be found in our Nikon 28mm f/1.8G Review article.

Along with the Nikon D3200, Nikon also announced the new AF-S Nikkor 28mm f/1.8G lens today. Contrary to how it usually happens, however, this piece of equipment is likely to receive the most attention this time. We at are very happy to see such a lens announced – the biggest complaint throughout the years directed towards Nikon was the lack of modern fast, high quality prime lenses. During the last couple of years, however, Nikon seems to have been extremely persistent in making sure their prime lens lineup is as broad in choice as possible, offering insanely good, yet very expensive f/1.4 lenses, such as the Nikon 35mm f/1.4G (read the review) and Nikon 85mm f/1.4G (read the review), and much more affordable and featuring a much better price/performance ration f/1.8G lenses. First, it was the fantastic Nikon 50mm f/1.8G (read the review), then, very recently, the Nikon 85mm f/1.8G lens was announced. Considering how good the latest f/1.8 lenses have been, this new alternative to the exotic Nikon 24mm f/1.4G prime (read the review) should deliver superb performance at a relatively low price of $699.95.

Nikon 28mm f/1.8G

Lets face it, the rather specialized Nikon 24mm f/1.4G lens is not for everyone – impressive as it is, not that many people use or even know how to use such a lens well, it requires a lot of skill to deliver all of its potential. At that price, then, it makes a very difficult decision: who would want to own a $2000 lens and not use it that much because it is too wide? With the new 28mm f/1.8G not only do you pay only about a third of that price, it is also not as wide, and thus suitable for more general photography on both Full Frame and DX sensor cameras. That is not to say it is less demanding, but more mainstream for sure. The best thing is, however, the choice Nikon is giving us. All that’s really missing is an inexpensive 35mm f/2G and 135mm/105mm f/2G lenses, but I’m sure we can expect those to come pretty soon, too.

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Nikon D800 is not compatible with Nikkor PC-E lenses?

One of our readers, Alex Abadi, contacted me about Nikon D800 compatibility with the Nikon 24mm PC-E (a.k.a. PC-E Nikkor 24mm f/3.5D ED). Apparently, Nikon indicated on the official lens page that the lens is NOT compatible with the D800, saying “Can not be used with shifting or tilting”. Here is a screenshot of the comment:

Nikon D800 compatibility with Nikon 24mm PC-E

First of all, Nikon needs to do something about their incompetent staff. In this context, “can not” should be spelled as “cannot”. They did not even bother to write a complete sentence. Second, why does Nikon allow staff members to provide answers without checking facts? The very first image from the Nikon D800E Sample Images was shot with the Nikon 45mm f/2.8D PC-E lens. Considering how sharp the image is, I am more than confident that the photographer tilted the lens. Third, tilt and shift lenses work perfectly fine with the Nikon D700 – it would be silly for Nikon to cripple the D800, considering that it will be a hot camera for landscape and macro photographers that heavily rely on PC-E lenses.

So if you are worried about Nikon D800 PC-E compatibility, do not be – it will surely work perfectly fine with all PC-E lenses, just like the Nikon D700 did.

Lens Stabilization vs In-camera Stabilization

While I am currently working on a couple of Sony camera and lens reviews, I decided to write a quick article on differences between in-camera and lens stabilization. As you may already know, Nikon and Canon are both big on lens stabilization, while other camera manufacturers like Sony and Pentax have been pushing for in-camera stabilization technology (also known as body stabilization). I have had a few people ask about differences between the two and I thought that a quick article explaining the pros and cons of each stabilization technology would be beneficial for our readers.

Lens Stabilization vs Sensor Stabilization

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Best Nikon Lenses for Wildlife Photography

What are the best Nikon lenses for wildlife photography? Our readers often ask us about lenses for nature photography and while I have already written about which Nikon lenses I consider to be the best for landscape photography, I have received numerous requests to write about lenses for wildlife photography as well. In this article, I will not only talk about which Nikon lenses I believe are the best for wildlife and nature photography, but also when I use a particular lens, along with plenty of image samples from each lens. Please keep in mind that the information I present below is a personal opinion based on my experience so far, which is subject to change. If you have a favorite lens of yours for wildlife photography that is not listed below, please feel free to add a comment on the bottom of the page with some information and links to pictures (if you have any that you would like to share).

When photographing wildlife, whether shooting bears in Alaska, or capturing birds in flight, one of the most important factors in choosing a lens is its focal length. Generally, the longer the lens (in focal length), the better. Unlike landscape and portrait photography, where you could get away with a cheap lens and still get great results, wildlife photography pretty much requires high-quality, fast-aperture telephoto optics. This obviously translates to a high price tag, with the lowest end of the spectrum averaging between $500 to $1,500, and the highest-quality / best reach lenses costing as much as $10,000+. Without a doubt, wildlife photography is a very expensive hobby to have (unless you are so good that you can sell your pictures and make good money), especially once you add up all the gear and travel costs.

1) Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR

If you want to get into wildlife photography on a tight budget, the Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR is the lens you want to get. It is a great buy that will get you to 300mm at under $600 USD. Its autofocus is pretty good in daylight and its versatile zoom range of 70-300mm is great for large animals and perched birds. The lens is light and compact, making it easy to carry it around when scouting for wildlife in parks and wildlife spots. It is capable of producing relatively good bokeh, especially on its longest end, although its sharpness performance also drops quite a bit at 300mm. Having VR is a definite plus when hand-holding the lens.

AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED

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Nikon 85mm f/1.8G is available for pre-order at B&H

I have also been notified that the brand new Nikon 85mm f/1.8G is also available for pre-orders at B&H, shipping around the same time as D4, which is mid-February. As always, I highly recommend B&H for their superb service and lowest prices.

Nikon 85mm f/1.8G Preorder at B&H

Nikon 1 30-110mm VR Review

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This is an in-depth review of the new Nikon 1 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 VR lens, also known as “1 Nikkor VR 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6″ that was announced on September 21, 2011 specifically for the new Nikon 1 system, together with three other lenses and the new Nikon V1 and J1 cameras. The Nikon 1 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6 VR is a consumer-grade telephoto lens designed for the new Nikon 1 camera system to complement the Nikon 1 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 VR kit lens. With its focal length of 30-110mm on the Nikon 1 CX sensor (2.7x crop factor), its coverage is equivalent to a 81-297mm lens in 35mm format. The variable aperture of f/3.8-5.6 means that its maximum (largest) aperture changes between f/3.8 to f/5.6, depending on the focal length. It is a very lightweight lens, and similar to interchangeable lenses from other compact mirrorless camera manufacturers, the lens is collapsible, which also makes it quite compact for travel and transportation.

1 Nikkor VR 30-110mm f/3.8-5.6

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