Can You Use EF Lenses On The Canon R5 and R6?

The Canon R5 and R6 are a big deal in the Canon world. While the original full-frame mirrorless cameras were the EOS R and EOS RP, they were something of a stop-gap for the RF mount system while efforts were put into lens development for the new system.

The EOS R system uses Canon’s new RF mount instead of the older EF mount from the SLR and DSLR cameras. With millions of EF lenses in circulation from 20+ years of sales, it’s no wonder people are wondering whether they can use their beloved EF lenses on the new RF mount cameras like the R5 and R6.

Use one of Canon’s official EF-RF adapters to enable EF lenses to work on the Canon R5 and R6

Thankfully, the answer is YES! You can use EF lenses on the R5 and R6, although you will need to buy one of Canon’s EF-RF mount adapters to do so.

Canon was smart here. Instead of just making one basic adapter, they have actually created a series of EF-RF mount adapters that bring some additional functionality to the table. There’s a basic adapter that simply connects an EF lens to an RF mount, this one is the cheapest. Then there’s an adapter that includes a user programable ring around it, called the control ring. This is my personal favourite of the whole bunch. You can read a detailed review of the Canon EF-RF Control Ring Adapter here.

In addition to these two adapters, there are a further two adapters that include either a circular polarizing filter or a variable ND filter. The first being useful for landscape photographers, and the second being useful for filmmakers. Further details about the adapters in the lineup can be seen in the table beneath the gallery.

Details of the EF-RF Adapters

AdapterFunctionWeightCheck Price
Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS RBasic standard mount adapter with no special features.110gAmazon / B&H
Canon Control Ring Mount Adapter EF-EOS RAdds a user customizable control ring to EF lenses, similar to that which is found on new RF lenses.130gAmazon / B&H
Canon EF-EOS R Drop-In Filter Mount Adapter with Circular Polarizer FilterMount adapter with a drop-in rotatable circular polarizing filter.121gAmazon / B&H
Canon Drop-In Filter Mount Adapter EF-EOS R with Variable ND FilterMount adapter with a drop-in rotatable variable ND filter.121gAmazon / B&H
Canon Drop-In Clear Filter AA clear drop-in filter to use in the drop-in adapter when you don’t need a polarizer or variable ND.30gAmazon / B&H
Canon Drop-In Circular Polarizing Filter ADrop-in CPL filter on its own without the drop-in adapter.30gAmazon / B&H
Canon Drop-In Variable ND Filter A (1.5-9 Stop)Drop-in variable ND filter on its own without the drop-in adapter.30gAmazon / B&H
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Dan Carr

Professional photographer based in Yukon, Canada, and founder of Shutter Muse. His editorial work has been featured in publications all over the world, and his commercial clients include brands such as Nike, Apple, Adobe and Red Bull.

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17 thoughts on “Can You Use EF Lenses On The Canon R5 and R6?”

  1. Hi Dan;
    Thanks a lot for this article, I was worry about my EF lenses and specially about my beloved EF 200mm F/2.0, and now I am so happy that I will be able to use them on Canon R5…

    Reply
    • I bought the control ring adapter for my canon eos r5 camera body mainly to attach my old EF canon lens. I have programmed the control ring adapter to control the iso. While birding, I like to use TV: shutter-priority and the camera automatically sets the aperture and exposure. How does the control ring, set to control the iso, influence the TV mode? Will it affect the exposure while shooting in the mode or will it over ride the control ring iso settings?

      Reply
    • Not necessarily a waste. You can certainly find some bargains out there if you look for second-hand EF lenses at the moment. I would be hesitant to buy new EF lenses unless they are heavily discount (as many are right now).

      Reply
    • No, not wise at all. Im going around trying to inform people of this scam to upgrade to Canon R series for people with lots of EF lenses. They arent telling you this dirty secret. You will be forced to use your full frame censor at 1.6 crop. If you know the difference between a crop censor and full frame, you know you are just throwing your money away if you dont buy an R series camera with RF lenses.

      I just got an R5 and EF adapter and its a waste. My 45MP camera is stuck at 17MP resolution crop censor setting. You might as well stick to the crop censor camera because you will still need to be further away from your subjects and you are actually losing all the benefit of that higher resolution. My 90D is better at this point. RF lenses are a necessity and you have to splurge 3x more for the same lenses as an EF.

      Reply
      • Nick you’re talking about EF-S lenses that are designed for crop sensors.

        EF full frame lenses display as they should on any of the R series.

        Reply
  2. I am pairing my R6 with an EF 100-400 Mk 2 and when I set High Speed shooting the icon on the back of the camera (and indeed when viewing through the viewfinder) starts blinking white, and I don’t seem to be getting full speed with the shutter. At the moment I have an LP-E6 (spare) in the camera. Could you tell me if it is this that is causing the impairment, or the lens itself, please ?

    Reply
    • There are several possible reasons for this. First, make sure your battery is at 65% or more.

      Second, make sure your shutter speed is at least 1/1000. This is one that trips a lot of people up. If your shutter speed is too slow, it’s a physical impossibility to reach 10-12/fps.

      If those things don’t work, then it’s probably a lens compatibility thing when using the adapter.

      Unfortunately, Canon has put so many conditions on being able to reach their supposed fps these days, that’s it’s very hard to know exactly what you should be getting.

      Reply
  3. I’ve been saving up for the r5 and now I’m ready to get it, but all my lenses are EF Tamron lenses. Will they work with the adapter? Thank you.

    Reply
  4. If we anyway have to add an adapter ring to our camera to fit EF lenses, what’s the point staying with Canon ? Isn’t it the right moment to shift to competitors who offer better camera bodies ? I have to replace my great 5DmkIII, not sure getting a R6 is the best choice in these conditions

    Reply
    • It’s a good question. The main reason that people add an adapter is because they cannot afford the larger cost to sell all their existing lenses and buy new lenses from a different brand. However, I was in the EXACT same position as you, and I did decide to move to Sony. You can read more about that here if you want to: https://shuttermuse.com/why-i-switched-from-canon-to-sony/

      Yes, it cost me a little bit more to do this, but since it is my profession it is less of an issue. For many amateurs, it’s not an option.

      Reply
  5. I have heard the images from ef lens aren’t as good as images with native mount lenses. Since I went to Nikon when the 850 came out and being greatly disappointed with NPS and Nikon Service I’m considering going back to canon. I never sold my EF 500 F/5 gen one which is why I’m thinking the switch could be economically viable. I have though heard the imaging wouldn’t be as good on the mirrorless as it would be on my 5Dlll.

    I don’t want to do another expensive system switch then regret it? Thanks

    Reply

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