How to Use Nikon Lens on Canon Camera

Last Updated on March 22, 2021

Can You Mount Nikon Lenses on Canon Cameras?

nikon lenses with camera bag

Believe it or not, yes, you can. All Nikon F mount lenses (and even some of the latest G lenses without the use of an aperture ring) can fit on pretty much any Canon DSLR. All you need to do it is a Nikon-to-Canon lens adapter.

Even better, there are more than a few options available from a few different brands. The more generic adapters out there can be had for $20 or less. Those, however, will only work with the older Nikon lenses that have aperture rings. For the newer G-type lenses, there are specialized adapters needed. Those are a little pricier, ranging up to $300.

Why Use a Nikon Lens on a Canon Camera?

zoomed in image of nikon lens

For the most part, you would not normally want to do this. Nikon lenses are meant to be used with Nikon DSLRs while Canon lenses are meant to be used with Canon DSLRs. There are times, however, where you may need to integrate.

For one, you may shoot with both and have good Nikon lenses that you want to be able to use with your Canon camera. If you don’t want to spend on additional lenses for the Canon, an adapter may wind up being a cheaper option.

If you shoot videos using a Canon, you may want to be able to change out the lens aperture quietly using the adapter. This would be instead of rotating the aperture ring or the camera’s dial. You may also really love a specific model of Nikon lens and want to use it with your Canon.

Perhaps you have converted from Nikon to Canon and have some of the classic Nikkor lenses that you are not ready to part with. With an adapter, they can be used on Canon cameras instead.

Finally, it can be fun to do so if you know what you are doing. Not everything has to be this complicated rhyme or reason. It is important to note that because of the different mount sizes and types, mounting one lens to another manufacturer’s mount is generally impossible unless there is a lens from a third party for that specific mount.

Downsides of Using an Adapter

That said, there are a few things to be aware of if you do decide to get an adapter and try using your Nikon lenses on the Canon camera. Firstly, the autofocus feature will not work, nor will the automatic aperture and vibration reduction (VR).

Since autofocus doesn’t work, you will have to use manual focus. But that can be tough in situations where there is not enough ambient light. You can try opening up the aperture, acquiring focus, and then trying to stop the lens down into a desirable aperture.

Speaking of focus, unless you purchase a chipped adapter, there is no confirmation of focus. Without the chipped programmable adapter, there will also be no EXIF information available to you either. The metering may work, but it will likely be at least a little bit off.

Swapping the adapter between lens use can be frustrating but getting an adapter for each of your lenses can really get quite costly. Moreover, you have to have aperture rings to use these adapters properly. If you are using the G type of Nikkor lenses, you can’t pick any other aperture than minimum and maximum. Because the lever gives no clear indication of the aperture, you are left to guess which one you have using the camera meter.


These are just a few of the different hindrances that come with using an adapter, but you could still wind up saving quite a bit of money through time and frequent use.

So with the right adapter you can use a Nikon lens on your Canon camera.