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© Ute Reckhorn

© Ute Reckhorn

Can DLSR Lenses be used on a Mirrorless Camera?

  • 3 min read

After diving head first into the world of manual focus, I began to learn about the wonderful feature of mirrorless cameras called "focus peaking." Focus peaking is when the camera indicates the area in focus with a different color, like yellow or red. This sounded like a fantastic solution to my struggle to nail the focus with my Lensbaby lenses consistently. However, at the time, my camera was a Canon 6d Mark ii - a DSLR - and focus peaking was not an option for me. As a result, I began contemplating an upgrade to a mirrorless camera. But the contemplating always stopped when I remembered my growing family of Lensbaby lenses. You see, DSLR lenses are not compatible with mirrorless camera bodies; even if they are both made by the same company, the mounts are different. I couldn't imagine rebuilding my Lensbaby collection or replacing my other lenses either, for that matter, if I upgraded to a mirrorless camera! So, I didn't upgrade - my Lensbabies were too important to me.



Then one day, I saw an ad online for a deal on a mirrorless camera that I could not pass up, and it got me thinking all over again. This time I started looking at lens adapter rings. In the past, I heard people say the adapters were clunky and annoying, which was another reason why I hadn't taken the plunge to mirrorless yet. But really, how bad could the adapters be?


"I began to learn about the wonderful feature of mirrorless cameras called "focus peaking.""

Well, I decided to risk it and find out for myself, and as it turns out - the adapter is not that bad at all! In fact, for less than $200, I could get a fancy adapter that has a programmable ring that can change the ISO, shutter speed, or whatever else I want when I'm using my Canon or Sigma DSLR lenses. The downside is that this extra functionality is not compatible with my Lensbaby DSLR lenses - so if you are in the market for an adapter that will ONLY be used with Lensbaby DSLR lenses, I suggest you get the standard adapter which is even more affordable than the programmable one.


Now I shoot with the Canon R6, so I asked my friends who shoot with other mounts about their experience with lens adapters on their mirrorless cameras. They agreed that overall, adapters are reasonably priced - or they come bundled with the camera body. For the most part, they use lenses built directly for their mirrorless cameras; but many of them still have DSLR Lensbaby lenses they have not re-purchased in the mirrorless mount. We have all found that because Lensbabies are generally smaller than many other lenses when paired with the adapter on a mirrorless camera, the adapter does not seem as clunky or annoying. (I do think that the newer adapters are smaller than some of the original ones.)



So, to answer the question in the title, YES! Yes, you CAN use DSLR lenses with a mirrorless camera. If you, like me, recently upgraded or are thinking of upgrading to a mirrorless camera - but one thing holding you back is your beloved Lensbaby collection, then have no fear - get yourself an adapter, and your DSLR Lensbabies will be good to go!


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Kaitlin Michael

Kaitlin Michael is a macro, nature, landscape photographer who searches for color and light in her images and embraces opportunities for creative blur. When she is not taking pictures she is drinking coffee, traveling, or spending time with her dog, Rooney.




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