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Simple question really.

The flange distance of DSLR cameras are huge compared to the mirrorless cameras.

So. Can you use share lenses between the rivals and manage to take photos?

The only problem I can see is. The lens mounts are different and nothing more (You can always use an adapter right?)

I am not asking brands compatibility. I am asking DSLR lens and Mirrorless lens compatibility.

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    Possible duplicate of Can I use lens brand X on interchangeable lens camera brand Y? – xiota Jun 15 at 15:33
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    "I am not asking brands compatibility. I am asking DSLR lens and Mirrorless lens compatibility." - There's no generic DSLR or mirrorless mount, so it will come down to specific brand-associated mounts. – xiota Jun 15 at 15:51
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    I'd say the reason the rivalry between mirrorless and DSLR is so big is because mirrorless is a newer, highly disruptive technology. There's always a lot of sturm und drang whenever there is a huge shift in philosophy, market dominance and barriers to entry, etc. the same thing could have been said about the rivalry between dedicated point-and-shoots and smartphones, except for the fact that is happened so fast, by the time point-and-shoot makers and proponents could point out the "rivalry", it was long over. Not as easy with long-established SLR lens lineups in peoples' collections. – scottbb Jun 15 at 16:02
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    You sort of make my point. The rivalry existed, for at least some parties, briefly. From the standpoint of smartphone makers and enthusiasts, there was no rivalry. Their marketshare went from 0 to dominant in a short period of time. For P&S makers, the rivalry started to exist when smartphones started to take market share. By the time they could chang etheir product strategy to try to compete, they didn't have a good answer, and the marketshare of P&S never recovered. Now, P&S is a niche market that is completely dwarfed by smartphones. It's not so simple as tech vs. tech in the comparision – scottbb Jun 15 at 19:33
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    I can't have a conversation with you, when every other thought is populated with "iSheeps" and blaming "new generation of kiddos" for such and such, and overly simplistic assumptions about who's to blame for what market conditions, etc.. Those kind of arguments were old when people talked about "MicroSloth" or "Micro$oft" in the 90's, and are no different today with "iSheeple". The market is what it is, and the smartphone vs. P&S market is probably the most pure, least locked-in. The people clearly don't want a dedicated device that barely fits in a pocket, in addition to the phone... – scottbb Jun 15 at 20:16
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Nikon, Canon, and Sony all make adapters to mount their SLR lenses (F-mount, EF-mount, and A-mount, respectively) to their mirrorless systems (Z-mount, RF-mount, and E-mount, respectively). Note that in some cases, not all lenses, or full lens functionality (usually, autofocus) is preserved or supported.

But generally speaking (with lots of little caveats for specific cases), you can use lenses from systems with long flange distances (e.g., SLR lenses) on cameras with shorter flange distances (i.e., mirrorless). But not vice versa.

A second concern is throat diameter — if the mount on a lens for a long-flange-distance system has a substantially larger diameter than the short-flange-distance camera's mount, there might not be enough space in the adapter to accept the wide lens mount and still be small enough to mount to the camera. This is very much specific to the pair of systems you're trying to interconnect.

These concerns are the same as when adapting from one lens brand to another brand's camera body. See Can I use lens brand X on interchangeable lens camera brand Y? for a more complete discussion of these issues.

Finally, while it's true that optically-speaking, all that's needed is just an adapter (assuming the flange and throats distances are conducive to being adapted), the electrical contacts and communication to the lens must also be adapted. When adapting between brands, that information is not available, so companies like Sigma, Tamron, Metabones, etc., must reverse-engineer the electrical and communication protocols. Sometimes they don't get it totally correct, so there winds up being some bugs or incompatibility issues.

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    @JonathanIrons Well, usually it looks like nothing because there aren't always such adapters – mattdm Jun 15 at 15:50
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    Nothing is done to the image, it looks normal. But what you're doing in that case is optically the same thing as using extension tubes: you will be able to focus the lens closer than normal (I.e., macro), at the expense of being able to focus to infinity or very far away. And also, because the entrance pupil of the lens is further away, the effective aperture is somewhat reduced) – scottbb Jun 15 at 15:53
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    Or, if there's glass to compensate for the loss of infinity focus, the focal length changes. See Why don't lens mount adapters have the same effect as extension tubes? for a whole Q&A on this. – mattdm Jun 15 at 16:01
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    To the best of my knowledge, no Canon EF mount lens loses any functionality when used on a R mount body via the Canon EF-to-RF adapter, just as all Canon EF mount lenses work fully on all Canon EF mount cameras. Other makers sometimes have compatibility issues between older lenses and newer cameras or between newer lenses and older camera even in the same mount without an adapter. So that is not so much a characteristic of the DSLR to mirrorless conversion within a particular brand as it is the overall approach to old and new components fully working together. – Michael C Jun 15 at 22:45
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    @MichaelC yeah. I know the Sony A-to-E adapter says that some A lenses won't have autofocus when adapted to E. When it comes to old/new lenses & bodies, though, nobody's lineup is as complicated and confusing as Nikon's – scottbb Jun 15 at 23:01

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