I realize there's no way to mount a Canon lens on a Nikon body and get the full focus range, but is it possible to use an adapter to get a sort of extra macro, and get decent results? I'd imagine it would be sort of like using an extension tube.

I did a quick google search and found one adapter on ebay, but I'm not sure about the quality of that.

(Specifically I'm interested in the Canon MP-E 1-5x Macro lens, for which there's no Nikon equivalent.)

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Don't overlook the macro bellows option; you can get considerably greater than 5x magnification if you want it with any decent flat-field macro lens (shorter focal lengths will yield greater magnification). \$\endgroup\$
    – user2719
    Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 3:04

3 Answers 3


It's possible, but not practical. Assuming someone somewhere makes an adaptor so you can actually mount the lens (or you do something low-fi like glue a Nikon body cap to a Canon rear lens cap) then you will be able to take photos, and focus at macro distances.

However, all Canon EF lenses have electronic aperture control which means you wont be able to stop down the lens, making your macro depth of field next to nothing at all!

Your only solution would be to stop down the lens on a Canon body (by holding DOF preview) and remove the lens (which usually leaves the aperture blades closed), or hacking one of the video lens adaptors that does electronic aperture control, such as the MetaBones EF to Sony NEX.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the point on electronic aperture control - I've never used Canon lenses so I assumed it was similar to Nikon/Olympus OM where there's a ring and/or it's controlled by a mechanical arm \$\endgroup\$
    – DHall
    Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 22:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DHall All Canon EOS/EF cameras/lenses (EOS was introduced in 1987), Minolta/Sony A-mount (introduced in 1985), and all Micro Four-Thirds cameras from various manufacturers, use all electronic communication between camera body and lens. Since around 2016 Nikon now offers a limited number of (relatively higher priced) 'E' lenses that Nikon DSLRs made since about 2013 can control via an electronic aperture connection rather than the clunky old mechanical lever left over from the 1950s. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Jul 1, 2018 at 9:57

Due to the difference of flange distance any adapter allowing to mount Canon Lens on Nikon body without glass element will act as an extension tube. The drawback is that you will not be able to focus at infinity, but this is not really a problem for macro.

As such device is just a ring matching the mount, there is no optical loss, however you will have to manually focus and use step down mettering.

Note also that that some of Nikon body will refuse to do mettering if they are not able to detect a lense, they can be be tricked gluing a dandelion like chips on your adapter.

Now be cautionous if the adapter you find has a lens: this is done to recover focus at infinity but has terrible effect on the image quality (not to mention that some of these adapter have a plastic lense)


there's no way to mount a Canon lens on a Nikon body and get the full focus range.

You mean no way to mount a Canon EF or EF-S mount lens on a Nikon F-mount body and get the full focus range.

For mounting Canon EF lenses on Nikon 1 series bodies there are solutions which "Preserve all focusing range up to the infinity point."

No idea about Canon FD FL or R mount lenses though.


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