I just purchased Canon 6D (Full frame camera) and I hate to lose the usage of my simple 18-200 EF-S lens. Any idea if there is a technology that allows me to use the lens on the 5d body?

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    Honestly, I do not get it. You have a lens with relatively poor optical quality and you are upgrading to a full-frame sensor. The last thing you want is to cripple your new camera. – Itai May 16 '13 at 1:16
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    Sell it. Buy the 24-105mm or 28-300mm if you really need an all in one lens. I could see wanting to do this with the excellent 17-55mm f2.8 but not this lens. – dpollitt May 16 '13 at 1:17
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    It was a mediocre lens when new. They sell for about $400 in excellent condition. Canon makes lots of great lenses, this is not one. Just sell it. Get a 50mm F1.4 if you can't afford anything else. – Pat Farrell May 16 '13 at 2:03
  • why do you want a crappy circular image on your amazing brand new camera? – Michael Nielsen May 16 '13 at 19:49

Is it possible? Yes. You can probably do this by physically modifying the lens.

Is it safe? No. The rear element of some (most?) Canon EF-S lenses extends into the body when at the wide (18mm) end. This causes the mirror to hit the back of the lens, potentially damaging both the lens and the camera.

People have had success modifying EF-S lenses to fit on APS-H (NOT full-frame) bodies such as the 1D series, though the lens may not be safe to use at all focal lengths.

PS: You might be able to use it if you find an appropriate extension tube, but you'll lose infinity focus. As far as I know, modifying the lens or using an extension tube are the only two ways.

  • I can't find the link I'm thinking of at the moment, but will add it in if I can find it. – Chinmay Kanchi May 15 '13 at 22:55

There is no current available technology to do that and you probably wouldn't want to because the image would not cover the whole 6D frame unless additional optics were involved.

Extension tubes (which are available) would result in restricted focus range. You wouldn't be able to focus to infinity. They would be usable for close focus work if you were only really interested in the central region of the frame.

If there was a 1.4x or 2X extender that would allow EF-S lenses to be mounted on it as well as regular EF lenses and which itself was EF and not EF-S, then your problem would be solved (at least mechanically and electronically). Image quality (not great to start with) would suffer though. The Canon extenders will not allow that and my Tamron extenders will not allow it either. If any of the 3rd party extenders allow EF-S lenses to be mounted, I'm unaware of it.

Way back in the early days of EF-S lenses I did physically modify an EF-S 18-55 to mount on my then EOS 10D body (Crop sensor but not compatible with EF-S lenses). Here's a link to that article: EF-S lens conversion. Note however that the larger mirror of a full frame body could (and possibly would) hit the rear element of any EF-S lens modified this way and mounted on a full frame body.

  • Folks have filed off the extra tab in order to mount EF-S lenses on third party EF teleconverters. The main problem with using teleconverters with EF-S lenses is that most EF-S lenses are relatively slow to begin with, and a 1.4x adds one stop to the maximum aperture while a 2x adds 2 full stops! Teleconverters are best left for use with high quality fast prime lenses and the occasional very high quality fast zoom lens, such as the EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II. – Michael C Sep 16 '15 at 11:57

I know it was already mentioned, but I'd chiefly say use an extension tube. It both gets the optics away from the mirror to protect it and it also gives the image circle enough room to expand and cover the sensor.

Think about it this way, normally an EF-S lens is only concerned with throwing an image circle that will cover the APS-C lens, but when it is pointed at an EF sensor, it doesn't cover the whole sensor so parts of the image would be black. Adding an extension tube lets the circle get bigger (and thus "multiplies" the focal length). This is the same as the principal that makes it so that the "effective focal length" of a lens is longer on an APS-C body since the sensor only occupies a fraction of the image circle produced by an EF lens.

  • Can you recommend a "extension tube" ? I was looking to buy one (if something like that exist) – Eli May 16 '13 at 1:23
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    @Eli Extension Tube is the actual technical name of the device. Google and yee shall find. – AJ Henderson May 16 '13 at 1:27

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