Before the question, here’s some background story: My uncle just brought me his old Canon EOS 100 that he cannot use anymore because there is nowhere where he can develop photos. I am not going to use that old camera for many reasons.

The question is: Is there any adapter which allows me to use those lenses (Canon EF 28-80mm 1:3.5-5.6 and EF 100-300mm 1:4.5-5.6, both ultrasonic) on my Nikon D3400 DSLR?

  • \$\begingroup\$ In most countries/regions, there are still adequate options for having film developed and printed/scanned by quality mail-order services, if you have real desire and a bit of patience. Film photography always required a degree of patience. \$\endgroup\$
    – osullic
    Jul 1, 2018 at 8:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ Having both these lenses *and an old EOS-100) I wouldnt bother considering mounting to a Nikon, the IQ is nothing to write home about, and if a converter uses an element, you will lose even more. \$\endgroup\$
    – Crazy Dino
    Jul 1, 2018 at 10:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ @CrazyDino The IQ of those two lenses wasn't bad. They were quite good for their time. Each succeeding generation of the 28-80 got cheaper and had poorer IQ. The 100-300 is still considered a good buy as a very affordable used lens with better IQ than the price would indicate. Using them with a cheap TC is another story, though. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Jul 1, 2018 at 12:12

2 Answers 2


No there are not. The reason is simple mechanics.

Canon EF uses a 44mm registration distance with a 54mm throat diameter.

Nikon F uses a 46.5mm registration distance with a 44mm throat diameter.

The registration distance is the distance between the film/sensor plane and the lens mounting flange. The throat diameter is the width of the hole in the middle of the lens mounting flange.

Lenses are designed to be attached to the camera at a specific distance. If that distance is increased most lenses can focus more closely than before at the expense of not being able to focus as far in the distance. In other words, it has the same effect as adding an extension tube to the lens with its native mount. Placing a lens made for 44mm registration distance at 46.5mm from the sensor reduces its maximum focusing distance to only a few feet.

Adapting a Canon lens to a Nikon mount without adding additional optics that changes the overall optical formula of the lens would mean you couldn't focus any further than a few feet in front of the camera. Since the throat diameter of the Canon EF mount is 10mm wider than the Nikon F mount, you can't make an adapter that recesses the Canon's 54mm wide lens flange 2.5mm inside the 44mm wide throat of the Nikon F camera.

If one adds additional optical elements to an adapter one can make infinity focus possible, but one also increases the overall magnification. This is essentially what a teleconverter does. Not only does it narrow the angle of view, but it also makes the lens' maximum f-number higher (slower), since the size of the entrance pupil (effective aperture) remains the same but the effective focal length is increased.

Such an item would be considered an adapter/teleconverter, rather than a simple adapter.

What would I be able to do using that adapter? It’s ok to me going full manual, the only important thing is that I could somehow be able to take photos. I’m not into technical things, as I just approached photography, but this would be a good reason to start learning manual settings. For what I can see from the picture of the product it doesn’t have any electrical contacts, so I will only be able to control zoom and focus using the lenses’ rings, right? Will I be able to take a photo with an acceptable quality?

  • You will lose autofocus. If, in the future, you try to use an EF lens with 'focus-by-wire' manual focusing you will not even be able to manually focus. A few discontinued EF lenses plus one current one with USM motors are 'focus-by-wire'. All Canon EF lenses with STM and 'nano-USM' focus motors are also 'focus-by-wire'.¹
  • You will have no way to control the lens aperture using the Nikon camera's controls. Normally the lens is wide open. Both of the lenses mentioned in the question need to be stopped down a bit to give their best optical performance. If you have access to a Canon EOS body with a 'Depth of Field Preview' button you can set the aperture you want on the camera, hold down the DoF Preview button, and remove the lens with the DoF button pressed and the camera powered on. This will set the aperture in the lens to the selected aperture on the camera (it will stay there until the lens is reattached to a powered up EOS camera). But if you had access to an EOS camera, why would you be trying to use EF lenses with a Nikon body?
  • Neither of the lenses mentioned in the question have any type of image stabilization. If, in the future, you use an IS lens with the adapter, the IS will not be functional.

"...will I be able to take a photo with an acceptable quality?"

  • That depends on what you consider acceptable. For £19 I wouldn't hold my breath that the "lens" in that adapter/TC is anything but cheap plastic.
  • Additionally, the adapter acts like a 1.4X teleconverter, so your lenses would become 40-112mm f/5-8 and 140-420mm f/6.3-8, respectively. That's before you consider the 1.5X 'crop factor' of your D3400. Using the "1/effective focal length" rule-of-thumb, you'd need to use shutter times of 1/60 (@28mm) - 1/180 (@80mm) or faster with the 28-80mm lens and 1/200 (@80mm) - 1/640 (@300mm) or faster with the 100-300mm lens. That will restrict you to very bright light for any of the longer focal lengths. You probably already have Nikon lenses that cover the shorter end at faster apertures and give you full control of aperture and autofocus.

Since there is only a 2.5mm difference in the respective registration distances there really isn't enough room to use additional optics to create a teleconverter/adapter without making the adapter even longer (and more magnifying and slower with regard to maximum aperture). Even if you could, you probably wouldn't want to. Cheap teleconverters use cheap glass and degrade image quality. Even very high quality teleconverters magnify the flaws of the lens attached to them.

Beyond the mechanics of the optics, Canon uses an all electrical connection between the camera and lens to communicate aperture and autofocus information. Most Nikon cameras use a mechanical-only connection to control aperture. Even though your Nikon D3400 does use an electrical communication for controlling aperture with a few new 'E' lenses (that only work with a few newer Nikon F mount cameras), an adapter would need to "translate" the aperture and AF commands from "Nikon" protocol to "Canon" protocol.

In the case of the EF 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 and EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 you're looking at older lenses with film era designs, when lens sharpness was not as much a factor as in the current high megapixel digital environment. You're also looking at lenses with maximum apertures that are already close to the threshold of the maximum f-number at which most digital cameras can autofocus. Slowing such a lens down even a little bit would likely mean losing AF, even if one had successfully managed to translate Nikon AF communication from the body to Canon AF communication for the lens (and then translated the Canon lens' response back into "Nikon" for the camera body).

Film that has been stored wound up in a canister doesn't lay near as flat in most 35mm cameras as digital sensors, which are pretty much perfectly flat. With color film, the three dye layers are also at three slightly different depths. We didn't tend to look at most of the images from 35mm film cameras larger than 4x6 prints and rarely looked at them larger than 8x10. With digital images we "pixel peep" tham at 100%: a 24MP image zoomed in at 100% on a 23" HD (1920x1080) monitor is the equivalent of looking at a part of a 60x40 inch print!

No one makes such an adapter that even attempts to control the lens' aperture, and I doubt anyone ever will. If they did, it would likely cost several times what a Nikon lens that is the optical equivalent of a Canon EF 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 or EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 would cost. You'd still almost certainly be required to focus manually.

On the other hand, you can pick up some fairly good used Canon EOS digital cameras which are 100% compatible with those lenses for a very modest price.

In the U.S., used Canon bodies such as a Rebel T3i or an older semi-professional model such as the 50D can be had from reputable sellers for $200-300. Used 60D bodies are currently going for around $400. Canon USA is currently selling refurbished Rebel T6/1300D bodies with an EF 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II lens for $269. (I've bought a refurb body and several refurb lenses directly from Canon USA and they all have been in "like new" condition when I received them.)

¹ "focus-by-wire" means there is no direct link between the manual focus ring and the lens' focus mechanism. Rather, the focus ring transmits a set of electronic instructions to the camera body which in turn sends electronic instructions to the lens to move the focus elements using the same motor as when the camera is focusing the lens automatically.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Why would the smal difference in registration distance make it unfeasible to add an element to make a short teleconverter. Would it not just be the case that the adapter would have to be a little bit ticker and the teleconverter a little bit (stronger?) ? \$\endgroup\$
    – lijat
    Jul 1, 2018 at 8:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ Because the stronger you make the TC, the more you lose in terms of f-stop as well as AoV. With slow f/5.6 lenses, you're already bumping against the ability of most AF systems to function. Slow them down at all and many AF systems won't work at all. You've also got the nightmare of trying to convert mechanical control connections from the Nikon camera to electrical communication for the EF lens. If one did make such an adapter it would cost several times what a Nikon lens equivalent to your old EF lenses would cost. So what would be the point? \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Jul 1, 2018 at 8:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes there is that, I guess I read you comment a bit to literally, I thought you said it was not possible while you comment indicates it is not desierable. Which I agree on. \$\endgroup\$
    – lijat
    Jul 1, 2018 at 8:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ It is totally not possible to do without adding additional optical elements. You can't recess a 54mm throat diameter lens into the middle of a 44mm throat diameter camera mounting flange. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Jul 1, 2018 at 8:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, I was talking about the case with the lens element. \$\endgroup\$
    – lijat
    Jul 1, 2018 at 8:47

If such an adapter exists (and it probably does) you will lose infinity focus due to the canon eos mount having a smaller flange focual distance. You will also most likelly loose autofucus and aparture control (lens will stay at full open).

On the other had this is the same lens type still used on canon DSLRs today so if buying a cheap used canon body (can be found for as little as 40$ for older models) that might be an option.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Re: "... (and it probably does)..." I've never seen a commercially produced Canon EF to Nikon F adapter, and I've never seen anyone else claim they've been able to buy one anywhere. If such exists, they are totally invisible to the portion of the worldwide photographic community that uses the internet. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Jul 1, 2018 at 8:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ I found this product that claims to do the job, it even have an element. ebay.co.uk/itm/… I make no predictions about it's quality thou. \$\endgroup\$
    – lijat
    Jul 1, 2018 at 9:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's an adapter/TC, not a non-optical adapter only. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Jul 1, 2018 at 9:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes sorry, I messed up the context you comment was reffering to. \$\endgroup\$
    – lijat
    Jul 1, 2018 at 9:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ What would I be able to do using that adapter? It’s ok to me going full manual, the only important thing is that I could somehow be able to take photos. I’m not into techincal things, as I just approached photography, but this would be a good reason to start learning manual settings. For what I can see from the picture of the product it doesn’t have any electrical contacts, so I will only be able to control zoom and focus using the lenses’ rings, right? \$\endgroup\$
    – Kiro
    Jul 1, 2018 at 9:21

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