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EF versus EF-S lenses?

jla930
Enthusiast
What's the difference between EF and EF-S lenses?
26 REPLIES 26

hcbph
Enthusiast

Basic description is EF lens will work on both full frame and clipped camera bodies while EF-s will only work with clipped.

If you have some like a T4i (like I do) you can use either lens on it while if you have something like 5D mark 3, you only can use the EF lens on it.

 

To my thinking, if you have a clipped body like one of the Canon Rebels (clipped) and there's a chance you might go FF at some point in the future, it makes more sense to get EF lenses so they can be used on later bodies.  They'll cost more now but less over time with a body upgrade.


@hcbph wrote:

To my thinking, if you have a clipped body like one of the Canon Rebels (clipped) and there's a chance you might go FF at some point in the future, it makes more sense to get EF lenses so they can be used on later bodies. 


Another nice benefit of using EF lenses on a crop body is that you’re only using the center part of the glass, which is the best parts.  Lenses usually suffer on the outside corners, so a lot of mediocre EF lenses perform really well on a crop

I hadn't thought about Skirball's comment on only using part of a FF lense on a clipped/cropped body, good info.  Makes sense and might allow getting more for less now.  I would assume the degredation would present itself if ever used of a FF body at some future point in time.

WOW Smiley Surprised.......I'll give this a go again!

It is called a crop sensor camera, not a crop lens. The sensor is smaller, it is like you took the same image with a full frame camera and “cropped it”.

The lens does not know what kind of camera you are using it on. This means that if you are using a 70mm lens, for instance, on a Full Frame camera like a 5D3, the FOV (field -of-view) will be roughly 34° diagonally. That same 70mm lens on a crop sensor, T4i body, will have an FOV of about 21°.

This is the only difference.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

Think of the full sized sensor on a full size camera, like a 6D or any of the 5D bodies, as a quarter, The Cropped sensor is smaller, think it as a dime, lay the dime over the quarter and you will the difference of the image size. There is no magnification involved, only angle of view. So, a EF-S lens is designed to fill the size of the dime only. If mounted to a EF mount the lens will not fill the entire photo sensor, and leave black circles around the edges. Using a lens that is EF, will fill the 35mm sensor, and leave no circles. Mounting a EF lens on a camera made for EF-S lenses will only reduce the image size by the value of the cropped sensor. (Canon 1.6) So, if you have a lens that is EF, and multiply the value of the mm of the lens by 1.6, you will realize the actual image size from the cropped sensor. If you have a 100-200mm lens for EF, the lens will become a 101.6mm - 320mm on a cropped sensor camera.

" If you have a 100-200mm lens for EF, the lens will become a 101.6mm - 320mm on a cropped sensor camera."

 

In reality, the 100-200mm lens is a 100-200mm lens no matter what body it is use on. It will never change it's focal length.

You could put it on a medium format camera and it will still remain a 100-200mm lens.

The only thing that happens is the FOV or angle of acceptance. It makes the 100-200mm lens appear to behave like a 1.6 factor larger lens. (in this case)

All lenses present a circular image to the rectangular sensor. What is not used by the sensor is lost. The focal plane of the lens does not change.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

With the example of the 100mmx200mm lens I think you mean for it to become 160mmx320mm on a 1.6 crop sensor body such as my 7D & 400D XTI. This is the EFF, effective focal length and the length I use when I think of shutter speed for hand holding, or 1/200 - 1/400 second.

Mike Goodwin 7D/400D/ Manfrotto 3228W Giotto MH3300/ 400mmL/ 50mm F1.4/28mm F2.8/28x135 & Tamron 18x270

I know this is an old posting, but I still wanted to clarify one statement, "the lens does not know what kind of camera you are using it on."  While the lense does not know which camera it is on, a full-frame camera, such as the 5D Mark III or a 6D will know if there is an EF-S lense on it.

"... such as the 5D Mark III or a 6D will know if there is an EF-S lense on it."

 

Although some have successfully mounted an EF-S lens on a FF camera, i.e. a 5D Mk II or Mk III, this should never, I repeat never, be tried. Most of the scenarios that came happen with this combo, are negative.

This warning includes all the 1D series, too.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!
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