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R6 Mark II + old Canon EF lens compatibility (especially regarding in-camera stabilization)


Hi folks. I have a bunch of really old, 1980s- and early 1990s-vintage Canon EF lenses like the 100-300mm f/5.6L, 28-80mm f/2.8-4L, 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5 definitely not L, 35-135mm "trombone" zoom, 200mm f/2.8L version 1 etc. I *do not* plan to sell/replace them as I like the way they render images on digital sensors, plus I reckon they're just cool to have. None of those lenses have IS, naturally.

I'm considering a Canon EOS R6 Mark II (with a few RF lenses, rest assured) because of its stabilized sensor in addition to the ergonomics. My question is, will the camera and its stabilization system fully work (and play nice) with the old EF lenses? I'm aware that most if not all of the lenses I mention will not have correction profiles in the camera, and that's OK. But I would like them to be at least recognized by the camera firmware and work with proper stabilization parameters.

Any information about this would be greatly appreciated and I thank you in advance for your insights.



The older lenses were designed and released many years prior to the design and release of Canon’s Dual Pixel AF image sensors.  The older lenses will not be compatible with all high performance features that are available from the advanced technology sensors.


The lenses listed here are capable of refocusing fast enough to keep up with video recording 23/25/30 fps, which is similar to the high speed, continuous drive frame rates when shooting stills.

In my experience, lenses not listed here cause the AF system to function in a degraded mode.  This typically means a dramatic drop in high speed frame rates and/or not being able to autofocus fast enough to keep up with high speed frame rates.  

Actual results will vary from one lens to the next.  Age and condition of the lens may also have some impact on performance.  Bear in mind that a factory fresh, brand new lens will have degraded AF performance.

"The right mouse button is your friend."

Thanks for your reply. I'm not too worried about high-speed AF to be honest, I probably won't use burst modes with those lenses. My main concern is in-camera stabilization, but degraded general AF performance (outside high-speed shooting, things like AF areas and subject detection) is important to know. Proper recognition of lens for things like EXIF information and any other compatibility issues are also important. 

Some lenses may not refocus fast enough to track subjects.  As a general rule, if a lens is not fast enough to AF at 12 fps, then it is likely unable to refocus fast enough for the advanced subject tracking features to perform properly. 

"The right mouse button is your friend."

Rising Star

I have the R6 Mk ll, and like you, I love my old lenses - many that go back to the 1960's.  I do know that the more recent EF lenses will show up in the EXIF data, such as my EF 17-40mm F/4L from 2003, as you can see in the screenshot here.  Yes, my in-body IS works fine with this lens.

My older lenses that I use with this camera are not made by Canon.  I have a vintage Russian Helios 44-4 58mm F/2 lens from 1960 that produces beautiful images on the R6m2, but you have to set the camera shutter to open without a lens, so everything is manual (focus, aperture).  Same with my old film era Pentax, Kalt, Vivitar, Tamron, and other lenses.  I do not get any EXIF data showing, and I have not noticed the in-body IS working on any of these.  That doesn't stop me from using them.  I don't really care how often people disagree with me (and they do - a lot) but the end results from many of these lenses are better than many of today's modern lenses simply because of their unique qualities and characteristics.Screenshot 2024-02-20 at 10.29.18 AM.png


Digital: Canon EOS R6 Mk ll, EOS R8, EOS RP, EOS 60D, many RF, EF, and Rokinon lenses
Film: Pentax Spotmatic, Pentax K1000, Pentax K2000, Miranda DR, Zenit 12XP, Kodak Retina Automatic II, Kodak Duaflex III, and various lenses



Due to the age of (some) of the lenses, and what we have seen when mixing super old and new tech, I would adjust expectations accordingly.  This is going to be an experiment.  I would fully expect some of the lenses not to work well or maybe at a real disadvantage depending.  If they do, fantastic, but I would not expect near 40 year old glass to perform at the level or capability of a modern MILC body.  Your primary concerns are all good ones.  IBIS will perform to the extent possible with non IS capable lenses.  AF performance will be OK, but again, do not expect the level of subject detection that you might get from a more modern EF or current RF glass.

EXIF data should be passed in the images but how it is interpreted might be determined to a small degree by the body and to a much larger extent by the image editor you are using.  You don't have anything to lose except to try.  Modern RF lenses will let a mirrorless body be its best.  That can happen if you decide you aren't getting what you are hoping for starting with your existing line up.  

Bay Area - CA

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