Nikon F series lens on a Canon DSLR?

Nikon lens on a Canon camera? Yes, that is correct. Fotodiox makes a simple adapter that allows you to mount a Nikon F lens to a canon EF or EFS mount camera. I have been using this for a couple of years and it works very well.

The one I bought is the super simple one. It provides no electronic connection between camera and lens. It does allow me to is use my manual focus Nikon Lenses on my Canon DSLR cameras. My favorite use of this adapter is mount my 28mm Vivitar F2.8 Nikon lens on my old Canon T2i.

These are the steps I use to take photos with this setup:

  1. Put the T2i in manual mode,
  2. Set the Aperture (f-stop) by turning the lens ring.
  3. Select the camera ISO the same as always.
  4. Look through the viewfinder and manually focus using the lens focus ring.
  5. While looking through the viewfinder, partially press shutter button observe the exposure indicator.
  6. Adjust shutter speed and/or Aperture as needed to obtain proper exposure.

After you do this a few times, it becomes almost as easy as using a manual focus film SLR from the 1970s. If you want to take some dramatic B&W photos indoors by lamp light, try setting the f-stop to 2.8, the shutter speed to 1/60 second, and the ISO to 1600. All that is left to do is manually focus and compose your photo. If you prefer, you can even use “Live View” and look at the screen on the back of the DSLR to check focus and exposure.

Here is a Photo of what the adapter looks like.

The next picture shows the adapter mounted on my Canon T2i, along with a 28mm manual focus F mount lens. This looks kind of funny to me with the Nikon “rabbit ears” proudly in front of the Canon logo. You can also see the aperture ring where I have to manually set the f-stop. Unlike the Canon EF or EFS lenses, this old manual lens doesn’t allow the f-stop to be adjusted by the camera body.

Here are a couple of photos I shot using this setup. I shot these on the desk in my home office using the light from the computer monitor. I really enjoy shooting B&W, especially in low light with higher contrast. You can also use this setup to test exposure before shooting a photo on film. If I wanted to shoot these photos on my Nikon FM, I could duplicate the settings and use the same lens. That should give me duplicate results, or at least very close.

I use this T2i setup, very much the same way I use my Nikon FM film camera. I set the ISO to 1600, the lens to f2.8, or 1.8 if I am using a faster lens. After setting the shutter speed to 1/60 I am usually good to go indoors in low light.

If I am outside in sunshine, then I use the “Sunny 16 Rule” just like film. I set the aperture to f16 and the shutter to the reciprocal of the ISO. In this case, the closest shutter speed would be either 1/1000 or 1/2000 depending on the meter reading.

Of course in good sunlight I could set the ISO to something slower. For instance ISO 400 would give me f16 at 1/500 or 1/250. Personally, I tend to shoot everything at ISO 1600 like I do with a film camera.

One more good use of this setup is for video. With the T2i I can shoot video in manual mode. For video I use the following settings:

  1. Set T2i to manual mode.
  2. Put the camera in “Live View” mode.
  3. Set shutter to 1/30 or 1/60 of a second.
  4. Manually focus the lens.
  5. Set lens f-stop for desired depth of field.
  6. Manually set ISO while using “Live View” to determine proper exposure.
  7. I like to double check the manual focus one more time before hitting the record button.

I have used this method for both B&W and color video. The T2i also allows you use “Majic Lantern” software if you desire.

The best part of this experiment is the things you need are cheap to buy. The adapter only cost around $20. Used Nikon F mount, manual focus, lenses can be very affordable. The one I used for this article came with a Nikon FG camera I bought several years ago. The T2i camera is one I bought new over 10 years ago. They now available very cheap at Ebay and other online stores. For a very small investment, this gear offers a fun way to shoot photos and get predicable results.

As I mentioned above, it can be tricky to get the adapter off the lens. I made the following video two years ago to show the proper way to remove the adapter.

If you decide to try this, I hope you enjoy it and get some great photos. At the very least you might have some fun getting out and shooting photos without worrying about buying or damaging some expensive Canon L series lens.

If want to see more of my photos and tips. You can check out my Instagram.

Thanks for stopping by.