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EF to RF Adapters / Which One Should You Buy?

Note: This article was updated on July 7, 2021 to include more information about Canon's OEM adapters, Viltrox compatibility information, etc.

If you’re upgrading from a Canon DSLR to a new “R” mirrorless model, you probably own at least a couple of EF and/or EF-S lenses. These lenses are not directly compatible with these cameras, but they can be mounted and used with adapters.

A range of EF to RF adapter options are available, each offering different features and capabilities. Here are the current options from Canon and third party manufacturers:

Adapters

Adapter Model

Links

Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R

Canon Control Ring Mount Adapter EF-EOS R

Canon EF-EOS R Drop-In Filter Lens Mount Adapter with Circular Polarizing Filter

Canon Drop-In Filter Mount Adapter EF-EOS R with Variable ND Filter

Viltrox EF-R2

Breakthrough Photography EF to RF Drop-In Adapter

Here’s a look at each adapter and the relative pros and cons of each.

Official Canon EF-EOS R Mount Adapters

Canon currently offers four models of EF/EF-S to RF adapters. They range in price from $99 to $399.

Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R — $99

The basic adapter is the most affordable of the Canon line. No extra features or bells and whistles here.

Pros

Simple, straightforward, minimal investment.

Cons

Limited usefulness. No control ring.

Canon Control Ring Mount Adapter EF-EOS R — $199

The Control Ring adapter is the same as the basic adapter, but also includes a control ring. This ring mimics the behavior of the programmable control ring found on RF lenses. The ring increases/decreases exposure compensation by default, but you may assign your own custom function in-camera (eg, aperture, ISO, shutter speed, etc).

Pros

Mimics the functionality of the control ring found on RF lenses. Provides immediate access to settings normally accessed through the camera menu. Helpful when shooting handheld and looking through the viewfinder.

Cons

Control ring is nearly flush with the camera body, so gripping and turning it is more awkward than turning control rings on RF lenses. Also feels a bit unbalanced when shooting handheld. Costs twice as much as the basic model.

Canon EF-EOS R Drop-In Filter Adapters with Circular Polarizer ($299) / Variable Neutral Density Filter ($399)

These adapters are clever, for they include drop-in filters that sit behind the lens. Canon sells two models: one with a circular polarizer, the other with a variable neutral density filter. Both filters include small scroll wheels for adjust polarity (circular polarizer) or density (variable ND). If you want both filters, you may purchase either adapter plus the other filter separately.

Pros

Filters are small, lightweight, and sit behind the lens. Great for wide and super wide angle lenses to avoid mechanical vignette. Allows multiple filters to be used without stacking (one in the adapter, one mounted to the front of the lens). No need in worrying about filter thread diameters or step-up rings (they fit any lens).

Cons

Expensive. Must buy separate clear filter to use adapter without the circular polarizer or variable ND. Scroll wheel is loose and turns too easily (could easily lead to accidental bumps). No case to place filters in when not in use. Limited filter availability (just two).

Third-Party EF to RF Adapters

If you can’t wait on a Canon adapter, or want to save a little extra money, there are other EF to RF adapters from companies besides Canon. Here are two adapters worth checking out.

Viltrox EF-R2 Adapter — $99

The Viltrox EF-R2 adapter includes a control ring for the same price as Canon’s basic EF to RF adapter. The adapter includes a micro-USB port to update adapter firmware.

Pros

Inexpensive. Provides control ring for same price as Canon’s basic adapter. Solid construction.

Cons

Chunky. Design isn’t as polished as Canon’s control ring adapter. Lens compatibility isn’t as extensive as Canon adapters. Fit and grip of adapter on body feels a bit loose. Sporadic communication issues that required camera to be powered on and off.

Breakthrough Photography EF to RF Drop-In Adapter — $199 (Pre-Order)

Breakthrough Photography has built a brand on quality neutral density filters and circular polarizers, so it makes perfect sense for them to offer their own drop-in filters. Breakthrough drop-in filters use Breakthrough’s own EF-RF adapter, and are not compatible with Canon’s adapter (you may trade-in your Canon adapter to save money — contact Breakthrough for more info).

Pros

Large collection of filter options including solid NDs, variable NDs, circular polarizers, dark circular polarizers, and specialty filters for black and white. High quality glass and optics.

Cons

Only currently available for pre-order.

Videos

Two videos about EF-RF adapters from my YouTube channel. Check them out below.

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