EF-S vs EF lens

Started Aug 11, 2012 | Discussions
A pentaxian
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EF-S vs EF lens
Aug 11, 2012

Hi,

I am new to Canon DSLR and its lens system; I am changing my gears from Pentax to canon system. I will buy 7D soon;... I will switchover to full frame body later ..... the problem is I am not able to fix up which lens to buy ? .... EF-S series lens or EF full frame lens ? ....

..... as you understand that I wish to invest money for lenses, for 7D now, which I can use it later on full frame body ..... Is there any such option in Canon system ? ..... like in Nikon system, DX format lens can be used on FX format body in crop mode....

Please help ....
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a pentaxian

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Collett
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Re: EF-S vs EF lens
In reply to A pentaxian, Aug 11, 2012

A pentaxian wrote:

Hi,

I am new to Canon DSLR and its lens system; I am changing my gears from Pentax to canon system. I will buy 7D soon;... I will switchover to full frame body later ..... the problem is I am not able to fix up which lens to buy ? .... EF-S series lens or EF full frame lens ? ....

..... as you understand that I wish to invest money for lenses, for 7D now, which I can use it later on full frame body ..... Is there any such option in Canon system ? ..... like in Nikon system, DX format lens can be used on FX format body in crop mode....

Nope, not to date. I was not aware Nikon had this. Nice feature. Best to stick with EF lenses if you are planning on switching to FF because they can be used on both body formats, while EF-S lenses cannot.

Please help ....
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a pentaxian

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Jim

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misolo
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Re: EF-S vs EF lens
In reply to A pentaxian, Aug 11, 2012

As already mentioned, EF-S lenses cannot be mounted on full-frame bodies. The mount specifications for EF-S allow the lens to protrude into the mirror box (so they only work with the smaller mirror of crop cameras). The idea is that having the lens closer to the sensor allows, all else being equal, for lens designs that more compact, cheaper, and have better image quality (which seems to be the case, but the gains seem to be somewhat small). The downside is that EF-S lenses can't be mounted on full-frame cameras because the mirror would hit the lens.

A pentaxian wrote:

Hi,

I am new to Canon DSLR and its lens system; I am changing my gears from Pentax to canon system. I will buy 7D soon;... I will switchover to full frame body later ..... the problem is I am not able to fix up which lens to buy ? .... EF-S series lens or EF full frame lens ? ....

..... as you understand that I wish to invest money for lenses, for 7D now, which I can use it later on full frame body ..... Is there any such option in Canon system ? ..... like in Nikon system, DX format lens can be used on FX format body in crop mode....

Please help ....
--
a pentaxian

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locke42
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Re: EF-S vs EF lens
In reply to A pentaxian, Aug 14, 2012

Are you sure you want to move up to full frame? You might find APS-C to be "good enough" and never actually make the very considerable monetary leap to full frame (unless Canon decides to release a sub-$2k full frame camera).

There are some incredible EF-S lenses (the 17-55mm and 15-85mm to be precise) that will almost never leave your camera if you get them. Of course, there are even better (and more expensive) EF lenses that cover the same equivalent focal range (the 24-70mm and 24-105mm), but only on full frame. On a crop body, they will be considerably less useful.

My recommendation:

Get a general purpose EF-S zoom, and supplement it with specialized EF lenses (like a 70-200mm and a couple of primes). Then you can easily switch out the EF-S zoom for a general purpose EF zoom when you move to full frame. The 15-85mm in particular is relatively inexpensive.

Either that, or skip the 7D entirely and go straight for a 5D MkII.

A pentaxian wrote:

Hi,

I am new to Canon DSLR and its lens system; I am changing my gears from Pentax to canon system. I will buy 7D soon;... I will switchover to full frame body later ..... the problem is I am not able to fix up which lens to buy ? .... EF-S series lens or EF full frame lens ? ....

..... as you understand that I wish to invest money for lenses, for 7D now, which I can use it later on full frame body ..... Is there any such option in Canon system ? ..... like in Nikon system, DX format lens can be used on FX format body in crop mode....

Please help ....
--
a pentaxian

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photonius
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Re: EF-S vs EF lens
In reply to A pentaxian, Aug 14, 2012

A pentaxian wrote:

Hi,

I am new to Canon DSLR and its lens system; I am changing my gears from Pentax to canon system. I will buy 7D soon;... I will switchover to full frame body later ..... the problem is I am not able to fix up which lens to buy ? .... EF-S series lens or EF full frame lens ? ....

..... as you understand that I wish to invest money for lenses, for 7D now, which I can use it later on full frame body ..... Is there any such option in Canon system ? ..... like in Nikon system, DX format lens can be used on FX format body in crop mode....

Please help ....

you got already some good answers.

The point is that for wide angle and normal angle, you are generally better of to take EF-S lenses.

For example there is the Canon EF-S 10-22 for ultra-wide angle, wide-angle, and there is just no equivalent on the FF side, because nobody makes a 10mm lens for FF frame, the angle of view would be huge (Sigma 12-24 for FF is the widest you can get).

You can get ultrawide angle lenses for Full frame, e.g. 16-35, or 17-40, which would sort of work as normal zooms on a crop camera like the 7D. But the specifically designed lenses like the 17-55 f2.8 IS or the 15-85 IS (even the 18-55 IS) are much more suited as normal zooms for crop.
In the longer range, the advantage of the EF-S mount disappears.

The EF-S 55-250 IS is a nice, light and compact travel zoom. But you also could get the EF 70-200 series or 70-300 IS L lenses instead, they are heavier, but also better and work find on full frame. Anything starting with a focal length of 70mm and higher is EF only anyway, because EF-S would not gain anything.

So, if you do go to FF, just sell your EF-S lenses along with the body. They hold their value well.

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Narcosynthesis
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Re: EF-S vs EF lens
In reply to photonius, Aug 14, 2012

Canon EF lenses can be used on any EOS SLR - both crop sensor and full frame digital, and older 35mm film bodies.

Canon EF-S lenses can only be used on 1.6x crop sensor bodies - xxxxd, xxxd, xxd and the 7d series and there is no 'crop mode' such as Nikon have mounting a DX lens on a FX body - Canon designed the mount slightly differently to make use of the extra clearance between the mount and the smaller mirror of a crop sensor model, so the same lens on a full frame body would risk having the mirror contact the rear of the lens mount (moot anyway, as you cannot physically mount an EF-S lens on a full frame body without modification).

There is no common way to mount an EF-S lens on a full frame body, so if you are firmly set on upgrading to full frame later, avoid them and stick to the EF mount lenses - all of the currently available L grade lenses are EF mount, so telephoto and prime lenses are all fine, but you will be restricted to using a full frame ultrawide such as the 17-40mm or 16-35mm for a 'standard zoom' on a crop sensor body if you don't want to use any of the EF-S mount lenses available (such as the kit lenses or 15-85mm).

I would ask why you intend buying into Canon crop sensor SLR's if you are set on moving to full frame later on anyway? Why not stick to your current gear a little longer, save up the extra money and make the jump properly to a 5d series straight away and not have to worry about equivalent lenses or losing money on the crop sensor body?
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Berksan Ates
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Re: EF-S vs EF lens
In reply to A pentaxian, Aug 14, 2012

Hi,

You can't use Canon's EF-S lenses on FF bodies without heavy modifications on lenses(not recommended); but, you can use third party lenses with heavy vignetting ( You need to crop vignetting areas yourself later. On Nikon cameras, camera does it for you. This is how DX lenses works on FF bodies on Nikon)

If your ultimate goal is to get a FF body, you can buy a excellent second hand 5d classic less then a 7d price. FYI ...

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carlk
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Re: EF-S vs EF lens
In reply to Collett, Aug 14, 2012

Collett wrote:

A pentaxian wrote:

Hi,

I am new to Canon DSLR and its lens system; I am changing my gears from Pentax to canon system. I will buy 7D soon;... I will switchover to full frame body later ..... the problem is I am not able to fix up which lens to buy ? .... EF-S series lens or EF full frame lens ? ....

..... as you understand that I wish to invest money for lenses, for 7D now, which I can use it later on full frame body ..... Is there any such option in Canon system ? ..... like in Nikon system, DX format lens can be used on FX format body in crop mode....

Nope, not to date. I was not aware Nikon had this. Nice feature. Best to stick with EF lenses if you are planning on switching to FF because they can be used on both body formats, while EF-S lenses cannot.

Please help ....
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a pentaxian

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Jim

Yes Nikon has this since they have made so many DX lenses before finally released the full frame dslr. On the other hand I would advise not to overlook the EF-S lenses since many of them are better, or much better, than comparable EF lenses for value and performance on your aps-c camera. You could always use them on your 7D body if (that's a big if) and when you buy a full frame or sell the body and lenses together if you choose not to keep the camera.

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gdanmitchell
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Re: EF-S vs EF lens
In reply to A pentaxian, Aug 14, 2012

EFS lenses work only on Canon cropped sensor DSLR bodies. Other Canon lenses will work on all current DSLR Canon DSLR bodies, whether cropped-sensor or full-frame. The mount of the EFS lenses has been designed to work only on the cropped-sensor bodies, and it allows the rear of the lens to extend further into the mirror chamber, with various potential benefits for these cameras.

However...

Some make the erroneous assumption that an L lens is always the best choice, or that EFS lenses are less competent than other lenses. With this in mind, some determine that they should buy L lenses and avoid EFS lenses, often saying that they are buying lenses that they can use on a full frame body... at some undefined future time... perhaps.

Among the EFS lenses are some really excellent lenses. For example, the EFS 17-55mm f/2.8 IS is as fine a performer as any other Canon option you might consider. In fact, by comparison to the most likely L lens alternatives (the 17-40 f/4L or the 16-35 f/2.8L) it is almost always a better choice on cropped sensor bodies - excellent image quality that equals or exceeds that of the L lenses on cropped sensor bodies, a larger focal length range, f/2.8 aperture, and image stabilization. If it had a red ring and a letter L, almost no cropped sensor shooters would get the other two lenses.

Other excellent EFS lenses include the EFS 10-22 (nothing comparable in the L sphere), the EFS macro, etc.

As to the idea that it can make sense to get lenses for a future full-frame body, it depends - and in most cases I think that logic is quite debatable. If you are certain that you will acquire a full frame body very, very soon , it makes sense to tailor your lens choices with this in mind. On the other hand, if you sort of hope that perhaps you might be able to get a full frame body at some future but undefined date , it doesn't make sense to give up using the best lenses for your current camera that you actually do have for something that will be less optimized for the current camera.

What about the concern about the "investment" in EFS lenses that you might not need if you get full frame someday? First, you will likely either sell the cropped sensor body or else keep it as a back-up camera. In either case, it will be useful to have lenses for it. Your will find more ready buyers for a camera with a lens than a body-only. And if you keep it as a backup, you'll certainly want lenses. In addition, there is real value in the EFS lenses during the time you use them - the notion that you must recover all of your purchase price makes little sense unless you hold that the quality of the lens has no value during the time you use it.

Food for thought?

Dan


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mvmv
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Re: EF-S vs EF lens
In reply to A pentaxian, Aug 14, 2012

I read that some third party lenses for Canon APS-C can be also mounted to FF, any experiences?

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Inthebag
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Re: EF-S vs EF lens
In reply to mvmv, Aug 14, 2012

Does anyone know if you can mount a EF-S lens onto an extension tube, like the EF12 II, and then mount that onto a full-frame body?

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asad137
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Re: EF-S vs EF lens
In reply to mvmv, Aug 14, 2012

mvmv wrote:

I read that some third party lenses for Canon APS-C can be also mounted to FF, any experiences?

Entirely possible if the rear element of the lens does not protrude significantly past the mounting flange. Most likely to be the case for lenses where a manufacturer makes both Canon and Nikon versions using the same optical formula.

Of course, you're likely to have heavy vignetting if you use a crop-specific lens on FF.

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meatatarian
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Re: EF-S vs EF lens
In reply to Inthebag, Aug 14, 2012

Inthebag wrote:

Does anyone know if you can mount a EF-S lens onto an extension tube, like the EF12 II, and then mount that onto a full-frame body?

You certainly can, but it's not very useful. You'll get horrible vignetting depending on the lens. Also, you will likely not be able to access the full range of focusing (macro -> infinity).

mvmv wrote:

I read that some third party lenses for Canon APS-C can be also mounted to FF, any experiences?

Yes, you can for most if not all of them. The best example of this is the Tokina 11-16 f/2.8. It can be mounted to a full frame camera and be shot with minimal vignetting at 16 mm f/2.8. It's quite remarkable really. However, 9 times out of 10, mounting any dedicated APS-C lens on a full-frame is a waste since you'll get horrible vignetting.

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meatatarian
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Re: EF-S vs EF lens
In reply to A pentaxian, Aug 14, 2012

A pentaxian wrote:

Hi,

I am new to Canon DSLR and its lens system; I am changing my gears from Pentax to canon system. I will buy 7D soon;... I will switchover to full frame body later ..... the problem is I am not able to fix up which lens to buy ? .... EF-S series lens or EF full frame lens ? ....

..... as you understand that I wish to invest money for lenses, for 7D now, which I can use it later on full frame body ..... Is there any such option in Canon system ? ..... like in Nikon system, DX format lens can be used on FX format body in crop mode....

Please help ....
--
a pentaxian

I would highly recommend buying EF-S lenses for your APS-C camera, regardless of whether you will be upgrading to FF in the future. If you buy your lenses used or refurbished, they almost never significantly depreciate. Even if you buy the lens, use if for a few months and then sell it when you upgrade to full-frame, you'll hardly lose any money at all.

Also, with EF-S lenses, you have so many great lenses to choose from. There's the fantastic 17-55 f/2.8 IS and the 15-85 IS that are both as good or better than any L zoom lens you stick on your APS-C camera. They are designed for the very high pixel density sensors common on APS-C cameras. You'll also find the focal ranges much more useful than if you pick up a 24-XX L lens. My recommendation is to use EF-S wide zooms and standard zooms. Everything else (primes and telephotos) can be EF-mount. This is based on my experience owning a t2i and then 5d Mark II.

Anyway, why are you leaving Pentax? Pentax has some great DSLRs like the K-5.

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christy1685
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Re: EF-S vs EF lens
In reply to photonius, Aug 14, 2012

photonius wrote:

For example there is the Canon EF-S 10-22 for ultra-wide angle, wide-angle, and there is just no equivalent on the FF side, because nobody makes a 10mm lens for FF frame, the angle of view would be huge (Sigma 12-24 for FF is the widest you can get).

I dont get this?

The angle of view for a sigma 12-24mm on a full frame is wider than the equivalent for the ef-s 10-22mm

The 12-24mm gives you 12-24mm on full frame, on the smaller sensor it would give you about 18-36mm which isnt wide at all in comparison. its wide for an apc-s but not really for a 32mm sensor.

So the widest equivalent an EF-S 10-22 will ever get since it can only be paired on a cropped sensor is about 15-34mm which is narrower than a full frame @ 12-24mm.

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meatatarian
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Re: EF-S vs EF lens
In reply to christy1685, Aug 14, 2012

christy1685 wrote:

photonius wrote:

For example there is the Canon EF-S 10-22 for ultra-wide angle, wide-angle, and there is just no equivalent on the FF side, because nobody makes a 10mm lens for FF frame, the angle of view would be huge (Sigma 12-24 for FF is the widest you can get).

I dont get this?

The angle of view for a sigma 12-24mm on a full frame is wider than the equivalent for the ef-s 10-22mm

The 12-24mm gives you 12-24mm on full frame, on the smaller sensor it would give you about 18-36mm which isnt wide at all in comparison. its wide for an apc-s but not really for a 32mm sensor.

So the widest equivalent an EF-S 10-22 will ever get since it can only be paired on a cropped sensor is about 15-34mm which is narrower than a full frame @ 12-24mm.

I think Photonius meant that there is no equivalent EF lens that gets down to 10mm, which is correct (other than fisheyes). He was referring to mounting EF and EF-S lenses on APS-C cameras only.

Putting this another way is that there is no way to get a full-frame lens (EF mount) that can go as wide on an APS-C camera as the Canon EF-S 10-22.

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christy1685
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Re: EF-S vs EF lens
In reply to meatatarian, Aug 14, 2012

meatatarian wrote:

christy1685 wrote:

photonius wrote:

For example there is the Canon EF-S 10-22 for ultra-wide angle, wide-angle, and there is just no equivalent on the FF side, because nobody makes a 10mm lens for FF frame, the angle of view would be huge (Sigma 12-24 for FF is the widest you can get).

I dont get this?

The angle of view for a sigma 12-24mm on a full frame is wider than the equivalent for the ef-s 10-22mm

The 12-24mm gives you 12-24mm on full frame, on the smaller sensor it would give you about 18-36mm which isnt wide at all in comparison. its wide for an apc-s but not really for a 32mm sensor.

So the widest equivalent an EF-S 10-22 will ever get since it can only be paired on a cropped sensor is about 15-34mm which is narrower than a full frame @ 12-24mm.

I think Photonius meant that there is no equivalent EF lens that gets down to 10mm, which is correct (other than fisheyes). He was referring to mounting EF and EF-S lenses on APS-C cameras only.

Putting this another way is that there is no way to get a full-frame lens (EF mount) that can go as wide on an APS-C camera as the Canon EF-S 10-22.

Ah right i see, thanks

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gdanmitchell
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Re: EF-S vs EF lens
In reply to meatatarian, Aug 15, 2012

meatatarian wrote:

I would highly recommend buying EF-S lenses for your APS-C camera, regardless of whether you will be upgrading to FF in the future.

I wouldn't go quite that far!

When a great EFS option is available and not matched by non-EFS alternatives (as in the case of the EFS 17-55mm f/2.8 IS, the 10-22, and so on) then seriously consider the EFS lens. Some of them provide capabilities for cropped sensor cameras and are adapted for their needs in ways that cannot easily be duplicated with non-EFS lenses.

On the other hand, there are situations in which the non-EFS lenses may be the better or the only choices. For example, if you decide you need a 35mm prime, you can't find such a lens in EFS form. Or if you want a longer telephoto zoom, there are many more choices here among the non-EFS lenses... and the EFS option is OK but not great.

It is incorrect to imply that EFS lenses will perform better in optical terms with the sensors of cropped sensor bodies. That is simply untrue.

So it is not correct to simply say you should always get EFS lenses for cropped sensor bodies. It is correct to say that you should not automatically presume that EFS lenses are less capable or less desirable than non-EFS lenses.

Dan

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meatatarian
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Re: EF-S vs EF lens
In reply to gdanmitchell, Aug 15, 2012

gdanmitchell wrote:

meatatarian wrote:

I would highly recommend buying EF-S lenses for your APS-C camera, regardless of whether you will be upgrading to FF in the future.

I wouldn't go quite that far!

When a great EFS option is available and not matched by non-EFS alternatives (as in the case of the EFS 17-55mm f/2.8 IS, the 10-22, and so on) then seriously consider the EFS lens. Some of them provide capabilities for cropped sensor cameras and are adapted for their needs in ways that cannot easily be duplicated with non-EFS lenses.

On the other hand, there are situations in which the non-EFS lenses may be the better or the only choices. For example, if you decide you need a 35mm prime, you can't find such a lens in EFS form. Or if you want a longer telephoto zoom, there are many more choices here among the non-EFS lenses... and the EFS option is OK but not great.

It is incorrect to imply that EFS lenses will perform better in optical terms with the sensors of cropped sensor bodies. That is simply untrue.

So it is not correct to simply say you should always get EFS lenses for cropped sensor bodies. It is correct to say that you should not automatically presume that EFS lenses are less capable or less desirable than non-EFS lenses.


You're totally correct, and I apologize for not clarifying. I mean to say for the normal and wide-angle zooms. Some of the best lenses for APS-C in the prime and telephoto categories are EF lenses, such as the 70-200 f/4 IS and the 50 mm f/1.8!

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mvmv
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Re: EF-S vs EF lens
In reply to meatatarian, Aug 15, 2012

... and if FF is cropped to APS-C in centre?

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