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Canon Manual Focus SLR Lens Adapters

With a much thinner than average SLR body, Canon was able to produce a Nifty Series of SLR lens Adapters for its Manual Focus SLRs: (Canonflex, Canon FL or FD mounts), making Canon SLRs among the most adaptable SLRs ever.

Canon's Canonflex R, FL, and FD Mount SLRs have a very shallow body depth amongst SLRs. This allows the use of SLR Lens adapters to use other manufacturer's lenses and still focus to infinity (although without meter coupling and auto-diaphragms) without a glass element which would degrade the adapted lens optical performance.   Canon made the following adapters:

The E and P adapters are fairly common because they were in continuous production. The N adapters are rare and much more expensive in the used market.  For some reason Canon didn't much like the idea of using Nikon lenses on their cameras. The N adapter was first made in the early 60's, and then quickly discontinued. In the late 70's it was briefly brought back, and then discontinued again. These adapters are long discontinued, but still available on the used market.

Canon also made the A and B adapters. The A adapter is for using Leica screw mount lenses (on in this case, Canon Rangefinder Screw mount Lenses) on Canon FD bodies. Of course this combination is for close-ups only and does not allow infinity focusing.

Tired of the your Leitz VISO system w/o TTL metering or flash??? I strongly suspect that if you find the right combination of adapters, you can combine the Canon A adapter with VISO lens heads. Use it on a Canon T-90, and you will have TTL flash, three metering modes, multi-spot metering, and a 4.5 frame per second motor drive. Is the T90 is really a VISO 4 in disguise?

The B adapter will mount Canon FD Lenses on Leica screw mount bodies--with no rangefinder coupling. This is VERY useful for wide-angle lenses, since wides can usually be scale focused with their great depth of field. Add a Leica M Bayonet adapter and presto, you can use a Canon wide on a Leica M mount!

The real FUN begins when combining the Canon B adapter (with or without the M adapter) WITH the Canon N, E, or P Adapters.

By combining adapters, you can use Nikon F mount lenses, Exakta mount lenses, or Pentax screw mount lenses on Leica screw mount or M bodies!

To be objective about it, adapter combinations can get a bit ungainly. Yet, you can save a LOT of money by combining different shooting platforms. Obviously this information is of little use since most photographers have unlimited funds to buy more equipment. Be that as it may, I hope some of you find this info interesting.

IMPORTANT: New adapters make it easier and quicker to mount Nikon, Exakta, Pentax, Canon lenses to M.  See Profile.

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Revised: November 26, 2003 Copyright  1998-2002  Stephen Gandy. All rights reserved.    This means you may NOT copy and re-use the text or the pictures in ANY other internet or printed publication of ANY kind.  Information in this document is subject to change without notice.  Other products and companies referred to herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies or mark holders.