What is the difference between canon ef and ef-s?


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Feb 8, 2016
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When i found a dslr camera on amazon most of them are ef or ef-s supporter camera? What is the main difference between ef and ef-s camera? Which one is good for photography?
EF-S is the designation lenses that fit for crop sensor camera only

EF is designation for lenses that are designed for fullframe cameras, these will also work on crop camera

EF-S lenses cannot be used on fullframe cameras
And to answer his last question, both are obviously good for photography, EF lenses are generally better, but
considering the question you're (OP) asking, stick with EF-S (crop sensor) lenses and bodies.

If you're just getting into it, those would be cameras like the Nikon D3200, D3300, D5200 etc and Canon 1100D, 1200D, 700D, 750D (T5, T5i, T6i..).

EDIT: Nikon lenses and bodies designated 'DX' are crop-sensor, BTW.
Canon's EF mount and EOS system was introduced back in 1987 to accommodate the hot new SLR camera feature - auto focus. EF stands for "Electro Focus".
The EF mount replaced Canon's FD mount.

The EF-S mount was introduced in 2003 when Canon started offering DSLR cameras with an APS-C size image sensor.
The above pretty well answers all the questions about the difference. I'll add one more thing about the difference.

What is a main difference between ef and ef-s lenses? Usually hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
If you are planning to buy a camera to do food photography, the lens is more important than the camera body. I'd primarily be looking at using a macro lens (because this will let you get as close as you want and has the ability to resolve detail to finer levels than a typical lens.

If using a camera body with an APS-C size sensor (any Rebel series body) then my go-to lens would be the Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM. That's roughly the equivalent of using a 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens on a camera with a full-frame sensor.

For food photography, lighting is a big deal -- you didn't ask about lighting, but depending on how serious you want to be (if these are shots that would be used promotionally... then I'd be worrying about lighting.)

Meanwhile back to the lens question...

The point of EF-S lenses was to provide lower cost lenses.

When digital first arrived on the scene, producing a digital camera that had a sensor that was just as large as a single frame of 35mm film was VERY expensive. Canon produced cameras that had sensors that were a bit smaller... the same as a single frame of film from APS-C film (APS-C = Advanced Photo System "Classic" size film) because the smaller sensors were cheaper and that meant they could produce cameras that were more affordable. (The Canon EOS "Digital Rebel" -- aka 300D was the first DSLR ever produced that cost less than $1000. That was a milestone because suddenly high end cameras might be affordable to consumers... and soon every manufacturer was offering something at this price point.)

While the majority of cameras had these smaller sensors, all of the lenses were designed to project an image large enough that it could completely fill a "full frame" sensor. Basically a lot of the image being projected into the camera body was spilling off the edges of the sensor and was being wasted.

Canon realized they could build lenses that projected image circles into the camera body which were just large enough to fill an APS-C sensor, but not big enough to fill a full-frame sensor. If they did that, then the lens elements could be physically smaller, the lens could be more compact, the distortions that needed to be corrected would be fewer (thus requiring fewer lens elements) -- basically there was a LOT of opportunity to reduce the cost of making a lens by doing this. This mean that the price to the consumer would also be less.

The "S" in EF-S stands for "Short" back-focus. The rear-most lens element in the camera is actually closer to the sensor then it would be in an EF lens. It actually protrudes a bit beyond the back of the lens' mounting flange (meaning it partially protrudes into the camera when the lens is mounted.) The camera has an articulating reflex mirror inside that has to swing clear when you take a photo. In an APS-C sensor camera body this mirror can be smaller (since the sensor is smaller) and that means it doesn't need as much space to swing clear. But to maintain compatibility with the full-frame "EF" lenses the camera's lens mounting point (mounting flange) is still 44mm away from the sensor. That means there's more room inside the mirror chamber then the camera really needs -- and allows Canon to get away with this shorter back-focus.

But this creates a problem if you were to attempt to mount an EF-S lens on a full-frame body. Those bodies have a large reflex mirror which does need more space to swing clear. If the rear-most lens element protrudes into that chamber, then the mirror can hit the lens when it's trying to swing up. And of course... the lens can't produce an image that can fill the sensor from corner to corner so you'd have extreme vignetting. To protect you from damaging your camera, Canon designed the lens mounts so that EF-S lenses simply cannot be attached at all.

EF lenses can be mounted on ANY Canon EOS camera -- film or digital... full-frame or crop-frame... doesn't matter, they work.

EF-S lenses can ONLY be mounted on Canon EOS cameras that have an APS-C size sensor (with the exception of the Canon EOS 10D).

Canon also now produces a few EF-M lenses. These are designed for use ONLY with Canon's EOS "mirrorless" cameras. Those cameras have an adapter (basically a spacer) that also allows them to use any other Canon EOS lens (so Canon "mirrorless" camera owners can use any EOS lens ever made.)

Canon's "L" series lenses are their top-grade glass... but also the most expensive. The lenses always place the letter "L" (in red) following the focal ratio. E.g. if the lens is a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens it would be called a "70-200mm f/2.8L" (they also have a red stripe around the front of the lens barrel). But one of the rules on L quality lenses is that they MUST be compatible with every Canon EOS camera or they cannot have that designation. This means that "L" lenses are only found in the "EF" line because EOS "EF" lenses can literally be used with ANY Canon EOS camera every made.

This does NOT mean that if it doesn't have an "L" it's not a good lens... there are some non-L lenses that are disqualified from the L designation because they can't be used on any EOS body ever produced... but provide staggeringly good quality. The EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM is such a lens. That's one of the best lenses I've used ... and it's not an "L" lens. It provides the highest detail resolving capability of any EF-S ever produced.

There are a few speciality lenses such as the tilt-shift series which have the "TS-E" family designation and there's a highly specialized extreme macro-photo lens called the MP-E 65mm (there is only one MP-E lens). You can treat those lenses just like "EF" Lenses - the TS-E and MP-E lenses work with everything.

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