Lens Guides

Switching to Mirrorless: Using SIGMA Lenses on Canon EOS R Cameras (and more!)

When I was 13 years old, I was gifted a Pentax ME 35mm film camera. From then on, I was hooked. I vividly remember the smell of the dark room and excited anticipation of developing my prints. Since then, photography has been a part of me. Like many over the years, my photography has evolved; not just in style and process, but in gear as well.

When I had my first child, I shifted away from film to digital. I gravitated toward the ease, instant gratification and more importantly quality I could achieve. More recently I’ve transitioned from a digital SLR camera to mirrorless, specifically, a Canon EOS R camera body. Of course, the first thing I was concerned with is how I was going to continue to use my SIGMA Art lenses with this new body. The solution was a simple and inexpensive one.

Switching to Mirrorless

Before I dive into how I was able to easily make the transition, I want to explain why I switched from my DSLR to mirrorless in the first place. While I’ve been content with my DSLR for many years, I’ve become increasingly frustrated with the focusing performance and sharpness. Not to mention the overall weight of my heavy DSLR making things more challenging as well. With five children in tow and my hands often full, having a camera body that was smaller and lightweight was a necessity. Where my DSLR lacked, my new mirrorless camera made up for.

“Not only did these adapters simplify and minimize gear for me, they also saved me a fortune.”

Meg Loeks, SIGMA Ambassador

Yet there was the issue of my SIGMA EF mount lenses working with my new Canon EOS R5. There was no way I was going to part with my SIGMA Art prime lenses, so I purchased the Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R (thankfully without having to buy any additional gear), which works flawlessly. I also use a Sony A7R IV for some situations, and I am able to use all my SIGMA EF mount lenses with that body as well simply by attaching the SIGMA MC-11 Mount Converter to it.

Not only did these adapters simplify and minimize gear for me, they also saved me a fortune. I was able to continue to use my current lenses with my Canon EOS R5 in indoor low-light settings (my favorite light to work in), and my Sony A7R IV outside because I gravitate toward the color. All SIGMA Art, Sports and Contemporary lenses are compatible with the Canon EOS R adapter too, but if firmware is needed, it’s easy to update with the USB Dock. The dock isn’t something I use often, but it’s handy to have and very simple to use, especially for updating firmware.

Lens Performance

Speaking specifically about the Canon EF-EOS R Adapter, this small and lightweight item smoothly locks into place on my mirrorless body, and I’m able to easily and tightly attach any of my SIGMA EF mount lenses to the adapter. In full transparency, I was a little hesitant about how well my camera and lens would communicate with one another, but it has been seamless. In fact, my mirrorless with my SIGMA EF mount lenses outperformed my DSLR in autofocus speed, AF tracking and sharpness.

“My mirrorless with my SIGMA EF mount lenses outperformed my DSLR in autofocus speed, AF tracking and sharpness.”

Meg Loeks, SIGMA Ambassador

My work is 95% focused on homelife and my children who obviously at times move quickly. One of the biggest frustrations I had with my DSLR was that I had missed memorable moments because my camera could not keep up or my image was out of focus. With my new system it’s extremely fast, no matter the lighting situation. It’s incredibly rare that I ever miss focus. Not only that, when I zoom in on my subject I can count their eyelashes. This is the kind of sharpness and quality I was seeking when I made the switch to mirrorless.

Why I Stick with SIGMA

The very first lens I ever purchased when I made the switch years ago from film to DSLR was a SIGMA lens. I’ve always been a big advocate for their lenses simply because they offer quality gear at an affordable price. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to test competitor lenses that are priced much higher compared to SIGMA, and noticed no difference in quality. In fact, SIGMA outperformed these competitors in sharpness, especially in low light.

Not to mention SIGMA offers a huge and diverse range of focal lengths. I tend to gravitate towards prime lenses and love that I’m able to easily shoot anything from environmental portraiture to a classic portrait to landscape with my gear. Lastly, I have been so impressed with how well my SIGMA EF lenses operate on my mirrorless. It honestly exceeded my expectations, especially when it comes to autofocus speed and sharpness.

Ready to Make the Switch?

Over the past several years, I’ve witnessed more and more photographers make the switch to mirrorless. Universally, I kept hearing two things. The first was how incredible the autofocusing is, especially with eye tracking as an option on both my Canon EOS R5 and Sony A7R IV. The second was the sharpness. That piqued my interest because as I mentioned earlier, the main struggle I had with my DSLR was autofocusing and sharpness.

With either the Canon adapter or SIGMA MC-11 Mount Converter, I was able to easily and efficiently transition to a new system (and Nikon users can enjoy the same flexibility when adapting their SIGMA gear to the mirrorless Z system with the Mount Adapter FTZ). Making the switch to mirrorless was one of the best, and easiest, photography decisions I have made.

Adapt your favorite SIGMA lenses (compatibility tested by SIGMA)

SIGMA Global Vision LensesAdapter NeededCompatible Camera Systems
SIGMA EF mount
(for Canon) lenses
Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R (all versions)Canon EOS R cameras
(RF mount)
SIGMA EF mount
(for Canon) lenses
SIGMA MC-11 Mount ConverterSony Alpha cameras
SIGMA EF mount
(for Canon) lenses
SIGMA MC-21 Mount ConverterL-Mount: Panasonic Lumix S, Leica, & SIGMA fp cameras
SIGMA F mount
(for Nikon) lenses
Nikon Mount Adapter FTZ / FTZ IINikon Z cameras
(Z mount)
NOTE: SIGMA Global Vision lenses include Art, Contemporary and Sports line lenses only.

Shoot with Nikon Z? Learn more about adapter options from pro landscape photographer Kristen Ryan

Comments (18)
  1. John says:

    No way would I ever part with my Sigma lenses, I use them on my Canon 5D Mark IV and R6. They work perfect on both, the adapter is no big deal as I leave it on my R6 so switching lens between my 5D4 & R6 is seamless, no loss of quality or autofocus, no difference in auto focus speed either.

  2. GaryG says:

    My new Canon EOS R 10 has image stabilization in the lens and not in the camera body, unlike the R7. Do any SIGMA lenses incorporate image stabilization?

  3. Mark Capozzoli says:

    I have (3) Sigma E mount lenea. . If s there anyway to go from Canon R to Sony E?

  4. Avatar photo Nick Vrona says:

    Hi Gary, yes quite a few SIGMA lenses have built-in stabilization. Look for “OS” in the product name. While this feature is most desirable in telephoto lenses, our standard zooms for DSLR have this feature as well.

    SIGMA DSLR lenses with Optical Stabilization

  5. Avatar photo Nick Vrona says:

    If you are asking if you can use your SIGMA E-mount lenses on your Canon RF mount camera, there is currently no adapter for this purpose, and it is unlikely that any such adapter would (or could) be developed due to the very different mount designs.

  6. Troy+Phillips says:

    I’ve switched from Nikon dslrs to the Nikon Z9 . I got the ftz adapter and my 5 Nikon f mount Sigma lenses are working fine . I am also looking to adapt with Megadapt I think it is my Sony E mount Sigma Art and I series Contemporary lenses over to the new Z mount .
    I was just reading last night about this adapter and then this article comes out . Good glass is hard to part with. One of the issues I’ve had with some of my Sigma Art glass is it was slow to focus, had to calibrate on the dock extensively for the live music I shoot and still would get front and back focused shots.
    Now going mirrorless and adapting they are working flawlessly. I actually a couple years ago purchased the Sigma Art 28 and 40mm purposely to adapt to the new Z mount when it’s auto focus got good enough. I new it would solve the issues . I haven’t shot any live music shows yet with the new Christmas Camera I got myself. All my testing at home is showing me very favorably the will be a go .
    Thanks Sigma for all the great lenses you make . Thanks for insatiable commitment to making such a high quality product. I’m so proud to be part of the Sigma Family.

  7. So the focus pulsing issues with the 150-600 Sports and Contemporary have been solved and corrected? I switched over from Canon to the new Son A7r5 because of it. But it was an excuse to buy the new Sigma 150-600 Sports for Sony e mount, My old lens worked flawlessly on all of my Canon DSLR’s but using it on the Canon R5 with the Canon adapter wasa nightmare.

  8. Vicky says:

    I am new to mirrorless cameras. I’ve just bought the cabin EOS and am hoping for advice on an adapter to fit an older Canon EFS lens. Can someone give advice to this beginner please?

  9. Ziggy says:

    Not sure what to think about article. It is great that author sees improvement, but there is no data for supporting that. What Sigma lenses does she use? What camera did she use? Is she switching from Canon 350d to R6, or Canon 6D mark I or for example Canon 5D Mark IV? How can we refer article to anything? I clicked into the link, as a owner of DSLR from Canon, and owner of 3 Sigma lenses, two for Canon and one for Sony A system (E mount) . I am extremely disappointed because all I know, is to buy another DSLR from Canon, since there is no hope to get proper information. When camera companies will stop using buying like cash machines and start respecting us more?

  10. cary abrazaldo says:

    i have been using sigma from the art series to the super telephotos with adapter…it’s been fantastic.

  11. Bruce Danz says:

    The author was wise to get a Sony camera so she csn take advantage of Sigma’s mirrorless lenses. Canon will not share its RF mount and there is no converter that will allow a Sigma mirrorless lens on a Canon camera. Sigma makes the world’s best astro lens (Sigma 20mm f1.4 dg dn) but it’s not available for RF mount. Canon has shown no interest in making a similar lens.

  12. Mitch Park says:

    Glad it worked out for the author, but as an EOS R6 Mark II user, I find way more incompatibilities with 3rd party lenses. Seems like Canon is sabotaging 3rd party lenses on their newest bodies. I love the R system, but I won’t chance buying non-native glass now.

  13. Dee says:

    Weird, I recently tried to use a Sigma Art 35mm 1.4 with my Canon eos R using the EF-EOS R adapter – the adapter works with all my EF glass but NOT the sigma lens!. It leaves a huge ring in the photo :/ not sure what I’m doing wrong as the Sigma works perfectly with a Mark3 and Mark4 Canon. Was hugely disappointed to not be able to use the amazing 35mm on my EOS R.

  14. Sheena says:

    Have you noticed that your screen/viewfinder look darker when using your Sigma lenses with you mirrorless Canon? I have been trying to figure out why this happens and I came across your blog.

  15. Phillip Morton III says:

    Would be nice to also state that Sigma EF lenses have a reduced AF tracking area on RF mount bodies. Not absolutely a deal breaker at all, but I definitely do wish it was a slightly bigger AF tracking area. Maybe 5% – 10% of the time do I find myself being limited in composition by the reduced area when im tracking mode, but mostly its a non-issue.

  16. Kevin Pang says:

    I don’t understand the weight argument if you’re not using the new RF lenses, as an R5 with adapter is roughly 50grams lighter than a 5D mark IV. While technically lighter, are you going to notice a difference if 50 grams?

  17. Dillan says:

    I have a Sigma 35nm f/1.4, and it works flawlessly with my EOS R.

  18. I have the 35mm 1.4, and it has worked amazingly on my dslr and my mirrorless. I have a few others on my list that l plan on buying this year.

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