Q: How are Canon EOS EF and EF-S Lenses Different?

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Here is my answer to this member's question:

A:    Dear eBay Member,

EF-S models cannot be used with the vast majority of EOS cameras that have been produced over the years (since 1987). This affects the long term value of the lens, as it limits the number of photographers who can use them. Even for an EOS 40D owner, I still recommend EF series lenses exclusively, because they will maintain their value much better over the long term. More importantly, many EF "Full Frame" lenses actually have superior IQ (Image Quality) results on "Small Frame" cameras, because only the lens's "sweet spot" is used for imaging.  This can nearly eliminate "edge performance" deficiencies in many EF lenses.

Canon EF-S series lenses were designed specifically to be used on Digital SLR cameras with "small frame" image sensors. Any EOS camera that is specified with a 1.6X "crop factor" is a "Small Frame" model. The EF-S lenses are "optimized" to work properly only with these models and will not even fit on "Full Frame" bodies. This "optimization" does allow them to be a little more compact, but they will not necessarily surpass the performance the EF version of a similar focal length lens. I am convinced that they rarely even get close. That is only my personal opinion, but quite a few well informed people share my feelings in this matter.

All Canon EF series lenses will work perfectly with every EOS body ever made, digital or film. (There are some oddball exceptions, due to unique metering systems on certain film bodies, but I am sure that those exceptions won't affect you in any way.)

I hope my thoughts will be helpful to you.

Best regards,


Introduction To The Q & A Guide Series:

I have been answering potential bidder's questions about the items that I have listed on eBay for several years. One kind person suggested that there may be other members who have wondered about the same subject, but may have been too shy to contact me directly. He suggested that it could be useful to post his question, and my answer, for others to see. He recommended that it could be done in the form of an eBay Guide.

This is the second in a series of Q & A "Guides" that will be posted.

This series of eBay Guides is based on real questions that were asked of me through eBay Messages, using the "Ask The Seller A Question" feature on my listings. Hopefully, these Guides, based on my actual responses, might provide useful answers to some of your questions too.

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