Finding the right lens for your camera can vastly improve your images and overall production, but learning what you need to know about video and photo camera lenses can be expensive and time-consuming.  

In this article, we explain the different types of camera lens mounts that you will be dealing with as a photographer and filmmaker. You need to know this information intimately so that you can avoid common pitfalls.

1

Cine Camera Lens Mounts

LENS MOUNTS FOR CINEMA CAMERAS

1.1  TYPES OF CAMERA MOUNTS

Popular mounts in video production

Let’s go over the main lens mounts you’ll be dealing with in both photography and video production. We’ve broken the mounts down by category so you have an understanding of their overall purpose.

Camera lens mounts explained

Below are popular cameras that have the corresponding mount. You’ll notice that some of the same cameras are featured under multiple mounts.

That’s because those manufactures chose to roll out multiple versions of the same camera models with different mounts to increase their compatibility and overall camera sales.

These are separate cameras with separate mount receivers, and not a single camera with interchangeable mounts.

There is no such thing (yet) as a RED camera mount, but rather RED makes multiple camera bodies that have an EF, PL, or F mount.

However, there are canon lens mounts that are specific to canon, the most recent being the new Canon EOS mount that is functional with the new line of Canon EOS lenses.

But that doesn't mean the types of canon lens mounts are limited to just the EOS mount because some Canon cameras are fitted with an EF mount, much like the popular Canon 5D.

We’ve placed the EF mount in the Cine lens category because there are cinema style cameras that use the EF mount, but they are also found in DSLR and mirrorless photography cameras as well.

1.2  CAMERA LENS MOUNTS TYPES

Camera lens mount adapters

Lens adapters will give you some leeway with lens usage, and for filmmakers who use the Sony a7 cameras, you may want to look into adapters more than the Canon camera folk.

Mount adapters do have their negatives like the lack of the electronic signals and functionality for a camera’s auto-focus.

Adapters are a good fix for specific situations, but overall you will want to try your hardest to avoid pairing cameras and lenses that aren’t built for one another unless dealing with a great camera with limited lens selection.

1.3  CINE CAMERA LENS MOUNTS

EF-Mount (Electronic Focus Mount)

Pros: Auto Focus, Affordable, Third-Party Friendly

Cons: Marginally less durable than PL (Positive Lock)

Compatible With:

1.5  CINE CAMERA LENS MOUNTS

F-Mount (Format SLR Mount)

Pros: Versatile (Backwards Compatible)

Cons: Third-Party Limited, Not as durable as PL

Compatible With:

2

Photo Camera Lens Mounts

LENS MOUNTS FOR DIGITAL PHOTO CAMERAS

2.1  PHOTO CAMERA LENS MOUNTS

A-Mount (Sony ‘Alpha’ Series Mount)

Pros: Versatile (Backwards Compatible)

Cons: Third-Party Limited, Not as durable as PL

Compatible With:

2.2  PHOTO CAMERA LENS MOUNTS

E-Mount (Sony Mirrorless Mount)

Pros: You get to use on the Sony A7 iii

Cons: Third-Party Limited, Not as durable as PL

Compatible With:

2.3  PHOTO CAMERA LENS MOUNTS

Z-Mount (New Nikon Mirrorless Mount)

Pros: New capabilities

Cons: Third-Party Limited, Not as durable as PL

Compatible With:

2.4  PHOTO CAMERA LENS MOUNTS

RF-Mount (New Canon EOS Mount)

Pros: New capabilities

Cons: Third-Party Limited, Not as durable as PL

Compatible With:

2.5  PHOTO CAMERA LENS MOUNTS

M43-Mount (Micro Four Thirds Mount)

Compatible With:

Note: M43 produces an image that is 75% smaller than a full frame sensor.

UP NEXT

Guide to the Best Camera Lenses

Now that you have a better grasp on lenses, check out our post on the Guide to the Best Camera Lenses.

We set you on the right path to find a lens or set of lenses that works best for your camera and your production.

Up Next: Guide to the Best Camera Lenses →
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