What Lenses Fit My Canon Rebel?

By Andy Merrett

The Canon Rebel series of digital and film SLR cameras is firmly targeted at the consumer market. The first 35 mm film SLR to bear the Rebel name was released in 1990. The SLR Digital Rebel was introduced in 2003. Internationally, the Rebel cameras are known by numeric model numbers. All Canon Rebel cameras are part of Canon's well-established Electro-Optical System series that use an EF lens mount.

Digital SLRs

Nine models are among the most recent Canon Rebel DSLRs. Several older models are no longer in production. Models include the T6i, T5i, T4i, T3, T3i, XT, XTi, Digital Rebel and XSi, as of 2015. All can be fitted with Canon EF and EF-S lenses. Nearly 70 lenses are available, including a range of wide angle and telephoto zoom lenses and prime lenses with a variety of fixed focal lengths. Additionally, third-party lenses from manufacturers including Tamron, Sigma and Tokina will also fit Canon Rebel DSLRs provided they are compatible with the EF mount system and are designed for use with digital cameras.

Film SLRs

Six Canon 35 mm film SLRs carry the Rebel name. Most of the older models are no longer in production. Models include the X/XS, 2000, GII, K2, T2 and Ti. Canon has not abandoned film cameras completely despite the rise in popularity of digital photography. All models can be fitted with Canon EF lenses. Care must be taken not to attempt to fit an EF-S lens onto a film-based SLR. The EF-S range lenses were introduced alongside Canon's first digital SLR and cannot be used on non-digital cameras. Third-party manufacturers such as Tamron, Sigma and Tokina produce lenses compatible with Canon's film cameras.

Cropping Factor

All Canon Rebel digital SLRs feature a sensor smaller than the 35 mm found in the film-based Rebel cameras. This introduces a cropping factor, also known as focal length magnification. It affects a lens's effective focal length when attached to the camera. All digital Rebel cameras have an approximate cropping factor of 1.6 x. A 50 mm lens attached to a Rebel DSLR has an effective focal length of 80 mm.

Check Compatibility

It is important to check the compatibility of any lens before attempting to use it with any of the Rebel camera models. Some third-party lenses are designed for either digital or film cameras and cannot be interchanged. The Rebel cameras are constructed from lighter materials than some of Canon's professional DSLRs. Care should be taken when using longer and heavier lenses with these cameras. Very heavy lenses should always be supported by hand or tripod to avoid damage to the mount connectors.