How To Put a Lens on a Camera? 

How To Put a Lens on a Camera featured photo

If you purchased a camera body and lens separately, you probably do not know how to assemble them. You have likely tried to attach the lens to the camera but could not lock it properly. I have been in your shoes before, so I will teach you how to connect a lens to your camera.

To put a lens on a camera, remove the rear lens and camera body cap. Take note of the mounting index dots on the lens and body. Align these dots to mount the glass properly. Then, turn the lens to secure it in place. 

However, manufacturers use different lens mounts, which limit compatibility between camera bodies and lenses. This article will cover lens mounts in more detail. We will also teach you the steps of attaching and detaching a lens to a camera body.

How To Put a Lens on a Camera? A Step-by-Step Guide

Below are six easy steps for putting a lens on a camera body.

Remove the Rear Lens Dust Cap

Remove the Rear Lens Dust Cap

All camera lenses come with a rear lens cap. This component protects the lenses from dust, moisture, and scratches when detached from the camera.

If you want to connect a DSLR lens to the body, you must first remove the rear cap. Simply grab and pull to detach the cap.

Store it in a secure place, such as a camera bag, to avoid losing it when connecting or changing lenses.

Detach the Camera Body Cap

Detach the Camera Body Cap

After removing the rear lens dust cap, you can detach the cap covering the camera body. Twist and pull to remove the camera body cover.

Make sure to power off the camera before taking off the cap. The image sensor produces a static electric charge that attracts dust. So if you do not turn off the power, you risk letting dust enter the sensor.

This dust can settle on the low-pass filter inside the camera. It can build up over time, which leaves smudges or black dots on your photos.

To minimize that risk, expose the inside of the camera body as little as possible. Move fast in a dust-free area away from fans and windows. You can also consider holding the camera upside down when removing the cap cover. Doing so allows large dust particles to fall out of the body.

Attach the Lens to the Camera Mount

To put the lens on the camera body, you must align the index marks on them. These marks are usually red or white dots that tell you where to mount the lens.

Attach the lens to the camera body. Use slight pressure to connect it. 

Avoid using too much force when putting the lens on the camera body because you risk damaging it. You should not also press any button near the mount when attaching the lens.

And if possible, turn your back to the wind and rain. Doing so prevents dust and other elements from damaging your lens.

Lock the Lens Into Position

After putting the lens on the camera body, slowly turn the lens clockwise until you hear a clicking sound. That means the lens is already locked in place. It would not move or detach from the camera body unless you plan on changing lenses later.

Remove the Front Lens Cap

Remove the Front Lens Cap

Before you take pictures, remove the front lens cap on your camera’s lens. Pull and squeeze the cover to detach it from the glass.

Take Pictures

Now that you have connected the lens to your camera, you can turn the device on. Snap as many photos as you like by pressing the shutter button. You can also record video if your DSLR or mirrorless camera allows it.

How to Remove a Lens from a Camera?

After using your camera to take photos and videos, you may want to store or change lenses. To do these tasks, you must learn how to detach a lens from the camera.

First, find the lens release button on the camera body. It is usually near the right side of the lens mount.

Next, press this button to disconnect the lens from your camera.

Then, turn the lens to the left before pulling it out. 

You can now change lenses with a new one if you want to capture a different kind of subject. For example, you can switch a standard prime lens with a telephoto glass for wildlife photography. 

Or you can store the camera lens if you will not use it anymore. Do not forget to put on the front and rear lens caps to protect the internal glass elements. 

Can You Put a Different Lens on a Camera?

You can put different types of interchangeable lenses on a camera. These include prime and zoom lenses as well as other lenses with varying focal lengths. For example, you can use a wide-angle, standard, telephoto, or fisheye lens on a camera. 

However, if you own a lens from one brand and a camera from another brand, you may be unable to use it. Manufacturers have unique product lines that are only compatible with items of the same make. For instance, you cannot attach a Nikon lens to a Canon DSLR camera body. You can only use select Canon lenses and other third-party products.

There is a way to fix the compatibility problem, though. You can use a lens adapter to connect one branded lens to another branded camera. It does not matter if you have a Nikon or Sony lens and a Canon camera body, for instance. You can attach different mount lenses to the body. 

Note that an adapter still has limitations. You may be unable to use the special features of your lens if you connect it to another camera. These include autofocus, image stabilization, and auto aperture, among other functions. As much as possible, choose the same manufacturer for your lens and camera. 

How Do I Know if a Lens Is Compatible With My Camera?

So if you cannot use all lenses with your camera, how do you know if one fits? Well, the answer is simple.

Figure out the lens mount to determine the compatibility of your lens with a camera. You can look at the mounting indexes in front of the camera. Or you can check the manufacturer’s website for the specific lens mount that your device uses.

What Is a Lens Mount?

The lens mount is the mechanical and electrical connection between the camera and the lens. It comes in different types. These include a bayonet type, a screw-threaded type, and a breech-lock (friction lock) type.

Modern cameras have a bayonet-type lens mount. This mechanism includes three to four tabs that align the lens and body. 

Camera manufacturers use different mounts that are almost always incompatible with each other. They also label them in letters or acronyms. 

What Are the Popular Lens Mounts?

It can be challenging to know the lens mount of a particular camera because of the random letters. To guide you, I researched the most popular lens mounts and their corresponding labels.

Refer to the list below to know if your lens is compatible with a particular camera.

  • Canon – EF-S for crop sensor cameras, EF for full-frame cameras, RF for mirrorless cameras
  • Nikon – DX for crop sensor cameras, FX for full-frame cameras
  • Sigma – DC for crop sensor cameras. DG for full-frame cameras
  • Sony – E for crop sensor cameras, FE for full-frame cameras
  • Pentax – DA for crop sensor cameras, FA for full-frame cameras
  • Tokina – DX for crop sensor cameras, FX for full-frame cameras 

How to Attach Accessories to a Camera Lens?

Lenses accept different accessories to improve your photography, protect your investment, develop your creativity, or all of the above.

Below are the popular lens accessories you can use and tips on how to put them on.

Lens Filter

A lens filter is probably the first accessory you will get for your lens because it is versatile and cheap. It also protects the glass surface from dust, scratches, smudges, and other elements.

Plus, it comes in different types. Feel free to choose one that suits your needs and photography style.

  • Polarizing Filter – It minimizes unwanted glare and reflections in photography. It is popular in shooting landscape photography as it deepens the color of the sky. However, it is suitable anytime you want to reduce reflected light within an image.
  • UV Filter – It protects the image sensor from the sun’s harsh UV light. Most digital cameras are not as sensitive to UV rays, though, unlike film cameras. That said, the filter is still a great must-have for minimizing scratches on the DSLR lens.
  • ND Filter – A neutral-density filter reduces the intensity of light entering the sensor. It is ideal if you want to shoot using long exposures.

To attach a filter to your camera lens, remove the lens cap first. Then, simply snap it in front of the DSLR lens. And depending on the model, you may need to twist the filter to lock its position in your camera.

Lens Hood

A lens hood is a camera accessory that can prevent glare. It works by completely blocking the light source or minimizing its effect on the image. 

There are different types of lens hoods based on their shapes and sizes. Get one that suits the type of lens you own. For example, a cylindrical lens hood is ideal for a prime or telephoto lens as it completely stops stray light. Meanwhile, a petal hood works well with a wide-angle lens as it also prevents vignetting.

To put a lens hood on your glass, align its red dot with the index mark on the lens. Turn the hood clockwise until it is secure.

Mount Adapter

A lens mount adapter lets you attach lenses with a different lens mount to your camera. In other words, you can connect a Canon, Sony, or Sigma lens to a Nikon camera body.

Attaching a mount adapter is similar to putting your lens on a camera. Match the index marks located on both the lens and adapter. Next, twist the lens to hear a clicking sound that indicates it is already locked. Then, you can use a different lens brand to another camera brand.


A teleconverter is a camera accessory that increases the focal length of a lens. Also known as an extender or multiplier, it extends the reach of your lens. It is ideal if you need to get very close to the subject. However, it can decrease the image quality.

A teleconverter sits between the camera body and the lens. You can attach a teleconverter the same way you connect a lens to the camera. Align the index marks before locking the accessory in place.


If you bought a separate camera body and lens, you might be clueless about how to connect them. However, the process is relatively straightforward.

First, remove the rear lens and body cap that protects the internal elements. Next, align the mounting index dots on the equipment. Then, attach and twist the lens until you hear a click. Finally, take off the front lens cap to take pictures.

Do you have other questions about putting a lens on a camera? Feel free to reach out via our contact page.