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Autofocus Not Working

I bought my camera August 8, 2011. The autofocus isn't working but has until recently (within the last few days).

It happens with the 18-55mm, which is the lense I primarily use. When I push the shutter button halfway the frame doesn't readjust, it stays blurry. Zooming with the lense makes it worse. I know very little about cameras, especially digital. The auto focus is what I rely on to get crisp photos. I am a real estate assistant and take photos of homes, inside and out, and up to now the camera has been terrific. Any step by step help would be great!

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Comments

  • edited December 2014
    @reddawn

    I keep learning new things even now, and while fiddling with
    AF settings on my D3200 came across an interesting and, it seems, entirely undocumented phenomenon.

    Ordinarily the camera is on what is known as "focus priority", which means that it will not shoot a picture unless it's focused.

    However, if in the menu (I'm going by the D3200, but yours should be similar) you go to the "Buttons" subsection in setup, and "assign AEL -AFL button" item, you will find as one option "AF-ON". What this function does is to remove all AF operation from the shutter button. What it also does, without the manual telling us, is to switch the camera to shutter priority! In other words, if you aim the camera and press the shutter button, not only wont it auto focus, but it also will take a blurry picture.

    Go into your menus and make sure somehow this setting did not get changed.

    Edit to add: it appears the D5100 does have a separate setting for focus versus release (or shutter) priority, so that should be checked too.
  • edited October 2016
    Viewfinder not autofocusing---what a great site. Bruto your post allowed me to pin-point my exact problem. The Viewfinder mode does not autofocus most of the time. I have done everything suggested, and it still doesn't work. So now I have a camera more than 5 years old, and I need a suggestion on what I should do. I guess I could send into Nikon to have it fixed, but I don't know the cost to fix it. Even then I would have a working 5 year old camera. Or do I bite the bullet and buy a new/refurbished D5200/D5300 or a new D5500? Any suggestions?
  • edited October 2016
    One thing that might be worth trying is to get the camera cleaned. The phase detect AF uses a sensor and mirrors that can get dirty. If AF is working only intermittently, that is likely better than not at all, and suggests that either there's dirt or misalignment. As always, one thing to do is to make sure that the AF point is correctly aimed. I'm always accidentally moving it, and having to recenter it with the [OK] button.
  • edited December 2016
    Thanks, Bruto. My D5300 had assign AE-AL set to AF-ON (makes sense, no?).

    I set it to AE-L/AF-L and now when I press the shutter half-way it focuses!

    Again, my thanks.
    Bill in Arizona

  • This forum has been a great help. Thank you so much!
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