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Cannot take a picture using Viewfinder

edited November 2015 Posted in » Nikon D3200 Forum
Hi Moose,

Set the D3200 to Automatic to snap a quick living room picture. It will not focus, and when I press the button, no picture. I have tried changing all the settings and have gone through a lot. Any clues? Thank you, Lonnie


  • edited November 2015
    I am assuming that the battery is good, the display is lighting up, and no error messages are appearing.

    The first thing to do is to remove the lens, clean the contacts if possible with a little alcohol, and remount it. Make sure that the M/A switch is all the way to A. If it now works, you're OK.

    If it still does not work, switch the lens from A to M. Don't bother with whether it's in focus or not. In manual focus, the camera switches to release priority and should be able to take a picture whether it's focused or not. If it now snaps, then there is an error either in the lens or the camera's focusing mechanism. If it still does not snap, then there's something wrong with the camera.

    If the camera works in Live View but not Viewfinder mode, then this would indicate a problem with the camera's focusing mechanism. The two modes use completely different auto focus methods. If you're lucky, perhaps there is a piece of junk on some internal optics, but you'll probably have to have someone look at it.

  • edited November 2015
    I switched the lens from A to M. It will take a picture in the M setting. Later on tonight I will try and figure out where it needs to be cleaned. Have only had this camera about 4 months. Bought it new, but as a factory re-furbished camera. More later, and thank you.
  • That's a good start, as it means the camera is not dead.

    Does the focus ring turn when it's in M mode, and focus? (be sure not to try turning it when it's in A mode, because it will break if you force it). It should move freely in M mode.

    If you switch it to AF mode, and use Live View, does it focus?

    Sometimes taking the lens off and reinstalling it can be enough to wake it up.

    If you take the lens off, you'll see a set of electrical contacts on the mount, and a corresponding set inside the camera. You can clean them off with alcohol on a swab, then re-install the lens. Give it a little wiggle when it's on, to make sure it's latched and seated.

  • edited November 2015
    Hi Bruto, I am learning things today. Didn't know I had a focus ring adjustment for the M manual focus mode. Figured it out and it does work. Then I went to the AF mode and discovered that it focuses in the Live View mode. At the moment I'm at work. In a few hours I will be able to take the camera home and test it in my living room again. That is where the problem began. Thanks for the help. Lonnie
  • @Bruto, thanks a million for the advice. My camera seems to be working again now.
  • edited December 2015
    Nice post!
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