Canon Community Canon Community
 


Reply
New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎11-11-2013

Camera won't autofocus. Is this an issue with the lens or camera itself? Will a new lens fix this?

I'm new to this camera. When we got it the guy told us up front that the autofocus is broken.  Is this an issue with the lens or camera itself? Will a new lens fix this? Manual focus works just fine.

Moderator
Posts: 415
Registered: ‎06-05-2013

Re: Camera won't autofocus. Is this an issue with the lens or camera itself? Will a new lens fix thi

Hi SM1432!

So that the Community can help you better, we will need to know exactly what model camera and lens you're using. Any other details you'd like to give will also help the Community better understand your issue.


Thanks and have a great day!

Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎02-28-2013

Re: Camera won't autofocus. Is this an issue with the lens or camera itself? Will a new lens fix thi

You knowingly bought a camera where the seller told you the autofocus was broken?

 

I assume it's a Rebel, since that's the forum this is in.  SLR cameras have an autofocus system in the camera, and the lens itself has its own “system”.  So it could be either the camera or the lens that has the broken AF.  It’s more likely the lens, but you never know.  First thing I’d do is to get a second lens (borrow or rent) and see what happens.  Make sure you check the switch on your current (and second) lens to see that it’s selected AF.

New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎11-11-2013

Re: Camera won't autofocus. Is this an issue with the lens or camera itself? Will a new lens fix thi

It's a friends. I have not purchased it yet, just been borrowing it/considering purchasing it. I wanted to look into this auto focus thing first. On the current lens, the AF is selected. I guess I'll have to do like you said and borrow or rent a lens and try it with that. I just wasn't sure if the answer was clearly the lens or the camera, and wanted to find out before I went through the trouble of trying out a new lens. 

Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎02-28-2013

Re: Camera won't autofocus. Is this an issue with the lens or camera itself? Will a new lens fix thi

Got it.  Nope, no way to be sure without another lens.  Though it’s far more common for the AF system on the lens to malfunction, especially the kit lenses.  Mine died after a simple knock on the side of the lens, though it made a grinding noise letting me know it was trying to work.  I suppose the switch could have died or a simple wire came loose.  If you determine it’s the lens and still buy the camera, I’d see if I could get the lens tossed in for free, and I’d open it up and look around.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 2,171
Registered: ‎11-14-2012

Re: Camera won't autofocus. Is this an issue with the lens or camera itself? Will a new lens fix thi

There are far more reasons for a lenses AF components to fail than the camera's so I'd definately try another lens or 2.

 

"A skill is developed through constant practice with a passion to improve, not bought."
Reputable Contributor
Posts: 705
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Camera won't autofocus. Is this an issue with the lens or camera itself? Will a new lens fix thi

[ Edited ]

There are a few things you can try:

 

1. Go into the camera menu and reset it to the default settings. Also go into the Custom Functions and reset those to defaults. It's possible someone has set up Back Button Focusing or some other settng, which might fool you into thinking the lens isn't able to focus. By resetting to the defaults, you can be certain AF is turned on in the camera.

 

2. Clean the lens-to-camera contacts. To do this, remove the lens from the camera. Lightly dampen a clean rag with isopropyl alcohol (aka, "rubbing alcohol") and use that to carefully wipe the gold electronic contacts on the rear of the lens. Be careful to keep off the optics of the lens. Note: I don't recommend using a pencil eraser, which is sometimes suggested. Often the problem with these contacts is oils... finger oils or oil from lubricants in the camera or lens... and erasers are made from vegetable oil, so aren't really good removing it. Widely available and cheap rubbing alcohol will do the job.

 

3. While you have the lens off, also check the gold "pins" just inside the front of the camera, that correspond with the electronic contacts on the lens. Clean them the same way, being very careful not to touch the mirror or anything else in there. Also lightly press on each of the pins, they are spring-loaded and should pop back into place smartly. If one is "sticky" from oil or dirt or whatever it might not be protruding enough to properly make contact.

 

4. Operate the lens' AF on/off switch a number of times. If never or very rarely operated, these switches do occasionally get oxidization inside, that stops them from making proper contact and interrupts the flow of power to the AF motor in the lens. Most of these switches are "self-cleaning" when operated. Just turn on and off a dozen or more times. AF just might start working normally again.  

 

5. If the AF still doesn't work, take camera and lens to a store that sells Canon lenses and ask to try one of their lenses on the camera. If it autofocuses okay, then you know it's the lens on your camera that's at fault. On the other hand, if the borrowed lens doesn't AF, then you know it's a problem with the camera. I agree with other posts, it's far more likely a problem with the lens than with the camera, but you'll never know for certain until you test with a "known good" lens. 

 

6. It's unlikely to help, but you also might download the latest firmware from the Canon website and install it on the camera (or reinstall it, if it's already up to date). It also is not likely, but might help to "reboot" the camera (however, this procedure is not possible with all models). Sometimes firmware updates and rebooting the camera clear mis-instructions that are stuck in the camera's memory... sort of like rebootiing a computer to clear the memory or reinstalling software that's gotten corrupted. After all, today's cameras are essentially computers, too.

 

All the above cost little or nothing other than a little of your time to try. If there has been a failure and it's just the lens, it might be a relatively inexpensive repair such as a ribbon cable that's come loose. Or it could be a more expensive issue such as a failed AF motor in the lens. Depending upon the lens, it might be cheaper to just replace it. If the problem is with the camera, repairs might be pricey (unless camera is still in warranty). If it's fault with lens or camera, you'll have to get it looked at to get an estimate of cost to repair.

 

***********
Alan Myers

San Jose, Calif., USA
"Walk softly and carry a big lens."
GEAR: 5DII, 7D(x2), 50D(x3), some other cameras, various lenses & accessories
FLICKR & PRINTROOM 

 





 

 

New Contributor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎09-21-2016

Re: Camera won't autofocus. Is this an issue with the lens or camera itself? Will a new lens fix thi

I'm having that problem also. My primary 18mm - 55mm lens won't auto focus, my other lens works fine. But not the primary.

I take good care of my gear, so I hope it's a simple fix. It works in manual focus only

New Contributor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎01-31-2017

Re: Camera won't autofocus. Is this an issue with the lens or camera itself? Will a new lens fix thi

Thanks for this most helpful response.  Trying all of these things with my Rebel T5 which I am suddenly having focus issues with.  Have been using a Tamron 150-600 lens since September and have had some good success given that I am new to photography.  Suddenly every picture is out of focus.  I tried the Tamron and also the canon zoom the rebel came with and couldn't get clear with either. 

 

Now I am wondering if it is something in the camera?

Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,228
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Camera won't autofocus. Is this an issue with the lens or camera itself? Will a new lens fix thi


bsmiz wrote:

Thanks for this most helpful response.  Trying all of these things with my Rebel T5 which I am suddenly having focus issues with.  Have been using a Tamron 150-600 lens since September and have had some good success given that I am new to photography.  Suddenly every picture is out of focus.  I tried the Tamron and also the canon zoom the rebel came with and couldn't get clear with either. 

 

Now I am wondering if it is something in the camera?


Put the camera in green [A] mode.  Use "ONE SHOT" focus mode.  Now try it.  Make sure you have a lot of light.

 

The camera should beep when it acquires focus, and allow to take a shot.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
powered by Lithium

LIKE US on Facebook FOLLOW US on Twitter WATCH US on YouTube CONNECT WITH US on Linkedin WATCH US on Vimeo FOLLOW US on Instagram SHOP CANON at the Canon Online Store
© Canon U.S.A., Inc.   |    Terms of Use   |    Privacy Statement