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New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎08-13-2018

Canon Rebel T3i having trouble focusing

Hey! So my camera lately has had issues with focusing when I have my lens set on automatic. It basically focuses just when it really feels like it. Smiley Wink It has a better chance of focusing when I’m zoomed out but that’s pretty rare, even if lighting is great and the object I’m photographing is easy to see. I often shoot in program mode but tried some of the others and still had the same issues. I’ve even changed lenses and the same problems are present. Manuel mode isn’t an issue because I can focus myself, but often with my job I need to focus quickly and with the current state of my camera I can’t even take a picture on automatic! A little help? Smiley Happy
Reputable Contributor
Posts: 512
Registered: ‎10-18-2016

Re: Canon Rebel T3i having trouble focusing

The easiest thing to try would be to check the contacts to the lens on the camera body. If they are dirty or damaged you will get issues communicating with the lens.  If you use a white spirits-dampened cloth and carefully wipe the contacts - making sure to not get liqud in the camera body and then see if it works.  For good measure consider cleaning the lens contacts as well.

 

Let us know how that turns out.

"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
"I have never been able to enlarge a photograph... I am just interested in the shots" Henri Cartier-Bresson
New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎08-13-2018

Re: Canon Rebel T3i having trouble focusing

Thank you for your reply. I’ve actually tried that already and it didn’t do anything.
Reputable Contributor
Posts: 512
Registered: ‎10-18-2016

Re: Canon Rebel T3i having trouble focusing

Well done, but a pity it didn't work.   My next logical thought is that it needs to go in for a check as all of the other things I can think of are inside the body itself.  If you are using it for work hopefully it can written off as an expense! :-)

"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
"I have never been able to enlarge a photograph... I am just interested in the shots" Henri Cartier-Bresson
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,815
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Canon Rebel T3i having trouble focusing

If you have another lens, the best test is to swap lenses and see the other lens behaves correctly.   If yes, then youy’ve basically isolated the problem to the one lens.

 

If the camera isn’t getting enough light, then it wont focus ... but assuming you’re testing it in nicely lit conditions and it’s doing this then that would rule out the light question.

 

The camera body has contacts that connect to the lens.  The contacts on the camera body are pins that are each spring loaded.  If you push them in with your finger (gently) they should spring back out.  Make sure you don’t have a jammed pin.  

 

It’s seldom dirty contacts since the contacts are gold-plated (gold is a good conductor and doesn’t corrode).  If you do see anything on the contacts, wipe the clean with a soft cloth (you can moisten it slightly).  Don’t use anything abrasive (don’t use a pencil eraser) since the gold plating is (a) soft and (b) very thin ... so it’s easily removed if you’re too aggressive.

 

If you only have the one lens, and if checking the contacts are working, and if using it in nicely lit conditions doesn’t take care of the problem, then it *could* be the camera, but is *probably* the lens (the lens is to blame far more often than the camera).  Depending on which lens you have, it may not be worth the trouble to get it fixed (if this is the kit lens that came with the camera then it’s generally better to replace the lens then pay for repair.)

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
Reputable Contributor
Posts: 512
Registered: ‎10-18-2016

Re: Canon Rebel T3i having trouble focusing

[ Edited ]

TCampbell:

My understanding is the original poster indicated that they had this issue with more than one lens.  When I suggested cleaning the contacts it was ensure that the pins did, in fact, function as required.

 

Based on the posts to date I think it needs to go in for a service as I can't see any further user means to solve this.  It looks like the unit is used for a business purpose, so perhaps an upgrade might be in order considering the workload and significance to the business...

"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
"I have never been able to enlarge a photograph... I am just interested in the shots" Henri Cartier-Bresson
VIP
Posts: 11,358
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Canon Rebel T3i having trouble focusing

If I had seen this earlier, I would have told you it isn't dirty lens contacts. It rarely to never is.  Cleaning them can actually cause more damage than any bit of good.  The act of mounting and removing your lenses is enough to keep the contacts clean.

 

If this lens is the standard kit lens ef-s 18-55mm it may have become stuck.  Here is a way to attempt a fix.

Take the lens off of your camera.

Put the lens in MF mode.

Twist the FOCUS ring (the tip of the lens) all the way to one side (extend it). You may hear a click noise or two, this is good, but don't FORCE the lens.

Twist the FOCUS ring all the way to the opposite side (retract it). Again, you may hear a couple of clicking noises. What we hope is happening is the focusing motor being put back into its proper place.

Put the lens back on the camera.

Put the lens in AF mode.

Turn the camera on.

Put the camera in AUTO or P mode.

Take a test photo.

 

If it is not the kit don't try this.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
Highlighted
Moderator
Posts: 1,399
Registered: ‎10-25-2012

Re: Canon Rebel T3i having trouble focusing


@ebiggs1 wrote:

If I had seen this earlier, I would have told you it isn't dirty lens contacts. It rarely to never is.  Cleaning them can actually cause more damage than any bit of good.  The act of mounting and removing your lenses is enough to keep the contacts clean.

 

If this lens is the standard kit lens ef-s 18-55mm it may have become stuck.  Here is a way to attempt a fix.

Take the lens off of your camera.

Put the lens in MF mode.

Twist the FOCUS ring (the tip of the lens) all the way to one side (extend it). You may hear a click noise or two, this is good, but don't FORCE the lens.

Twist the FOCUS ring all the way to the opposite side (retract it). Again, you may hear a couple of clicking noises. What we hope is happening is the focusing motor being put back into its proper place.

Put the lens back on the camera.

Put the lens in AF mode.

Turn the camera on.

Put the camera in AUTO or P mode.

Take a test photo.

 

If it is not the kit don't try this.


Ernie! You stole my solution! Smiley Very Happy

When I was a phone tech, this worked 99% of the time with the 18-55mm IS lenses. Thankfully, the newer STM lenses prevent this from happening!

VIP
Posts: 11,358
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Canon Rebel T3i having trouble focusing

Sorry there Stephen but there were so many complaints like this I got tired of retyping it or searching for it. Thank heaven for copy and paste.

I hope it gets the OP back up and running. That's what counts.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
Moderator
Posts: 1,399
Registered: ‎10-25-2012

Re: Canon Rebel T3i having trouble focusing

You're 100% right, and I thank you so much for your help! 

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