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Autofocus not working. (18-55mm lens)

marcosochoa
New Contributor

Hello,

 

The autofocus on my Canon 18-55mm is malfunctioning and I'm afraid it may be broken.

All the internet research I've done points to issues electronic, but I believe this to be mechanical simply because of the noise it makes. With the lens set to AF, it does nothing, but makes a slight whirring sounds as if the camera is trying to, but can't focus the lens. In MF, turning the focus ring makes soft clicking sounds.

The autofocus works fine on the other lens I have.

The lens has not been dropped. I take really, REALY good care of my stuff!  Any other recommendations or bits of advice are much appreciated!

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Julius
Product Expert
Product Expert

Hi marcosochoa!

 

amphoto1 makes some very valid points, and it does sound like it could  be the motor in the lens. We have found that sometimes we're able to remedy this without a costly repair, but it is a multi-stepped process.

 

Try this:

  1. Take the lens off of your camera.
  2. Put the lens in MF mode.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Put the lens back on the camera.
  6. Put the lens in AF mode.
  7. Turn the camera on.
  8. Put the camera in AUTO or P mode.
  9. Take a test photo.
  10. Profit.

Hopefully this solves your problems, and you never have to worry about it again! With my personal lenses that are not USM or STM, I always store and transport them with the AF/MF switch in the MF position. This disengages the focusing motor and prevents any accidental damage to the auto focusing motor.

 

If this didn't solve your problem, please feel free to click HERE to contact us for additional troubleshooting, and explore other options that might be available to you.

Did this answer your question? Please click the Accept as Solution button so that others may find the answer as well.

View solution in original post

88 REPLIES 88

nursesrockit
New Contributor
Julius!!!!!! Genious! You just saved me $$$$$ too!!!! Fixed it!

Swiftcl
New Contributor
The clicking I hear is the flash.


@Swiftcl wrote:
The clicking I hear is the flash.

Remove the lens from the camera, and then shake it. 

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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."

Blocksmith
New Contributor
What a relief! Thank you for the advice. The fix took a matter of 30 seconds and saved me time, effort and money! Thank you!

A11
New Contributor
@Julius

Thank you! Fixed my problem immediately.

heathershaven
New Contributor

Hello,

I've had my Canon Rebel t3i about 3 1/2 years now.  I do a lot of traveling abroad.  I use the autofocus a lot with both of my lenses.  This last trip the autofocus would work intermittently with both lenses then all of a sudden not work.  When it did work I could hear it try to focus and see the difference.  When it didn't work it didn't do anything.   No noise or anything.  It did it off and on with both lenses so I don't think the lenses are the problem.  Does anyone have any idea what might be going on?


@heathershaven wrote:

Hello,

I've had my Canon Rebel t3i about 3 1/2 years now.  I do a lot of traveling abroad.  I use the autofocus a lot with both of my lenses.  This last trip the autofocus would work intermittently with both lenses then all of a sudden not work.  When it did work I could hear it try to focus and see the difference.  When it didn't work it didn't do anything.   No noise or anything.  It did it off and on with both lenses so I don't think the lenses are the problem.  Does anyone have any idea what might be going on?


The usual explanation is that somebody had tried to manually focus the lens while it was in autofocus mode. Many Canon lenses are OK with that action, but on most or all versions of the 18-55 it tends to jam the autofocus mechanism. Sometimes the lens can be unjammed without significant damage by manhandling it in a prescribed manner (recorded in detail at least once in this forum) and sometimes not. If it doesn't work, your only recourse is to try to have it fixed; but many people think that paying to have such a cheap lens fixed is a waste of money.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

I just want to say thank you sooooooo much for the tip on pulling out the focusing ring.  It worked for me to!!!!!

feedrail
Occasional Contributor

I have a t2i, the 18-55mm autofocus wont work, but if I put my 100-400L lens on t2i, the autofcus works. I can put the 18-55 on my t7i and the autofocus works fine. Is this maybe a problem with one of my contact pins on the t2i. Any ideas on which pin it would be?

 

Also, could this be a focus screen problem - I've went through several with the t2i - almost a million on shutter count

 

Whatever the exact issue might be, it seems that your T2i is at the center of it.  Look for wear and tear on the surfaces of the contacts on the camera and the lens.  Do not touch the contacts with your fingers, as that can leave potentially harmful body oils behind.

 

The contacts in the camera should be slightly springy, so make none of them is stuck or has sticky action when depressed.

 


One way to test the AF with the lens is to put the camera on a tripod, and set it to One Shot mode, the mode that beeps.  Set the camera to manually select the center AF point, and switch the lens to MF mode.  

Manually focus the lens on something about 50x the focal length distance from the camera using Live View.  If memeory serves, that model has LIve View.  If not, do the best job that you can do through the viewfinder.

Once focused, take a couple of test shots to confirm the quality of your focus.  With the camera in One Shot mode, and the lens in MF mode, you should still get a focus confirmation beep when you take a picture.  

 

Try it with other lenses, to make sure that you can get a confirmation beep while the lens is still in MF mode.  If you lack a tripod, find a good spot on a backyard table, or another location with a low risk of being bumped and falling.

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"Doctor told me to get out and walk, so I bought a Canon."