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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

The best course of action over the long run just might turn to be buying a new lens.  

 

How old is the lens?  Is it a newer “STM” version of the 18-55mm lens family?  Before you took it apart, did it make a noise when you shake it?

 

Have you reassembled the lens, and does the problem persist?  Did you find the post early in this thread by Canon Product Expert Julius?  Julius describes a technique of twisting the lens, which re-aligns the focusing motors without taking it apart.  But, his solution only works for the older “non-STM” versions of the lens.

The basic problem seems to be that people might be turning the focusing ring, instead of the zoom ring.  On the older lens designs, this can cause the focusing motors to become misaligned, and stuck in one position.

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

mc4
New Contributor

My lens was bought in second hand a few years ago, but it worked well till now and it did not make any noise shaking it...

I reassemble the lens and the problem is the same, autofocus only in one direction and I think t is a non STM version, maybe an older one.

 

As I described it is not a problem of re-align the motor with the lens as it works well in one direction, retracting the lens, but not extending it.

 

Thanks

Roi-canon
New Contributor

@mc4 wrote:

Hi,

 

I have the same problem, a Canon EFS 18-55 IS lens and the autofocus does not work correctly, but in my case only in one way. It retracts but does not extend. If I extend manually the lens, the autofocus retracts it till in focus, but if I retract it manually it does not extend till in focus, I can ear and feel something but no movement...

 

I disassemble the lens, took out the autofocus motor and with a 1.5v battery I managed to verify that the autofocus motor and the gears work well in one direction and in the other, so it seems that it is not a problem with this autofocus motor, don't you think?

 

If it is not that the problem what could it be?

 

I tried my camera (EOS 50D) wih other Canon lenses and all work well, so it is not a camera problem..

 

Thanks for any help.

 

Mike

 


Hi Mike,

I have exctly the same problem with my Canon EFS 18-55 IS II lens, and at least two other pepole in this post describe exctly the same problem.
I could not find any explenation online on how to solve this problem.
I opened the lens to check the gears and they look fine.

 

Does anyone have any other suggestions on what can cause this problem and how to fix it?

Thanks for helping

finmccoll
New Contributor
honestly thank you so much my camera now works perfectly i was getting so worried!

finmccoll
New Contributor
 

Amrutter
New Contributor
Thank you! Tried a couple things with no luck. Did this and it fixed it instantly!

a_villasanta
New Contributor

I have an 18-55 IS II. It won't autofocus at all. I can't hear the gears running, as if the lens doesn't know that it's on autofocus mode. I've also tried this on the 55-250, and the 50mm f1.8, but those lenses are able to autofocus well. I've opened my lens and checked the gears, but all the gears seem to be well in place. No gears have missing teeth.

 

 


@a_villasanta wrote:

I have an 18-55 IS II. It won't autofocus at all. I can't hear the gears running, as if the lens doesn't know that it's on autofocus mode. I've also tried this on the 55-250, and the 50mm f1.8, but those lenses are able to autofocus well. I've opened my lens and checked the gears, but all the gears seem to be well in place. No gears have missing teeth.

 


I don't mean to insult you; but because you're new to the forum, I have to ask: Are you sure the lens itself (not just the camera) is set to AF mode? It's a fairly common mistake that we've seen newbies make.

 

BTW, opening up a lens is not a smart idea unless you really know what you're doing.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA


@RobertTheFat wrote:

@a_villasanta wrote:

I have an 18-55 IS II. It won't autofocus at all. I can't hear the gears running, as if the lens doesn't know that it's on autofocus mode. I've also tried this on the 55-250, and the 50mm f1.8, but those lenses are able to autofocus well. I've opened my lens and checked the gears, but all the gears seem to be well in place. No gears have missing teeth.

 


I don't mean to insult you; but because you're new to the forum, I have to ask: Are you sure the lens itself (not just the camera) is set to AF mode? It's a fairly common mistake that we've seen newbies make.

 

BTW, opening up a lens is not a smart idea unless you really know what you're doing.


Yep, both the lens and camera are set to AF.

I actually have development on this, the AF works if I do the following sequence:
1. Set the lens to Manual Focus

2. Set the focus ring to the farthest it can go

3. Switch it back to AF

4. Half press the shutter

 

The focus ring can retract, but not extend, when I have the lens on AF. 


@a_villasanta wrote:

@RobertTheFat wrote:

@a_villasanta wrote:

I have an 18-55 IS II. It won't autofocus at all. I can't hear the gears running, as if the lens doesn't know that it's on autofocus mode. I've also tried this on the 55-250, and the 50mm f1.8, but those lenses are able to autofocus well. I've opened my lens and checked the gears, but all the gears seem to be well in place. No gears have missing teeth.

 


I don't mean to insult you; but because you're new to the forum, I have to ask: Are you sure the lens itself (not just the camera) is set to AF mode? It's a fairly common mistake that we've seen newbies make.

 

BTW, opening up a lens is not a smart idea unless you really know what you're doing.


Yep, both the lens and camera are set to AF.

I actually have development on this, the AF works if I do the following sequence:
1. Set the lens to Manual Focus

2. Set the focus ring to the farthest it can go

3. Switch it back to AF

4. Half press the shutter

 

The focus ring can retract, but not extend, when I have the lens on AF. 


That usually means that someone has tried to manually focus the lens while it was in autofocus mode. Most versions of the 18-55 don't like to be treated that way, and the AF mechanism can get jammed. Try Ernie Biggs's suggestion; it's the approved method of trying to un-jam the lens. If that doesn't work, you may have to write it off. The low-end lenses usually aren't worth professional repair.

Bob
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA