Steps to Fix Nikon Autofocus Issues

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The camera’s Autofocus is the real engine behind adjusting the camera lens and achieving accurate focus on the subject. But, with any product or feature that is manufactured, there is always a chance that it may be faulty. As a result, we can see many Nikon DSLRs with defective AFs. The question that keeps popping up and causing grief among Nikon users revolves around the autofocus problems.

Are these Nikon’s AF problems tangible, and should you be concerned? Yes, you should be concerned if you are a professional photographer. Here are some quick troubleshooting methods to fix Nikon Autofocus issues. Follow these steps, in this order:

#1 Check whether the lens is clean

Remove the lens. Examine the front and rear lens aspects for dirt and dust. Check also if there is any damage and filters on the lens. If you find any dirt or smudges on the lens, remove it using a lens cloth and a cleaning solution. But don’t blow on the lens as it may damage it due to dangerous acids in the human breath. If you feel like blowing, use a bulb blower with a brush.

Further, check the nubs and ensure they are clean and have a spring attached to them. If any dust is found, clean it with a cleaning solution. Can you be able to focus every time on your camera now? If yes, the problem is solved. If no, then continue reading.

#2 Camera must be set to Autofocus but no Manual

See that your lens and camera switches have been set to Autofocus. The camera should be put into AF mode, not Manual mode. Whereas the lens can be set to M/A mode, which lets you use both options.

#3 Make sure the back dial is not locked

There are chances that you can quickly turn the dial towards Lock (L) mode, especially when you are in a hurry. So check whether the dial is pointing towards the camera icon instead of L mode.

Also, make sure that the button AEL/AFL is not in a locking position. Clicking the button once will lock the Autofocus mode. So click it one more time and unlock it.

#4 Check the camera settings

Sometimes, the AF will stop working if there are any issues with the contrast aspect while using multiple sensors. So, set the camera for Single Area AF and choose the central autofocus center. And confirm Closest Subject Priority, Auto Area, or 3D is disabled.

#5 Viewfinder

Examine your camera’s viewfinder. Make sure there are no smudges or oils present on it. If the viewfinder is dirty, the sight you are focusing on will not be impacted, but you won’t be allowed to focus anything on the picture. So, clean the viewfinder using a cleaning solution before you use it.

Not only these but there are things you can look for: Are there any variations from side to side on the lens? Is there any distance-related problem? Etc.

“Exclusively for Nikon cameras, the NEF is a raw file format that is the default format for saving RAW images on Nikon. While performing steps to fix Nikon Autofocus problems, you might be in a hurry, and chances are there for unintentional deletion of NEF files stored on the camera. If so, you can easily recover NEF files using this software.”

However, the solutions for AF problems are the the same for all the DSLRs, not only Nikons. Whenever you feel like your camera is running out of issues, please turn it off for some time and then turn it on. If this fails, you can try removing the camera battery and putting it in after some time. As a next option, you can try the factory reset option to reset all functions and settings on the device. When nothing seems to work out, take your camera lens to get serviced.

About the Author: John Harris

With a decade of experience in data recovery, John Harris, Senior Editor at Remo Software, is your go-to specialist. His focus includes partition management, Windows solutions, and data troubleshooting, delivering insightful content that serves both users and search engines. John's expertise shines through in illuminating blog posts, untangling data loss intricacies across diverse storage platforms.…