Spring 2012

Spring 2012
by ani

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My 18-55mm AF-S Nikkor lens seems to be faulty. It makes a funny noise when it tries to focus and can only focus at a close distance, not at a long distance. The shutter is very sluggish and slow. It seems to be able to focus normally when in video mode but not when in normal photo mode. Can anyone please suggest what might be wrong and how I might fix it? The lens is only 2 months old. Thank you.

Or can you please direct me somewhere where I might find help? I urgently need the camera for work tomorrow

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If you urgently need the cam for work, then go to a photo store and rent a lens. That should fix the urgent part. If the lens you have is only 2 months old, I'd suggest taking it in for warranty.

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It might or might not be a lens problem based on the fact it works ok in one mode but not in another, I'd be more worried about the body. – AJ Henderson May 21 '13 at 13:31

The part about working with video but not with photo is interesting and may mean that the camera itself is bad. There are two main types of auto-focus, Phase Detection (PD) and contrast detection (CD). CD is slower and requires focus hunting (passing the point of focus and coming back), however it is generally more accurate and can be done with a normal imaging sensor. PD, on the other hand, is generally slightly less accurate, but is very fast and can allow the lens to snap directly to the in-focus point. It also generally can't work off the same sensor as the primary imaging sensor (some newer cameras use a hybrid design).

It may be the case that the PD auto-focus sensor is broken and causing incorrect instructions to be sent to the lens while when you switch to video, since the imaging sensor is exposed, CD autofocus has to be used. If one mode of focus works and the other doesn't, then it would seem the lens is ok, but the PD sensor is bad.

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Good point :) Didn't think about the different AF types. – Emiel May 21 '13 at 13:47
Thank you very much for your help. My 3 year old bumped the lens and camera before I left to head out bush for work yesterday and I think that is what did it. The reason why I thought it was the lens is because the D5100 camera still seems to work fine with the AF-S Nikkor 55-300mm lens. I am in a remote area so unfortunately can't access any camera shops to borrow a lens! – Michelle May 21 '13 at 21:08

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