My brother tried my new camera and was turning the focusing ring quite harshly on auto focus. (50mm canon lens) I’ve read multiple similar questions but nothing is quite what I mean. Ever since my camera will not focus. Did he ruin the lens motor or something similar? I’m extremely new to cameras.

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    EF 50mm f/1.8 II? EF 50mm f/1.8 STM? EF 50mm f/1.4? EF 50mm f/1.2 L? Each of these "50mm Canon lenses" have different focusing mechanisms.
    – Michael C
    Jan 5, 2020 at 1:46

2 Answers 2


It sounds like you have the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens. This lens has a "micro-motor" AF motor that is directly geared to the lens' focusing elements when the AF/MF (autofocus/manual focus) switch is set to 'AF' (autofocus). Turning the manual focus ring when the AF/MF switch is set to 'AF' can permanently damage the focusing mechanism, as warnings included in the lens' Instructions clearly state:

  • Do not touch the rotating parts of the lens while AF is active.
  • Do not focus in MF when the focus mode switch is set to AF.

That is quite possible. If the lens is an autofocus lens, with autofocus enabled it is possible to break the focusing motor.

Of course there is the chance that your Autofocus switch is just set to MF instead of AF.

Some lenses have a manual override, which enables you to turn the focus ring even with auto focus enabled, but other lenses do not.

If the focus ring feels like it is locked when autofocus is enabled it most likely do not have manual override and turning it by force could have damaged it.

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