I think my D5000 (or lens?) AF is malfunctioning, but I'm not sure. I'm using the stock lens (Nikon DX, AF-S NIKKOR 18-55mm) It takes seconds (like 7 seconds) for it to find focus and seems to keep going back and forth in and out of focus. I can see the lens/image and hear the motor move it in and past focus to back in focus and it goes several times during focusing. It kinds of does like a quick search on focus then small adjust then a large adjust then fine adjust and finally decides and takes the picture. This is even with a tripod and still shot, i.e., it shouldn't have to change focus decision. Sometimes it seems to stop with no part of the shot in focus. Note I also typically have VR off not sure that would make any difference though.

My other thought is that I hadn't been using it much for a while, so I'm also not sure if this was the normal focus behavior. I'm not sure if cleaning would be appropriate? I haven't physically cleaned the sensor. What I end up doing to work around is MF, AF and flip to MF, or AF and not release the shutter button fully.

I'm not sure if this could be just a setting? I don't think I've messed with the focus settings other than switching from AF to MF or locking the focus.

I'm missing lots of action shots unfortunately.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ That sounds typical of low-light behaviour. What are your lighting conditions - sunny day, indoors, sports hall with artificial light…? \$\endgroup\$
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Dec 29, 2020 at 8:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Lighting conditions seem to not have a large impact, but I'll go ahead and systematically check that thanks for the idea. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 29, 2020 at 14:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Have you tried using a different lens? How is your focus-mode set (AF-A, AF-S or AF-C?). How are you selecting AF points? \$\endgroup\$
    – inkista
    Commented Oct 5, 2021 at 20:06

1 Answer 1


Low light and low contrast will always confuse AF. Does it happen all the time or only in failing light and with subjects that have no texture? Does it happen with other lenses? Clean the contacts on the lens and mount.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.