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I bumped into the tripod and the camera fell onto a carpeted floor.

Now the auto-focus is not working. Hold the shutter button half way and the lens moves rapidly back and forth from infinity to 0.38. Sometimes it stops and indicates that it is in focus, but mostly it isn't. Movement would indicate that the servo motor works

I don't have another auto-focus lens, only manual ones, to check if it's the lens or the camera.

Any idea where to start?

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Something is broken. Short of sending both in to a repair center, the only way to determine if it is the camera or the lens that is broken (or maybe both are broken?) is to use another AF lens on the camera and to use the lens on another camera.

If you can't find someone else with a Nikon AF lens that you can borrow and/or with a Nikon camera to test your lens, there's not much you can do to determine which is at fault. If you're in an area where camera rentals are available, you could rent a lens and/or camera for a day or three to test your equipment.

It's highly doubtful you will be able to repair either yourself. AF lenses are easy to take apart. They're usually not so easy to reassemble properly with all of the optics aligned properly on a near microscopic scale without specialized test equipment and knowledge about what one is doing. There are also things inside that can be broken just by touching them with a your finger and getting skin oil on them or by transmitting micro amounts of static electricity.

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  • Michael. Thank you for your reply. I am now almost certain it was the lens that was damaged, so have ordered a 'used - good condition' one for $70
    – gchq
    Jun 19 at 12:09
  • As an update. I didn't realise that the 70-300mm lens I have is also AF. I just tried that and the auto-focus works flawlessly. I'm thinking that a repair to the 18-70 would probably cost more than the $70.00 for a used one that works?
    – gchq
    Jun 19 at 22:10
  • @gchq There you go. You've eliminated the camera as the source of the AF problem. With lower priced lenses it is often the case that another (working) used one is cheaper than having a broken on repaired.
    – Michael C
    Jun 20 at 17:42

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