I bought my camera on January 2011. Since a few months ago, I'm facing a problem with the autofocus.

It happens with my two lenses 18/55mm and 55/200mm. I noticed that the focus light doesn't turn on when I push the shutter button halfway. The camera always stretches the focus to the maximum and maintains that position forever until I focus correctly manually.

I searched options through the configuration menu and I didn't find any related option.

Is this a known issue? I have never beaten my camera or the lenses.

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    What do you mean by "focus light"? The bright AF assist light on the front, focus confirmation light in lower left corner of viewfinder, or selected focus point indicator in framing area of viewfinder? – Imre Nov 2 '11 at 10:11
  • I mean the front assist light between the grip and the lens, in addition the confirmation focus light doesn't turn one because it never focus properly. – Nucklear Nov 2 '11 at 10:31
  • One more question: does it focus acceptably in good light, where the focus-assist light isn't needed? – mattdm Nov 2 '11 at 12:00
  • It doesn't focus in any circumstance. It always stretch the focus to the maximum and maintain that position forever until I focus correctly manually. – Nucklear Nov 2 '11 at 12:18
  • Well, I did what ElendilTheTall said below, and I get some response. I'll answer him in the conversation. – Nucklear Nov 2 '11 at 12:24

The AF illuminator light (which is toggleable in the menu) only comes on when it needs to, i.e. when it's too dark for the camera to get a useable image for focusing. So if you're testing it in reasonably lit conditions, it's no surprise that it doesn't come on.

Certain scene modes (such as the 'Pet' mode) also disable the AF illuminator to avoid dazzling or distracting the subject.

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    Oh, I didn't know that. Anyway when I press the shutter, the focus is stretched to the maximum and makes no beep. Thank you for your answer – Nucklear Nov 2 '11 at 8:32
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    actually, based on that comment, i'd say you have it disabled on the menu. search for AF assist light in the menu, and see if it's on! – JoséNunoFerreira Nov 2 '11 at 11:16
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    Well, that's right, it was configured in spanish an i didn't realize of that. But now the problem is that the autofocus is really slow, and it doesn't focus fine every time. – Nucklear Nov 2 '11 at 12:26
  • Sometimes it focus in one attemp and others it do it in many, no matter the surface where I'm pointing the camera. – Nucklear Nov 2 '11 at 12:33

I was having this same problem. It's an easy fix, your auto focus point needs to be on the center point. the screen that shows up when you're shooting photos had your focus points in the bottom left, use the d-pad to move your focus point to the center point.


I am sure it might be too late since it's Jan 2013 but if someone else is having this issue (as I was too) I simply went to the Menu setting and hit RESET SHOOTING OPTIONS. It pretty much just reset my setting and it automatically started focusing again!! Hope this works for someone else searching this topic.


Given that it never works, and that the problem occurs with both lenses, I think something is broken in the camera body. Since you bought it just this year, and since you haven't treated it roughly, this is certain to be fixed for free under warranty. Check with the Nikon support web site for your country and follow the procedure there.

I'd suggest including both your lenses when you ship the camera back for repair, just in case; they can make sure the whole set operates correctly together.

  • I never hit the camera but maybe the problem is what you are saying. I'm going to send it to the warranty service but I want to be sure that the problem is not a configuration problem or something I can fix. Regards. – Nucklear Nov 2 '11 at 12:38
  • If I understand you correctly, it's always racking the lens to infinity focus whenever you ask it to autofocus. I can't imagine a configuration option which would cause that. – mattdm Nov 2 '11 at 13:24
  • No, it doesn't, it did it before enabling the AF Helper. Now it focus to the infinite sometimes but if I make more attemps it works 3 of 10 times more or less... – Nucklear Nov 2 '11 at 13:31
  • Does enabling the AF helper make a difference in good light? (For example, outdoors?) – mattdm Nov 2 '11 at 14:37
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    No, I have just tested, it does exactly the same whether is on or off. There are 2 different cases: 1-It focus correctly but I'm not able to take the photo. 2- It focus incorrectly and doesn't search a better focus. This is without changing the configuration. – Nucklear Nov 2 '11 at 15:01

Less than a year old, 2 lenses not behaving and we're assuming you have checked all the settings. Give it in for a in warranty check and possibly repair/replace?

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