At first I thought my lens was dead but after switching to my other D70s it worked fine.

So, here's the issue:

One of my D70s bodies can no longer auto-focus my Nikkor 70-300 lens. Switch to a 18-70 lens and it does. I tried rubbing the contacts with a pencil, but still no go.

A bit confused here. If the lens works on another body, it's not the lens. But if the first body can focus one lens but not this one, what exactly is the issue? This lens and body used to be best friends. :-)

  • Check the firmware of both the bodies and lens/es.
    – BBking
    Dec 30 '12 at 9:45
  • 1
    The camera firmware hasn't changed and the Nikkor 70-300mm f/4-5.6G lens doesn't have firmware and I've been using the body and lens together since 2006. As I mentioned, the lens in question works fine on the other body and the body in question can focus the other lenses.
    – Ian
    Dec 30 '12 at 10:46

If I am correct, the Nikkor 70-300mm f/4-5.6G AF does NOT have an internal focus motor, unlike my old D70's kit 18-70 AF-S lens which does (I am assuming this is the 18-70 you have) Therefore I THINK the problem is that your camera body's internal focus drive motor is at fault (the little bit that sticks out from the mount-ring that looks like the end of a flat screwdriver)

To test this, you will need to try another AF lens on the body (instead of the in-lens motor AF-S)

  • I'll see if I can wrangle one up to test. Don't have another myself. Any idea what sort of repair cost that would be?
    – Ian
    Dec 30 '12 at 12:00
  • No idea, I've never had to have a camera repaired - it could be as simple as a sticky cog or bad motor, or as bad as a mainboard fault. Most likely not worth bothering though, as you have another, and its an old camera anyway. Dec 30 '12 at 16:29
  • Any idea of a 70-300 that does have an internal focus motor? I have a task where I'd like two bodies, so even if I rent the lens for the day, it'd help.
    – Ian
    Dec 30 '12 at 23:02
  • Anything marked "AF-S" has: jessops.com/online.store/categories/products/nikon/… Dec 31 '12 at 9:25

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