So I've had a Canon 7D for about 3 years. It's started to develop what seems like a lot of trouble with the autofocus over the last couple months. I don't recall having any such issues in the past, but the camera sat mostly unused for about a year until I picked it up again recently.

The autofocus seems to hunt around a lot before locking on, and at infinity it rarely finds focus at all, instead just hunting back and forward aimlessly. This issue is common across all my lenses.

What can I do here to fix the issue? Does it simply need cleaned? Serviced? Is there somewhere I can take it for repair? I'm based in central London.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ What kind of lighting are you trying to focus in? If it's too bright (like trying to focus on a light bulb), too dark (like night time), or not enough detail to lock onto (a blank wall, for example, then it will do this even if the camera is in perfect working order. \$\endgroup\$
    – tenmiles
    Oct 12, 2014 at 18:45

1 Answer 1


If this issue is progressively getting worse as you have stated, there is a good chance the autofocus sensor is in need of cleaning. If changing to a different focus zone provides better focus lock then this would tend to confirm a spec or two on the sensor. A general haze can develop on the focus sensor from condensation and/or airborne pollutants.

As a rule of thumb, to reduce the chance of condensation, allow you camera to warm up to room temperature before changing lenses.

I am not intimately familiar with the location of the focus sensor/s on the 7D, but there is a good chance you can find an instructional video on cleaning it via youtube.


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