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Just purchased a Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6 DC HSM lens. In attempting to capture astrophotography, the lens continuously tries to find a focal point in the sky, and doesn't. So I attempt to turn it to manual focus, and discover that there is no manual focus switch on the lens itself, it being a full-time manual/auto hybrid lens (the Canon mount and the Sigma mount have the af/m switch, not the case with Nikon 5200 [my camera type]). More on the lens here.

So I'm wondering if there is a setting within my camera or a method I can use to get my camera to stop focusing into infinity and allow me to take the shot.

How might this be accomplished?

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From the manual, page 33:

Choose from the following focus modes. [...] Manual focus

followed by some pictures showing how to select a specific focus mode which I'm not going to try to reproduce here, but the steps are basically:

  1. Place the cursor in the information display.
  2. Display focus mode options.
  3. Choose a focus mode.
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Use AE-L/AF-L button. go to Custom Setting Menu -> Controls -> Assign AE-L/AF-L button and set it to AF-ON. Now point your camera towards your object and half press the shutter button. Once focused press AE/AF-L button. focus will lock.

  • Is this what is referred to as back-button autofocus? – Mark Saluta Apr 12 '16 at 12:28
  • This doesn't seem related to the question, which is about how to enable manual focus. – Philip Kendall Apr 12 '16 at 12:30
  • @MarkSaluta yes, if you are trying to lock the focus once it focuses on an object then you use this approach. – rafal Apr 12 '16 at 12:36

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