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This question already has an answer here:

How do I turn on autofocus? Using the Nikkor 50mm 1:1.8 lens.

I've gone into the menu selection and have fooled around with the AF settings but camera is still not focusing automatically...

When I click the info button, the MF button is not highlighted and I'm not sure how to get to it to see if that will do the trick.

At a loss! Help!

marked as duplicate by inkista, Philip Kendall, scottbb, MikeW Oct 15 '16 at 21:10

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    You need to be precise about exactly which 50mm lens you have. Is the an "AF" or an "AF-S" lens? (If you've got the "AF" lens, it won't autofocus on your body. You bought the wrong lens). – Philip Kendall Oct 10 '16 at 21:27
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The Nikon D5300 doesn't have an AF engine on the body and therefore will not autofocus the 50mm 1.8D lens.

I can't agree with Phillip that you "bought the wrong lens" insomuch that optically, it's a superior lens than most of the newer Nikkor 50mm out there; you simply have a bad pairing if autofocus is the primary goal.

Were it me (which, coincidentally I use a D5300 with a Nikkor 50mm 1.8D as my daily shooter pairing), I'd take the time to learn how to use a manual focus lens, ensure your diopter is adjusted correctly, and enjoy tack sharp images with a solid DoF that competes with full frame rigs. Alternatively, shoot in live view and get your focus on the LCD, but make sure you've got your aperture and shutter speed correct as the D5300 tends to auto balance everything on the back screen and you're not going to really know what you shit until after the shutter snaps (making it suboptimal for sports but....I think if you were are an sports event you'd be rocking something a bit tighter than a D5300, no?)

Of course when purchasing lenses, especially in the Nikon environment, ALWAYS research lens pairings prior to purchase. Nikon at least makes it dead simple to determine which lenses will work to what extent within its house brand. Great glass at the expense of their AF system is a but heavy handed when you want to explore or go legacy.

  • How did you automatically assume the lens is the AF-D? – K. Minkov Oct 11 '16 at 13:23
  • Occam's Razor, perhaps? It is the simplest way to explain the observed behavour? – Staale S Oct 12 '16 at 11:56
  • @Kamen Minkov - because it's the only Nikkor 50mm 1.8 / 1.4 lens the question would apply. – Shawn Gordon Dec 27 '16 at 6:19
  • You can't know for sure. It may be dirty contacts, it may be a faulty lens or body. If it was me, I'd wait for OP to make some clarifications before adding a detailed answer. – K. Minkov Dec 27 '16 at 11:56
  • Bad contact wouldn't have anything to do with the MF not appearing in a menu. Bad body would be far more obvious because it would appear in more than one lens. Bad lens doesn't make sense from the description. – Shawn Gordon Dec 27 '16 at 12:31

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