I just bought a Nikon D5300 with dual lens kit. The AF-P DX 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G VR has no button for A/M focus control, and no indicator for focus distance. I want to start doing night photography and star trails, so I need to be able to manually focus to infinity.

How do I set manual focus mode and ensure that the lens is focused to infinity?


2 Answers 2


Nikon's documentation says that you may need to update the firmware on a D5300, although a new one might already be updated. In the Setup menu, under Firmware, you should see C 1.01.

You can select manual focus mode via the quick menu. On the main control screen (i.e. not in menu mode), press the i button and then use the directional control to select the item on the bottom row, second from the left. It says one of four things: AF-A, AF-S, AF-C, or MF. Having highlighted it, press the OK button to edit, then select MF. Manual mode is now engaged.

To focus to infinity, twist the focus ring to the right. I don't think there's any way to easily tell what the focus distance is, but once you see the stars come into focus you just need to twist a bit more to be sure.

(There are non-easy ways to tell what the focus distance is. When you take a photo with a compatible lens it's written into the EXIF metadata. But I don't think that's one of the metadata items that you can see in the playback menu, so you may need take a photo and then to copy it onto a computer or phone with software which lets you read the metadata).


I've only just bought this camera and so I haven't tested this method properly yet. But I did a couple of test shots out of my window last night and so far it seems to work rather well. As the kit lens with my D5600 has know infinity focus option and every time you switch the camera on the focus resets so focusing in the day and taping the lens won't work either.

However the lens does appear to reset at infinity. I set the camera to manual focus, and then simply switched it off and on again to reset the lens. I took a long exposure and the road sign in the distance appears to be in perfect focus. I hope this helps.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I would be surprised if this were really precise; it may just be coincidence that it worked in your case. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Jul 30, 2017 at 14:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, the road sign appearing to be in perfect focus could be a limitation of your lens, or perhaps your viewing environment. In astrophotography, for good lenses, one often needs to slightly adjust focus for the moon vs stars, or even Saturn or Jupiter. If that's necessary for those lenses, then certainly a terrestrial road sign is not infinity focused. \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Jul 30, 2017 at 17:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.