I have an 10 year old camera (Canon 400D) and primarily use a fixed Canon 1.8 50mm lens. This weekend I was using it and noticed most of my photos with that lens looking blurry and unfocused. Over this weekend I also used other lenses (Canon 10-18mm) and the photos shot with them look sharp.

I've had a growing suspicion something is wrong with the 50mm AF as lately, the focus have felt "thrown off" despite me taking care to focus at the right object (I almost always use the centre point). It hasn't been as disastrous as this weekend though. I've had this lens for 5+ years, and I've taken great, sharp photos in the past so I don't think it's all in my head.

However, some photos from this weekend are still sharp.

Can someone help me out - although I'm enthusiastic about photography, I'm not an expert of how the lens and camera work "under the hood". Is it common that a lens will lose its AF capabilities over time?

(I'd rather not post the photos I took, as they have people in them and I value their privacy)

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ what aperture are you using, and can you post some sample images? \$\endgroup\$
    – Crazy Dino
    Jul 8, 2018 at 19:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'd rather not post any sample images as they have people in them and I value their privacy. I could send them to you privately? Aperture was F1.8 and F2.0, 1/160 shutterspeed and ISO 100. \$\endgroup\$
    – J.D
    Jul 8, 2018 at 19:57
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ Or take some new samples? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Jul 8, 2018 at 20:18
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ No matter what, your next step is to do some testing. Try to recreate lighting conditions and go shoot some photos with the same/similar settings (keep the Av the same) and shoot more tests. Are the results just as unfocused? Please post those as samples to your question. \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Jul 8, 2018 at 21:24
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Related: How do I diagnose the source of focus problem in a camera? Without more specific information and samples, this question is essentially a duplicate of that one. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Jul 8, 2018 at 23:50


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