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My Camera wont focus.. what to do ..

Nichole Holden , Sep 24, 2008; 11:09 a.m.

i dont knkow what happened to my nikon d80 but all of a sudden i took it with me to the park and went to take pictures and the red grid lights wont light up and the camera wont focus to take pictures...

what can i do ... ??

how much do you think it will cost and where do i take it in to get fixed.. is it serious you think is it worth it to fix or should i go and buy a new body...

im kinda stressed rt now about this.

is there a home remedy to fix all this mess???


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Shun Cheung , Sep 24, 2008; 11:17 a.m.

Did you accidentally switch to manual focus either on your camera or on your lens? Right below the lens release button in front, there is this switch to select auto focus and manual focus.

The image below is from a D300. The D80's switch has only two selections but is similar.

If that is not the problem, I would reset the camera to see whether the problem clears. After that, you can take the battery out overnight to see whether it clears.

AF/MF Switch

Gary Puckett , Sep 24, 2008; 11:23 a.m.

This happened to me on my first D200...so it can happen with out you knowing it. I can relate to the feeling you are feeling :) After a friend told me to check this, I felt, well you know. Gary P.

Bob Tilden , Sep 24, 2008; 11:36 a.m.

I notice that you posted a note earlier complaining about erratic focusing with your camera/lens combination. It's possible that you have a problem with one or the other. If there is a camera store with knowledgeable people nearby why don't you stop in and ask them to take a look. They can try another lens and check your settings to make sure those aren't the problem.

Something to try in the meantime is to remove the lens from the camera and put it back on. Occasionally the contacts between lens and camera get misaligned or (to use a technical term) flaky. If this is the only lens you have you may not have had it off in a while. Consult your manual if you're unsure how to do this.

Eric Sande , Sep 24, 2008; 12:08 p.m.

As far as the focus LEDs, Custom Setting 21 (page 95 in the manual) can cancel their operation. I realize it's not likely to accidentally be changed, but something to check anyway.

Jay Poel , Sep 24, 2008; 12:31 p.m.

Have you tried another lens or is that the only one you have?

And by any chance is it the 18-135mm DX kit lens? My auto focus quit because of the lens - which has a 5 year warranty in Canada and USA. The body has a 2 year warranty.

Also, did you happen to pay for it with a Visa card? My card automatically doubles the factory warranty up to 1 year. So, I would have 3 years coverage on my D80 body and 6 years on my lenses. But I would have to deal with Visa to get the money for the repairs once it is out of factory warranty.

Nichole Holden , Sep 24, 2008; 12:40 p.m.

thanks for the replies but i dont think those are it... ive tried to remove the lens and check it out .. place is back on took the battery out and i reset under the menu it is not in manual mode... and the lens i have doesnt allow for manual focusing no... focus ring on it.. really i hate the lens i bought it with. i bought the camera at a pro photo supply used with a 30 day optical and mechanical coverage and it was checked out before i bought it ... came with the 55-200 mm lens dx vr style.. 4.0-5.6..

i think i will call the store i got it at and ask if they could take a look at it ... i guess im just mad at myself bc i dont know how to fix it and im mad bc i should of bought it new... im feeling frustrated really and was hoping maybe it was something fixable... but i seem to of tried those things you have all mentioned.


Bob Tilden , Sep 24, 2008; 12:46 p.m.

Err.. Your lens -does- have a manual focusing ring. It's that really narrow section just forward of the zoom ring. You'll need to set the focus selector on 'M' to use it though...

Nichole Holden , Sep 24, 2008; 12:50 p.m.

ive tried to and it wont budge it just makes the lens come out ... hmm .. its seems stuck in place.

Travis Hoover , Sep 24, 2008; 01:04 p.m.

The lens should not come out unless you push the lens release button and turn the lens to remove it. If the lens just comes out without pressing that button, make sure it is correctly mounted to the body. Otherwise, since that lens has a plastic mount, the plastic may have been broken, which would likely cause the lens to just "come out", and would likely cause the lens to not function properly.

If the plastic mount does not appear to be broken, I would think it has to be that one of the settings is set to manual focus. There is a sliding switch on the side of the lens, marked "M" and "A", make sure it is slid over to "A". And make sure the switch on the body is set to A as well, located on the side of where the lens mounts, just under the lens release button.

I don't think the manual focus ring will turn if the lens is set to AF, so that may be why it appears to be stuck.

Good luck!

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