My Lens goes "click click click" when trying to auto focus

Discussion in 'Nikon Lenses' started by steelnwool, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. steelnwool

    steelnwool TPF Noob!

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    Good day eh!

    I've got a Nikkor AF-S 18-55 lens. The one that comes with a d40.

    Sometimes, it seems like it gets stuck when trying to focus. Makes a slight clicking noise and just won't go. So I put it into manual mode and just turn the focus ring in and out.

    Sometimes that works sometimes it doesn't. Suggestions or ideas?

    Thanks.
     
  2. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Does it do this "click-click-click" when you try to have the lens autofocus in darker surroundings, but does NOT do it when it is bright enough? Some lenses do have difficulty to focus in darkness (or what they begin to "think" is "darkness").
     
  3. steelnwool

    steelnwool TPF Noob!

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    Nah, it can happen under completely normal lighting situations. Like in my fully lit kitchen. Its not the same type of clicking where you point the camera at a white wall and it just gets confused.
     
  4. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Then I'm at a loss and you must wait for the Nikon users to come to your help. Maybe someone is familiar with this lens AND the problem... I'm not.
     
  5. steelnwool

    steelnwool TPF Noob!

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    Thanks anyways. Worst case, its still under warranty.
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    I hate to be the one to tell you, but......

    What looks brightly lit to your eye, may in fact be quite dark to the cameras autofocus sensor. The auto focus sensor is actually in the bottom of the camera. The mirror in the camera is only 50% reflective. There is a secondary mirror behind the main mirror, that reflects the remaining 50% of the light from the lens down to the Af module in the bottom of the camera. If the lens aperture is set to smaller than f/5.6 (f/ 8. f/11) don't expect AF to work reliably.

    Also there are other situations where autofocus just doens't perform very well. Those types of situations are noted in your camera's users manual, PG 27.

    Also, the click, click, click could be the lens VR system, if you have a VR lens.

    If you are close to a subject, the click, click, click sound could be made from the focus mencjanism reaching the end of it travel.

    Lastly, your lens could be malfunctioning and need to be repaired. That can also happen to consumer electronics.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2010
  7. ghache

    ghache TPF Noob!

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    ITS BROhhhhkennnn
     
  8. AdrianC

    AdrianC TPF Noob!

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    I think I know what you're talking about. Its just the lens trying (and failing) to focus. The reason it makes the click noise is because it just moves the focus ring back and forward by about a millimeter. I would try to hold the button down and see if it does focus eventually.

    If not, then take it to a camera tech.
     
  9. steelnwool

    steelnwool TPF Noob!

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    @KMH - Thanks for your input, but I assure you the conditions I was talking about are well lit. I have a 2 year old and so have taken literally hundreds of photos in this exact room/situation :) I can walk out side in the bright of day and have the lens freeze up in a similar manner.

    I'm more willing to admit its probably broken, or otherwise dirty inside. Possibly a malfunctioning motor , or grime where there shouldn't be grime. :)
     
  10. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Have you cleaned the body and lens contacts?

    Is the window over the autofocus module clean? (be careful rumagging around in the camera's mirror box. There are delicate parts in there.)

    I would say if the lens and body contacts have been cleaned and it still does it, send it in.

    By the way, clean the contacts by using the lead on a pencil (not the eraser). The graphite enhance electrical contact. Whenever there is no lens on the camera, and the body cap is also off, hold the camera so the opening is facing down, so it's more difficult for dirt and other stuff to get in the miror box and windup on the image sensor.
     
  11. steelnwool

    steelnwool TPF Noob!

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    Well un believably i'm coming back to this same topic almost 3.5 years later. Somehow I've managed to live with the camera but now its ready to replace the lens or whole camera. Here is the weird thing - the same thing happened with a second lens. Identical 18-55 kit lens (no VR). Once in a while if i clean off sensors it gets better for a few shots but then goes crappy again.

    Before I buy another lens, I wanted to ask :does a camera body have the ability to "kill lenses" ? So far as I understand the lenses for a D40 all have the motors enclosed in them. and so the d40 is just sending a signal and electricity and no other interaction. So it seems like maybe i just has awkwardly back luck with my lenses and that dropping 200 bucks on a used 18-105 wouldn't be the worst idea ever.
     
  12. abby315

    abby315 TPF Noob!

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    Made an account just to reply because I've been searching this topic for the last hour--

    I just recently began having this problem with my D40 kit lens, same clicking noise, failure to autofocus even though manual worked fine. After looking around and making sure my menu settings were on AF/AE lock instead of AF ON and stuff like that, I decided just to take off the lens, put it back on, and then grab the base while it was attached and turn it-- it has a little bit of give. After twisting it like a millimeter to the left it worked. I think there's some dust or a problem with the electrical sensor where the motor in the lens sends signals to the body of the camera, especially if you have this problem with multiple lenses (I only have one).

    So try reattaching your lens and moving it around as much as you can without forcing it, and then trying to autofocus. Alternatively, get one of those camera-safe dustblowers or cleaners and gently clean the inside where your lens connects with your camera.

    I also was getting a message "Lens Not Connected" on the info screen when shooting, even though it was, so I feel that's a related problem. For now, though, twisting the base worked for me. Good luck!

    (Edit: Definitely don't buy a new lens without trying this first. If it's your camera body then you're going to be spending a lot of money on a new lens for nothing.)
     
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