Refuses to shoot in AF... Why?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Shutterdog, Oct 23, 2017.

  1. Shutterdog

    Shutterdog TPF Noob!

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    I was trying to take a shot - well lit, not from a weird distance, just a park bench about ten feet away... Nothing weird. But my Nikon D3200 refused to trigger the shutter unless I hit the AE-L or placed the lens to manual focus.


    My question is... Why? What causes that?
    What can I do to avoid that?

    Is it "OK" to just lock the settings and take the shot when that happens?

    Any information welcomed... Thanks a lot.


     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2017
  2. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sounds like it didn't have focus lock so would not trip the shutter. By hitting the AE-L your telling the camera you have what you want, take the picture. In manual focus same thing, you telling the camera to ignor it's AF system, take the picture when pressed.
     
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  3. Shutterdog

    Shutterdog TPF Noob!

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    Thanks. That's pretty much what I figured (after the initial panic thinking my shutter was blocked... Lol)



    Under what circumstances does the AF fail to lock? Is there anything to do to help with that?
     
  4. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg Hear me roar Staff Member Supporting Member

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    What lens are you using? Has it auto-focused on that camera body in the past? If it doesn't have an in lens focus motor, then it won't AF on the 3200.
     
  5. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    He bought the camera recently with the kit lenses.
     
  6. snowbear

    snowbear Big Furball Supporting Member

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    On the Nikons: Very low light, not enough contrast in the subject (such as a white wall), too close to the subject, and (if you ever get any "D" lenses) not having the aperture ring set to the smallest aperture - usually f/22.
     
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  7. Shutterdog

    Shutterdog TPF Noob!

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    There's a AF focusing illuminator (not sure of the name) that I currently have set to off, would it have fixed the issue?
     
  8. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thats only good to about 9' or so they say.
     
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  9. Shutterdog

    Shutterdog TPF Noob!

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    That's what I figured. I find it more annoying than anything.

    Thanks
     
  10. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg Hear me roar Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Find some contrast in whatever you’re trying to focus on.
     
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  11. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Might have Focus Priority set, instead of Release priority, and the lens is struggling to focus; as mentioned, with slower-aperture and shorter-focal-length lenses, like the 18-55 kit zoom which is both slow and short-ish, if the subject is flat in tone, or does not have much contrast, the AF system might struggle to get a focus lock. If the light is low, or low-contrast, same issue.

    I've experienced similar AF issues with some lower-tier Nikons; the slowish, kit zooms are nowhere near as adept at achieving focus in tricky lighting or with flat-toned subjects as are the f/1.4 or f/1.8 primes, or the f/2.8 zoom lenses.

    AF (autofocus) has a slight bit of a learning curve to it, and the lower-tier cameras have somewhat weaker AF modules, and fewer AF squares, than the mid- and high-end Nikons. Reading the manual very diligently might give you some insight into what the issue could be, but I think the above issues are likely at the heart of the matter.

    If hitting the AE-L button allowed a shot, it makes me think perhaps you have the AF-L and AE-L functions combined in the menu set-up; the D3200 does not have separate buttons, right?
     
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  12. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    D3xxx series doesn't have focus or release priority choice. At least not up to D3300. I would have to check. You can assign the AE-L/AF-L for back button AF. That might allow release priority???
     

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