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lets start with the basics, try hard reseting it and try again, if that doesnt work then try upgrading your firmware (if possible on your camera) and if that doesnt work then it may be the lens, but dont forget to spend a few hours trying to find a option for it in the meny
Does the camera body has a M/AFswitch? it would be located in front on the left side if that accidently gets changed to M your lens will not AF any more until you change it?? I know it sounds so simple but who knows!! Barry Brown www.coralreefphotos.com
I had the same problem. My issue was with all my lenses. I solved it by going to the menu and selecting the custom setting menu (pencil icon). Then from the right menu select the AE-L/AF-L and press OK. Then make sure it is set on AE/AF Lock. Presto...all my lenses worked on auto-focus.
If it's any consolation, I have the same setup and the same problem. I'm now at the point where I'm probably going to have to return the lens as faulty, but there are a few things it could be on yours which you might want to check.
Have you got the D200 set to auto-focus? The selector (on the front of the camera, on the lower left) should be in the S position (as opposed to C or M).
Have you got the lens set to auto-focus? It should be in the M/A position, rather than M.
Have you tried cleaning the contacts? Pop the lens off and give the contacts a clean with the appropriate equipment. Dust on the contacts could be causing a problem.
Failing that, have you tried turning the camera on and off a few times?
I've obviously tried all the above on mine, and now suspect I've got a faulty lens that needs fixing ... which really sucks! Good luck with it, let me know if you get it working.
Sigma lenses sometimes need re-chipping for full compatability with certain Nikon camera. They are usually quite good about doing this gratis.
Try the Sigma on another body at the camera shop or at home (preferably and older AF film camera). If it works then its likely just a chip compatibility issue.