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Sigma produces lenses for different brands of camera's. The optics are the same, but the connection differs from brand to brand. So if you have a Sigma lens for Nikon, you won't be able to use it on a Canon or Sony. Unless you buy a adapter. But when you start using an adapter, you will lose the Af in most cases, because the electronic in the lenses differ also. and that can't be bridged.
Yes, with caveats. First, bear in mind that this lens has been discontinued by the manufacturer. Second, the lens does not have a built-in focus motor and thus will not autofocus on the D40/D40x/D60/D5000/D3000 models. You also won't get 3D Matrix metering on those models. Everything else will work, and all features should work on other models.
It could be that the autofocus switch has become unglued from the frame and so it doesn't ever switch on. If your camera doesn't indicate that autofocus is on, but you're not getting an error message, then this might be the problem. Unscrew the two screws that hold the AF switch onto the lens, and see if the underlying PCB upon which the switch is mounted has come loose. If you, take the lens apart from the back and use double-sided tape to re-adhere.
It is likely that the lens will need parts. Sigma is not the best for repair parts. Typically, the small nylon gears that control the AF break. It is still a useful piece in manual focus. Repair costs would likely exceed its value.
Here is Nikon's specs of lens compatibility for the D40X:
Compatible Lenses*: Nikon F mount with AF coupling and AF contacts Type G or D AF Nikkor: 1) AF-S, AF-I: All functions supported; 2) Other Type G or D AF Nikkor: All functions supported except autofocus 3) PC Micro-Nikkor 85mm f/2.8D: Can only be used in mode M; all other functions supported except autofocus 4) Other AF Nikkor*â¹/AI-P Nikkor: All functions supported except autofocus and 3D Color Matrix Metering II 5)
Non-CPU: Can be used in mode M, but exposure meter does not function;
electronic range finder can be used if maximum aperture is f/5.6 or
faster 6) IX Nikkor lenses cannot be used *â¹ Excluding lenses for F3AF