Question about Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 USN Lens

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Auto Focus not working for Canon EFS 18-55mm lens

Hello, We have a Canon EOS Rebel xti & the Canon EFS 18-55mm that originally came with the camera.  We have been using the camera with no problem for about 1.5 yrs when one day the Auto focus stopped working.   I tried moving the auto focus switch to manual and back, with no such luck.  I have successfully taken manual photos in the past and the Auto focus did work afterwards.
Additionally, the auto focus does work with our telephoto lens.  I suspect that there is something wrong with  the Canon EFS 18-55mm lens, but wonder if I'm simply overlooking something.   I haven't taken the lens apart, trying to avoid that, but not afraid to try if needed.
I appreciate the help.
Tom

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  • 11 more comments 
  • steve9586 Oct 28, 2008

    I have been using a Canon EOS Rebel XT for nearly 2 years and have recently seen the auto focus feature malfunction. The camera/lens will auto focus intermittently but not consistently. Are there any suggestions other than buying a new lens?

  • Dougie Nisbet Dec 15, 2008

    I've had this problem erratically since I dropped my lens about 6 months ago. But in my case the problem is inconsistent. AF works most (about 80%) of the time, but occasionally doesn't. When it doesn't it is accompanied by a high-pitched squealing noise. I am considering dismantling the lens but not convinced that it would be helpful.

  • Anonymous Jan 08, 2009

    I have the same problem and I think it stems from a very slightly bad fit between the lens and the sensor pins. If I pull the lens toward the camera body when shooting (squeeze it in a little, sort of), the problem resolves. This is very difficult to do consistently. Anyone know it there is a way to tighten it?

  • Anonymous Feb 28, 2009

    Hi all, for today this problem happen to me too. It used to be okay and this morning when i start to use AF with the automode, the problem occured. when i switch back to manual mode with AF, the problem doesn't resolved!


    Please help!

  • speaker2 Mar 02, 2009

    My Auto Focus on the Canon EFS 18-55 suddenly stopped working, I have not used the  camera for a long time (3 months or so), and during that time, I left the battery in the camera?  Could that have caused the problem?  I have not tried another lens on the camera (Canon Digital EOS Rebel XTI).   


    P.S:  I had a similar problem with my old Film Rebel camera as well.  But could not resolve it at all.

  • dyne2009 May 03, 2009

    I have a canon xsi which is less than six month old and today the auto focas stop working. the focus ring will only rotate down towards the camera body, but not rotate back up. I'm going to cry because this camera replaced my canon xt that was stolen in october, now it has a problem. i feel like i'm taking 1 step forward and 2 steps back. I just can't afford to be replacing equipment I already had. My first wedding shot is next week, what am i going to do. would be wise to practise manual focasing now.

  • Anonymous May 17, 2009

    Same thing! AF doesn't work MF does. Contacts are fine. It was erratic but now AF never works.

  • ravi Jan 15, 2013

    i am from bangalore , the auto focousing was not working and i contacted mata cameras at sp rd, and they reaired my lens in 2 hours and the lens auto focousing is working perfect and thanx to mata cameras. for futher details contact service centre 9035871324

  • ARCHANA Jan 15, 2013

    my canon 600d was having a focousing issue and i had a urgent need of service centre in bangalore, i contact canon service, mata cameras at sp rd ,they serviced my camera 600d in quick time and now my camera is doing great. thanx mata cameras . contact service incharge mr vijay 9035871324

  • SURAJ Mar 09, 2013

    MY DSLR CANON 600D HAD A AUTO FOCOUSING PROMBLEM, IT WAS REPAIRED AT SP RD BANGALORE, NEAR TOWN HALL ,OPP TO ANKIT INFOTECH. CONTACT DETAILS FOR SERVICE CENTRE MATA ELECTRONICS 9035871324.

  • SURAJ Mar 09, 2013

    MY CANON CAMERA WAS REPAIRED AT CANON SERVICE- SP RD BANGALORE. MATA ELECTRONICS, NO 86, 1ST FLOOR, SP RD, CONTACT 9035871324

  • Carl Stewart Dec 21, 2013

    Pulling lightly on the focus ring worked for me! I did not feel any sort of give, click, settle-in, or anything, but it worked.

  • Carl Stewart Dec 21, 2013

    My camera would just give me a "busy" message and wouldn't take a picture unless the lens was set to manual focus. Pulling on the focus ring worked for me! I pulled firmly and steadily, and I did not feel any sort of click, pop, or settle-in, but it solved the problem.

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Pulling gently on the focus ring worked for us. Exactly what the Dr. ordered. Slight pop, maybe 1/16" movement, and the lens is working again!

Posted on Jun 10, 2012

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  • franklins May 06, 2013

    What do you mean by pulling on the ring? Can you please explain it to me. Thanks in advance.

  • Gius Jun 17, 2013

    Please, explain the "pulling the ring" action. Thanks!

  • Richard Quayle
    Richard Quayle Nov 22, 2013

    I found this solution worked for me, just pulling the focus ring forward sorted it for now. Many thanks

  • Isiah Wheeler
    Isiah Wheeler Dec 07, 2013

    This solution for me as well. Thank You!

  • Alton Delane Dec 27, 2013

    Awesome! This worked for me too. Thanks.

  • tgunver Sep 18, 2014

    omg you are a hero thanks a lot!!

  • John Collins
    John Collins Oct 21, 2014

    All fixed thank you very much JEC

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This is a problem with the mirror and the sensor. Have you out the camera in sensor clean mode? turning the camera to P then use the menu buttons to go to the second set of tool. clean sensor is there. You must have a good battery charge for it to work. take off the lens then hold the camera face down and activate the sensor. This did not work for me but this was one of the suggestions, if the mirror does lift back up when you put the camera in sensor clean mode then it is not the hinge that some are paying to be replaced. I took my camera and oddly enough turned it upside down in af mode in auto mode and it started shotting photos and focusing again. i did this about ten shots and when I put it back right side up everything worked fine! Try it and let me know.

Erikka Tiffani

Posted on Sep 08, 2009

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I have the same problem. And the reason is very stupid for Canon: contact film inside the lens has been broken. This film bends while zooming a lens and I think It simply wasn't made reliable enough.

Posted on Aug 11, 2010

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OMG This post saved me!!! My daughter said she was playing with my camera and I couldn't shoot in Auto mode with my 18-55MM lens! It was my only one other then telescopic lens. I was so upset! I tried cleaning everything, etc and still wasn't working. Tried the slight pull method and TADA its working again! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

Posted on Feb 26, 2013

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  • sbelott
    sbelott Mar 24, 2013

    was the lens still on the camera when you pulled it? In AF mode or manual focus?

  • Julia Clarke Apr 01, 2013

    I have had the same problem and have been trying on and off for several weeks to get it working. Finally came across this site and had a go pulling the lens and it now works. I have to do this each time but am glad I didnt spend money having it repaired. Great site - thanks all for saving my sanity!

  • Gius Jun 17, 2013

    I have the same problem... Please, explain the "pulling the ring" action. Thanks!

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Canon Service sucks. Takes them 3 weeks just to get the parts. Are they pulling out a crate engine? Insist that you needed the camera yesterday and if its under warranty, replace the whole fck'n unit with a new one so they can eat the old one.

Posted on May 26, 2011

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Pulling on the ring worked for me! Thank you.

Posted on Nov 11, 2012

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  • dave Nov 11, 2012

    Pulling on the ring worked for me! Thank you.

  • franklins May 06, 2013

    What do you mean by pulling on the ring? Can you please explain it to me. Thanks in advance.

  • Will Pheagin
    Will Pheagin Nov 29, 2013

    The part of the lens that moves when you zoom in/out. Just pull it out slightly until you hear a slight pop. Fixed it immediately for me.

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Thank you so much. tried gently pulling outer end of ring in mauuel mode, mf lense switch. clicked pulled out turned straight back to AF whick was stcky before and it worked.

Posted on May 22, 2013

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Pulling on the focus ring worked for me. Wow!!!. Although I did feel a "click" or anything noticeable. But it worked. Thanks A lot.

Posted on Nov 08, 2014

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18-55 EFS is a throwaway kit lens. Spend a little money and replace it with a 17-85 EFS: it's a much better built lens without jumping to the pro line of lenses (L series)

Posted on Feb 02, 2015

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The was the second Canon EF-S 18-55mm lens to stop working in autofocus mode for me - first one on a Canon 400D and this one on a 550D - began to think it was a user problem - but I also thought about not buying Canon ever again! First time it happened I couldn't find any answers on the internet, this time it seems quite a few people are experiencing the same thing. Checked the electrical contacts - they looked clean and not damaged or corroded - so I then tried pulling gently but firmly on the outer focus ring as suggested by others on this page and . . . CLICK! It worked! Full functionality now restored! Try it before spending heaps of money on repairs or replacements with added inconvenience. Coralie from Oz Down Under.

Posted on Nov 10, 2012

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This happened to me also, but with a different Canon lens (EF-S 17-85mm IS). The problem start occurring while on vacation in the South shooting in very humid air. Luckly I realised what is happening and just switched to manual for the time being. Back home, I left the lens dry out for a few days and it's working fine again. My next lens will definitely be an L (weather proof)

Posted on Sep 06, 2010

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Check for corrosion or dirt on the metal contacts at the back of the lens. If there's none, the lens will have to go to a repair shop.

Posted on Jun 29, 2008

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The common problem with zoom lenses not auto focusing is a broken ribbon cable connector in the lens. If the lens focuses manually this is probably to problem. The repair can usually be done by your local camera repair shop and is a quick and relatively cheap job.

Posted on Mar 14, 2016

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Thank you all for suggesting the pull technique. I was a little nervous but a slight pull and twist did the job. I just wondered why it jams up to begin with. Anybody know

Posted on Dec 28, 2015

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Omg just pulled it, it clicked now working perfectly! Of to the USA in a week with the fam - this just saved me $200 for a new lense.
thank you so much

Posted on Mar 14, 2015

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In my case, it was a screw that came loose inside the lens. It had to be disassembled and screwed back. It was an easy cheap fix with a Sigma repair guy.

Posted on Mar 03, 2015

Thanks! No corrosion. I guess I'll have to take it in.

Posted on Jun 30, 2008

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I AM RACHI FROM BANGALORE, I HAD A CANON DSLR 550D WITH AUTO FOCOUSING PROMBLEM ,I VISITED THE SERVICE CENTRE AT SP ROAD , MATA ELECTRONICS,OPP TO ANKIT INFOTECH. I GOT IT REPAIRED IN 1 DAY AND THE DSLR FOCOUSING IS WORKING VERY WELL. THEY ALSO SENT MY CANON 550D AT MY RESIDENCE AT MY REQUEST. I LOVED THEIR SERVICE AND I AM VERY HAPPY. CONTACT 9035871324 . 08022130711. THANX

Posted on Apr 30, 2012

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SOURCE: Auto Focus not working for Canon EFS 18-55mm lens

I see this same problem occuring all over the internet on Canon lenses. Autofocus not working any longer. For some stupid reason the lense will lock up and quit autofocus while other lenses will work fine. A light pull on the lense focus ring away from the camera body will give a noticable pop or click which unlocks the jammed lense. Try it if you are having troubles with your autofocus. This is a very common problem and worth giving it a try.

Posted on Dec 20, 2010

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