Question about Nikon D40x Digital Camera

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Nikon d40 autofocus

The other day, all the sudden the camera will not autofocus. I can focus manually, but when on autofocus mode, you push shutter button down halfway and the illumination light comes on without focusing and when shutter pressed all the way, the camera does nothing. r13, when I press the shutter for auto focus. I have reset the camera etc. Problem still exists, nothing happens in auto but works in manual. any solutions?

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  • bunkybear Aug 02, 2008

    Auto focus getting stuck, but not all the time: Mine has just started to intermittently do the same thing. No, it's not on Manual or stuck in between, it seems to be the servo that actually twists the focus ring getting stuck. I can hear it clicking like it's trying the work, but it just never gets itself focused. I then zoom out (18-55mm lens) or in, and try again, and it clears itself, and starts working again. Most annoying.

  • Anonymous Aug 09, 2008

    Focus button is set to A, not M. Nothing happens - have always to focus manually with the focus ring now. Is the fault likely to be in the camera or the lens? Can it be cleared?

  • Anonymous Aug 13, 2008

    same problem

  • scott5598 Aug 19, 2008

    As of yesterday, I now have the same problem with ONE of the two lenses for my D40x, the 18-55 mm 3.5-5.6G ED II lens that came with body in the kit. It worked fine for one picture, wouldn't focus for a second picture, started to work intermittently, and now won't auto-focus at all. No sound, no focus movement, nothing! I can still take pictures by focusing manually, as others have noted. The camera is making at least some electrical contact with the lens. If I select "A" on the lens, the camera tries to auto-focus, i.e. the camera sensing light blinks for the distance measurement. If I select "M", no camera light, which is correct. If I switch to my second lens (55-200 mm 4-5.6G IF-ED) everything works just fine! If I switch back . . . the problem returns.

    Well, of the three things that could fail (camera body, less expensive kit lens, much more expensive optional lens), the cheapest piece seems to have died. I'm now going to see what Nikon's "1 year warranty + 4 year extended service coverage = 5 years of protection" on the lens will do for me. Irony: I've only had the camera and the lenses for 13 months!

  • Anonymous Aug 20, 2008

    Yes...The camera works fine for days or maybe weeks, but occasionally, when pressing the release button with my 18 to 135mm lens at max zoom, it will not focus, but if I keep on pressing the release button, it might eventually focus and release shutter. Also,if I change the zoom to some point closer toward 18mm, it will usually start to work normally, and if I use it in manual mode, it works fine. I have returned the camera to Nikon, under warranty, and they returned it to me 3 weeks later with the problem still existing....Any suggestions re what I can do would be great;ly appreciated. Thanks Vic.

  • dan62 Aug 21, 2008

    I have the same problem with my D40 when autofocusing on a surface that has no strong lines, like a blue sky or a white wall. I am quite sure it did work at the beginning and I sent it twice to Nikon France who said there is no problem. I am doubtful. Autofocus works fine otherwise. Am I asking too much from the camera?

  • scott5598 Sep 04, 2008

    I returned the lens that would not focus (see my previous post). Nikon repaired it at no charge under the 4 year extended coverage beyond the 1 year warranty. The repair notes: "replace AF gear shaft". I tested the lens and it now, once again, works properly in auto focus mode.

  • gillii Oct 08, 2008

    I have the same with my d40x ( 18-135 dx lens ). on "normal" light and environment conditions it hardly ever happens. my speculation is that there is a bug with the firmware regarding the AF. probably there is a point where the d40 cannot autofocus and hangs. i went with some friends to do some long exposures at night time and it happened every 5 minutes, switched to MF and it was OK. i usually turn the camera off on to solve this issue.


  • Anonymous Feb 17, 2009

    Have the exact same problem. Is there any solution?

  • miguel_lobos May 11, 2010

    Same problem here, but with two different lenses, so I think the camera body is the culprit. The switch is in 'A' position on both lenses (18 - 55 mm zoom and 55 - 200 mm zoom), cycling through the zoom range has no effect. two-button reset, menu reset and hidden button reset haven't resolved this issue, I fear the auto focus control system has suffered from some sort of failure in outputting the control signaling to the lens' AF motor.



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I have a Nikon D-40 that will not take pictures in Autofocus mode without holding the AE-L/AF-L button. When in Auto mode, the lens focuses, I get the green infocus dot, but the shutter will not fire. I have done a soft reset (Custom Menu) and a hard reset (reset button next to USB port). Same issue. Firmware is A 1.12 B 1.00 . Manual mode works fine. Any ideas?

Posted on Apr 09, 2010


I don't know if I found a "solution" but toggling once the A/M switch on the lens seems to "fix" it every time. By the way, I never had this problem, not even once, in the two years that I had my D50 with the version I lens. If my eyes still worked like they did 10 years ago I would not have given it up for the bigger screen of the D40....

Posted on Oct 02, 2008

  • tmf786 Feb 03, 2011


    I had a similar problem until i decided to be a bit more tougher with the lens. sorry if im not technical but i just got mine recently (ebay - defect autofocus not working). I could hear a whir (motor i assume) so i knew there was nothing wrong with the body. as I was on manual and i zoom in then focus ring i could hear it getting stuck. I was a bit more forceful (not too much) when I heard it click. I then switched it to A and hey presto the the auto works. HOWEVER when i leave it on A and the focus ring moves in towards the body it clicks and then gets stuck - i have to then change it to M and unclick it.



I've got the same problem with mine. It went back to the shop, and they sent it back to Nikon for repair. I got it back in 3 weeks. It's been fine since, but I'm always expecting it to break down again. Toggling the focus switch from A to M and back to A sometimes fixed it.

Posted on Aug 22, 2008

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Dan62, your camera will never be able to focus on objects with no contrast. The manual specifically states this. However, you can put the AF marker over something with some contrast, half press the shutter, so that it will focus, hold the shutter button halfway while you recompose the shot, and then press it all the way.

A note to others using the D40/D40X/D60 that are having problems with autofocus: please remember that this camera will not autofocus with mechanically driven lenses. It will only AF with "AF-S" or "AF-I" lenses.

Posted on Sep 05, 2008

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Look on the left side of the lens. Make sure the button is on A for auto focus and not M for manual. OR not stuck in the middle. Hopefully that will solve the problem.

Posted on Jul 21, 2008

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