Question about Nikon D40x Digital Camera

13 Answers

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.

Posted by jsteele99 on

  • 33 more comments 
  • Anonymous Dec 16, 2007

    I have the same problem.The camera is brand new, and it won't auto focus. it works in manual just fine. Any ideas? [email protected]

  • Anonymous Dec 16, 2007

    Auto Focus is not working on my D40 Nikon.   Makes a little sound like it is trying but can't.  Any solutions on how to fix it?

  • Anonymous Jan 14, 2008

    Almost new camera with 18-200 VR. Won't autofocus but sounds like it is trying. Tried focusing on many different things: Near, far, bright, dark to no avail. Manual focus ok.

  • Anonymous Jan 25, 2008

    I have the same problem. the D40 autofocus had been working fine. and all of a sudden it refuses to auto focus. the light comes on trying to auto focus, but it doesnt focus and i cant take a shot in AF mode.

  • MysticOrient Feb 11, 2008

    I'm having th esame problem. My camera (less than 1 year old) was working fabulous -- even that morning -- then all of a sudden it stopped working. I tried everything (resetting the camera, recharging [again] the battery, new SD card), to no avail. I finally switched lenses and that seemed to work. So, I'm wondering if it's more a lens thing than a camera thing...

  • Anonymous Feb 22, 2008

    I have the same problem, and I know that the focus moter is in the lens. Still my lens used to work perfectly and then out of the blue it stopped working completely. Now i have to use manual focus. The only solution the problem i bying a new lens, but make sure it's working with your D40.

  • NickGeo Mar 17, 2008

    Hi

    Yes I have the same problem. Camera a few months old with the 18-200 DX lens, recently started only auto focusing on first shot after being turned on and now won't at all in any conditions. Manual focus is fine. What to do?



    Nick G.

  • nikond40 Apr 06, 2008


    The camera
    will not autofocus. I put it in 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.

  • Anonymous Apr 07, 2008

    Same problem. I have the D40x with the 18-200 lens. It just stopped focusing

  • timmnkc May 13, 2008

    CanadaBruce,

    Look at all the people that have this same problem. I don't think you

    can call this operator error. My 18-200 also stopped focusing. Hopefully

    you can dig a little deeper. Or tell us where to go for help.

  • tmiller42085 May 14, 2008

    I I too have the same problem, I have the standard lens that came with the cam. Did anyone else have r12 show up in the veiwfinder when trying to focus?

  • Anonymous May 22, 2008

    Camera will focus when standard lens is attached but does not allow you to take a photo. It does seem to work with the telephoto lens.

  • vanrobstone May 26, 2008

    I have the same issue, when I try it I get an r09 next to the blinking question mark

  • topiary Jun 26, 2008

    My D40 with AF-S Nikkor 18-55 will not autofocus. Any solutions?

  • Ken Bosma Jul 14, 2008

    My D40 stopped autofocusing using the 55-200VR DX lens, but only outdoors. Indoors it works fine (using the infrared focusing), but outdoors it won't autofocus. Works fine with the 18-55 kit lens. I can put it on "M" (manual) and focus manually, but no autofocus.

  • l-cannon Jul 20, 2008

    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.

  • Anonymous Sep 12, 2008

    I have same problem. I have D40 with 18-135mm (D80's lens). First half year was prefect fine. It was fast autofocused all subjects all the time. One day, it stoped work. I can hear lens tried working hard to focus, from one end to another. but, it worldn't work and I cann't press sharter. I tried reattch lens, reset.... Sometime, it works, but, sometime, it doesn't. Does anybody know about it? Is it software in body problem or lens? By the way, manual function was fine.

  • leadoff6 Sep 14, 2008

    same as the others. have used my d40 for a few years without a hitch, then all of a sudden it just wont work in the autofocus mode.

  • lowsparkco Sep 17, 2008

    my D40x also quit autofocusing but the problem is intermittent



    seems to be more frequent with the longer 55-200 DX lense



    also possibly under more humid conditions? making sure I have a good positive interface between the lense and the body seems to help as well as resetting the camera settings



    with there being 20 of us is it possible that it's a defect? my body is serial number 3038784

  • Anonymous Oct 17, 2008

    Help tried all below, but still to no avail :-( it was perfect yesterday!


  • Anonymous Oct 22, 2008

    Yesterday, my camera would not shoot even in manual. I pressed the shutter release all the way after manually focusing the lens, but the camera did nothing. Then all of a sudden it started working. I missed my baby's smile though. It just would not shoot.

  • drhazelton Oct 29, 2008

    Same thing. All of a sudden, the auto-focus, well... doesn't. Happened a little at first, now all the time. No sound, no attempt to focus, nothing doing.

    Tried re-seating the lens, reset all camera settings... nothing.

    Argh!


  • Anonymous Nov 15, 2008

    Same problem - just stopped working all of a sudden. I also get an r11 messge.

  • Anonymous Nov 21, 2008

    I have a nikon d40x. I was taking pictures and all of a sudden it stopped focusing. I have tried all of the suggestions and nothing works.

  • digaguy Dec 02, 2008

    I have the same problem with my d40x and the 18-55mm lens. Manual works fine but not autofocus.

  • cmueller Dec 03, 2008

    my canera randomly will not focus on auto focus and will not take the photo

  • Anonymous Dec 19, 2008

    I have the same problem - autofocus suddenly won't work

  • epierson04 Dec 25, 2008

    Brand new, just out of the box. Autofocus was working fine, and then BAM stopped working. If its in MF mode, it works fine. Tried reattaching the lens, reset the settings, still nothing....help! ive only gotton to play with it for less than an hour!

    [email protected]


  • Anonymous Dec 31, 2008

    Ah, yay! someone with the exact same problem! it just happened today, and i am frustrated as hell. does anyone have a solution that does not include replacing parts? it would be much appreciated :)

  • Anonymous Jan 24, 2009

    Same same here! It's driving me crazy.

  • hr2009 Feb 03, 2009

    Same problem here. I bought the camera from a friend who had it for 1-1/2 yrs and decided to upgrade, I've had it for 3 months, and all of a sudden today it won't autofocus. I can hear it trying to do something to no avail. I tried all of the suggestions below, but nothing worked. Manual does work, so I'm convinced it's in the lens, but with the exact same thing happening to this many people, it must be some sort of defect.

  • lenscrap Mar 23, 2009

    I've just posted the same problem on Nikon > D40 > troubleshooting. I bought the D40 kit a fortnight ago and the 18-55mm DX Zoom-Nikkor lens refuses to focus in Manual or Auto mode. Tonight I took it to a friend who has the identical kit, his lens worked fine on both our cameras, mine wouldn't work on either. As Miguel says below (solution #7), there seems to be a widespread fault with the kit lens, there's no way we've all experienced the same problem purely by chance. I'm taking the kit straight back to the shop tomorrow and demanding a new lens, let them sort it out. Fortunately the Sigma 70-300mm zoom I bought does work with the D40 so at least I've got some fall-back in the meantime. Someone needs to give Nikon a kick up the backside!

  • Anonymous Mar 28, 2009

    My Nikon DX has recently have the blurry problems when on sport mode. The lens are set to A (auto). I went to the Custom Setting Menu (Pencil Icon) and press "reset". The flower mode came out clear not blurry. Help.....

  • starfish8293 Mar 29, 2009

    I was taking pictures of my grandson and a week later the auto focus does not work. What should I do?

  • Anonymous Mar 31, 2009

    Same thing, I took 6 pictures with the lens all OK, Swoped to my fast lens cam back an hour late and no autofocus on 55-200 guess what the 1yrs warrenty is up as well. Am sure they time these faults

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13 Answers

Anonymous

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This happened to me once on a D70... When mounting the lens, make sure it clicks in all the way when turning counterclockwise. Also it may be worthy to note that both the lens AND the camera must be set to autofocus mode ("A" switch set on both lens and cam).

Marky

Posted on May 14, 2008

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I took my lens of and put it back on (to make sure that wasn't the problem). then i switched the lens to manual and took a few pictures. i switched back to automatic, and then repeated the process...when i was back on automatic focus, i held the button down half way and it focused and then i tried taking a picture and it workded!!

Posted on Aug 21, 2009

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I had the same symptoms as described above with My D40x in the late summer using the 18-55mm zoom that came with the camera. The auto focus feature seemed to be working just fine with the other supplied lens in the kit (55-200mm zoom), leading me to believe the lens was where the problem ultimately lie. Because this lens was still under warranty, I shuffled up a few bucks to send it in to Nikon (the Service Center in NY). They repaired the lens and sent it back (no charge, under warranty) within 2 weeks. The paperwork they returned with the lens indicated that they had discovered a broken 'auto focus gear' and replaced it to restore auto-focus functionality for my lens. I have to wonder if there isn't a common defect in these lenses, based on the number of others posting here that they run into this same set of symptoms.

Posted on Dec 29, 2008

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Only the middle focus bracket is a cross-hair on the D40, and the outer two are line.   Try focussing by turning the camera slightly to the left or right.   And, also ensure that you have the lens selector slide set to A for autofocus.   The D40, by the way, does not have it's own internal focussing motor, and only lenses with their own motors will autofocus, but manual focus is possible with all lenses.

Posted on Dec 06, 2007

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I read this forum... minutes later it works!!! In menu click "reset" and it works. Note On the 18-55mm the focus does not rotate much when focusing

Posted on Oct 25, 2010

  • Donna Green Apr 04, 2011

    Did this solve your problem long term? I've done it all -- reseated the lens, sent it back to Nikon 3 times and the lens 1x. I have not done the reset which I just did. Thanks for the tip. I am so frustrated with this camera.

  • Jewli Judd Dec 28, 2013

    wow! I just did the "reset" and now my D-40 is auto-focusing again...thanks!!!!

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I had the same problem and after following the instructions on this website, my problems were solved: http://www.bythom.com/autofocus.htm

Posted on Aug 07, 2009

David E

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What lighting conditions were you working in?

All camera autofocus systems are only able to operate down to a certain light level. The fact that the focus assist light came on suggests that the light level was low. However, the focus assist light only has limited range. It won't help with distant subjects.

However, to assist focusing (in poor light conditions especially) you should place the active focus area over a high contrast edge when you are focusing. You can keep the shutter button held half way down (which locks the focus in the default AF-S mode, not in AF-C, where this won't work) and recompose the picture when you've focused.

If your camera won't focus at all in good light, with an AF-S lens, with a high contrast subject, you may have a fault, and should speak to Nikon or your dealer.

Hope this helps!

Posted on Nov 29, 2007

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Have a D40 not even a year old. Worked great before. Now it takes a few pictures in auto-focus and then it stops taking pictures in auto focus. to continue taking pictures i either have to switch to manual or remove the lens and then put it back on to resume taking some more pics in auto-focus until it stops again and i have to follow this pattern for as long as i desire to take pictures with it. deffinatley a defect of some sort. great camera overall but Nikon better fix this if they want to keep their market share.

Posted on Dec 19, 2009

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Same here...the camera does nothing and sounds REALLY loud when focusing. Of course it's not under warranty anymore.

Posted on Jun 28, 2009

Anonymous

I HAVE A D40 ABOUT A YEAR OLD SAME PROBLEM... I RELEASED THE LENS TURNED IT LOOSE ABOUT A !/2 TURN AND RESEEDED IT MAKING SURE IT LOCKED AND THE PROBLEM WENT AWAY

Posted on Nov 03, 2008

Anonymous

Here's something very simple:

1) Go to the Custom Setting Menu (Pencil Icon) and press "reset". This should remedy the issue.

2) Reconfigure the settings you may have previously used on that menu.

3) Go on with your shooting!

Posted on Jun 17, 2008

Anonymous

Out of the box, I couldn't get a center focus shot. Out of desperation I reset the camera (push info and magnify buttons at the same time). That solved the problem.

Posted on Mar 12, 2008

Steve Grezoux

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Make sure the lens you are using is a "DX" series lens. I know of many instances where the camera has been either sold or used without the correct ("DX") type lens. Autofocus will not work, but most other functions will. Manual focus is possible with the non-"DX" lenses. This seems to be a little-known quirk of the D40/D40x models.

Posted on Jan 29, 2008

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Anonymous

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SOURCE: nikon d40 autofocus

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

David E

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SOURCE: nikon d40 autofocus

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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