Nikon D5100 Autofocus Not Working

Nikon D5100 Autofocus Not Working

There could be several reasons why your Nikon D5100 autofocus is not working. First, ensure that the lens you use is compatible with autofocus. If it is compatible, then try the following steps:

➔ Step No 1:

First, check if your thumb is accidentally pressing the button while shooting. If that’s not the case, try quickly pressing the autofocus button to cancel out any potential autofocus lock settings.

➔ Step No 2:

Another step is to check the lens for any problems causing the issue. Make sure the lens is compatible with autofocus and is functioning properly. If you have doubts, try a different lens to see if the problem persists.

➔ Step No 3:

Check the contacts between the lens and the camera body to ensure they are clean and free from any debris or dirt that may interfere with autofocus.

➔ Step No 4:

Ensure that the slider control on the lens is set to autofocus and that the camera’s focus mode is set to either AF-S or AF-C in the camera settings.

➔ Step No 5:

Additionally, you can use a remote shutter release to see if the semi-click helps with focusing. This will assist in identifying whether the issue is with the camera’s shutter release button.

➢ Note:

If these steps do not work, there may be a shutter release problem, as mentioned in one of the sources. It’s best to seek professional repair in that case.

Why Is My Nikon Camera Not Autofocusing?

There could be several reasons why a Nikon camera is not autofocusing. One possible reason is that the autofocus lock feature may be activated, preventing the camera from focusing on the subject.

Another possible issue is a dirty or damaged lens or lens filter, which can interfere with the autofocus function. In some cases, the problem may be caused by an incorrect setting on the camera body, such as the Focus Selector Lock control being set to Lock with no focus point selected.

Or the AF/M switch on the camera body being set to AF when using non-AF-S lenses.  You can take a few actions to fix your Nikon camera’s autofocus.

★ Lens cleaning

The first approach is to inspect the lens for any dust or debris that may be the problem. Use a soft, dry cloth to remove any dirt or smudges that may have accumulated on the lens. Avoid harsh chemicals because doing so could harm your camera’s autofocus system and lens.

★ Change the autofocus settings.

You may need to adjust the settings to get your Nikon camera to focus correctly on specific objects or topics. Open your menu and select “Autofocus Settings” to change these settings. To enhance the camera’s functionality, you can change the Autofocus Area mode, Autofocus Mode, and other options in this menu.

★ Calibrate autofocus

Depending on their age, your camera and lens require being calibrated to properly autofocus. You’ll require a specialist tool, such as SpyderLENSCAL or LensAlign gadget, to accomplish this. Using these tools ensures that your camera’s body and lens are perfectly aligned for seamless operation.

★ Maintaining

If everything else fails, bringing your Nikon camera to a repair facility for maintenance and upkeep might be better. A skilled expert will be able to examine your camera and make the required modifications or repairs so that it operates at its best.

Following these steps, you can fix any autofocus issues your Nikon camera may have. If you continue to experience problems after trying all of the above methods, it’s best to reach out to a professional who can further help with servicing and repair.

How Do I Set Autofocus On Nikon D5100?

To set autofocus on your Nikon D5100, you need to access the camera’s Autofocus (AF) settings. You can follow the instructions listed below:

➔ Step 1:

To view the Information screen on your camera, press the I button on the rear.

➔ Step 2:

Use the arrow buttons to navigate the AF-area or AF mode option.

➔ Step 3:

Press the “OK” button to enter the autofocus settings.

➔ Step 4:

Use the arrow buttons to select the autofocus or AF-area modes you want. To confirm your choice, click the “OK” button.

  • The D5100’s handling of the up-down and left-right axes is controlled by the AF-area modes.
  • The back I button can be used to display the Information screen, then press it once more to highlight and adjust the settings.
  • Additionally, you can set the AF point selection on the D5100 by accessing the AF-area mode option, then selecting the single-point AF mode.
  • This allows you to choose a specific AF point by using the arrow buttons to position the focus point over the subject you want to focus on.

Lastly, you can set the AF modes on your D5100 to determine how the camera focuses. This includes AF-S (single-servo autofocus), AF-C (continuous-servo autofocus), and AF-A (automatic autofocus). You can access these modes by navigating to the AF mode option and selecting your preferred mode.

Why Isn’t My Autofocus Working?

Autofocus not working can be frustrating when trying to capture an important moment. There could be several reasons why autofocus is not working, and the following are some troubleshooting steps to follow to fix the issue.

❖ Problem No 1:

One common issue is forgetting to switch the lens or camera setting from manual focus (MF) to autofocus (AF) mode. Make sure to check that your lens is set to AF mode.  

❖ Problem No 2:

Another potential problem is accidentally changing the focus point selector from the active dot to the L setting, preventing autofocus from working. Check that your focus selector is pointed toward the dot, not the L setting.

❖ Problem No 3:

Additionally, low light conditions can make it difficult for the autofocus system to function properly. When photographing non-contrasting objects like a wall with a solid color or a cloudless blue sky, autofocus may also malfunction.

❖ Problem No 4:

Other potential causes of autofocus problems include the distance from the subject, environmental factors, lens issues, and camera settings.

  • It’s essential to ensure the camera lens is set to autofocus mode, not manual focus mode.
  • It’s crucial to check that the lens is securely mounted on the camera body, as autofocus may not operate correctly if it is not properly mounted.
  • Some lenses come with an AF/MF toggle that may accidentally be switched off, rendering the autofocus system unresponsive.
  • In this case, ensure that the toggle is on the AF setting.
  • Try switching to a different mode or checking the focus point selector to troubleshoot autofocus issues.
  • You can also try changing the camera settings, using a different lens, or adjusting your distance from the subject.

If none of the above steps work, check if the autofocus points are correctly selected, and if not, adjust them accordingly. If the autofocus still doesn’t work, it could be due to low light conditions, a dirty lens, or a malfunctioning autofocus system. In this case, contacting a professional technician or the manufacturer is best for further assistance.

What’s One Of The Most Common Reasons A DSLR Autofocus Fails?

➢ Reason 1:

The settings are set to manual focus, which is one of the most frequent causes of autofocus failure (MF). If you forget to switch it back to autofocus (AF) mode, your camera might try to focus manually instead of automatically.

➢ Reason 2:

Another common reason for autofocus failure is inadequate settings. This may be due to unbalanced background contrast, lens or battery issues, or other factors.

➢ Reason 3:

When attempting to focus on a vertical line, autofocus may also fail because the two pictures will always be identical at whatever focal distance, leading to inaccurate results.

It is essential to ensure your camera is set to the right mode and that you have selected the appropriate focus points for your desired shot.

➢ Common Reasons:

  • In addition to these common reasons, autofocus may fail due to inadequate settings.
  • This can be anything from unbalanced background contrast to the lens or battery issues. The number of autofocus points available can also affect performance.
  • In contrast to higher-end DSLRs with intricate focusing mechanisms, entry-level DSLRs may only feature seven autofocus points.
  • Mirrorless cameras, on the other hand, can have over 100 autofocus points.
  • The sophistication of the autofocus system and the number of points can influence autofocus performance and accuracy.

It is important to ensure the camera’s settings are correctly configured and the autofocus is switched on to avoid autofocus problems. Shooting conditions such as low light or contrast may also affect autofocus performance. Understanding the autofocus system and its settings can help improve accuracy and reduce the likelihood of autofocus problems.


You can fix your Nikon D5100’s autofocus issue now that you’ve identified the root problem. Make use of this manual to restart your autofocus. You should have no trouble getting everything sorted out, whether cleaning the contacts on your lens or modifying the settings on your camera. Good fortune!

Refer to the user manual or contact a skilled photographer for help if you ever experience any other problems with your Nikon D5100 camera. Your Nikon D5100 should last you for many years if you take good care of it and regularly maintain it. Thanks for reading!


1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

Spread the love

Similar Posts