Article ID : 00121691 / Last Modified : 06/25/2015

What can I do if the camera does not focus when using the Auto Focus (AF) setting?

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When the auto focus has difficulties with locking on focus it can be due to a number of cases, such as the distance between yourself and the subject/object you are taking a picture of. It can also be difficult to focus depending on the light condition. The information below will provide you with various recommendations to troubleshoot and resolve issues with auto focusing.

Make sure the subject is not so close

Each camera lens has a minimum distance from which it can shoot a subject. This is called the minimum focusing distance. If you are closer than the minimum focusing distance to the subject you are trying to take a picture of, you will not be able to focus properly. The minimum focusing distance varies by lens; and in zoom lenses, it can also vary depending on the focal length. To check the minimum focusing distance of a lens, refer to the lens specifications or the distance printed on the lens, as shown in the picture below.


Image

On the front side of the lens, the distance is indicated in meters (m) and feet (ft). The minimum focusing distance of the above lens is 0.25 m (25 cm). If you get closer than this distance, you cannot focus on the subject properly. In situations where you want to get as close as possible to the subject, first get extremely close to the subject. Then move away little by little to find the distance where the subject is in focus.

Make sure the subject or the environment where the pictures will be taken does not inhibit focusing

It may be difficult for the camera to focus automatically in the following situations:

  • In case of fast movements or high speed, such as a driving car
  • When a subject appears too close to the camera
  • If there is a scene with a lot of low contrasts, such as a blue sky or a sandy beach
  • A scene that is constantly changing, such as waves or a water fall
  • In low-light situations, such as inside a church or during nighttime
  • When the subject is backlit by a strong light source, such as the sun
  • In case of overlapping objects that are appearing both near and far, creating depth, such as a subject located behind a fence

How to focus on a subject within a difficult environment

  1. Compose the shot by locking the focus at a subject: 

    • Place the subject within the auto focus area and press the shutter button halfway down. This will lock the focus on your subject.
      Image 

    •  Press the shutter button down fully to take the picture.
     
  2. Switch the camera or the lens to Manual Focus (MF).
    1. Adjust the aperture value of the camera to avoid partly focused images by opening the aperture to blur either the background or the foreground of the image.

      Photograph with aperture opened (example: Aperture value of 2.8)
      Image

      Photograph with aperture narrowed down (example: Aperture value of 16)
      Image

    2. Set the camera mode dial to Aperture Priority mode (A). Aperture mode automatically sets the camera so variables other than the aperture are at optimum exposure.
    3. Increase the aperture value or F-value of the camera, by using the dial of the camera, when shooting in dark locations. This reduces the amount of light the camera receives.

      NOTE: Usage of tripod is recommended to avoid camera shake when taking pictures in dark environments.

For ILCA-77M2, SLT-A77V, SLT-A99V or DSLR-A900 models.

If the image is still out of focus adjust the AF Micro Adjustment function of every lens owned, by following the steps below:

  1. Press Menu.
  2. Select Setup.
  3. Select AF Micro Adj.
  4. Select AF Adjustment Setting.
  5. Select ON to display a scale for you to choose the desired value.
  6. Turn the control wheel, dial or joystick of the camera to select the desired value.

    NOTE: The larger the value, the farther the focusing position is from the camera; the smaller the value, the nearer the focusing position is to the camera.

  7. Press the centre button of the control wheel or the joystick of the camera when finished.

    NOTES:

    • The adjustment value cannot be registered if the AF Micro Adj. is not set to On.
    • It is recommended to adjust the AF fine adjustment value of your camera under actual shooting conditions.
    • When you attach a lens for which you have already registered a value, the registered value appears on the screen. [±0] appears for lenses for which a value has not yet been registered.
    • If [-] is displayed as the value, then a total of 30 lenses have been registered and no new lens can be registered. To register a new lens, attach a lens for which the registration can be erased, and set its value to [±0], or reset the values of all the lenses using [Clear].
    • Use AF Micro Adj. with Sony, Minolta, and Konica-Minolta lenses only. If used with other brands of lenses, the registered value may be affected. It is strongly advised not to perform AF Micro Adj. with an unsupported lens.
    • You cannot individually perform AF fine adjustment when using the Sony, Minolta, and Konica Minolta lenses that have the same specifications .

The troubleshooting steps listed above should resolve your issue. If you have completed all of the steps and the problem remains unresolved, the product may need to be sent in for service. If you believe this to be the case, please contact us for further assistance.