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Thread: D800 Battery Grip - Is It Worth It???

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    esprit de corps Belly's Avatar
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    D800 Battery Grip - Is It Worth It???

    I'm a big fan of gear but I'm a little bemused at the price one online retailer is asking for the MB-D12 battery grip for an 800E I've put on my radar. I know I know, don't buy it or go buy the fake for $300 less, all true but has anyone out there got an opinion on the genuine grip, is it really worth that much more??? It just holds a battery and allows comfy vertical shooting, right???


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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    I have got a third-party one, got it from site advertiser phottix, and it works very well. Cannot compare how it works to the original as I have not used an original one. It hold a batter, thus extending shooting time, lets you shoot vertically and has a focus point joystick and a shutter button. I find I use that shutter button.. a lot.
    Last edited by ricktas; 06-07-2013 at 10:11am.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Ausphotography Regular Tommo1965's Avatar
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    is the battery grip worth $350au= No
    would I buy a Knock off grip =No

    Ive had aftermarket grips before for Pentax Cameras..and after those I swore Id never buy another..in my experience they have been cheaply made/built and the price reflects that.......

    god know why Nikon thinks the D800 grip is worth $100au more than the D700 grip..which @ $250 online wasnt too bad.

    also remember that just about all the knock offs are made of plastic whereas the Nikon is alloy same as the camera ...the buttons/switches all feel like the camera too , not something you will find on the aftermarket grips ..


    I suppose ask yourself do you need the grip?..also how long will you have the D800..for me it will be around for quite some time ..as I doubt Ill need much more of a camera than the D800 ( I know, I know famous last words and all that )

    for lenses like the 24/70 a grip is worthwhile..for 50mm primes I leave the grip at home...having the extra battery is useful..but not a deal maker, as I have pockets too !!....if you in the studio and shooting a lot in portrait orientation than its very handy

    Edit

    to answer your question on the Nikon D800 grip.. its well made and works as you'd expect, and is a fluid extension of the camera in feel/touch and ..but agian , IMO not worth $350..$250 yes
    Last edited by Tommo1965; 06-07-2013 at 10:05am.
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I'm like Rick .. I just want it to hold a battery and extend shooting time more than anything else.

    One of the most important advantages of the Nikon grip over most others is that fact that it's made of magnesium(well.. partly anyhow).

    I've never really been a fan of the plastickiness of the thirdparty grips, so I went for a magnesium thidrparty grip.

    That I know of, there are only two thirdparty grips made of magnesium ... Phottix make one version and I got the Aputure model which you can read about HERE

    Because I don't rely on it professionally, and then when I do use it, it's very occasionally .. I didn't want to spend $400 on an accessory I was going to use every other bloomoon! Mine cost me just a tad under $90 or so.
    I thought to myself, if it buggers up or plays up in some way, it's really only $90 which over the long haul isn't too much money .. but so far it's been working well.


    As for the actual question at hand .... no! At that price I don't think it's worth it(I've never used it tho) .. but having my much cheaper, but still crazily strong alternative ... I'd have to wager that it isn't 'worth it' if compared to a high quality thirdparty alternative.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
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    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommo1965 View Post
    also remember that just about all the knock offs are made of plastic whereas the Nikon is alloy same as the camera ...the buttons/switches all feel like the camera too , not something you will find on the aftermarket grips ..
    Some many of the 3rd party D800 grips are also made using magnesium alloy, you just have to google d800 magnesium alloy grip to find them, or click the phottix link as one of theirs is.
    Last edited by ricktas; 06-07-2013 at 10:13am.

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    Ausphotography Regular Tommo1965's Avatar
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    Arthur

    In my experiences its the feel of the buttons that let the aftermarket grips down, they feel cheap and flimsy ..and not rubberised like the Nikon buttons, also the on off switches always felt weak ( i had one break ) ...what's yours like in that area ?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    not true. some of the 3rd party D800 grips are also made using magnesium alloy, you just have to google d800 magnesium alloy grip to find them
    I beg to differ...I said just about all...not All...so not untrue
    Last edited by Tommo1965; 06-07-2013 at 10:11am.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommo1965 View Post
    Arthur

    In my experiences its the feel of the buttons that let the aftermarket grips down, they feel cheap and flimsy ..and not rubberised like the Nikon buttons, also the on off switches always felt weak ( i had one break ) ...what's yours like in that area ?

    - - - Updated - - -



    I beg to differ...I said just about all...not All...so not untrue
    Sheesh you are quick. You quoted while I was editing my post...LOL

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    buttons feel OK in general.

    There are 6 buttons/dials:

    ON/OFF: flimsy-ish, could possibly be the weakest button on the grip.
    Shutter release: good, possibly even better than the camera in some ways.
    Command and sub command wheels: 99.9% as good as the camera(too hard to differentiate to be of any concern). Not rubberised as per the cameras wheels, but not an issue. actions as as good as the cameras.
    AF-On: no difference.
    Joystick: feels solid. In fact a bit too solid because it's smaller than the cameras and being a bit solid you sometimes inadvertently press the centre recall instead of one of the direction controls, so you AF point returns to centre instead of going to the next point.

    Apart from the on/off switch, all clickiness of the buttons/dials feel as per the camera's controls .. positive and strong click action. ie. no cheapiness to their action.
    The on/off switch does have a slightly cheaper action to it feeling looser than the really tight action of the camera. It has a slight amount of slack in it's actual operation .. but nothing to really indicate that it will break or fail.

    The shutter release on the grip actually can feel a touch better than even the cameras release button. Where the camera has only one click action .... between the point where it AF's and then exposes, the Aputure grip has two click actions. One click to the point of AF, for AF, and then again for exposure.
    Of course I don't use half press for AF, as I use AF-On, so half-pressing is only activating the metering system or highlighting grid lines.

    At first it felt weird .. just because it was different to the camera's operation .. in that at the click, you expect exposure.

    There may in fact be more than just the two brands of grips made in magnesium to be found in the current market, but that I know of only two manufacturers that make them in magnesium .. other brands made in magnesium could be rebranded Phottix's or Aputure's .. who knows?

    - - - Updated - - -

    And of course the price of the Nikon D800 grip is the major sore point, as you suggested Steve. Had it been more like $200-250, I wouldn't have hesitated in getting one .. well maybe at $250 I would have ummed and ahhhed a lot more .. but at nearly $400! No way José!

    Even as a pro(if I were a pro) .. I'd still have favoured the cheaper thirdparty magnesium versions .. of course dealing with the associated risks involved.

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    Perpetually Bewildered fillum's Avatar
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    "Is it worth it?" is quite a subjective question...

    I have a Zeikos brand grip for my D300 (~ $80 delivered). I mainly bought it for the bump in fps, not so much the portrait-oriented shooting. However as I shoot a fair bit of 'vertically-oriented' sport (Aussie rules, baseball, basketball) I have since found it to be incredibly useful, to the point where if I had to pay $400 to get a decent new one I probably would. (But I didn't know that till I had one! ).

    I use the Zeikos continuously for a couple of hours every weekend through footy season and have done so for a few seasons now. It's very solid - I regularly hold the camera (D300 + 70-200 + 1.4x TC) just by the battery grip without any problems. Can't really comment on the buttons/dials because I don't use them much, apart from the shutter-release which seems fine.

    If I was looking to purchase a 3rd-party grip now I'd also do some research on potential firmware issues as well as the usual physical stuff.



    Cheers.
    Phil.

    Some Nikon stuff. I shoot Mirrorless and Mirrorlessless.


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    Have Nikon genuine grips and refuse to use after market anymore due to being let down in the past on more than one occasion.

    Price hurts lots but the peace of mind is good.

    Chook
    Nikon D800e + Grip / D700 + grip / SB910, SB800's + Quantum Turbo SC
    300mm f2.8 VR / 105mm f2.8 / 60mm f2.8 / 80-200mm f2.8 / 24-70mm f2.8/ / 14-24mm f2.8 / 1.4TC



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    Ausphotography Veteran Speedway's Avatar
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    I have aftermarket grips on both my canon cameras, the 400D one has been on the camera for over 5 years now and has never given any problems, the same with the one on the 7D, both cameras are regularly carried through the bush around off road racetracks with the 70-200 F2.8L and 150-500 sigma mounted hooked to a black rapid sling by the tripod screw in the base of the grips. I think they have been well tested for strength there. A friend has a 7D with the genuine grip and we cannot pick any difference in the operation between them.
    Cheers
    Keith.

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    Problem I think I had with the non-genuine grips was simply poor choice due to lack of research and paid the price for it.

    Topics like this confirm for me how great the AP forum is and the invaluable experience/advice members provide.... Simply fantastic!!

    Chook

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    Ausphotography Regular Tommo1965's Avatar
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    LOL..its the quick and the dead round here Rick..you know that mate ..
    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    Sheesh you are quick. You quoted while I was editing my post...LOL
    if the Mag alloy one had been around when I bought my Grip..id certainly have looked more closely into them....be nice if a mate had already bought one to compare...its a bit hard when most of these aftermarket grips are all in china or Hong Kong..( same thing really )

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    I have large hands, so I ordered the grip the day I ordered my D800.
    With the Tamron 24-70 that basically lives on my camera, I find the grips give a good balance to the whole unit.
    Is it expensive? Yes.
    Is it worth it? Yes.
    If you've just dropped $3K+ on one of the worlds best cameras, complaining about a few hundred on the grip seems pointless.
    Pentax K-3 | K100D | Q | Q7
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    esprit de corps
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    Hi everyone and thanks for your making this an interesting thread. The jury is still out for now but I'll probably wimp out for the Nikon in the end. Thanks again.

    BELLY

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    Photoholic Goatch's Avatar
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    I'll give a plus one for the Phottiix grip , feels nice and solid with no probs with any of the buttons on my D800
    Does a one legged duck swim in an eliptic circle


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    Anecdotally, those I know who have one have worn it out pretty quickly.
    Im with Tommo on this one.
    I used my d200 with a 3rd party grip, but when I upgraded and didnt get a grip, I didnt miss it.
    Togs are what my son wears to go swimming.

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