#1. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 0
Salt Lake City, US
There are a number of reasons to buy the Grip. Firstly, its called a grip because it helps add size and well grip. If you have large hands it gives you more room to hold the camera so you don't have to scrunch up your hands as much to hold it. Another reason is for the vertical shutter release and makes it more comfortable to hold vertically if that's something that you do. Added battery life is a bonus along with better balancing with heavier lenses.
In my opinion the weight isn't much compared to the added comfort. And it makes the camera look like a professional set up if that matters to you.
#2. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 0
Seattle, WA, US
My first reason for a grip is for the extra buttons/dials in portrait mode. Making the camera bigger is nice for my big hands. The extra battery power is a bonus but handy for the higher frame rate if your camera supports it. Weight can be saved by not putting a battery in the grip if you don't need it. My first reason for a grip is for the extra buttons/dials in portrait mode.
---------+---------+---------+---------+ Joseph K Seattle, WA, USA
#5. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 0
St Petersburg, RU
The number of reasons for a grip are many: Giving the same stability in vertical orientation as in horizontal orientation...look where your right arm is shooting a portrait...over your head in a very unstable position. You can gain a stop or more of shutter speed options by being able to shoot vertically as steady as horizontally because both would be done by tucking in arms tightly against the chest when using a grip. Normally you need to increase shutter speed in vertical orientation to reduce the impact of the worse right arm position without the grip. For available light portrait shooters a grip is essential
Less hand fatigue. Shooting for long periods with the small grip area on any camera other than D2, D3 or D4 which have built-n grips. That because with less finger contact area, a firm hold means high finger tension on the 3 fingers supporting the camera on the right side. By having more contact area using the extended grip area, less tension is maintained by all the fingers. It also frees up the index finger for command wheel and shutter functions without increasing the gripping force on those fingers remaining on the grip. After shooting for 8 hours, your hand and arms will thank you for getting a grip.
Camera steadiness, due to less right hand fatigue.
Optimum position of AF-On button. On the D7000, the camera is easier to use with the commonly preferred AF-On operation of the AE/AF-L button reprogrammed for AF-on. The button position is awkward in landscape orientation but is perfectly placed for AF control on the grip in vertical orientation.
Additional battery capacity, but that is not a major advantage with the current stingy D7000. With power hungry models like the D800 the additional battery in the grip is a big advantage however.
One thing frequently cites as a reason is better balance but that is not really a factor. Balance of a heavy lens is not related to camera mass or weight. A d40 is as well balanced with a 400 f/2.8 as a 55-200 light plastic lens. Balance is not compensated by camera weight, it is balanced solely by left hand support position. A front heavy lens means your left hand naturally moves out from the camera a bit. But a lens 1/2 the weight, the balance point means your left hand is moved in slightly towards the camera a little. We do that automatically when we pick up objects. The weight of a camera and lens is supported by the left hand and the right hand simple is used for maneuvering the read of the camera with a light touch, and operating the controls, unless shooting one handing point and shoot style, in which case you are not using a heavy long lens. With a grip however, shooting one handed with, say, a 70-200 2.8 is possible but not advised. Shooting one handed with a 85 1.4 is very doable with a grip however and just possible without.
Unless you are needing to keep the camera as small as possible there are few reasons NOT to use a grip.
#7. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 0
Wichita Falls, US
"One thing frequently cites as a reason is better balance but that is not really a factor. Balance of a heavy lens is not related to camera mass or weight."
Stan - Interesting comment and I do agree with you, however, I find with the grip the camera now rests on the heel of my left hand and I think it does provide better stability for the shot regardless of which lens I have mounted.
I got the grip because the camera grip is a tad small for my hand and my pinky finger kept pulling the rubber cover open. The extended grip solved the problem. I have since learned I like the grip for vertical shots, much more comfortable to hold.
I only use a battery in MB-D11, I found putting one in the camera counter productive when you have to remove the grip to change the camera battery and it seems to last forever anyway.
#9. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 7
>I >find with the grip the camera now rests on the heel of my left >hand and I think it does provide better stability for the shot >regardless of which lens I have mounted.
That is exactly how I have started using mine, with my left elbow firmly planted into my side essentially resting on my hip bone. It is a very stable position, similar to one I used to adopt with a rifle in the offhand position.
#10. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 0
Most of my film bodies had grips or motor winders and having it there is what I'm accustomed to. It provides room for my large-ish hands, and it does (to me, anyway) provide better balance with my heavy f/2.8 lenses.
On batteries, AA Alkalines do not last nearly as long as the Rechargeable Lithium. AA Lithiums are better on life than Alkalines, but still not quite as good as the Rechargeable Lithium. AA Lithiums are much lighter than AA Alkalines, but heavier than the Rechargeable Lithium.
The extra battery duration with one in the camera and one in the grip allows me to shoot all week in a National Park without needing to charge. I carry the AA holder (that comes with the grip) with AA Lithiums as an emergency source just in case.
#12. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 0
I'm in the "fits my hand better" camp. I find that using a grip enables me to relax my index finger a bit more, so that rather than "stabbing" at the shutter release, I'm able to "roll" with more control and stability.
#13. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 7
St Petersburg, RU
For a 18-105 that is light compared to the camera, so the mid mass point would naturally be close to the base of the grip. Support by the bottom of the grip might be fine for such light and short lenses but as soon as you add length and mass the moment arm makes that approach less stable, I think you will find that moving your hand out to a balance point will solve the instability problem a heavier lens induces. Any movement by your hand will define an arc that the front of the lens and the focal plane swings through. A longer arm, meaning a longer lens, means the slight movement at the camera support point will be multiplied by the arm length so a tiny movement by your left hand at the base of the grip will result in a front lens switch of a much greater distance. The least arc swing at the lens front and focal plane will be when the arm is shortest, which is in the center of the mass, between the from element and focal plane. Try hand holding from the base some of the most popular lenses like the 70-200 as an experiment. Stan St Petersburg Russia
#14. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 6
St Petersburg, RU
Actually Nikon is probably less than happy that people(me for example) suggest skipping the expensive 1/2 metal and 1/2 plastic grip for $300 and get the $60 all plastic copies. I have them on 3 cameras from 3 different makes and they all work great, have been flawless and still looks and perform like new.
The AA batteries have the one advantage, they can be purchased in a pinch anywhere you might not have access to a charger. Otherwise, the original battery lasts longer, has higher burst current and charges faster than AA lithium cells and lasts much longer than AA Alkaline non-rechargeable cells. There are 3rd party batteries that replace the Nikon with slightly higher performance but there are also knockoffs that are not very good at all. So for batteries it is best to get advice from someone you know who has had good luck with a particular brand. I have 3 Nikon batteries and 2 Delkin and the all work well and have for several years. It is nice that two of my cameras share the same model battery now. Stan St Petersburg Russia
#16. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 0
Stan nailed it for all of the good reasons of why to get one. To add to the discussion, years ago I contemplated the same question but I couldn't find much on whether the arguments of 'it feels better for those with big hands' held up for a woman photographer.
I am a small woman and worried that having small hands would make a grip unusable for me. I will tell you that the balance is better in your hands, small or large. I have never had a problem with handling it so I don't think the size of one's hands makes any difference. It's really just the balance being much better.
I got my first battery grip years ago on my D90. When I got my D7000, I didn't think twice about getting a grip for it. I use the AF-On for focusing and would be really constrained when shooting portrait-orientation if I didn't have a battery grip.
As with anything photographic, there's always a trade-off. Yes, it's heavier and that's a drag but....it's so much more functional and therefore, I put up with the additional weight.
#17. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 0
BTW, if you go with the Grip, get something like an UpStrap that won't easily slide off your shoulder. Something with a really grippy pad. I narrowly avoided a crash when my D7000/300mm slipped off my left shoulder... The same thing occured with my D200, battery grip and normal lens.
#18. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 0
Land O Lakes, US
With the exception of my first 35mm camera back in 1968 I've had motor drives on all my 35mm cameras and like the feel of a larger camera. So, when I got my D7000 I immediately started investigating the grips available on the market. If you go to Amazon or B&H or Adorama you'll see that you can purchase the Nikon grip or an alternative grip (for significantly less). I purchased an alternative grip and am extremely pleased.
If you do any multi day workshops and find yourself getting up at 4:00am and getting back to hotel at 9:00 or 10:00pm you'll like the idea of having two batteries!
If you like a smaller form factor don't get a grip as it does add bulk to the camera.
#20. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 19
St Petersburg, RU
I would not reward someone trying to con their customers. There are a lot of fake MB-D11 grips being sold as genuine Nikon products, even copying the serial number style and logos. Many of them selling for close to or the same price as Nikon units. I would suggest going with a 3rd party that says what it is, has a good seller rating and does not try to pass it off as Nikon. So far I have had excellent service from grip by Zeikos(D90), Meike(D7000) and Pixel(D800, cost more, $106, but seemed better reinforced that the $60 models) My Meike cost only $60 on Amazon from a US dealer including 2 day delivery when I bought my D7000 in California.
The reason I am sure the HK grip is fake is that the wholesale cost of the real MB-D11 is 3 times that price asked. Stan St Petersburg Russia
#22. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 21
St Petersburg, RU
Battery condition is reported accurately with each of my grips so I am not sure of what you are referring to. Make sure any batteries used have the stanard 3 connections pin or else reading will not take place. It also will not charge correctly if only 2 pins are installed. As far as I know Radio Shack was the only source of such inappropriately configured batteries. Stan St Petersburg Russia
#23. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 22
Los Angeles, US
The Meike and Zeikos are not available on Amazon or BH Photo. There are a few genuine used Nikon MB-D11's on eBay, so I will start to fish in those waters.
Some chatter on camera forums months back touched on a weakness with 3rd party battery grips for Nikons. Apparently, the charge condition of the EN batter in the group was not being indicated on the Nikon camera menu. In the Set-Up Menu, I believe.
The circuitry in the group wasn't correct. And supposedly, only the genuine Nikon EN battery has a logic chip to accurately communicate with the camera. But you know what they say about a 'little knowledge' being dangerous knowledge. This might be bogus information.
I've already got a bid on eBay for a MB-D11. And I like the idea of transferring the camera EN battery to the grip to save weight. I really don't see a need for massive shooting capacity.
#24. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 23
I spent a good chunk of change for a Nikon MB-D11. Frankly after receiving it I was not overwhelmed with the materials/construction, and I am pretty sure I would have been just as happy with one of the third party alternatives mentioned here.
#26. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 23 Sun 06-Jan-13 01:33 PM by RLDubbya
>The Meike and Zeikos are not available on Amazon or BH Photo.
Eh? See screenshot from Amazon below...Meike and Zeikos are most definitely available on Amazon, as are others.
I had a Meike - it felt OK, clearly not as solid as the MB-D11, but I could live with that.
One morning, I picked up the camera to grab a shot, and found both batteries were stone-cold discharged, and that's not how they were when I was done using it last - in fact, the in-camera battery had not even been used yet.
That convinced me to just use MB-D11's going forward.
#27. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 22
I only found one on eBay at that price that appears, at first glance, to be a genuine Nikon grip from the pictures provided. They use the same product name and show photographs of an actual Nikon grip, but then I found this on the listing:
"Antention: * Unless described as 'Original'; all items are produced by a 3rd party manufacturer and not the original manufacturer. especially for camera Battery&Charger."
They didn't use the word 'original' anywhere in the listing.
#28. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 25 Sun 06-Jan-13 06:29 PM by Bravozulu
Los Angeles, US
I'll do a 2nd search on Amazon for the Meike and Z????. I might have been in the wrong category.
And spending close to $200 simply for the Nikon name doesn't appeal to me.
The $85 price I found on eBay was from a source in China. Claiming their item was a genuine Nikon product. Used grips on eBay are running close to 80% of the new price, and the bidding hasn't closed yet. So, the final price would be pretty close to the list $214 price from Nikon.
#29. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 24
I have two genuine Nikon MB-D11 battery grips, one bought new in 2010 when I bought my first D7000, and the other bought used (1/3rd of the cost of the original) for my second D7000.
Whilst the initial outlay seems a bit steep, the build quality is excellent (magnesium alloy shell) and mine has survived many knocks and a few drops but has continued to perform faultlessly. I never really considered the third party options - sure they could have saved me a small fortune, but the Nikon one is well built and guaranteed to function perfectly as it was designed by Nikon for the D7000.
Do the 3rd party providers guarantee perfect compatibility and warranty against any issues with the camera that may result from the use of their products?
Their offerings will always be cheaper - after all, they are reverse engineering and copying an existing product. It's far cheaper and easier to do that than it is to design, develop, prototype, test and refine a product from scratch.
#32. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 31
Los Angeles, US
The Pixel brand grip was mentioned by Stan as having some advantages. Particularly, strength of the plastic fittings. Is it worth double the price of the other 2 versions — the Meike and Zeikos? $87 from Hong Kong.
At this point, isn't about time we put this thread to rest? And have a memorial service?
#34. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 25
St Petersburg, RU
When they came out they were higher than that and dealers do not get much markup. A number of people on this forum paid the full price of $296.95 (as still listed as MSRP on Nikon USA web site) from Amazon associate dealers and discovered them to be fake. Go back the archives 18 months ago and there was quite a stir about it.
Unless Nikon has dropped the wholesale price dramatically, I would be wary of the $214 because it is at or below the deal cost. Amazon is selling it or one of their associate dealers? $85 for a Nikon grip? Really. Dealer margin on Nikon cameras like the D800 is 10% and accessories higher, up to 40% but less for grips and anything with a serial number. I saw the dealer invoice for a shipment of D7000, D4 and D800 4 months ago that discount was still in effect. There is no reason for it being so expensive, it is not all metal as claimed on this forum, it is about 50% of each plastic and metal. Stan St Petersburg Russia
#38. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 29
>Do the 3rd party providers guarantee perfect compatibility and >warranty against any issues with the camera that may result >from the use of their products?
Perhaps not. I purchased my Nikon genuine article for the same reasons you did. I just haven't heard any complaints about the performance of third parties here or on other sites. Metal is nice, but plastic can be very tough. My D70 wore like a tank until I passed it on to a relative who is still using it. It has been all over the planet without even the hint of a crack or chip.
Frankly, I hate the design of the multi-selector switch on the Nikon MB-D11. I find it very difficult to use and it is disappointing that so many third parties have so faithfully copied the Nikon design If I was in the market for another, I'd give Pixel's a try. They've made a change to the form of the grip around the multi-selector and to the multi-selector itself that looks like it would address my issues with the selector.
#39. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 37
St Petersburg, RU
I have had 100% satisfaction from my two less expensive grips but when the D800 came out and the grips were $500, I searched for a low cost alternative. The first one that came out was the Pixel, but a couple days later other brands were unveiled. I liked the confidence inspiring web site for the company and felt comfortable buying it for $106. It IS stout, with a metal brace and backing plate for the tripod connection. I have no idea whether the company makes a similar unit for the D7000. It is funny, my D90 with 80k++ shots with the grip has had the rubber grips fall off twice and the cheapie grip with thicker rubber looks like new. It has been dropped on a gravel sidewalk with a 70-200 attached, landed on the the grip with a corner blow and there is no sign of trauma except to my nerves. Stan St Petersburg Russia
#40. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 39 Mon 07-Jan-13 12:01 AM by Bravozulu
Los Angeles, US
Thanks, Stan. I just ordered the Pixel from Amazon. If anyone cares, I'll report back on my evaluation when it arrives from Hong Kong in 10 days.
On one hand, I understand a bit about quality control and strength of materials and such. On the other, even though I shot for decades in a rough and tumble world of public events, I tend not to break things. I never use filters to protect lenses. I'm simply easy on equipment, although at times the shooting felt as if I was in combat.
At the airlines, I was tasked to go up in small planes and shoot 35mm images at 4 miles, 2 miles, 1 mile, 1/2 mile from the touchdown zone of 'difficult' airports we serviced. Hanging out of small Cessna (with the door removed), winds buffeting like hell, beaucoup turbulence from preceding wide body jets. It was a wild ride, but fun. A difficult airport would get that qualification if the approach was over obstructions that could cause a crash. Hong Kong, with its famous "Checkerboard" aiming point directly over the city is one. Switzerland has a few such designated airports. In the US, when they allowed the construction of a 6-level parking structure a few blocks from the TDZ at San Diego, it qualified. The crash of a PSA (Pacific Southwest Airline) DC-9 was linked to that parking building. The building is still there.
If an airline flies to any of those problem airports, the pilot has a 3-ring binder in the cockpit with photos on the flightpath at successively closer points. Starting at 4 miles out. He can then recognize the hazards before getting close.
Back to my point. Last summer, after I bought my D7000, I got out my old aluminum camera cases and spiffed up my 6 film lenses to photograph them for eBay. They sure didn't reveal the trying circumstances to which they'd been subjected.
#43. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 21
SF Bay, US
I became a fan of using genuine Nikon grips when my Zeikos grip caused my D300s to stop shooting mid-session and had to be removed.
The benefit of a grip for me is the better feel and weight balance (especially with larger, heavier lenses) and when shooting portraits. Holding a camera 90 degrees counter clockwise with my hands at the 12 and 6 o'clock position gets old fast. And lastly the added frame rate I need when shooting certain events.
I've got Nikon grips on all of my bodies, I never leave home without them.
#45. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 26 Wed 09-Jan-13 01:50 PM by Vlad_IT
>One morning, I picked up the camera to grab a shot, and found >both batteries were stone-cold discharged, and that's not how >they were when I was done using it last - in fact, the >in-camera battery had not even been used yet.
Long time no posting here...
I have noticed that my Meike grip, attached to the D7000 caused the "memory in use" LED to blink, even if both camera and grip switches were off. I did "padding" with some tape on other side of the grip as per suggestions on the forum, which (i believe) solved the problem. But soon enough i came across of a used genue grip and switched and never looked back. The combination of D7000 + MB-D11 + 70-200 made me to buy a different schoulder strap though...
But back to the topic. i do belive that bad connection between Meike grip and D7000 can be cause of both batteries to be dead after some time.
#48. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 1
I've had a grip/battery pack on my cameras for the last few decades going back to 35mm film when it worked as an auto film advance. Now with DSLR I like the extra battery power,vertical grip, ergo's and am just plain used to the feel.
#49. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 47 Thu 24-Jan-13 07:05 PM by Bravozulu
Los Angeles, US
A new Pixel Vertex D-11 grip arrived with my mail today. This is Chinese adaptation of the Nikon MB-D11. Based on merely handling and then attaching the unit to my camera, I'll only comment on the obvious. It will require using it to weigh in on function.
Many, if not most of the people who responded to me original question remarked about the ergonomics and handling of the half dozen brands of MB-D11 they owned. It will take a while for me to accumulate some experience and opinions. Though I began shooting with a Pentax Spotmatic in 1962, and then worked as a photojournalist (using Nikon F's) I have never used a camera/battery grip combo. Not once.
In my original question, a short question, I pondered if people used these grips to because of a power need. The rationale you would have for getting a strobe pack for doing weddings. I was surprised that maybe only one person had that reason. So it became clear to me that ergonomics and fit were the big reasons. A casual observation with the Pixel is that, when held in Portrait mode, the Camera/Grip combo essential becomes a square object That alone would yield control. Or at least, the sense of being in control. Vertical grasp of the D7000 seemed to be a turnoff to those who opted for a grip.
Sooo, how does it look? Working from the outside in, packaging and graphics are quite good. While the genuine Nikon is made of cast Magnesium, the Pixel is molded composite. The box contains instructions, the grip, a EN EL-15 battery tray already mounted (no battery) and a 2nd loose tray for 6 AA batteries. From order to delivery took 17 days. Shipped from New Jersey to California.
The instruction sheet is in English and Chinese. The detail photos showing parts and features is middling. An area where size says it all. But pieces are lit and photographed well-enough and large enough that wording isn't required. I have seen larger images on other product sheets and would have appreciate more here.
One last thing, though the info sheet shows the Menu items (D7000) that govern battery selection and type, you only can be certain that you are looking a few of the CUSTOM MENU screens, and that they are green, but not much more. Thankfully, the text tells the story about battery selection.
This device weighs 192g, about 1/3lb, so it doesn't feel like a toy. Aside from weight, I was first impressed with the leverage exerted by the attachment wheel. On mine, I gripped the wheel from the front and back and really cinched up the mounting screw. This was because people with other grips complained about gaps or wobbling. The Pixel is locked to my D7000.
Another complaint lodged concerned buttons and the multi-selector. The items on the Pixel seem to be about 3/4 scale compared to counterparts on the camera. But they are solid and imagine liking them would be based on hand size. I've got big hands, but I'm comfortable in Pixie-land.
Lastly, the marketers can put a bulls-eye on my back. I thought paying $85 would ensure a good product. That's about double of other contenders on eBay. Amazon was out of the Mieke and the Bower (?), which each go for about $50. We shall see. After dinner, I'll pull out the softboxes and the Macro lens and add images of the Pixel to my post.
With user impressions to follow in perhaps a week. Gary in Santa Monica
#50. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 49
St Petersburg, RU
Congratulations on the Pixel brip. Of my 3 grips for 3 cameras, only one is the Pixel, mounted on the D800. I noticed you mentioned the MB-D11 was all magnesium which I guess was a slip of the tongue....er ah...fingers. It is plastic on the top half and cast metal on the bottom, so you were half right;>) If the Pixel version for the D7000 is similar to the one I have for the D800, it has thicker and better coverage of the rubber than either of my others or a MB-D11. It has a better tactile feel of the grip area, sides and bottom than the camera does maybe because of the thicker textured rubber used. My grips have not suffered from the common Nikon grip rubber problem of swelling up and coming off the body. Skin chemistry determines if that happens but so far the rubber on all the after market grips I have have held up better than the Nikon rubber grip inserts. Concerning battery capacity, a grip on the D7000 does not need another battery since the D7000 is so frugal with battery juice but other models certainly benefit from it, or when shooting video. Stan St Petersburg Russia
#51. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 50 Fri 25-Jan-13 08:24 AM by gfinlayson
Stan, I've just double checked my MB-D11s. Although there is a plastic cover on the top of the grip, which is easily and cheaply replaced if damaged (don't ask ), there is still a sizeable portion of cast metal on top. The casting wraps around underneath the locking wheel assembly, and the steel retaining plate which holds the locking wheel is screwed into it. The portion of the grip top where the control buttons and body connector sit is plastic, but all of the parts which are ever under any mechanical stress are fixed to the metal casting.
I'd offer a word of caution though, to those who hang their gripped D7000s on the Black Rapid, or Sun Sniper type straps - the retaining plate which holds the locking wheel in place (and effectively holds the grip to the body) is only held on by 4 off M1.5 x 3mm countersunk machine screws. I'm not a mechanical engineer, but that doesn't seem a lot of fastener from which to hang a D7000 with attached lens!
#52. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 51
St Petersburg, RU
Maybe they have changed the design since, but Nikon released photos of the uncovered casting when the MB-D11 was introduced and just like the D7000, it is partial metal and the rest of the structure, not just covering, is plastic. That surprised me since so many people said the whole thing was metal but after looking at the inside myself it was obviously not fully metal.
#53. "Addendum to Pixel Vertax Evaluation" In response to Reply # 52 Fri 25-Jan-13 10:11 PM by Bravozulu
Los Angeles, US
It's been two days now. The first day was spent floundering around due to user error. I didn't understand that this menu — CUSTOM>SHOOTING—offers control over the MB-D11 battery usage. Furthermore CUSTOM>CONTROLS offers more choices for the role of the AE/AF button. Back button focus wasn't working for me at first. Doh. More user error. This was rectified under the expanded CUSTOM>CONTROLS which shows additional options when the grip is attached.
For a short while I was entertaining thoughts of returning the unit. Having the Vertax buttons working also clarified that the on off switch surrounding shutter release is vital. It has to be on for the grip buttons and multi-selector to be fully functional.
The sole remaining concern is battery usage. With my EN EL 15 in the grip, the battery lost 8% of its charge in 24 hours. Less than 10 images were captured in that time. I was primarily holding the camera/grip and playing with the controls with the power on. The info button advises that the EN EL 15 battery is configured automatically when in the grip. The only other choice is if a battery is also installed in the body. You have to choose which is the default power source.
However, with AA cells installed in the grip, you must match the Custom menu to cell type. Any cell will work fine, but the charge indicators aren't valid unless the camera is set to battery type. This particular brand of grip doesn't offer much hope of power from alkaline cells. In that respect, their charge life prediction is counter to what Nikon's testing. They say that amp/hr ratings are the same for 6 AA cells and one EN EL 15. Somebody please correct me on this if I'm wrong.
The feel of the camera/grip is growing on me. I do have to get used to the strap flopping down in front of the LCD screen and even blocking the viewfinder. But I think I'll get used to that.
If battery charge turns out better than it appears right now, then I would have to say my $85 was well-spent. And I wouldn't be happy paying the additional $70 getting a genuine Nikon grip.
#55. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 54 Sat 26-Jan-13 03:56 AM by gfinlayson
You can't see from the attached pictures the extent of the alloy chassis on the MB-D11 as the plastic cover plate obscures it. In the top photo, the alloy casting wraps around the top of the grip from the left hand edge of the grip up to the left hand edge of the multi-selector switch. If you remove the battery cover and look inside, you can see where the seam is in the top and feel along inside to where it becomes plastic. It becomes very clear where the alloy stops if you remove the six screws which retain the top plastic cover plate and look underneath.
Maybe I'll take mine off again, take a few pictures and post them up.
Incidentally, am I the only one who uses a grip without a battery in the camera body? I got fed up of having to remove the grip to change the body battery and was also concerned about longer-term wear on the electrical contacts. I always carry at least one spare battery, so battery life is never an issue. I preferred the grip design they used on the older models like the MB-D80, where you removed the body battery door, the grip extended inside the battery compartment and both batteries went inside the grip. It also had the capability to use AAs, so I can't fathom why they changed the design in later models. My primary reason for the grip is my size 10½ hands need something more to grab onto and I really like having the controls in portrait orientation.
#56. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 55 Sat 26-Jan-13 08:22 AM by MasterDabber
Bravozulu wrote ... "The sole remaining concern is battery usage. With my EN EL 15 in the grip, the battery lost 8% of its charge in 24 hours."
I've had my Meike for about a week now. I have only the one battery which is in the grip. I've noticed that it seems to lose about 2% of charge over 24 hours with everything turned off and no activity. I plan to take the battery out of the grip and leave it overnight and check what the loss has been in those circumstances. A loss of 2% doesn't look like it will be a problem and I don't know at this stage whether it is normal or somehow related to the grip.
In all other respects I love the grip. The handling is transformed, The Meike seems solid enough and fits well. There is no reverse function of the Command and Sub-Command dials.
#57. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 55
I had the plastic top off mine a couple weeks ago, but that was to investigate the electronics. I didn't note where the alloy stopped. I may look again.
I leave a battery in the camera body. They retain a charge for a very long time. I swap the batteries about once a month - no particular rationale for that. I figure the camera is a good out-of-the-way and secure place to carry my spare battery.
#58. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 57
As for the argument wether to buy the knock off or the original Nikon grip .... perhaps that question is best answered in a few years-When the nikon is still in working order, without broken parts !!! Just my 2 cents ill take quality over cheap any day- just ask my wife !!!!
BW- Big Wayner My motocross kid is faster than your A student !!
#62. "RE: Question about use in Portrait Mode" In response to Reply # 61
Just to stir some water here.... I have original Nikon grip. Last time I charged my two batteries was mid-December. I was invited to take some pictures of Christmas recital. I took just shy of 100 images that night. Few days back I was testing a lens and took another 40 images or so. Today I decided to charge a battery before tomorrow's session and looked at the battery display - main battery in camera - 90% and battery in the grip is 78%. So self-discharge of the battery is 10% over period of 1.5 months. Anything over that is the third party grip or bad connection between the grip and the camera.
#66. "RE: Question about use in Portrait Mode" In response to Reply # 65
Los Angeles, US
This is not looking good. The EN battery had a full charge on Feb 4. It is now down to 24%. Only about 40 images taken.
I contacted the maker by email. They responded (in broken English) that it is best to remove the grip from the body when not in use. That seems like excess work. But I'll do it. I like the way the camera handles with the grip.
If Amazon contacts me for a user review, I'll advise prospective buyers.
#67. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 0 Thu 21-Feb-13 06:31 PM by Omaha
I have mixed opinions on my "genuine Nikon" MB-D11 grip.
It does make the camera fit my hand better, and I don't have particularly large hands. Without it, my pinkie finger rests under the camera. With it, it rests on the grip. I like that better.
On the down side, for the money, I'm not impressed with the quality. I read stories here about guys with knock-off grips that sound better made than my $200+ Nikon. The rubber (which isn't an exact match to the rubber on the camera) started coming off, and (far worse), the joystick control broke, rendering the grip unusable. This was inside of a year of use, where I've taken around 25k shots. Nikon repaired it all at no charge, of course, but still. Who needs the aggravation? I had higher durability expectations than that.
For me, the single best reason to have a grip is the "oooohhhh" factor it creates with the camera. Seriously. I do a fair amount of event shooting. If you want to get the best results, you have to look the part. Show up with a garden variety DLSR, and you're just another guy taking snapshots. Show up with a gripped DSLR, and you're suddenly a PHOTOGRAPHER.
Case in point: Last month I was asked by a client to take photographs at a MADD function that he was sponsoring. I brought my gripped D7000, my 18-200, and a SB-700 flash. I had all kinds of people ask me "what newspaper do you work for" and such. While that's somewhat gratifying in and of itself, what's more important is that by presenting the image of a "REAL PHOTOGRAPHER" you will find that people are far more willing to allow you to get the shot you want. I had four different individuals hand me their business card and ask me to email them specific shots.
In a sea of people with iPhones and point-and-click cameras, you need to stand out.
Edit: One more point: I've never come anywhere near exhausting a single battery in any shooting situation. The fact that the grip allows you to have two batteries loaded means nothing to me. In fact, I never have a battery in the camera compartment at all, just the grip.
#68. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 0
>What justification do camera owners have to buy one of >these? > >Shooting large weddings? > >Shooting for extended periods? What else? > >And what are burdens of weight and bulk added to the camera? > >At my current rate, I only charge my D7000 battery once in a 3 >or 4-week span.
I spend a huge amount of time in some pretty remote locations, so 128 gigs of card space, and lots of battery are paramount. I just saw this in my D7000 manual that the supplied Lithium battery should not be used below 32F!? That precludes me from shooting 90% of my work. Another reason to use good old Alkaline batteries in the MBD11. I notice that after about 10 minutes in 20F ambient temperature, my Main battery Indicator shows almost completely drained? Ouch! During this same time the Alkaline secondary's were un-affected.
#69. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 68 Sat 23-Feb-13 10:16 PM by Vlad_IT
I did a kid’s birthday party today for my friends.
Talking about the "Grip Effect" - it's funny, but I did overheard several times the hosts had to explaint to the parents - no, we did not hire a pro, it's our friend. (Well, beside the grip I also had a custom Bracket Digital Pro-M and SB-800 with Lightsphere )
As per the battery life - i was runing out of space on my two 16Gb cards, but battery only at 87% mark..
#70. "RE: Why Get a Battery Pack? MBD11" In response to Reply # 69
Los Angeles, US
You know, this grip affair has been too much excitement for me. I just contacted Amazon to see about getting a refund. It is over the 30-day limit, but I explained that the problem with batteries wasn't obvious at first.
As much as I hate to spend more on camera gear, there are a few genuine MB-D11s for sale on eBay. Selling for about 70% of the new retail price. One even comes with a spare EN EL 15 battery. The peace of mind would be worth the extra $90. Who wants to run out of battery power during an important shooting session?