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Battery pack, other than FPS, any other improvement?

glxman

South Australia, AU
6750 posts

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glxman Moderator Awarded for his high level skills, specially in Wildlife & Landscape Photography Nikonian since 04th Oct 2008
Sat 06-Apr-13 12:54 PM

Hi guys,
Had the D700 for a while now and often wondered whether a battery pack would improve autofocus speed?
I know I can gain FPS but are their any other improvements other than perhaps battery life?
Regards,
Gary

I used to have a photographic memory but never got it developed

agitater

Toronto, CA
4551 posts

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#1. "RE: Battery pack, other than FPS, any other improvement?" | In response to Reply # 0

agitater Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 18th Jan 2007
Sat 06-Apr-13 11:28 AM | edited Sat 06-Apr-13 11:28 AM by agitater

Using a Nikon grip containing a Nikon battery in addition to the battery in the camera body, you'll be able to get the fastest frame rate with the setting specified by Nikon.

There is no effect on autofocus speed.

The grip provides a vastly better handhold for vertical/portrait compositions, with its own shutter button, AF-ON button, and front & rear command dials. No more elbow out/bent wrist awkwardness.

A grip loaded with an AA battery tray means you can carry a load of those batteries if you're travelling to an area in which a plug-in for your regular Nikon battery charger won't be available.

The additional weight of the grip w/battery, for some people, means even more stable, more controllable, less shaky handheld shooting for people using good technique in the first place.

There is one caveat in particular, I think, that many photographers don't take into account when purchasing a grip. Basically, the shoulder bag or sling bag into which their ungripped camera and lens fit nicely might become much too tight a fit or completely unusable with an attached grip.

Nikon brand grips are expensive. They're overpriced. Some say they are outrageously priced. I agree. There are third-party grips which work well, but the materials and manufacturing quality of those grips results in a high percentage of failure, DOAs, battery drain issues and camera function problems. The third-party grips that work (do a search using Nikoscope for the relevant threads), seem to be quite good as Stan (km6xz, among others) can attest. My point is that I still recommend the expensive Nikon brand grips. They offer a better and more accurate fit and lockup with the bottom of the camera body, materials and manufacturing quality are first rate, and there are no interface or functionality problems or bugs.

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Howard Carson

avm247

Rancho Cordova, US
18758 posts

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#2. "RE: Battery pack, other than FPS, any other improvement?" | In response to Reply # 0

avm247 Moderator Awarded for high skills in documentary architecture and aviation photography Donor Ribbon. Awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Charter Member
Sat 06-Apr-13 04:40 PM

Gary in addition to the above I'd like to add the following comments:

1) Battery life depends on the type of battery used: EN-EL3e; (8) - AA; or EN-EL4 or EN-EL4a (with BL-3 battery chamber cover, no tray).

I've only used my MB-D10 with factory EN-EL3e batteries. No problem with use for the way I shoot. I do carry the AA tray and AA Sanyo Eneloop batteries but its more for my speedlights than a back up for the grip.

The use of the D3 battery (EN-EL4/EN-EL4a) will increase battery life.

2) EN-EL4/EN-EL4a or (8)- AA batteries will allow up to 8 fps; the EN-EL3 will not.

3) While it is useful (and I do prefer it for vertical shooting), it can get heavy after lugging it around all day (or on a vacation).

Currently, my D700, sitting with me at work on my desk is sans vertical grip...just body, Kirk BL-D700 L-bracket. 28-200 G Nikkor and a Nikonians pro strap. Why? Because I didn't plan on shooting today, just wanted to have the camera with me in the event something catches my eye at lunch. (I do have L-brackets for both the camera and the MB-D10).




Anthony

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JosephK

Seattle, WA, US
7108 posts

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#3. "RE: Battery pack, other than FPS, any other improvement?" | In response to Reply # 0

JosephK Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006
Sat 06-Apr-13 05:55 PM | edited Sat 06-Apr-13 05:59 PM by JosephK

>Had the D700 for a while now and often wondered whether a
>battery pack would improve autofocus speed?
>I know I can gain FPS but are their any other improvements
>other than perhaps battery life?

If you are using a non-AFS lens that uses the "screwdriver" motor in the camera, it is possible (but not probable) that the extra power from the grip, which gives the higher frame rate, might also give a little extra power to the focus motor. The key word here is "might", and even if it does you will probably not notice the difference.

For me the most important feature of the grip is the extra buttons for shooting in portrait mode. The extra frames per second is a nice bonus.

The grip will work without batteries in it for when weight savings is important.

The larger size of the combined camera and grip are nice for ergonomics if you have big hands.

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Joseph K
Seattle, WA, USA

D700, D200, D70S, 24-70mm f/2.8, VR 70-200mm f/2.8 II,
50mm f/1.4 D, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 DX

agitater

Toronto, CA
4551 posts

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#4. "RE: Battery pack, other than FPS, any other improvement?" | In response to Reply # 3

agitater Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 18th Jan 2007
Sat 06-Apr-13 07:36 PM


>If you are using a non-AFS lens that uses the
>"screwdriver" motor in the camera, it is possible
>(but not probable) that the extra power from the grip, which
>gives the higher frame rate, might also give a little extra
>power to the focus motor. The key word here is
>"might", and even if it does you will probably not
>notice the difference.

I think this has come up before on Nikonians (and plenty of other forums. We could wish for an improvement (with some lenses) but there actually isn't any benefit.

Nikon USA and Nikon Canada tech support have previously been asked this question and both responded "absolutely not" and that there is no mechanism or programming of any kind in the camera or any Nikon lens that could modify or improve AF speed with the simply addition of a grip containing a second battery of any kind. The reason is simply that AF speed is a function, initially, of the AF sensor (which is separate and distinct from the main image sensor). According to Nikon, the power being supplied to the AF sensor is tightly controlled, and the AF sensor itself only separately triggers an interface for either the body motor or the lens motor (whichever exists or has priority). AF speed is a function of AF sensor quality, the usability of the chosen focus target, the best match of AF point vs. focus target, available light, the inherent speed of the lens gearing as it responds to the fixed rotation speed of the camera body's drive spindle or the fixed rotational speed of the lens' internal motor, and so on.

That's the original explanation Nikon provided to me a couple of years ago. I don't think anything has changed.

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Howard Carson

DinoCardelli

Plantation, US
236 posts

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#5. "RE: Battery pack, other than FPS, any other improvement?" | In response to Reply # 4

DinoCardelli Registered since 19th Oct 2010
Sat 06-Apr-13 07:41 PM | edited Sat 06-Apr-13 07:42 PM by DinoCardelli

Can't add much more to the above thread...other than, I have one for both my D7K and D700 and would NOT want to travel and shoot without them...

For me, the extra batteries to always shoot is the deal clincher...and YES, make anything electrical that touches my cameras OEM ALL THE WAY !!!

I'll pay the price for that security....I figure the Japense techs are not testing on plastic imitations back in Nikon land

dc

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glxman

South Australia, AU
6750 posts

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#6. "RE: Battery pack, other than FPS, any other improvement?" | In response to Reply # 2

glxman Moderator Awarded for his high level skills, specially in Wildlife & Landscape Photography Nikonian since 04th Oct 2008
Sat 06-Apr-13 10:09 PM

Thank you Anthony,
Forgot, your right, I do need another L bracket,
Just realised! Getting a side-kick soon so the battery pack will have to have a new L bracket,
Will be getting EN-EL4a eventually, and the expensive charger!
Regards,
Gary

I used to have a photographic memory but never got it developed

glxman

South Australia, AU
6750 posts

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#7. "RE: Battery pack, other than FPS, any other improvement?" | In response to Reply # 4

glxman Moderator Awarded for his high level skills, specially in Wildlife & Landscape Photography Nikonian since 04th Oct 2008
Sat 06-Apr-13 10:12 PM

Hi Joseph,
Was using the AF-S 300 f4,
May have just lost my mojo, (getting too old I guess )
Regards,
Gary

I used to have a photographic memory but never got it developed

glxman

South Australia, AU
6750 posts

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#8. "RE: Battery pack, other than FPS, any other improvement?" | In response to Reply # 3

glxman Moderator Awarded for his high level skills, specially in Wildlife & Landscape Photography Nikonian since 04th Oct 2008
Sat 06-Apr-13 10:21 PM

Tks Joseph,
Might just have to have another look at my custom settings for my "action" bank,
At the moment,
a1 AF-C...................Release
a3 21 and sometimes 9
a4 short
a5 AF-ON Only
Regards,
Gary

I used to have a photographic memory but never got it developed

JosephK

Seattle, WA, US
7108 posts

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#9. "RE: Battery pack, other than FPS, any other improvement?" | In response to Reply # 8

JosephK Silver Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Nikonian since 17th Apr 2006
Sun 07-Apr-13 06:33 AM

Depending on your subjects and their circumstances, you might try setting the a4 to "off" if the motion tends to be directly at the camera.

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Joseph K
Seattle, WA, USA

D700, D200, D70S, 24-70mm f/2.8, VR 70-200mm f/2.8 II,
50mm f/1.4 D, 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR, 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 DX

glxman

South Australia, AU
6750 posts

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#10. "RE: Battery pack, other than FPS, any other improvement?" | In response to Reply # 9

glxman Moderator Awarded for his high level skills, specially in Wildlife & Landscape Photography Nikonian since 04th Oct 2008
Sun 07-Apr-13 10:16 AM

Hi Joseph,
Thank you for your input, I have changed that option
Hope to now do some testing over the next couple of weeks, weather looks good for a change
Regards,
Gary

I used to have a photographic memory but never got it developed

G