I have been considering buying a MB-D100. (After buying a SB-80DX of course!) I have examined one at a local shop. They seem really plastic and cheap. I probably would never use the voice-memo feature. The only two features that interest me are the vertical controls and extra/alternate batteries (both of which I can live without).
Again I ask, is it worth it? Or should I put the money towards another Nikon lens? Your opinions are appreciated.
#1. "Depends on your frame of mind" | In response to Reply # 0benherrmann Registered since 17th Aug 2002Thu 21-Nov-02 05:32 PM
I purchased one for several reasons, and yes, it is plasticky feeling to the max. But given that, here are my reasons - some of which, may or may not fit in with your way of thinking:
1. It's another toy that can be added to the D100 to give it an extra testosterone feel! I love the way babes look at me when they see that extra heft being lugged around on that digital machine.
2. It enables you to shoot vertically with the added convenience of having a shutter release button in the vertical position.
3. It also gives you a 10 pin plug so you can use the nice Nikon 10-pin remote release cords.
4. It lengthens your shooting time by a factor of x2 - because it uses two of those batteries.
5. You even have a voice recorder, so you can capture great stuff like, "Oh sh _ _ t I used the wrong white balance settings," or "mannnn, this is gonna be an awesome f_ _ _ing shot when I get it back into PS 7, or "fill in whatever here."
Bottom line is that it's a plus when added to the D100 all the way around. But yes, I've got to say that it is actually cheaper feeling than the camera itself.
Hope you had a sense of humor while reading this. With my luck, I always seem to run into a Baptist Minister when passing on less than colorful information!!!
#4. "RE: MB-D100... Is it worth it?" | In response to Reply # 0
I just ordered one from B&H, which should be here tomorrow or Monday. I also questioned whether it was necessary. Of course it isn't, but after using the D100 a couple of times, I really began to miss the vertical shutter release I have on my F4 & F5. I would say that this alone prompted me to invest the $250 to have one.
To a lesser extent, the additional battery options will be nice for those times I'm out in the woods for an extended period of time. And because I already have a 10-pin accessory, I will get some use out of that.
I see no value to the voice recording option, as the information I'm interested in is already recorded within the image. I guess if you were the more artistic type, you could record your feelings or motivation at the time the picture was taken. I'm still trying to keep the basics straight. I'm not sure that it's important to have 50+ voice recordings, all of which say, "I sure hope this turns out."
#5. "RE: MB-D100... Is it worth it?" | In response to Reply # 4Thu 21-Nov-02 07:13 PM
OK, we agree on the pros and cons. I forgot that if I do buy it, I need to purchase an extra battery ($50) and electronic release cable ($??). Hell, I still need the AC adapter ($80 - you know, the one that should have come with the D100!) Thats even more money I need to save then spend. ARRRGGGHHH!
I completely forgot about the Mine is bigger than yours - babe impessing factor. LOL Wait a minute... I'm already married... Who have I got to impress? Not LOL anymore.
I'll think I'll wait a while.
#6. "RE: MB-D100... Is it worth it?" | In response to Reply # 5fredster Nikonian since 16th Sep 2002Thu 21-Nov-02 07:59 PM
All I can say is when you have both batteries installed it seems like it takes forever before you need a charge and besides your batteries get weak and you only have one extra battery it will operate
on one battery.
#8. "RE: MB-D100... Is it worth it?" | In response to Reply # 5Holocanthus Registered since 08th Nov 2002Thu 21-Nov-02 09:00 PM
Two more thoughts on the MB-D100:
1) The voice recorder would be useful for identifying subjects: peoples names, what street a building is on, GPS coordinates of a nature scene, etc.
2) While ordering quick release plates from Really Right Stuff, they mentioned that the MB-D100 significantly reduces the stiffness for tripod mounting. I don't have a MB-D100 so I can't confirm this personally, but the people at RRS have a reputation for knowing their stuff.
#15. "RE: MB-D100... Is it worth it?" | In response to Reply # 4
My new MB-D100 was waiting for me when I got home. When attached to the D100, the combination makes it better than a half inch taller than my F5. The base is broader than the F5 too. The combination makes the camera taller than it is wide.
Nikon does a nice job of providing storage for the D100 battery door and the rubber connector cover that have to be removed to attach the MB-D100. I found the vertical controls easy to access and I have about average to small size hands for a man.
The MB-D100 doesn't connect to the D100 as tightly as I would like. You can feel a definite movement between the MB-D100 and D100, so it may have to be removed when mounting the D100 on a tripod with my lenses that do not have a collar. I didn't play with the voice recorder, as I really don't see a use for it.
Overall I am a little disappointed with the MB-D100. The size of the combination and stability of the connection puts me off. I am going to keep it, because the vertical controls will be handy when I am shooting off tripod, but the MB-D100 will probably be off the camera more than on.
#7. "RE: MB-D100... Is it worth it?" | In response to Reply # 0
I agree generally with the previous responses, but I'd like to add another factor that may affect your decision.
For vertical shooting with the MB-D100, the focus area selection pad is a bit far from the vertical shutter release. I have average-sized hands, and it's not quite possible for me to keep my first finger on the release and my thumb on the pad at the same time. If I place my second finger on the release, I can keep thumb on the pad, but this hardly feels natural. By comparison, the F5's setup is "just right" for me - I can depress the vertical release as often as necessary while simultaneously switching the main focus area with my thumb.
Having said the above, I'm glad I purchased the MB-D100, mostly for the added leverage when shooting vertically with heavier lenses.
Good luck, and enjoy!
#18. "MB-D100 double battery" | In response to Reply # 7pmirror Registered since 24th Nov 2002Tue 26-Nov-02 06:19 PM
Have you tried to put 2 battery altogether? How will you know which one is empty, in case of one is empty. Or, will the battery goes off together?
it's near Bali, if you don't know where it is
#9. "RE: MB-D100... Is it worth it?" | In response to Reply # 0
I already have the SB80-DX so...
One reason, already mentioned above is the 10 pin connector. If you do any macro work the cable or electronic release is a must (for me anyway). Can't do that without the MB-D100.
I don't even notice the "plasiticy" feel when it's on the camera. It is rather squarish around the finger side when holding in portrait, but it's not too bad. (it is not as comfy as the f5) This is minor.
I am trying to figure out how to disable the 20 sec limit on recording. Doing the kind of street photography I do -- this would be invaluable.
But I wouldn't worry about it. If you get to a point where you really need it (as I do with all my new equipment purchases ) you will get it. It's called the nikonhavetohaveitus disease. Rarely fatal, always costly.
Oh, yes, the extra battery deal is a very nice feature. Plus you can even switch to emergency back up AA's if you need to.
Best of luck.
#10. "RE: MB-D100... Is it worth it?" | In response to Reply # 9vfnewman Basic MemberFri 22-Nov-02 12:44 AM
>Plus you can even switch to emergency back up AA's if you
Well, the AA option sure was a nice concept, but as far as I'm concerned it's a non-option. I put a set of six brand-new alkaline AA's in my MB-D100 and got about six shots before they couldn't handle the load. The camera kept giving me "err" and the mirror would lock up.
I am not the only person to have this bad experience with AA's. There has been at least one thread here about them.
I can't remember if anybody has tried Lithium AA's with better results.
#13. "RE: MB-D100... Is it worth it?" | In response to Reply # 10HuwEvans Registered since 12th Feb 2002Fri 22-Nov-02 09:51 AM
I guess the AA option is really just for dire emergencies. It's nice to be able to keep a set of fresh alkalines in the bag knowing that you don't need to worry about them losing their charge, and if the worst case scenario happens and you lose power from the EN-EL3s then at least you can get half a dozen shots out of them - that's better than nothing.
I tried rechargeable NiMH cells in my MB-D100 the other day and they gave me 38 shots before the camera died on me. I had expected them to be better than that.
#14. "RE: MB-D100... Is it worth it?" | In response to Reply # 13Fri 22-Nov-02 11:19 AM
There are a few more drawbacks I hadn't considered.
- I don't have LARGE hands so that is a consideration.
- Decreased tripod stiffness when using the MB-D100 is not good.
- I already have a mechanical shutter realse cable (20+ years old no less) that works just fine, so the 10-pin cable isn't needed.
- Again, the voice-recorder may never be used, but maybe someday...
I do like the extended battery time. Though it seems like forever with just one EL-EN3. I had considered the AA option as a backup since I have two sets of very good rechargeables (1800mah NiMH). But after what was said above, it seems like a last resort option at best.
I guess I will move the MB-D100 from my NEED list to WANT.
#20. "RE: MB-D100... Is it worth it?" | In response to Reply # 13iweiner Registered since 12th Sep 2002Wed 27-Nov-02 01:35 AM
The Nikon D100 manual does not endorse or reccomend the use of NiCd or NiMh batteries, only the alkaline AA's-which may or not perform properly. This problem is (hopefully) being addressed by Nikon thanks to the thread Victor and I posted. I have not had any feedback from Nikon since Sept. At present, without much testing the Duracell Ultra AA's MX1500 appear to function. They have an 80 milliohm internal impedance as compared to >250 mOhm impedance of the MN1500 or other? quality AA's. This techn-babble simply states that the voltage drop at the batery terminal is a lot less, tech support indicates that the microprocessor in the camera checks the battery voltage every time a function is activated (autofocus, shutter release, flash,etc), if the voltage is too low you get the Err message and the camera 'hangs up' preventing further malfunctions. Removing the AA holder and reinserting the EN-EL3 resets the systm and you can continue.
I am surprised that the NiMh got off even 1-2 shots, try the MX1500's; let me know how they perform.
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#16. "RE: MB-D100... Is it worth it?" | In response to Reply # 10
What about using rechargable AA batteries? Do they hold up any better? I'm outta the loop with the DSLRs most the time.
Aaron J. Heiner
Team Coast Guard Photographer
US Department of Homeland Security
#17. "RE: MB-D100... Is it worth it?" | In response to Reply # 16vfnewman Basic MemberSun 24-Nov-02 09:56 PM
We talked about this some here:
And it was mentioned that Nikon doesn't mention NiMh or NiCd batteries. Given the very unpleasant behavior of the camera with Alkaline AA's, which have a higher voltage (althought admittedly more voltage drop for a given current drain than NiMh or NiCd), I really don't want to subject my camera to such a test.
#19. "RE: MB-D100... Is it worth it?" | In response to Reply # 17mprediger Basic MemberTue 26-Nov-02 07:36 PM
In a word....YES!
I have the F100 with the MB-15, so getting the MB-D100 for my D100 was a no brainer. I'm not sure about the rest of you guys, but mine fits to the body so tightly, it's tough to get off! I love the vertical shutter release and the fact that it also has the main command dial right there too (the MB-15 doesn't). The extra batteries are a big bonus, plus the fact that I have the SC-17 10-pin cable release that I use all the time.
Also, I put Energizer Photo Lithium AA batteries in the camera and they are still going strong after over 500 shots and numerous forays into the menus. If you go out and buy Wal-Mart NiCad batteries, don't expect them to last very long, but you shouldn't anyway!!
I would suggest this grip to anyone who owns the D100!
#21. "RE: MB-D100... Is it worth it?" | In response to Reply # 19Aroshi Registered since 09th Nov 2002Fri 29-Nov-02 05:47 AM
I have tried my MB-100 on three d100s. The fit was great on two but on the third (mine) it definitely was not a flush fit. I think this has to do with inconsistencies in the d100 dimemsions. There is a looseness on the shutter release side of the grip and the separation is very noticeable when holding the camera vertically. I could hear the contact pins squeaking as I handled the camera. I remedied this by using some electrical tape to wedge and cushion the contact between the camera and the mb100. I layered the tape (about 3 deep)until I got the right thickness and applied the tape on the opposite end of the grip to wedge the shutter side closer to the body. This also adds a little cushion to the contact without sacrificing stability. With a hard plastic to plastic contact, the fit is not stable if the dimensions of the camera and grip are not perfect.
Anyway, the contact is stable enough now to use the grip on a tripod mount. I also noticed that the door to the memory card is loose and rattles when I handle the camera. Again I used a carefully placed small piece of electrical tape to fix this. I guess not all Nikons are created equal. I just hope I don't have to resort to duct tape!!
#22. "RE: MB-D100... Is it worth it?" | In response to Reply # 21HuwEvans Registered since 12th Feb 2002Fri 29-Nov-02 08:08 AM
I've done something similar with my MB-D100, and it certainly makes a big difference to how well it mates with the camera body.
However there is still a problem with tripod mounting - the MB-D100 itself flexes quite badly. Take the batteries out and look into the chamber while pressing up on the tripod mount with your thumbs - it flexes visibly, and I think this is the main source of the problem.
It is a pity Nikon didn't design it on some sort of metal subframe, but instead they just relied on the innate rigidity of the plastic shell, with some ribbing, or fillets, to to stiffen it up a bit. Unfortunately it just isn't enough.