To satisfy your curiosity, I was told this by a Nikon technician at their Hollywood Calif Service Center. The way to tell if an MB-D11 is genuine or a knockoff is to open the battery compartment.
The cast magnesium original from Nikon is smooth on the inside. The plastic imitations have reinforcing ribs to strengthen the grip.
I wasn't at Nikon because of my grip, but for a lens problem. But I had recently returned an Amazon import grip for the D7000. It was called a Pixel, and had electrical problems. I bought the real Nikon item from BH Photo and am quite pleased.
Just had a look at my battery compartment and I'm sure it is not cast magnesium - looks and feels like plastic and, yes, it has reinforcing ribs. But the grip was bought as the 'real thing' and has the Nikon logo, MB-D11 and Nikon Corp. Japan on the base but the tray has "Nikon MS-D11EN Made in China" on the bottom. So, assuming I do have a genuine Nikon grip, do some of them have magnesium battery trays and some plastic? Fred
The MB-D11 is like most recent Nikon grips, a combination of metal and plastic and the trays have always been plastic. About 1/2 the body of the grip is plastic so the tech needed to explain which of their many models are all metal, this one isn't. So the grip you have is no doubt the one Nikon sells. Modern plastics are pretty darn good for some things, so there is not clean advantage overall by one material or the other, both have some specific advantages over the other for some traits. Relax, as long as it functions, it will be strong and take a lot of about, but so will the all plastic models. Stan St Petersburg Russia
I have yet to replace the knock-off MB-D11 I purchased two years ago, but my thinking is this: If I can buy a new one for $50, I'll have to buy 5 knock-offs over the life of my D7000 for me to think about buying the genuine MB-D11. And right now, it doesn't look like that's gonna happen.
I also bought a knock-off MB-D14 for my D600, and so far it's served me well.
My best advice about grips is this: If you actuate shutters for a living, buy Nikons. If you're a casual shooter (like I am), buy the knock-off. If you're concerned about the knock-offs breaking, just buy two and have a back-up on hand.... you'll still be money ahead.
I hate when people ask me what I see myself doing in 5 years...... I don't have 2020 vision!
At this point, I don't see any advantage to the 5x or 6x price premium for "Genuine Nikon" if they are just going to break.
Breaking once? Things happen. Breaking twice in the exact same manner? That's a design flaw. A bit of Google searching last night tells me this is a common problem with these.
Funny part is I went round and round when I first got it, wondering if it was a knock-off or not (there is a pretty long thread here somewhere dealing with that). In the end, my conclusion was that if I had to try that hard to tell the difference between "genuine" and "knock-off", then it didn't really matter anyway (other than potentially way over-paying).
My ultimate confirmation came from sending it in for repair to Nikon. If its a knock-off, it fooled even them, and even accepted Nikon replacement parts? I doubt that. Its real Nikon.
And its a POS.
I haven't heard back from Nikon yet. If they refuse to fix this under warranty, I'l probably just buy a knock-off and toss this one in the bin.
OK, you guys peaked my curiosity. I have never bought a grip, because I didn't want to spend the money for the Nikon for as often as I might use it, and I was afraid of third party grips frying my electronics.
But,...I am reconsidering the third party grip, as I have not heard of any major camera problems caused by the grips. For the price, what do I have to lose?
So, what brand (if there is one) do you guys recommend? Do you get full functionality with these third party grips?
>OK, you guys peaked my curiosity. I have never bought a >grip, because I didn't want to spend the money for the Nikon >for as often as I might use it, and I was afraid of third >party grips frying my electronics. > >But,...I am reconsidering the third party grip, as I have not >heard of any major camera problems caused by the grips. For >the price, what do I have to lose? > >So, what brand (if there is one) do you guys recommend? Do >you get full functionality with these third party grips?
I, for one, have never heard of a case where a third-party grip damaged a camera. Not saying cannot happen, just I've never hear of it.
You still get the same functions with a 3-party grip. However, the rear command dial of my off-brand MB-D11 works in reverse when compared to the body dial.
I hate when people ask me what I see myself doing in 5 years...... I don't have 2020 vision!
Omaha, I also had the toggle switch break on my nearly new MB-D11. Split right down the middle, and almost fell out in pieces. Of course Nikon repaired it with minimal griping, and even sent me an additional battery holder as I sent it in without including the one I had. I know I was pushing too hard on the switch when it broke in the heat of action, but it sure should handle an old wimp like me. Web searches found ours not to be unique experiences with that button...Jackie
If you are going to buy a 3rd party grip, a few folks had favorable remarks about these brands: Meike, Bowen (Bowers-?). And one other sold by BH Photo.
Amazon sells a bunch of types, but I for one would caution against the Pixel Vectar model. As I said, I had to return it. It would drain the camera battery in 2 days. I guess you can't condemn their customer service because they gave me a full refund, including paying for shipping. But I lost confidence with them when I shot an email to their Customer Service folks, and they were off for the two week Chinese New Year. When they returned their response to my technical question was in incomprehensible English. None of this inspired confidence.
(reading the small instruction sheet almost required a 100-power magnifying glass - it was that small)
I have used 3rd party motor drives and battery gripes in the past and have problems with them not properly fitting the camera to not advancing the film and shorting out. I've learned it's best to spend the money up front and get a genuine Nikon accessory with Nikon's own warranty should something go wrong which for me has never happened. For me it's lesson learned. You're better served to spend the money for genuine Nikon accessories. I shelled out the money for the MBD80 and now for the MBD14. Never had a problem or had to second guess my decision. Charlie
I got an invoice (!) from Nikon saying they want $105.50 for the repair.
So I called their customer service number, waded through about 72 levels of menus, got through to a guy, told him my story, then waited on hold for a while. When he came back he said it was an error on their part and the grip would be repaired at no charge to me.
Lightroom indicates tat I have 18,769 frames put through my D7000. The grip has been on it since day 1. I've never had a moment's trouble with the grip, buttons, or anything else. Not sure what you guys are doing to break these... I'm a sports photographer and toss cameras around all the time.
Guys, I orderescthe Aputure for my D7000, I tested it in the shop, and it showed that the battery is dead!! Few days later, they brought me another one, guess what, same error. Even, I tested with a fully charged lithium geniune Nikon battery, and with 6 rechargeable lithium enercell fully charged. Still shows the batteries as dead (one dash). I tried to power on the camera from the grip, but it didn't power the camera at all. Please advise.
I've had my MB-D11 grip for 2+ years and sent it back to Nikon after 6 months because the rubber was coming loose from the lower left part of the bottom of the grip. They fixed it under warranty and a year later, it started happenening again. I had a Nikon grip on my D100 for 8 years with no issues. When I got my D600, I bought the Pixel grip for $95 and so far (2 months), it works fine.
Jim Singler D600/D7K with a bunch of lenses and other assorted stuff
I thought I'd never buy a third party anything for my Nikon's! However after buying the MB-D10 for my D700, MB-D12 for my D800 and the MB-D11 for my D7000, I thought after buying my D7100 lets give it a try. I bought the "pixel" grip and search as I may, I cannot fault it. The build quality is equal IMO and when I hold it next to my MB-D12 I find little to differentiate it from the OEM model. Mind you, I have also discovered that there are equal quality 3rd Party lenses too
Fri 30-Aug-13 11:54 PM | edited Sat 31-Aug-13 12:00 AM by Vlad_IT
>Lightroom indicates tat I have 18,769 frames put through my >D7000. The grip has been on it since day 1. I've never had a >moment's trouble with the grip, buttons, or anything else. >Not sure what you guys are doing to break these... I'm a >sports photographer and toss cameras around all the time.
Same here. for 2.5 years i'm using one original grip. I'm on my third D7000 now (6k actuations), I sold my second one with 18k actuations, and the first one I had to return after 3 weeks due to not focusing correctly (4k actuations - learning curve). All three cameras were used with one original grip - it still goes strong. I do not use turn on/off switch though - it's always on for me. No battery discharge or any other problems.
Had the same problem, bought the grip for less than a year, used no more than 15 times, the button broke while I was shooting a wedding. Ruined my day a bit as I had to be extra careful with it. Ended up shooting without grip. Sent it back to Nikon Canada and had it repaired under warranty. But for a $250 grip.....it's pretty whimppy.