I use a MB-D10 on my D700 and a Vello BG-N8 for my D300s. The clone looks, feels and functions as good as the Nikon MB-D10 imo. I'm thinking about getting the Vello BG-N7 for my D800. Anyone one using a MB-D12 clone? What brand are you using? The only issue with the Vello is the BL-3 and the EN-EL4a battery. The Nikon BL-3 fits both and works perfectly while the BL-3 for the Vello only fits into the Vello.
A search will return a number of threads on this topic. Some people say they would only une Nikon, I have never used the Nikon grips for all three of my cameras with grips and all totaled have saved about $700-800 by using 3rd party grips. Never a problem, in fact the one on my D800 has better rubber and feels better than the camera itself. I got a Pixel brand for the D800, plus a Meike for the D7000 and Zeikos for the D90. All are used constantly and the D90 has close to 100k clicks on it with the grib handling the rough conditions and looking fresher than the body. I can certainly benefit more from another speedlight or two, or a lens with the savings. I don't skim on lenses but do on grips and I have been rewarded for both policies. Stan St Petersburg Russia
I normally buy only from local camera stores when I am back home visiting California but none had grips when I got my D800. Pixel was one of the first to make a grip available and it looked good, but more expensive than the others which came out at same time. I found it on Amazon from Amazon's own inventory for $106. I've been very happy with mine. Stan St Petersburg Russia
Also, I just bought Canon 5D3 and Zeikos grip. Grip was very good but it lacked metal plate on the bottom. I think all Zeikos are like that. So I returned it and replaced it with Pixel. Pixel had a metal plate but it was wasting battery power while camera was off. I got a second copy and it happened again. Pixel swears that they fixed it but not in my experience. So I gave up and bought OEM because no other I could find had metal plate on the bottom. I would say stay away from Pixel too even though mine was for Canon I don't see why it would make a difference for Nikon.
Some have luck in getting a good 3rd party grip but I have not been so lucky.
After my second purchased of my Meike grips for my D800E and they work fine as long as I don't insert a MB-D15 inside the camera and just one in the grip, it will work. Same issue that I experienced when I first bought one from Amazon which I returned. If I put two batteries in, it will display that batteries were drained and the camera will not operate at all.
Since I couldn't send the Meike grip to Nikon for warranty work with my camera, the only way for me to find out is if I buy an original Nikon grip. When I received my Nikon grip, my D800E was able to operate with both batteries in the camera and inside the grip.
So my lesson's learned is to stick with the Nikon OEM products.
Some picture comparison as a reference for your search.
I also bought a Meike grip for my D800E and had it go south also. It would drain the batteries very quickly. What your pictures don't show is how the OEM grip feels. OEM grip is much more solid compared to the Meike grip. Also the rubber feels the same as what's on the body. And has some weather/dust sealing around the battery tray.
If I where to try any other none Nikon grip for the D800(E), it would be this one:
I have the Pixel grip on my D800 and have had no problems with it whatsoever. It seems to be of very good quality and has stood up to some tough shooting in bad-weather conditions. The only limitation is this--that with either a Kirk or RRS L-Plate, you cannot open the battery door without removing the plate. I'm willing to put up with that inconvenience given the dollar-savings of the Pixel grip.
I have a D800. After reading up as many reviews on this forum and on other web sites, I bought the Meike grip from Amazon 2 months ago. So far so good. Feels and works just fine. I use AA batteries in the grip, BTW.
After reading all the responses and research elsewhere I've decided to get the Nikon. I'm keeping an eye on eBay and the "For Sale Forum". Would be nice to have an oem MB-D12 for much less than the current $369.00 price.
Please be careful when you get the OEM MB-D12 from ebay or from any "For Sale Forum". There are some vendors (especially on ebay) that sell a fake Nikon MB-D12.
I just purchased a used fake MB-D12 from ebay from a user in Florida. I have returned the item to back to him and waiting for a refund.
I knew it was fake even though every where it said it was the real Nikon (on the MB-D12, on the 2 battery holders) and manuals, box. The giveaway was there was no rubber sealing. The image of the real MB-D12 which shows the rubber sealing was posted in another thread by a Nikonian.
Search for item number 330899347615 on ebay for the image of the fake MB-D12.
>Please be careful when you get the OEM MB-D12 from ebay or >from any "For Sale Forum". There are some vendors >(especially on ebay) that sell a fake Nikon MB-D12. > >I just purchased a used fake MB-D12 from ebay from a user in >Florida. >I have returned the item to back to him and waiting for a >refund. > >I knew it was fake even though every where it said it was the >real Nikon (on the MB-D12, on the 2 battery holders) and >manuals, box. The giveaway was there was no rubber sealing. >The image of the real MB-D12 which shows the rubber sealing >was posted in another thread by a Nikonian. > >Search for item number 330899347615 on ebay for the image of >the fake MB-D12.
Out of curiosity where do you think this rubber sealing should be?
I just tried the BG-D800M from Phottix last few days. I'm quite new with Nikon, but I've had good experiences with Phottix on my Canon 5D2, so I decided to try this one. The Magnesium used seemed appealing. Now I believe the Nikon one is also Magnesium, is that correct? If yes, then it's not that strange it's more expensive than 3rd party grips made in china without quality control processes of any kind, please keep that in mind. Anyway, I tried this grip and at first it worked fine, but a day later I started playing with the menus and I noticed that the grip wasn't seen. which surprised me. It only showed me the internal battery, which indicated 65% full (original Nikon battery). So I tried without battery in the camera (only in grip). This didn't do anything. as if the battery/grip wasn't there. Then I tried penlights (eneloops). The camera now recognised the grip but showed the batteries as empty. This seemed odd as they should have been fairly full (they are eneloops, even if I didn't use them a year they should still be 70%). I then tried to put the Nikon battery I had in the grip (I have 2 EL15s), and it didn't come on. So I feared a dodgy battery. I inserted the original EL15 in the camera and it powered up again. Grip on it with penlights, still nothing. I thought to myself, maybe the battery is drained, so I charged the penlights and the EL15. This morning I inserted the EL15s in the camera and the grip. To my surprise the grip didn't do anything. Not only was it not recognised, but it also didn't react on button presses. I fiddled with it some more and then got it to react. It now is seen by the camera and indicates the battery charge. Either the grip or the camera still has a battery drain problem though. In about an hour or so time, having the camera switched on but not doing anything the grip battery drained from 100% to 94%. One EL15 is supposed to last 800 shots, and I don't think it's getting anywhere near. Also the internal battery is draining without being used (I just saw it go from 85 to 83% in a matter of minutes). Please note that throughout this time I set the battery type to the correct battery, and that I set the camera to use the grip battery first. I don't know if there is a history of the D800 draining batteries, or of any grips draining batteries, but so far my experience with this grip isn't great... I ordered an original from Amazon and will check out how that works...
Thanks for the remarks on your experience with the Phottix grip for your D800. The description of your battery draining experience was almost identical to mine. I don' t think the drain has anything to do with the camera, since after having my problems I took the dive and bought an actual geniune Nikon MB-D12 grip from Adorama. Since receiving and installing the verified Nikon grip I have had absolutely no problems with battery drain. The grip performs as expected with all battery types. Another lesson learned about " too good to be true " prices generally are! Thanks again. Kim W.