Best 3rd party Battery Grips



  • ksporryksporry Posts: 2Member
    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...
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    I just bought the genuine Nikon grip. For the money I would save with a knock off, it is not worth the hassle of the numerous compatibility issues cited above or compromising the peace of mind that it will consistently and reliably work as desired.

    My only complaint on the MB-D12 is the multi-selector. It is a pain to use. I find myself using the one on the camera when shooting portrait.
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    I bought the Nikon Grip as well. For whatever reason all the 3rd party grips seem to have issues (sporadic or all the time) with the D800. I never found a review that didn't have some sort of "issue" with every grip out there.

    The Nikon grip is polycarbonate, not magnesium alloy - still very strong - same stuff they make gun bodies from.
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • ksporryksporry Posts: 2Member
    Well, looks like the grip was not the only problem I had. FOund out today that th espare battery I bought is a counterfeit, so tomorrow I'm going back to have that changed. I found out because the battery didn't hold charge well. That could have been either a dud or a counterfeit. Checked it out and after searching for giveaways I figured out that it was indeed a fake. Well, not my problem. What IS my problem though is how to convince the seller that its a fake and to give me the genuine item. (I'm in China, so I need to give the guy a way to safe face. He'll never admit its a fake even when he knows that I know that he knows that I know that he knows that its a fake... So some tactical strategy will be required...)
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,545Moderator
    I had a counterfeit battery once which was so good a copy that on tiny missing stroke in the Japanese writing was the only difference. Everything else down to the shade of gold of the box was perfect. It took Nikon to spot it.

    I have the Nikon grip with Nikon battery or my D7000 and had a problem with it when I got it. It drained the grip battery overnight. I sent it back to Nikon and they change the connector to the camera body and that fixed it.
    Always learning.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,429Member
    What you must remember is that Nikon are actively making 3rd party products not work with there cameras.
    If you put a Newer grip on this all is fine until you turn on the switch around the release ..then you have no LCD display....similar problems with newer on a D 7100 and with sigma lenses.. If its all working for you never update the software.
  • proudgeekproudgeek Posts: 1,422Member
    Not to be a cynic, but I'd say that the number and severity of issues that come with a piece of third-party equipment (like a grip) are in direct proportion to the difference between the price of the Nikon gear and the third-party gear. I'm sure there's some fancy algorithm to explain it.
  • PrunePrune Posts: 3Member
    Just posted a comment about that. I have a MB-D12 grip from Nikon I bought at the same time as the D800, a year and a half from now.
    The MB-D12 is not seeing the battery inside it while every button still work. Nikon is asking 275$ for repair... plus the almost 400$ I paid in the first place, and I had serious issues with the grip, having the shutter stuck when the battery inside the grip goes below 50% charge.

    While you won't have a better warranty with nikon product (one year) as with ANY other brand and knowing you can have a grip for 40$, I will NEVER buy this kind of tools from Nikon.
  • ThomasHortonThomasHorton Posts: 323Member
    As stated before, by @TaoTeJared the battery grips will offer a more attractive option to some users if it they would come with a GPS module, WiFi connectivity, more FPS, additional connectivity (PC sync flash socket for example) or even aditional flash card slots.
    That would be an awesome product. That would give the photographer so many choices. Go heavy and have the extra capabilities, or go light without them. I would consider getting a grip like this.
    Gear: Camera obscura with an optical device which transmits and refracts light.
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    Unsure if I would like the battery grip i gave in and ordered the Vello from B&H. I was impressed how greatyly it adds balance and functionality especially in vertical shots.
    With the 24-70 it feels great with the 70-200 it feels great.
    The vello grip itself I used it for 1500 shots or so. with 8 eneloop the regular kind it lasted me 1000 shots with two bars left.

    I did however return and ordered the Nikon oem grip. I wanted ease of mind for one and the price dropped as well.

    I can't fully recommend the Vello since I returned it but it did the job that it had to do as a grip. The paint even matched the body more than the Nikon. The Nikon feels sturdier though.

    The final straw that made me go OEM is that I wanted the L plate. I ran into a problem doing long exposure in vertical mode so the L plate was a must.

    Day one with OEM and I'm happy
  • officermartinezofficermartinez Posts: 1Member
    Just to add a little to this thread.. I purchased the Kaavie Exceptional magnesium alloy body Battery Grip on Amazon for my D800E and have yet to encounter any issues. It feels on par with the Nikon OEM grip but the feedback from the battery grip buttons are a tiny bit different. The button feedback is not necessarily in a bad way, just not exactly the same as the MB-D12. Also, not sure if it's a plus or minus but this grip cost me $119 so it's a little more expensive that a run of the mill battery grip but less expensive the OEM Nikon MB-D12. I can't comment on longevity but only time will tell. Also, the (8) AA battery pack from the MB-D12 (MS-D12 I believe is the model number) fits directly into the Kaavie grip without issue and powers everything up just fine.
    Nikon D800e, Nikon D5300, Nikon D5200.
    Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 ART, Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART,
    Sigma 50-150 f/2.8
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited November 2014
    I found this discussion on the older format forum and it got me thinking. I have a third party grip for my D7000 and find it is really quite handy to have for general use... but... when I use my sun sniper sling strap attached to the bottom of the grip, the grip is pulled away from the connector pins on the bottom of the camera and loses connection. I only have this one grip, so I am not sure what is the root cause of my issue (other than hanging the camera upside down from the grip). Is this tolerance gap seen with Nikon genuine parts as well?
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    Having owned only one optional battery grip for my D7000 that was made by Nikon, I have never had an issue with a gap or any form of loose connection.

    You pay for what you get....
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,545Moderator
    Erm, I had the grip for my D7000 as well and found it wobbled and ran down batteries overnight. I can't say therefore that it will be trouble free if you buy the oem part, but I can say Nikon fixed it free and it was fine afterwards.
    Always learning.
  • ExpensiveHobbyExpensiveHobby Posts: 27Member
    Thank you for moving the post Golf007sd. I do not know the brand or cost of the item since it is several years old now and was a gift. I guess I'll just be weighing the cost of a Nikon grip for my next body.
    D7000 | D70s |Nikkor 18-70mm | 16-85 VR | 80-200 2.8 D | 50 1.8G | 50 1.4 (manual) | Tamron 200-500 | Sigma 10-20 f3.5 | SB-800 | Manfrotto 190XPROB + 486RC2 Ball |
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