What is your opinion on vertical grips?

Started Jan 14, 2013 | Discussions thread
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VirtualMirage
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What is your opinion on vertical grips?
Jan 14, 2013

So I am in the market to buy some new toys for my camera kit, which currently houses an A77.  While I have a few options I am looking at, currently my eyes are set on the following top two choices, either:

  • A vertical grip and a new tripod (looking at a 3 Legged Thing X4 Jack or X1.1a Adrian).
  • Another Paul C. Buff Einstein E640 to go with my current one, making a total of two in my current studio setup.

With the vertical grip I keep teetering back and forth on getting one, but the price stings a bit seeing as they currently go for around $300.  If it was $50-75, or even a fairly unrealistic $100, cheaper then it would be a no brainer for me.

I have a few reasons where I think a vertical grip will benefit me.

  1. Help balance out the weight of the camera with some of my heavier lenses.  My Sigma 24-70 2.8 HSM is on my camera most of the time.  It can sometimes feel a little unbalanced with it on there, feeling more front heavy.  I've heard that vertical grips can help regain some of that balance, putting it more towards the camera body.  And while that lens is currently one of my heaviest (maybe a tie between it and my Beercan), future lenses that I plan to get will only be heavier (70-200 2.8 or the 70-400 4-5.6, fast primes, etc.).
  2. Helping with vertical portraits.  I find it a bit of strain trying to shoot vertical shots for long periods of time, which then effect my camera holding.  I'll then relent and go back to landscape shooting to give my joints a break.  Since I am starting to shoot more and more in a studio setup, I think a vertical grip would be helpful with this.  A better tripod too for certain situations, but that is another topic for another day.
  3. Two batteries can be in the camera at one time, providing longer shooting times and less fumbling through my camera bag when swapping batteries.  I'll admit, I rarely go through two batteries in one shoot and when I do it is because my first battery wasn't fully charged.  But this could be help for all day outings.
  4. Possibly more comfortable to hold in landscape mode.  I don't have "large" hands, but all my fingers do not wrap around the grip completely.  I find that my pinky is either at the age or may work its way under the camera.  It isn't uncomfortable and nowhere near as bad as some of the smaller cameras (which is one of my reasons why I like the larger body cameras), but I wonder if it would make holding the camera even more comfortably by having more grip.

What are your opinions, personal experiences with the grip (or vertical grips in general), or suggestions?

Thanks!

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Paul

 VirtualMirage's gear list:VirtualMirage's gear list
Sony RX100 Sony a77 II Tokina AT-X Pro 11-16mm f/2.8 DX Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro Samyang 8mm F3.5 Aspherical IF MC Fisheye +20 more
Leica X1 Sony SLT-A77
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