Third party grip for D300?

Started Jul 7, 2013 | Discussions thread
windsprite Senior Member • Posts: 2,554
Re: Third party grip for D300?

You know, I bought exactly the same grip from Amazon Japan, for about the same price, and had the same problem.  I could have sworn in the Amazon product description the EN-EL4 adapter was included, but it was not in the package I received.  I wanted the grip for a photo trip and didn't have time to deal with returning it, etc., so I wound up taking my chances buying a BL3 battery chamber door and hoping it would work with the Chinese grip.  Luckily it did.

The grip works OK.  As you said, the overall feel of the product is actually pretty pretty solid and blends in well with the material and build of my D300 and D700.  Some of the buttons and other fiddly parts feel cheesy and plasticky, especially the four-way button, though it works OK for now.   I didn't think the AF-ON button worked as well as the ones on my Nikon bodies or my D2H integrated grip.  Seemed like I missed focus on a lot of shots, so I switched over to using the buttons on the camera body, but maybe the third-party AF-ON button just requires more pressure or something, I don't know.

I do get the same frame rate you would expect with the Nikon grip and EN-EL4, and the whole package did work out to be cheaper than buying a Nikon grip, so I'm fairly happy.  I'm just annoyed that they lie about the product.  If I'd had more time, I would have returned it and bought a real Nikon grip.  As mentioned above, if you're patient you can get them at KEH for around $105 WITH battery chamber door for the EN-EL4.   A second-hand Nikon product costs only a little more than third party.  Consider it insurance.


Gpruitt54 wrote:

Yeah, today, I received one of these 3rd party (totally no-name) battery grips from an Ebay store. See the link below:

There are a few problems with this product and some good points as well:

  1. The Ad says it comes with one AA holder, one EN-EL3 holder, and one EN-EL4 holder. The package did not include the EN-EL4 holder. Figures, that is the one I really need. So not I have to send it back to China.
  2. The overall construction seems OK. It is now as strongly built as the Nikon grip for my D200. There is a noticeable difference in build quality, as you might expect. It is not as if the thing will fall apart, but there is a difference.
  3. There is no weather seal around the opening to the battery compartment. On the other hand, I am not sure that my Genuine Nikon for the D200 has a weather seal. I need to check on that.
  4. The rubberized material on the grip looks and feels identical to that on the D300 itself.
  5. The lock lever on the vertical grip feels flimsy and not attached very well. I feel that one slight pump and that lever is gone, never to be seen again.
  6. The wheels on the grip have a nice positive feel. If only the lock lever where that well built.
  7. Here is the big one... The mount to the camera seems very flimsy. I fear tightening it too much for fear of stripping cheap metal gears. When it is tightened, there is lots of play in the tightening wheel. Some of this is also evident in my genuine Nikon grip for my D200.

Would I buy another one... Not a chance. Failing to include the EN-EL4 battery holder was the kiss of death for me and shows poor attention to detail. I hate to say this, because I am the frugal Photographer, but spend a little more and buy a better unit. However, not as much as the Guanine Nikon grips. That is simply too much.

So, the question begs answering, how do you tell a cheap fall apart grip from the strong one? Not a clue. Maybe someone else can answer that question. Because, it looks like I am in the market for another grip.

 windsprite's gear list:windsprite's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix F100fd Fujifilm FinePix F550 EXR Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Nikon D2H Nikon D300 +42 more
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