"Subpar" Nikon EN-EL15b Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries

Started 3 months ago | Discussions
j_bro New Member • Posts: 10
Re: "Subpar" Nikon EN-EL15b Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries
2

bythesea14 wrote:

I got another communique from B&H today basically saying the same thing they told me initially a few days ago: they are sending me a replacement battery since I might have been given a "non-genuine" battery when I purchase one alone from them a few months ago. In no case has B&H specifically stated exactly what the difference in performance is between this genuine and non-genuine Nikon battery. It's only the issue of giving some people non- Nikon genuine batteries, that's all. Fortunately, the three batteries I have all are genuine.

Isn’t this obvious? They are counterfeit, they would be poor quality. They are counterfeiting to deceive people for money, it is a scam. They don’t care if they are dangerous. Produce as cheap as possible and turn quick profit.

There is than likely no quality control and possibly dangerous. They could be produced with factory rejected cells. Poor current output, performance in extreme temperatures. I don’t even think these fake batteries charge with usb.

They won’t perform the same:

Dont charge to full capacity, drain quicker, not hold charge. Normally Li-ion batteries are good between 300-600 cycles. These would more than likely degrade quicker holding 40-60% of charge in a couple of months.

Circuitry inside could be poor, leading to shorts. Mini bombs. Cells could also expand, leaving them stuck inside the camera. Overheat when charging catching fire. Don’t you remember the Samsung Galaxy phones battery issues? Exploding on planes, catching fire, burning people.

Examples

https://youtu.be/ZTzEHsJVZhA

https://youtu.be/WnZuMfq6kec

OP bythesea14 Forum Member • Posts: 71
Re: "Subpar" Nikon EN-EL15b Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries

Counterfeit in itself doesn't always mean inferior.  Lots of counterfeit products are sold under market to avoid extra expenses, taxes, etc. and the products are identical, maybe  relabeled or not even that.  Until these batteries are carefully examined, no one can claim what they actually are.  Do you have one of these counterfeit batteries and have you made a careful examination between it and a genuine Nikon battery?

j_bro New Member • Posts: 10
Re: "Subpar" Nikon EN-EL15b Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries
1

bythesea14 wrote:

Counterfeit in itself doesn't always mean inferior. Lots of counterfeit products are sold under market to avoid extra expenses, taxes, etc. and the products are identical, maybe relabeled or not even that. Until these batteries are carefully examined, no one can claim what they actually are. Do you have one of these counterfeit batteries and have you made a careful examination between it and a genuine Nikon battery?

I can’t say I’ve ever experienced a good quality counterfeit product imitating an original. Maybe some are when the design is just copied. The majority is just junk. Still inferior materials, alloys.

Yes I had one, which I returned. No need for careful examination it was a piece of trash. It charged to 92% full charged. The Z6 locked up with a black screen, down to 40% within an hour. Had a shutter release disabled recharge battery or something along those lines before that. I posted images comparing the fake and genuine on the previous page?

madecov
madecov Veteran Member • Posts: 5,685
Re: "Subpar" Nikon EN-EL15b Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries
1

Honestly, I think what happened is that orders were placed for genuine Nikon batteries through a gray market source, and fakes we're shipped instead.

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fad
fad Forum Pro • Posts: 17,343
Re: Thanks for the info
2

shuncheung wrote:

fad wrote:

I received a replacement battery from BH today, without noticing any warning email.

Sure enough, I've been getting shutter locked messages.

For future reference, I've labeled my EN-EL15b batteries to show the source.

What a wicked world we live in.

Fad, just curious, does your older EN-EL15b battery (i.e. not the replacement you just received from B&H) show the sign of being counterfeit? E.g. the missing comma, etc.

Yes, all the signs -- missing comma, extra engraving, etc.

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Jonsi
Jonsi Senior Member • Posts: 3,719
Re: "Subpar" Nikon EN-EL15b Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries
4

Discombobulate wrote:

it wasn't subpar, these were fake! I contacted Nikon too and they tried everything to avoid the discussion - coward!

It's not Nikon's fault B&H sold fake batteries.

Stan Disbrow Veteran Member • Posts: 3,575
Re: "Subpar" Nikon EN-EL15b Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries

Hi,

Probably. Might have been someone responding to a price cut due to overstock. That would lead to thinking the product was genuine. And the overstock was therefore the scam. I have seen this happen before. The buyer thinks it is all legit, but there is a hijack of an email account in the mix. By the time it all gets figured out, it is way too late.

This happened to one of the big cellular carriers many moons ago. One of the other small carriers sent an email saying they had meant to buy 10,000 of battery X, but hit one too many zeros on the order. Now they have 90,000 too many and will take some loss to unload stock. A hijacked email account. And, another carrier took the bait and wired the money to the supplied bank account number.

Well, they got their batteries. All looked great until they didn't work quite right. The analysis was they were really well done fakes, but used reject cells so they had low capacity. By then the scam was all rolled up and the money gone. So, all they could do is scrap what they hadn't sold and replace what had.

I have this sense of deja vu right now. Someone must have altered something in the Matrix....

No, they didn't. It is just the Same Old Thing - Again!

Stan

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BGD300V1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,608
Another couple of differences I see

My apologies to j_bro and the group.  I posted this response before seeing his excellent post below and it is too late to withdraw it.

Alex Permit wrote:

mgblack74 wrote:

Could be code for “we didn’t know they were counterfeit, they looked so good”. There was a post here not long ago showing legit vs fake EN-EL B batteries with subtle but distinguished differences.

Here is a photo. You can see the printing on the fake is subpar, and the hologram is wrong.

I see another difference there (and in my own second battery).

The one designated Fake also has the letters XLMD molded into the depressions above the hologram.

Other differences involve the hologram. My fake is a couple of bubbles under it and the Original Nikon one shows two little nicks at the top and bottom of the hologram which may have some effect for installation.

Real

Fake

I think the texture of the battery is also a bit courser on the real battery.

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shuncheung Contributing Member • Posts: 642
Re: Thanks for the info

fad wrote:

shuncheung wrote:

fad wrote:

I received a replacement battery from BH today, without noticing any warning email.

Sure enough, I've been getting shutter locked messages.

For future reference, I've labeled my EN-EL15b batteries to show the source.

What a wicked world we live in.

Fad, just curious, does your older EN-EL15b battery (i.e. not the replacement you just received from B&H) show the sign of being counterfeit? E.g. the missing comma, etc.

Yes, all the signs -- missing comma, extra engraving, etc.

Thanks fad. Excuse me for one more question. The serial number on the counterfeit EN-EL15b batteries has been 20181218AA0866, in two different images of such counterfeit batteries, and I believe those are two different fake batteries.

I am wondering whether yours also has that same serial number. Perhaps the counterfeiters don't even bother to increment the serial numbers. I am aware of some counterfeit currency all have the same serial number. Of course, one probably wouldn't notice until you start comparing samples.

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peripheralfocus Veteran Member • Posts: 4,397
almost certainly not Nikon's supply chain
1

shuncheung wrote:

j_bro, thanks for the detailed post with various images. If this is affecting not only B&H but also stores in the UK, it sounds like the problem comes from inside Nikon or their contractors handling the batteries somewhere inside the Nikon supply chain.

There is almost no chance that fake batteries got into Nikon's authorized supply chain.

What is about 1000X more likely is that some retailers bought what they believed were genuine Nikon products from a third-party source, and they got cheated. Some retailers buy from a wide variety of suppliers, and there's a whole industry of alternative suppliers in the camera business (and nearly all other businesses, as well).

Years ago, when I bought film for a camera store, we could get Kodak film from Kodak or from any of a dozen gray market suppliers scattered around the U.S. We did occasionally buy gray market film for customers who wanted the lower price. There was no such thing as fake film (as far as I know), but if there had been, it would have been very easy for us to buy some, knowingly or not, from Abe in Los Angeles or Sonny in Brooklyn. We had no idea where their film came from, and they would never have told us.

Of course, genuine but defective batteries could easily come from Nikon themselves. But it's extremely unlikely that fake batteries could get into the warehouses of Nikon's authorized supply chain (most of which is wholly-owned by Nikon).

shuncheung Contributing Member • Posts: 642
Re: almost certainly not Nikon's supply chain

peripheralfocus wrote:

shuncheung wrote:

j_bro, thanks for the detailed post with various images. If this is affecting not only B&H but also stores in the UK, it sounds like the problem comes from inside Nikon or their contractors handling the batteries somewhere inside the Nikon supply chain.

There is almost no chance that fake batteries got into Nikon's authorized supply chain.

What is about 1000X more likely is that some retailers bought what they believed were genuine Nikon products from a third-party source, and they got cheated. Some retailers buy from a wide variety of suppliers, and there's a whole industry of alternative suppliers in the camera business (and nearly all other businesses, as well).

Years ago, when I bought film for a camera store, we could get Kodak film from Kodak or from any of a dozen gray market suppliers scattered around the U.S. We did occasionally buy gray market film for customers who wanted the lower price. There was no such thing as fake film (as far as I know), but if there had been, it would have been very easy for us to buy some, knowingly or not, from Abe in Los Angeles or Sonny in Brooklyn. We had no idea where their film came from, and they would never have told us.

Of course, genuine but defective batteries could easily come from Nikon themselves. But it's extremely unlikely that fake batteries could get into the warehouses of Nikon's authorized supply chain (most of which is wholly-owned by Nikon).

peripheralfocus, you are correct in this case. The second communication from B&H, as posted to the following post, confirms that B&H was duped by a different distributor (or that distributor was cheated by their source). Since Nikon does not warranty batteries anyway, there is no "gray market" issues with batteries, but there are counterfeits.

Since counterfeit batteries are so common, you would imagine that B&H is smart enough to detect that early on, before they ship them out to customers.

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/62703573

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peripheralfocus Veteran Member • Posts: 4,397
Re: Petapixel article
1

Hoof Arted wrote:

If the batteries were swapped out somewhere in the delivery chain I can understand Nikon insisting they didn't make or sell them.

They didn't get swapped out. It's a different chain, and no part of it was ever anywhere near a Nikon authorized warehouse.

Those who sold the fake batteries will make a similar argument that they bought the batteries in good faith. Everyone else in the chain will also want to be thought blameless and fingers will be pointed all over the place.

There's an entire alternative supply chain in the camera business (as in all other businesses). It's not necessarily illegal but it's dark; nobody other than Nikon will be pointing fingers here, and even if they tried to, they'd be pointing at empty space. Whoever originally sold these fake batteries into a supply line that ended up at B&H, if that is what really happened, is long gone. There's nobody at that address anymore. Their phone is disconnected.

BGD300V1 Senior Member • Posts: 1,608
Re: "Subpar" Nikon EN-EL15b Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries

bythesea14 wrote:

Counterfeit in itself doesn't always mean inferior. Lots of counterfeit products are sold under market to avoid extra expenses, taxes, etc. and the products are identical, maybe relabeled or not even that. Until these batteries are carefully examined, no one can claim what they actually are. Do you have one of these counterfeit batteries and have you made a careful examination between it and a genuine Nikon battery?

The fakes weigh in less than the real batteries. That means something is missing inside that plastic package.

Li-ion batteries require safety circuitry for both charging and discharging cycles to prevent problems.

You can see more at https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/archive/lithium_ion_safety_concerns

an excerpt

Let me assure the reader that lithium-ion batteries are safe and heat related failures are rare. The battery manufacturers achieve this high reliability by adding three layers of protection. They are: [1] limiting the amount of active material to achieve a workable equilibrium of energy density and safety; [2] inclusion of various safety mechanisms within the cell; and [3] the addition of an electronic protection circuit in the battery pack.

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NCB Contributing Member • Posts: 878
Re: "Subpar" Nikon EN-EL15b Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries
1

bythesea14 wrote:

Counterfeit in itself doesn't always mean inferior. Lots of counterfeit products are sold under market to avoid extra expenses, taxes, etc. and the products are identical, maybe relabeled or not even that. Until these batteries are carefully examined, no one can claim what they actually are. Do you have one of these counterfeit batteries and have you made a careful examination between it and a genuine Nikon battery?

Effectively it means inferior, perhaps dangerously so. Buy one and you've no certainty that it will perform in spec, and there's a strong possibility it's dangerous rubbish. Don't use counterfeit batteries. Period.

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FKS
FKS Senior Member • Posts: 2,998
Re: "Subpar" Nikon EN-EL15b Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries
2

Agreed. I have no idea how anyone can expect Nikon to discuss an issue that they were not involved in and was not of their making.

Jonsi wrote:

Discombobulate wrote:

it wasn't subpar, these were fake! I contacted Nikon too and they tried everything to avoid the discussion - coward!

It's not Nikon's fault B&H sold fake batteries.

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Jonsi
Jonsi Senior Member • Posts: 3,719
Re: "Subpar" Nikon EN-EL15b Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries
2

Yeah, of course.

And I doubt he actually called Nikon.  Strange comment.. "coward" ?

lol

FKS wrote:

Agreed. I have no idea how anyone can expect Nikon to discuss an issue that they were not involved in and was not of their making.

Jonsi wrote:

Discombobulate wrote:

it wasn't subpar, these were fake! I contacted Nikon too and they tried everything to avoid the discussion - coward!

It's not Nikon's fault B&H sold fake batteries.

Shingo650 New Member • Posts: 1
Re: "Subpar" Nikon EN-EL15b Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries
2

Here are several differences (marked in red highlight from left to right, from top to bottom).

1) The triangle exclamation mark and "Caution" are not spaced consistantly and printed extremely close to the bottom of the white table.

2) The letters in "PROCESSED" are not top aligned.

3) Missing comma between "disassemble" and "short".

4) P S E letters in the circle marking is not evenly spaced.

5) A extra print of "XLMD" in the indent space above the hologram label.

6) Nikon genuine hologram label is not flatly adhered to the battery. Visible bubbles on the laser label.

Hope these help.

OP bythesea14 Forum Member • Posts: 71
Re: "Subpar" Nikon EN-EL15b Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries

The counterfeit battery also appears to have slightly heavier/thicker-looking printed lettering and lines.

Stan Disbrow Veteran Member • Posts: 3,575
Re: Thanks for the info

Hi,

I have been fighting the Ersatz Batt issue for over 30 years now for the likes of IBM, GE, Ericsson and Blackberry. So, this isn't just one camera shop which got burned. It is all too common a story.

As we see this time, if you look at enough batteries, the clues are there. The fake makers don't want to put any more effort into their work then absolutely necessary. So, they go for Close Enough at first glance. And, the battery mfg inf area is one of those.

In the legitimate ones, they usually have printing which changes regularly during mfg. This requires a fairly costly printer that can change on the fly at high speed. The fakers don't bother. Usually, there is one thing printed in that area on all fake labels. Sometimes two or three different things, but usually only the one.

It would not surprise me that there is only one in this case.

Stan

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FleetFoto
FleetFoto New Member • Posts: 2
Re: "Subpar" Nikon EN-EL15b Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries

My worry is that the issue with the batteries was over-voltage (maybe even under-voltage) which could actually cause permanent damage to pretty much any camera. Anyone seen any persisting issues? I went out to do some astro a week or two before the email was sent out about the bad batteries, and I was getting the insufficient charge for shutter issue or however it was phrased. I was also getting a ton of hot pixels that night, which I didn't get with the legit battery, but I thought it was just something with the camera, but now I'm worried that the battery damaged it. Any insight on this?

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