But first, a story.
Back in the last century, one of the jobs I had was working in a shop in Harlem (NYC) that sold TVs and stereos and also did repairs. The boss taught me how to repair TVs. Early on, I fixed someone’s Sony Trinitron. He told me to write up the bill, something I had never done before. The part I used cost around $10, I figured I’d double that and throw in a few bucks for my time and wrote up the bill for $25. He looked at it and tore it up. He told me, “They paid $500 for the TV, they don’t want a $25 repair bill.” And he wrote a new bill for $100.
I should mention that the guy also had a prominent scar on his face from the time when a customer thought he was being over-charged for a TV repair and pulled out a knife and slashed the guy’s face.
Now, battery grips. A tremendously useful accessory for a DSLR. They hold an extra battery, which not only doubles your shooting time but in many cases gives you a faster burst mode. And they duplicate some of the key controls from the DSLR’s body, so if you are holding the camera vertically you have the controls right at your fingertips on the battery grip rather than having to reach around awkwardly to get at them.
For my old Nikon D700, the battery grip retailed for US$300. It now sells for US$250 new – I bought a used one for around US$125 and loved it.
But like many others, my jaw dropped when I saw the price Nikon wanted for the D800 battery grip. US$616! Just over double the price! I mean, what did they do to make it worth so much more money? Or were they thinking that you paid $3,000 for the camera, you’re not gonna be happy with a $100 battery grip? Wrong. Okay, so now you can pick it up for around $400 but still, I mean, $400 is enough to buy yourself a entire good quality pocket camera.
(That’s the official Nikon MB-D12 pictured above.)
I came across a video review on FStoppers for a third party D800 grip. The reviewer calls it a “fake” but it’s not a fake. It’s a third party accessory. It’s not sold with the Nikon logo and it’s not a knock-off. (The “fake vs. 3rd party” thing is addressed in the comments following the post.)
My take on it? $400 vs. $100? I’ll take a somewhat squishy button and save $300 Alex, thanks.
The one they review in the video is from a company called Pixel and costs $100 (pictured above). You can get it from Amazon.
Amazon also has one selling for only $70 from a company called Meike (pictured above). Get it here.
Oh, in case you were wondering, both of the above 3rd party options offer 2 trays, one for the Nikon EN-EL15 battery and one for AA batteries, same as the original Nikon unit.
If you want the original Nikon MB-D12, you can buy it from Amazon or from B&H Photo. Of course the original Nikon one will have some value on the used market in the future, these knock-offs won’t. And presumably Nikon has used better materials and theirs would hold up better over time.