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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:29 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:59 pm
Posts: 6009
Location: The Netherlands
I bought this battery grip for my D90 a while ago, and I decided to do a review on it. In addition, I could enhance my lighting skills by shooting the product shots ;)

First off, what is a battery grip?

A battery grip (also known as a portrait/vertical grip), is an extension to the camera, which can contain 2 batteries, or 6 AA batteries. It provides a better balance with a heavy lens attached, more battery life, and better grip.

Looks


For an off-market battery grip, The Hahnel matches the D90 well. It may lack the fake leather finish, but it still has the "sparkle plastic". It looks like a natural complement to the camera, albeit bulky.

Front
Image

Back
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Ergonomics

....Better than expected. It's not really squeeky, and feels relatively solid in your hands. The locking screw works well and locks tightly. The buttons are located well, and the vertical grip feels good (a bit blockier though and can't match the nikon "hook" grip).
A feature I like is that you can store the body's battery compartiment hatch inside the battery grip, so you don't lose it.
It also comes with a tray to load 6 AA batteries, but you will have to keep that seperately in your bag.

Image

Buttons

The grip features 2 buttons (autofocus/shutter, AF-ON), a on/off switch (for horizontal-only work I guess), 2 dials (which don't respond very well sadly), and a twist-lock for the battery compartiment.

I'm pleased to report the shutter button works well. It does not "click" like the nikon body shutter button, but it still works very well.

Image

Bonus

The battery grip came with a wireless remote, which...just works. One button, anbd bulb mode requires one press to open the shutter, and a second to close it again. Nothing special here, just a very nice bonus.

Image

Verdict

This thing cost me around 70 euros. That's 60 euros cheaper than the official nikon grip. Whilst the Hahnel has it's flaws, I cannot justify paying 60 more just to overcome those minor details. For me, it's 70 euros well spent, and a recommendation to anyone who'd like more battery power, vertical shots, or just has big hands like I do.

Recommended!

Extra

This thing being a battery grip, I also bought an extra battery. I asked a couple of photographers and employees, and they all told me the same: Nikon does not manufacture their own batteries, but imports them from Hahnel! So I took the plunge and..ooh...got an off-brand battery.

And guess what: it looks pretty much identical to the Nikon battery, and it performs exactly the same.

Image

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 6:03 pm 
Hi Marijn,
Tell me, r u using the battery grip full time of do u attach it when needed.
Nice review btw :)
Cheers.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 6:26 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:59 pm
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Location: The Netherlands
I'm using it full time. I dismounted it once just to try how it felt without, and it felt small....I don't want to go back anymore, the ergonomics with grip are so good :)

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I take pictures so quickly, my highschool was "Continuous High".


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 5:02 am 
Citruspers, you may also want to consider using the Ownuser brand of battery grips. I use their latest grip for my Olympus E-30 and it outperforms the Olympus HLD-4 by quite a bit.

Ownuser also produces a version of this same grip for the D90. This includes the grip, wired remote, wireless remote, and an external battery pack for using AA's if your camera batteries die. If you're shooting on a tripod, the wired remote allows you to control the aperture and shutter speed too. I highly recommend them.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 11:13 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:59 pm
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Location: The Netherlands
Thanks for the heads up, I'll wonsider it if I buy a new body (no need to replace the grip I already have) :)

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I take pictures so quickly, my highschool was "Continuous High".


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 4:36 am 
I got one by Zeikos, from B&H, for my D80 - works just like a charm


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