Forums > Photography Talk > D700 glitches or the battery grip?

Photographer

The Effective Image

Posts: 3943

Lansing, Michigan, US

I was shooting with a studio setup. Manual mode, fixed aperture and shutter speed, no tethering. Radio triggering the lights. I had the aperture and shutter speed locks on. Also had the shutter set up to fire ONLY when focus achieved. Using a Vivitar battery grip with 2nd battery in it, primarily to simplify shooting portrait orientation. Have used this grip for several years and over 40,000 shutter activations - no problems. Both batteries near full charge.

Things were going good, and then for about 5 frames, the shutter would fire without the camera being in focus. Hmmm, never did that before...

Later, reviewing shoot, noticed that 'created date' recorded time jumped several hours at one point. Not the same point as the focus issue. Hmmm, never did that before that I've noticed.

Drop an email to Nikon USA describing issues. Reply -- remove battery grip.
BS, the grip works fine.

Anybody else seen these issues?

May 07 13 09:55 pm Link

Photographer

Mark C Smith

Posts: 885

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

What happened when you removed the grip?

May 07 13 11:34 pm Link

Photographer

Image Works Photography

Posts: 2890

Orlando, Florida, US

Is it 3rd party battery?  I have had issues with off brand ones and ended returning them or throwing them in the trash.

May 07 13 11:44 pm Link

Photographer

Studio Still

Posts: 226

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The Effective Image wrote:
BS, the grip works fine.

Why are you so convinced that it isn't the grip?  Maybe because it worked in the past.  The same could be said for the D700.  The advice that you have received so far from Nikon and in this thread seems like good advice to me.

I have not had any of these issues, but I have heard of several issues caused by 3rd party grips.

May 08 13 06:39 am Link

Photographer

Mortonovich

Posts: 5542

San Diego, California, US

GreatMomentsPhotography wrote:
Is it 3rd party battery?  I have had issues with off brand ones and ended returning them or throwing them in the trash.

I had a D200 that did some whacky things that seemed to only take place with
a wonky 3rd party battery as well. I'd try an eliminate that variable (if you're using one) is further testing.

May 08 13 06:50 am Link

Photographer

Ike Lace Photography

Posts: 31

Chicago, Illinois, US

The Effective Image wrote:
Using a Vivitar battery grip

Drop an email to Nikon USA... Reply -- remove battery grip.


BS, the grip works fine.

Anybody else seen these issues?

Well... you should probably not expect a third party manufacturer to have perfect compatibility with a gear set they don't have dedicated test control over...

This is akin to adding some third party mods to your car, then you call its manufacturer when your car doesn't work like it should.

Bottom line, you should use it with an actual Nikon grip, and see if the problem persists. 

Same goes for third party batteries.  This is the chance you take when saving $50-100 with a... what was it, 3k SLR?

You saved 3% of the cost of your camera tongue.

Would you actually expect Nikon to test third party battery grips for compatibility with their DSLRs at their cost? Moreover, would you do that in their position?

May 08 13 07:00 am Link

Photographer

Christopher Hartman

Posts: 54149

Buena Park, California, US

The Effective Image wrote:
I was shooting with a studio setup. Manual mode, fixed aperture and shutter speed, no tethering. Radio triggering the lights. I had the aperture and shutter speed locks on. Also had the shutter set up to fire ONLY when focus achieved. Using a Vivitar battery grip with 2nd battery in it, primarily to simplify shooting portrait orientation. Have used this grip for several years and over 40,000 shutter activations - no problems. Both batteries near full charge.

Things were going good, and then for about 5 frames, the shutter would fire without the camera being in focus. Hmmm, never did that before...

Later, reviewing shoot, noticed that 'created date' recorded time jumped several hours at one point. Not the same point as the focus issue. Hmmm, never did that before that I've noticed.

Drop an email to Nikon USA describing issues. Reply -- remove battery grip.
BS, the grip works fine.

Anybody else seen these issues?

How about rather than claiming the battery grip removal suggestion is BS, that you try and it see if the camera starts functioning normal.

Yes, I know, the battery grip has worked for 40,000 frames.  Well...so did the camera.  So why is the assumption then that the camera must be malfunctioning?  Why is it beyond thought that an accessory may be a contributing factor?  It's not like it's a difficult thing to even test.  Just unmount it and start firing away.  If the issue ONLY occurs with the grip...that still does not mean it IS the grip.  But could mean that it is the grip or the grip interface on the camera. 

You should also consider trying another lens and/or resetting the camera.  Update the firmware if it hasn't been done already.  Try another memory card.

Sometimes when a device behaves like it is haunted, they are difficult to troubleshoot unless it's a known issue.  Knock out the easy stuff and you'll narrow the field of potential causes.

May 08 13 07:18 am Link

Photographer

TallPix

Posts: 222

Miami Springs, Florida, US

Buy Nikon's.  I went cheap with my d700 battery pack from a third party.......trashed it because I had similar issues and could not depend on it

Never again will I waste money on non-nikon accessories

May 08 13 07:47 am Link

Photographer

DBIphotography Toronto

Posts: 3227

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

This thread has been particularly informational for me, for hearing opinions of others on 3rd-party batteries (specifically). I have a 3rd Party grip on my D700, and 3 3rd Party batteries for my D3/D700 in-grip. No problems.....yet. When I update in a coupla years, I'll keep this all in mind yikes

Ðanny
DBIphotography Toronto (Blog On Site) 
DBImagery Toronto (Website)

May 08 13 06:10 pm Link

Photographer

Bob Helm Photography

Posts: 18213

Cherry Hill, New Jersey, US

Todays cameras are designed as a system and when you use non system components the finger of blame is always pointed to the off brand item.

That said basic trouble shooting is to start eliminating/changing things to see if the problem goes away and to reboot system.

May 08 13 08:14 pm Link

Photographer

DBVE Imaging

Posts: 1907

Fort Worth, Texas, US

Knock off battery grips are not a good idea.

May 08 13 08:21 pm Link

Photographer

Dan Brady

Posts: 610

Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Had the same with d800 and after market grip. Ordered genuine and no issues.

May 09 13 04:44 am Link

Photographer

Cherrystone

Posts: 36710

Columbus, Ohio, US

Christopher Hartman wrote:

How about rather than claiming the battery grip removal suggestion is BS, that you try and it see if the camera starts functioning normal.

Yes, I know, the battery grip has worked for 40,000 frames.  Well...so did the camera.  So why is the assumption then that the camera must be malfunctioning?  Why is it beyond thought that an accessory may be a contributing factor?  It's not like it's a difficult thing to even test.  Just unmount it and start firing away.  If the issue ONLY occurs with the grip...that still does not mean it IS the grip.  But could mean that it is the grip or the grip interface on the camera. 

You should also consider trying another lens and/or resetting the camera.  Update the firmware if it hasn't been done already.  Try another memory card.

Sometimes when a device behaves like it is haunted, they are difficult to troubleshoot unless it's a known issue.  Knock out the easy stuff and you'll narrow the field of potential causes.

I'd echo these sentiments.

May 09 13 10:33 am Link

Photographer

RSM-images

Posts: 4226

Jacksonville, Florida, US

.

Try re-installing camera firmwares A & B.

.

May 09 13 10:40 am Link

Photographer

The Effective Image

Posts: 3943

Lansing, Michigan, US

A little more background. The batteries are all Nikon. The focus issue and the created date time jump have occurred once each to the best of my knowledge. The focus issue lasted about 5 frames and then everything returned to normal.

As an engineer, it's hard for me to rationalize a grip affecting the created date clock... Not saying impossible... just hard to conceive how that would happen. And no, it wasn't a daylight savings time jump.

As for the focus issue, it only lasted a few frames. No, I didn't take the grip off when it occurred. The grip was securely bolted on the whole time, and no camera tweaks were made prior to, or during the focus incident.

Maybe it is the grip... but since it has worked properly though 40,000+ activations over a number of years, it's hard to believe it suddenly causes these issues.

May 09 13 07:41 pm Link

Photographer

photoimager

Posts: 4906

Stoke-on-Trent, England, United Kingdom

If you ask someone a question about solving a problem and you then decline to try their suggestion, why bother asking in the first place ?

Catching the S / C / M lever moving it briefly to another setting ?. If I have a sudden unexplained focus issue, that is what my problem is.

I've never had a clock jump time before. I only use Nikon grips / batteries.

May 11 13 05:45 am Link

Photographer

Christopher Hartman

Posts: 54149

Buena Park, California, US

The Effective Image wrote:
Maybe it is the grip... but since it has worked properly though 40,000+ activations over a number of years, it's hard to believe it suddenly causes these issues.

My car has 168,000+ miles on it.  Around 150,000 miles I started getting a fouled spark plug.  Still runs almost great.  I just don't understand why it ran seemingly perfectly for about 150,000 and now suddenly doesn't.  How is this possible?

Come on dude, seriously?

Electronics fail.  And not necessarily due to wear and tear but bad luck.

I work in a technical support field.  I can't tell you how many times some of the stupidest suggestions have turned out to be the correct answer. Often I'll tell a customer with a tough issue, "I really doubt this is relevant to your issue, but it worked once.  How about we try..."

When it comes to computers and electronics...very little surprises me.

My computer kept shutting off...seemingly at random.  Sometimes it would run for 10 minutes or hours.  And it didn't shut off like the power went out.  Windows actually shut down. I thought the problem was Windows.  Someone told me it was likely the power supply.  What? are you stupid?  Power supply? Ok...fine.  Change power supplies.  Problem disappeared.

Honestly, from the description of your issue, I think it's the camera.

But it requires virtually NO EFFORT to test it without the grip.  So why not do it?

May 11 13 09:39 am Link

Photographer

Ike Lace Photography

Posts: 31

Chicago, Illinois, US

"As an engineer, it's hard for me to rationalize a grip affecting the created date clock... "

Wow, that's so weird, something affecting the power connections in the camera effects how it records or stores its data. 

As an engineer, I believe that is unpossible. Because I know everything. Like buying $50 battery grips for a $3,000 camera.

"but since it has worked properly though 40,000+ activations over a number of years, it's hard to believe it suddenly causes these issues."

Well, that is it! The problem is solved, you have NO PROBLEM!!!! Because my car has worked so well for the last 5 years, when it breaks down of course it's not my fault, THE CAR WAS FAULTY! Ima return it for a full refund!

Good luck!

May 12 13 11:29 am Link

Photographer

rickspix_uk

Posts: 109

Southend-on-Sea, England, United Kingdom

As a technician myself I like to understand whats going on when there is a problem, so when I had a problem with my merc air suspension the garage said it is either the pump ( $800 + labour) or the valve ( $700 + labour)  they got both in and checked them , both ok, ah they said you had a calibration problem with the computer. " weeks later same problem so it went back and they eventually tracked it to a intermittent earth cable.  Now I tell you this so you understand that a simple oh your using a cheap grip does NOT necessarily mean the grip is at fault.. Oh and for what its worth I bought a $30 grip for my D7000 and other than a damaged battery compartment lever it has worked faultlessly , and I fully accept that i got what I paid for a poorly built grip.... THAT WORKS !

May 12 13 12:10 pm Link

Photographer

The Effective Image

Posts: 3943

Lansing, Michigan, US

Problem solved. A variation of the problem occurred on a shoot, and I was able to track it down. A problem in a Nikon D lens! The D lens has a computer chip which talks to the camera. Apparently, the lens' computer chip goes off on its own occasionally resulting in aperture control/focusing issues. The lens is a fairly recent acquisition and thus the problem was not around for most of the 40,000+ shutter activations.

Thanks to all the 'experts' who tried to blame the third party grip. It works perfectly.

May 20 13 09:07 pm Link

Photographer

Guy Frotto

Posts: 67

San Francisco, California, US

I was going to blame the third party battery of the third party grip!

May 20 13 10:11 pm Link

Photographer

Marty McBride

Posts: 3132

Owensboro, Kentucky, US

The Effective Image wrote:
Thanks to all the 'experts' who tried to blame the third party grip. It works perfectly.

Making a point to tell about your Vivatar battery pack, took half of your first paragraph. Without it being possible for anyone other than you having experienced exactly what happened with your setup, people were only pointing to the obvious lead you gave them, and the logical place to start. Whether or not they buy the D chip explanation is another thing!

May 21 13 01:39 pm Link

Photographer

pdxROCKpix

Posts: 118

Hillsboro, Oregon, US

What Nikon suggested is just basic trouble shooting. When having issues with a complex system you break the system down to it's basic components. Don't understand your animosity toward them for this.

It's good that you found the problem but I would have looked at the grip first also. I've had too many issues with 3rd party grips and batteries to not look at them as a possible cause.

May 22 13 02:40 pm Link

Photographer

J O H N A L L A N

Posts: 10322

Santa Ana, California, US

I bought the Nikon grip with my D800e. Of course it was over-priced. But the last thing I was going to do was go with a dubious quality critical camera extension to save a couple hundred dollars, after spending $3,200 on the camera.

May 22 13 02:57 pm Link

Photographer

Christopher Hartman

Posts: 54149

Buena Park, California, US

The Effective Image wrote:
Problem solved. A variation of the problem occurred on a shoot, and I was able to track it down. A problem in a Nikon D lens! The D lens has a computer chip which talks to the camera. Apparently, the lens' computer chip goes off on its own occasionally resulting in aperture control/focusing issues. The lens is a fairly recent acquisition and thus the problem was not around for most of the 40,000+ shutter activations.

Thanks to all the 'experts' who tried to blame the third party grip. It works perfectly.

I don't remember anyone blaming the grip.

When something is not working right.  You eliminate as many variables as possible.

Does it happen with or without or doesn't matter?

The LENS is a variable.  Memory cards are variables. Battery grips are variables.  Batteries are variables. Hot shoe devices are variables.

Years ago, while using a Nikon SB-800 off camera with my D70 out in the ocean (waves were calm), it fell over into the water.  I caught before it became submerged and it never died.  Kept using it.  Days later, still worked.

I went to an event and I couldn't capture any photos.  Everything came about BLACK!!  WTF!!  Remove the flash and the camera took photos just fine.  Put flash back on but turned off.  Took photos just fine.  Flash on, BLACK!!  The flash was FIRING!! So why the black images?  I was not out of sync.  Took the flash off and enabled to act as a remote flash.  Bang, worked fine.  Put it back on the hot shoe...no bueno!!  Btw, built-in flash worked fine.

I might have blamed the camera, but since I knew the flash had taken a bath and I didn't have time to have it fixed for another shoot, I sent it off to Nikon and bought a new SB-800.  Worked fine.  Then I got my old SB-800 back after $130 repair and it worked fine.

That's my story as to how I came to own two SB-800 speed lights.

May 22 13 03:16 pm Link

Photographer

j3_photo

Posts: 19875

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

The Effective Image wrote:
Thanks to all the 'experts' who tried to blame the third party grip. It works perfectly.

Oh the irony:

The Effective Image wrote:
Maybe it is the grip... but since it has worked properly though 40,000+ activations over a number of years, it's hard to believe it suddenly causes these issues.

and your OP Title....  next time you're having focus issues, concentrate on the lens.

May 22 13 03:28 pm Link

guide forum

Photographer

Robb Mann

Posts: 10666

Baltimore, Maryland, US

3rd party battery grips got a bad rep when the D70 came out. 3rd party D70 grips actually did really weird things to the camera - including absolutely ruining them. Keep in mind the D70 had no Nikon-produced external grip, so the 3rd party ones were completely hacked.

Ive really not heard of 3rd party grips being detrimental to Nikon DSLRs apart from the one specific case. But if folk-lore has to be based in truth, the D70 is the genesis.

May 23 13 02:11 am Link