Review of Nikon MB-D80 Battery Pack
Still going strong half a decade later
After over 5 years of use, I am still very glad I purchased the Nikon MB-D80. This handy addition to my camera has never once failed to perform.
Over five years ago, I purchased the Nikon MB-D80 to go with my then brand new Nikon D80 camera. I was immediately impressed and remain so today. The vertical grip does just exactly what it's supposed to do and I have yet to experience any malfunction.
The Nikon MB-D80 adds versatility to the Nikon D80 and D90 camera bodies. The vertical oriented shutter release makes handling the camera far more comfortable and during long events results in a reduction of fatigue when taking vertical oriented photographs.
The first and most obvious thing to make note of is that the functionality of the grip, the feel of the buttons and the fit and finish closely approximate those of the D80 camera itself. That is to say that the buttons work in exactly the same manner as do the ones built into the camera and this is quite appreciated, especially when rapidly switching from landscape to portrait orientation.
If you prefer a compact camera, the full size SLR's such as the D80 and D90 are not for you. The Nikon MB-D80 battery pack adds even MORE bulk and size to the camera but I see this as a highly prized addition and I can't imagine trying to shoot most of the things that I do without it. The grip feels good in the hands and with shooting in a landscape/horizontal position it provides a superior platform on which to rest the camera while manipulating the lens with my thumb and forefinger.
Nikon got it right when they designed the D80 and the D90 in such a manner as to allow the vertical grip accessory to be installed on the camera through the camera's original battery compartment. This allows both batteries to be accessed via a single door on the vertical grip without having to remove it from the camera. In my opinion, Nikon should have carried this forward with later camera models such as the D300s which require removal of the vertical grip to gain access to the second battery. By contrast, this grip and camera configuration is highly convenient.
The feel of this grip is just right. I like the composition of the materials used in the slip resistant surface. It also matches up aesthetically with the Nikon D80.
One of the things that I truly appreciate but have never used about this battery pack is its ability to take a number of double A batteries in place of the ELN-El3e batteries. Though I have never used this feature, I'm glad that Nikon provided me with this flexibility in case I happen to be in a position where the ELN-EL3e batteries are completely discharged and I have to buy batteries off the shelf to use in a pinch. Note: I could also, in theory, cannibalize the batteries from my SB-600 flash units in order to keep shooting.
In short, the Nikon MB-D80 combined with my D80 has been a wonderful investment. I've literally taken many tens of thousands of shots using this grip and it's never failed to deliver...not once.
Click to view the Nikon MB-D80 Multi-Power Battery Pack on Amazon.com.