Problems wtth Zeikos grip and AI-S Lenses on D700

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by crowdspotting, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. Hello all,

    I am using a D700 with a Zeikos BG-300 Battery Grip. There are several reviews on about this product, and generally speaking I am happy with it.
    However, I have some AI-S prime lenses such as a 105mm 1.8, 35mm 1.4, etc. and when the grip is attached and I mount these lenses to the D700, the camera shutter clicks but does not record an image. Next, "Err" flashes on the LCD. "D" and "G" lenses work just fine.

    Anyone had problems like this? I'm not really looking for a debate about why third-party grips are inferior - rather I am just trying to understand why and how a grip (Nikon or third-party) might be incompatible with AIS lenses, or if my unit is defective.

    Thanks a lot for your help!

    Jeff Phillips
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I assume that as long as that Zeikos grip is not attached to the D700, those AI-S lenses work fine on the camera.
  3. Do these lenses work properly when the grip is not attached?
  4. Shun, thank you for your reply, and yes you are correct. I should have mentioned that in my first posting.
    Without the grip, the AI-S lenses work fine on the D700 body. Obviously that means that the grip is the problem, but what I am wondering is if it known that AIS lenses won't work, or if my grip is defective.
    I was hoping that someone with a D700, the grip, and an AIS lens could let me know if they are having the same issue.

  5. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I have a D700, Nikon's own MB-D10 and an AI-S lens at home. I can give that a try tonight, but I am quite sure that such combo is not an issue or it would already have been discussed to no end in forums such as this one. Most likely, either Zeikos did not quite clone the MB-D10 100% correct in general or your particular unit is defective.
    The only AI-S lens (that is not AF) I own is the 35mm/f1.4 I bought back in 1987. I rarely use it in these days and that is why I don't think I have ever used it on the D700 with the MB-D10 attached.
  6. Shun, thank you for the offer of help, it is very generous of you.
    I've done a bit more troubleshooting, and hopefully this information will help someone who comes across it in the future.
    Leaving the Zeikos grip on the camera, I unlatched the battery cover and slid out the battery holder. In other words, the grip had no batteries in it but was still attached to the D700. The AIS lenses suddenly began to work perfectly on the camera.
    Then I noticed that the battery level indication indicator for the Zeikos pack had dropped to half.
    I then put a 28mm "D" lens on the camera, and it would still NOT work.
    So, the problem is NOT with AI-S lenses, but rather seems to be with the Zeikos grip, when the batteries are low. It doesn't seem to be switching over to the internal battery when the grip batteries run low.
    In the D700 Shooting menu, I've selected "MB-10 First" as the battery order. I assume that on your "real" MB-10, that it gracefully switches over to your D700 battery when the AA batteries in your grip are exhausted.
    My Zeikos grip does not appear that it can automatically switch over. This sounds odd to me that this hasn't been discussed before in the forums. Like you said, it is probably defective.
    Thanks for your help.
  7. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Nikon's EN-EL3e and EN-EL4/EN-EL4a batteries are "smart" batteries because they have a chip inside to inform the camera that the battery is (close to) exhausted. You really need to have one of those in the grip to have auto switch over. AA batteries are "dumb" ones and if you have those inside the MB-D10, auto switch over might not happen. Moreover, battery level indication on the camera for AA batteries is not necessarily that accurate.
    I'd retest the grip with an EN-EL3e or 4(a) inside.
  8. i have 2 mb-d10s, and my experience is that they will switch over to internal camera battery power unfailingly on D300 or D700, so i've not experienced anything quite so frustrating as the OP with the zeikos grip.
    one tip i can offer, if the battery indicator shows the AAs at less than full charge: if i remove the battery holder and roll the batteries back and forth with my thumb a couple of times, the battery will indicate full charge again. sometimes the batteries will continue to show full charge for the rest of my outing. when they don't, i swap in another set.
  9. I wanted to follow up on my earlier posting about the Zeikos grip. As mentioned above, when the AA batts in the grip became exhausted, my D700 would fail to operate, and I'd get an "Err" on the LCD. On the "real" Nikon MB-10, power automatically switches to the D700's internal battery when the grip batteries are dead.

    Zeikos told me to return the unit to them for repair. I sent it back, and received a replacement. The replacement did not solve the problem, and the behavior is exactly the same. I've since noticed a few other reviews online that indicate that the Zeikos unit simply cannot emulate the battery-switching capability of the MB-10.
    I am disappointed with this grip, and even though it was only $70, with shipping and returning it and the frustration, I'd have been better off getting the MB10.

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