What are the real-life uses of D850 battery pack (MB-D18)?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by tropdude, Dec 6, 2019.

  1. What are the real-life uses of Nikon MB-D18 Multi-Power Battery Pack (for D850 body)?

    I have three of these on my bodies, but other than adding extra volume and weight (it would not fit into a small/midsize camera backpack with lens attached), the only advantages I see if I shoot time-lapse, or if there is absolutely no way I can change batteries during a long shooting session, or offer comfort for vertical shooting. Then, it needs to be removed to change battery in the body, to fit the body into an Ewa-Marine case for sandproofing, for underwater housings, etc..

    For the same volume and weight I can just carry 3-4 charged EN-EL15 batteries and would be in a better position.

  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The D850’s frame rate can go up to 9 fps if you use an EN-EL18 battery inside the MB-D18.
  3. Thank you.
    7 fps vs, 9 fps (with battery grip).
  4. If you do not need 9 fps or the grip itself for handling purposes (perhaps as a counterweight for a large telephoto lens, during long portrait session or have large hands), I would understand why you would want to leave it at home. I have the grip and 3 EN-EL18 batteries and 3 EN-EL15 batteries. I got the grip for better balance with longer lenses and to get the higher frame rate (I often shoot birds and horses). I feel that the AF is a tad faster with the bigger batteries, but that might just be wishful thinking.

    To me, the advantage of the larger batteries are the higher frame rate and improved burst stamina. However, I have found them to have a noticeably higher self-discharge rate during storage than the EN-EL15 batteries. It does not matter whether they are stored at ca 65 % charged or fully charged (which is not ideal). For that reason alone, I do not get that many shots more out of my EN-EL18s unless I shoot long bursts compared to the smaller EN-EL15s. That is why it sounds to me like you might be better off with extra EN-EL15 batteries.

    Having said that, I leave my grip on at all times - except på when I am on vacation (when weight really is a factor).
  5. Tropdude,
    Underwater I always go with a smaller configuration. My housed D2X was a beast. My housed D7200 is much smaller.
    Ewa bags would probably be better using a smaller camera.
    On land I prefer the faster frame rate, higher capacity of the EN-EL18 battery and ability to shoot more comfortably in portrait with the vertical griip.
    I shoot a lot of portrait oriented images maybe because that is how I think. Also I like the extra mass and portrait grip on the end of a long lens.
    At the end if the day it comes down to personal preference and the D850 gives you those configuration options.
    It sounds like you have that figured out. Wish I had 3 D850s. Then I would rule the world.
    Good hunting.
  6. I have always favored battery grips when using a camera with a longer, heavier lens attached; I only recently changed my mind on that (not wanting to carry more weight than necessary and not really realizing an advantage as a counterbalance) and have now taken them off t. I would probably use them again if I were to shoot a lot in portrait orientation - which I generally don't. On most of my camera bodies I have L-brackets mounted - which interferes with using the battery grip (unless I am willing to purchase the larger ones that mount on the camera/grip combo).
  7. For studio (e.g., event portraits), video and time lapse photography, I use a dummy battery with an AC power supply or (preferably) a large Li-Ion batter with a D-Tap connector. A 70 WH, 14 V NP battery is not much larger than a cell phone, and will run the camera for 8 hours or more. The EP-5B adapter works with the EH-5B AC adapter, or you can use a Gyrotap EN-L15 dummy battery with a D-Tap connector (GyroVu D-Tap to Nikon EN-EL15 (EP-5B) Intelligent Dummy Battery (30")) The D-Tap adapter has a regulator to provide steady (and safe) 7.2 VDC to the camera.

    I use a grip adapter for added battery life, completely mobile. I often forget to use the vertical shutter release, being well-adapted to doing without it. Balance is a spurious issue. I support a heavy lens by the foot or middle, not with the the camera. A heavy camera is essentially dead weight.
  8. If I buy a battery grip for any camera it's only for higher frame rate.
    I never use the vertical grip.
    If I do time lapse I would use external battery.
  9. Much better handling with long glass, especially true of shooting a lot of verticals. I also find it handy on long shoot days to have two batteries going.
  10. If you don’t need the frame rate boost, it’s all personal preference. If you like having a larger grip with the extra control for vertical framing, and having your extra batteries there without having to swap them, use it. If you don’t, don’t.
  11. My sentiment too. Had it at one time (forgot for which camera) and found it silly for my purpose. I still have it in the box somewhere - need to find and sell it. :eek:
  12. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Have one that came with a camera I bought used - tried it for a bit, but found it easier to slip a battery in my pocket when off with the camera by itself. I, too, ought to hunt it up and sell it.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2019
  13. One additional use I found and utilized for the battery pack, although rarely, is holding AA batteries. If you are in the middle of nowhere, sometimes it is easier or the only solution is to bring AA vs. charging. One (1) set of AA approximately provides the same number of shots as one (1) EN-EL15 battery.
  14. I never have a battery in the camera, but only in the grip, So my grip is glued on my D700 for 8 years.
  15. If you don't like/use them, why you have bought 3 of them?
  16. Tropdude,
    Vertical grips add weight.
    There are greater and greater tendencies now days for folks to hand hold because gear is getting lighter. I like light gear but not because I can use it off a tripod but simply because it is light and easier to carry. On the other hand I think that there is a potential for camera gear to get too small. Except for reference images I feel my best opportunity for a really good photograph is going to be with the camera mounted properly on a tripod in a position where I can shoot comfortably for hours in sub freezing weather. A vertical grip is part of that process. Even when I could bench press 12000 pounds I used a tripod with a long lens. The Wimberley and more primitive Bogen action heads have been out prior to the plictocene and the advent of digital and make long lens camera combinations weightless. I know it's harder and harder for all of us to schlep our gear. I have recently compromised image quality a little and started with a lighter 100-400 zoom set that I use on a smaller Gitzo series II tripod that meets me at eye level without a center column. I have kept the vertical grip on but I can always take it off.
    If I am on a dedicated trip then the 200-400 and 600 f4 come along. On a gimbal or bean bag they along with my gripped bodies are essentially weightless and are the sharpest lenses I own. I almost never shoot them hand held and only going into it knowing it's for reference purposes. If I get lucky it's an unintended bonus. If I were designing lenses I would not be able to help myself and all of them including an 8mm fish eye would have tripod collar. I would not have to buy L brackets. The vertical grip would work well with this concept. Finally the number one reason to have a vertical grip on each and every camera body is because it's just plain sexy . Heed my advice and know that if your gear is cool you will automatically take better images.
    All tongue and cheak aside using a vertical grip is a personal preference and I know many more respectable amateur and pro photographers who eschew grips. I am fortunate to be an amateur and to not have to justify the gear I use. My professional friends count every dollar.
    Merry Christmas.
  17. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Whoa, amazing. I was pleased when I could do 235 on a good day!
  18. I don't have an 850 but I have grips on ALL of my bodies. Shooting weddings requires shooting a lot of verticals, at least the way that I do it . . . I see a lot of photographers who never seem to turn the camera. I also have very large hands and the extension on the bottom of the camera makes them easier to handle.

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