The First Knockoff D800 MB-D12 Grip Has Arrived

The First Knockoff D800 MB-D12 Grip Has Arrived

When Nikon first released the MB-D12 battery grip for the Nikon D800 it cost a staggering $615. Since then the price has fallen to a still ridiculous $429. We have been waiting patiently for an affordable 3rd party version and today I got an email from a reader that they were available on ebay. The "Pixel MB-D12" is a much more affordable $109.00. I just purchased one and once it shows up from Japan (at least 30 days) I'll review it. I'm hoping this grip is as good as the last fake I got.

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Daf's picture

I'm finding it difficult to find 2rd party versions of the EN-EL15 in the UK.
Wonder why - batteries are usually a common thing to reproduce. Not like it's new either as it's used by the D7000As others - I find the thought of having to spend £50-70 on a battery unappealing.Of course there will be some poor copies, but should be some good ones too. I choose carefully.

Matt Rennells's picture

While I agree that the price is ridiculous and borderline extortion, I just wonder how many of us that are complaining about it are also the same ones that charge $50 for a $2 print or $220 for a $17 print?

Pixyst's picture

You're kidding right? Are you charging for the print or the printed content?

Derek matarangas's picture

No he is right! Thats the right cost for a print! 

Lee, I for one am waiting on your verdict.  And hurry, or I might get carpel tunnel from holding my gripless D800 in portrait mode.

On a camera a nice as a D800. I would not even blink about paying 425.oo for a VG. The VG for the canon 5DmkIII is 360.oo. Using an after market stuff is great for lower end stuff but, not for the high end line of cameras. I have seen VG's cause camera bodys to act up weird things. Pay the extra now or later, and later always cost more. Been there done that, didn't even get a t-shirt.

Morgan Moller's picture

The REAL question at hand here comes down to this : Would you balance 3000$ over the ground held by a piece of plastic made by the cheapest provider of parts in Asia, or would you balance it over the ground on a piece engineered by people, tested, and made from premium quality materials like metal?Sure, it's expensive, but the prices will drop over time. If you can't afford one, save up but don't buy the knockoff. Buy cheap, buy twice is what my grandmother always said.

With the D200's grip I was sourely dissapointed however, and this was entirely Nikon's fault. I paid 180$ I believe for the official Nikon version and it was a plastic piece of shit. The stack that went into the battery holder broke when I set the D200 down to hard once. I then bought an aftermarket version of it for 40$ and it worked so much better! 
I did buy the Nikon MB-D10 for my D300S with the fear of having the same problem, but I was glad to be reassured since it was made of metal. Worked like a champ ever since. 

I will pass on this and wait for a 3rd party grip that has more features than the Nikon one.

weight is same like in original grip. Is it plastic or metal?

Jose Luis's picture

I have always used Meike battery grips and they work wonderfully at about 1/4 of the price of retail.  Im a full time photographer and I make my living off of photography.

Lee is the one you bought the  Pixtrl-Vertax one ,  that can also use two(2) EL15 in the grip.  I really want to see that work.  And if it is durable.
Even my D700 Nikon grip would sometimes stop working on a long sports shoot, and I had to take it off and screw back on.  The connection needs to be solid.

Also, interested at how the D800 will read the power left on two EL15 when normally it has only one?
For me,  having the ability to run 3 EL15 , one in the D800 two in the grip. is a big plus that I cannot look away. :)

1. Factory release date for this grip is tomorrow 6th July, so nobody has this product at this moment.
2. Maybe you can find someone who has tested Meike model, I heard that they already shipped their version. If you look at the photos there are two different products : Meike version has different shape for the back rubber piece. And looks much "cheaper" in the photos. 
3. There is NO grip to run 3 EN-EL15 batteries. Pixel Vertax D12 run on one battery and the second one will be in the camera as all of the grips on the market.

Maria,   Thank you for the reply.
Bummer, NO two EL15 "in" the GRIP.
Guess now my questions to those that get it first are:
1)  The Build Quality  how tight to the D800 is the GRIP?
2)  Is the Pin Metal ,  basically the same as the D800 grip?
3)  Does it read the Nikon Battery levels well
4)  Can you configure to have it use the Grip EL15 first
5)  Does it do 6fps

As a side question.  Will 8 AAA at 2300mAh be equel to , How many EL15 ?  shot count
I was always bad at math. :)

You are welcome. Your questions will get answer soon as first grip will reach the destination, mine shipped yesterday so it will take about two weeks to arrive.
1. From what I know is plastic but high quality one. And it"s not weather sealed

Fresco Globe's picture

Here is a highly-detailed review of the Pixel Vertax D12 for the D800

http://www.frescoglobe.com/2012/07/17/pixel-vertax-d12-grip-for-nikon-d800/ 

Build quality seems good
The pin is metal
It reads Nikon battery levels the same as the camera
Yes you can set to use grip battery first
Yes it gets 6fps in DX mode with 8xAA batteries in the grip