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DSLR camera owners, get a Grip (for your consideration)


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#1 canon eos

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 01:52 PM

The talent, experience, interest and budget of the folks here at WhatBird varies greatly I know, but I would like to ‘offer-up’ something that works well for me when using an SLR camera, whether film or digital.

I have been using a grip/strap on my SLR cameras for about 20 years. It has worked well with all my lenses up to the Canon 400L I use now for birding. I like the freedom of hand-holding my camera if possible and I know I can get excellent results with my Canon T2i DSLR with the 400L. I’m not doing an advertisement for my setup as such, but/and I know some other lenses may be too large and/or heavy to hand-hold, so I am not addressing that.

The grip that I am talking about is not to be confused with a battery-pack attachment. Today’s DSLRs have excellent batteries and are able to work for many hours without a recharge. Of course it’s a factor of how much you shoot, and if you fire off endless frames you may feel the need* to have a battery pack. But, my battery weighs just 23g; I would much rather keep my camera/lens weight down and slip the spare battery in my pocket when I think I may be shooting like crazy! I shoot RAW, but do not shoot continuous. My keeper rate is likely higher than many who shoot away!
(*sometimes the ‘need’ for a battery pack is misunderstood. There are those who think it looks ‘cool’ to have a bulkier camera, plus there are those who get caught up in the online hype about gear. Again, for me weight is a major factor, and if you don’t need it don’t use or buy it!)

With my old Canon film cameras I used a Canon grip attachment costing about $75. My current one is made by Hakuba, sold at B&H and Amazon for about $14. and it fits most DSLRs. It’s as well made as my Canon one. It has a tripod socket if you need that, and easily slides aside for camera battery changes (on my T2i).

My shoulders have some arthritis but I find that having a strap like the Hakuba** really helps me carry and use my camera. The strap is always attached, and is also great for travel and my studio work.
**There are several other brands of straps as shown at Amazon.

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#2 LauraC

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 02:30 PM

I also handhold my camera because I cannot lug more weight. But I also tend to drop things lately so this grip sounds good. Will it work for me with a Nikon D7000?

#3 JimBob

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 02:31 PM

Thanks for all that info!

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#4 canon eos

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 02:52 PM

I also handhold my camera because I cannot lug more weight. But I also tend to drop things lately so this grip sounds good. Will it work for me with a Nikon D7000?


I'm not the go-to guy for info:)
But a search here suggests it should:

http://www.gearbuyer...hand_strap.html

#5 lonestranger

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 06:44 PM

I could see that grip being very useful for shorter lenses but I would question carrying any gear by the camera when a big lens is attached. I was always told that the weight of the longer lenses can actually damage the camera if the lens is not supported properly, that is why we mount our long lenses to the tripod and not the camera itself. Heavy lenses being carried by the camera while walking would put a lot of strain on the camera mount and could potentially twist or warp the camera. The longer and heavier the lens, the more leverage applied at the point of contact when the lens is dangling from the camera. The tripod ring on my Sigma 50-500 has a nice hand grip that makes carrying the lens quite comfortable, I always thought that most long lenses would have a similar grip for carrying the lens as well as for mounting it on the tripod.

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#6 canon eos

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 07:32 PM

I think I covered some of that by saying: "I know some other lenses may be too large and/or heavy to hand-hold, so I am not addressing that"............

Your Sigma is over 30% heavier (than my 400L) and with the tripod mount is even heavier. Of course my lens came with a tripod mount but I only use it for times when it is actually ON the tripod. Again, it's a weight issue.
Experiences may vary, but personally in over 30 years of wielding all sorts and lengths of lenses on many different bodies shooting auto-sports, portraits, landscapes and now birds I have never had an issue with that has caused any of my gear ever to go for repairs. (I'm just reflecting here on how many 1000's of miles I have traveled down pot-holed and 'corduroy' roads with my camera and lens attached as it bounced about on the floor of the car or in the trunk!)

#7 meghann

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Posted 08 May 2012 - 09:24 PM

Hmm, you mean I shouldn't be just taking my neck strap and wrapping it around my hand? LOL! (I rarely wear my camera around my neck, I'm very prone to migraines, and it seems the strain of carrying a camera on my neck is one of the triggers. Sigh.)

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#8 Wegs

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 01:35 AM

Hmm, you mean I shouldn't be just taking my neck strap and wrapping it around my hand? LOL! (I rarely wear my camera around my neck, I'm very prone to migraines, and it seems the strain of carrying a camera on my neck is one of the triggers. Sigh.)


I gave up on the neck strap and opted for a sling strap instead (I got Black Rapid, but there are several). BEST thing ever! When I am birding I can easily carry my camera with monster lens and monopod attached (to lens).
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#9 canon eos

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 03:17 AM

I gave up on the neck strap and opted for a sling strap instead (I got Black Rapid, but there are several). BEST thing ever! When I am birding I can easily carry my camera with monster lens and monopod attached (to lens).


Yes, some of the sling straps (like the Black Rapid) are very good. But you also need that when hefting a 'monster lens' and monopod!

#10 lonestranger

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 05:08 AM

I had no idea that the 400L was that light, canon eos. I had always figured it would have been one of the heavier lenses but I've never actually handled one. I was only reiterating what I had been told about big glass and never meant to question your years of experience.

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#11 canon eos

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Posted 09 May 2012 - 12:57 PM

"never meant to question your years of experience"..............
And it wasn't taken that way :)
With the 'years of experience' and just aging comes the rationalization and realization (for me at least) that to retain the joy of photography that I am not going to lug around what is really unnecessary gear. My first pro camera bag was a Lowe-Pro Magnum (which I still have some 30 years later after many drops, etc) which held my 35mm as well as 2 1/4 gear. It's now at home 90% of the time as a storage medium! Perhaps I'll share some on that a little later!

#12 Joejr14

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 01:22 AM

Gosh, I wish I could walk around with my setup and just use it hand held! Ahh, the tradeoffs for long glass. :)

#13 canon eos

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 01:55 AM

:)

#14 Joejr14

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 03:14 AM

Actually, I should clarify that my shoulder wishes those things. It's really amazing how heavy a 12lb setup becomes while hiking through the woods.

#15 cabirds

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Posted 10 May 2012 - 09:57 AM

You couldn't pry my battery grip from my cold dead hands.

Having the vertical controls and the vertical grip shape is so key for me, I wouldn't ever take it off the camera. I doubt I could even find my original battery door.

I frequently don't even have a second battery in it. But if I do - I just view it as a convenient way to carry the backup battery.
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#16 LauraC

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 05:13 PM

I'm not the go-to guy for info:)
But a search here suggests it should:

http://www.gearbuyer...hand_strap.html


Thanks for the link!




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