Review of the Zeikos ZE-NBG300 Professional Multi-Power Pack for Nikon
A mixed bag addition to my camera bag
Grip does what it's supposed to, but apparently at the expense of ruggedness and longevity.
A bit over 3 years ago, I had a moment of sticker shock when considering the Nikon brand battery grip for the D300s. If I had it to do over again, I would probably bite my wallet until it bled but I would go with the Nikon brand. I chose the Zeikos ZE-NBG300 chiefly because of the price point. This has resulted in a mixed blessing.
On one hand, I'm pleased with the Zeikos ZE-NBG300 because unlike some after market accessories, it started off working exactly as I would have expected it to. The Zeikos ZE-NBG300 mated up perfectly to the D300s and provided the functionality that was expected. This included the multi-function button in the back, the AF-on button, the all important 2nd shutter release and the associated power switch.
When I first put the Zeikos onto my camera, it was recognized immediately. It provided the extra frames per second that an additional battery is supposed to and in short, it just worked. I've never had any problems with any of the buttons or with the multi-position selector switch. I would, however, note that the multi-position switch has something of a chintzy feel to it which doesn't leave me with a great deal of confidence, despite having used it heavily for 3 years.
Another positive aspect of this unit is that it has never presented me with any problems when I've mounted it on a tripod. The threading on the bottom seems to be solid and can be torqued down solidly enough that the D300 can hang vertically from a tripod, even with a heavy Nikon 70-200 2.8 lens on it.
Despite the good points that this unit has to offer, and the much appreciated price point, I do note that there are a couple of problems with this unit that would make me shy away from it next time. First, the wheel that attaches the Zeikos ZE-NBG300 to the D300s likes to back off and loosen the unit from the camera. This has, on more than one occasion, resulted in sporadic electrical connection to the camera body. In fact, I have developed a habit of unconsciously tightening this wheel when I'm in the middle of using this camera.
For me, however, the most critical failure I've experienced with this unit is that approximately a year and a half ago, it failed to recognize the EN-EL3E batteries when they were placed inside it. I decided to take the Zeikos ZE-NBG300 apart to try to trace what was wrong since it had basically turned into little more than a glorified paperweight. What I found was that the 3 finger-like electrical connectors that extend from the right hand side of the battery housing insert had broken off apparently due to what seems like their lightweight plastic connections. I was able to repair this myself by re-positioning the connectors to their original orientation and basically filling that area with epoxy (doing this silly little experiment was certainly a great way to void my warranty for the Zeikos and maybe even for the D300s - Do not try this at home!). After reassembling the unit, it worked fine. I was pretty disappointed that these connectors had failed so early on.
My opinion of this unit is mixed but leans toward the negative. The Zeikos ZE-NBG300 does what it's supposed to do...until it doesn't. The somewhat disappointing multi-selector switch combined with the less than perfect securing wheel along with the nearly fatal flaw of the battery connectors pushes my opinion of this product down to 2 stars.
Click to view the Zeikos ZE-NBG300 Professional Multi-Power Pack for Nikon D300/300S & D700 on Amazon.com.