Purchased the Opteka Battery Grip after a fair bit of research. The grip seemed to get great reviews and the claim that they are born from the same factory and mold as the originals, filled my heart with joy.
Purchased the grip over Amazon.co.uk (47th Street Photo) and it came with 2 extra batteries.
On arrival I was impressed with the look, feel and initial build quality of the grip. Felt sturdy and the rubber was a good match to my Canon 60D body.
It had a fairly good fit onto the camera, although a small amount of movement detected from the battery grip unless the "lock wheel" was really tightened with excessive force.
The plan was to leave the grip on the camera so I was not too concerned about removal and refitting. Although I would be worried that the "lock wheel" could break off and then the grip could not be removed.(This thought only came to me the first time I had the joy of removing the grip.)
Initial usage was great, the grip operated as expected, the feel on the buttons were oversensitive but something that I could get use to. Was happy with the grip
One thing I noticed was that the shutter sound on the camera changed when the grip was attached. This was even noticed by my wife who uses the camera occasionally, upon inspection my conclusion was that the clip that locked in the battery compartment of the grip, vibrates and makes an added plastic sound as the shutter closes on the camera. Some electrical tape solved the extra noise. The lock is another weak point on the grip and I would have liked to seen it made of better plastic and a bit stronger. Same problem to remove the batteries, with a badly designed locking mechanism, if it breaks. Mentioning all this I could still live with the grip at the price as it got the job done.
My problems started after about a month of light usage. Taking pictures at one of the 2012 London Olympic events the camera suddenly stopped working and flashing Err 80 on the LCD screen. Everything on the camera was dead and not even the On /Off switch worked. Only option to get the camera working again was to dismantle the grip and turn on the camera with a battery in the body. Nothing else would bring it to life. Tried the grip again the next day and it was working fine for a few shots and the same error came up again.(About 20 shots.) Looked up the error online and found out it is : Err80 "Malfunctions related to the electric control or images have been detected".
Same error was replicated a few times and I tried various diagnostics. Conclusion was a faulty grip.
Contacted 47th Street Photo via amazon to send the grip back and was directed to return it directly to Opteka in New York, USA as it was outside the returns date. The grip was purchased in the UK. Received a RMA number from Opteka with instruction to send it back to the US and to include a cheque or money order made out to Optek for $8.95 to cover re-shipment of the product once it is repaired/replaced. What to do but to obey and pay. Paid for the shipment and included a cheque. Paid for the grip to be delivered within 4 days with tracking details. The waiting game then began. A few days later I received an email stating that my initial shipping quote was incorrect and that I had to pay $18.95 via Paypal. Send the payment through Paypal and confirmed that it was received. More than a month gone by since this payment was made and no communication was received back after various inquiries about what is happening with my RMA.
Needless to say after all of this I can't recommend anyone purchasing this Opteka grip. Burned my fingers and I will purchase a new grip from a reputable company.
Disadvantages and advantages
- When it goes wrong, It goes wrong.
- Improvement needed on the locking wheel.
- Improvement needed on the battery compartment lock.
- Great aftermarket grip when it works.
- Good quality and feel.