Review: MB-D80 Battery Grip For Nikon D90/D80

If you’re shooting with Nikon’s new D90 or even the older D80, this post is for you. If you shoot a lot of images with your camera in portrait orientation, a battery grip can make your life a whole lot easier. A battery grip’s benefits are two-fold because you not only get added stability and comfort, you also can add an extra battery which will allow you to shoot for twice as long between recharging.

In fact, the MB-D80 gives you a couple of options for power. You can use one or two EN-EL3e batteries or you can use six AA alkaline or rechargeable batteries with the included AA battery holder. You can find AA batteries anywhere you go so it’s nice to know that you have an emergency option if you’re out in the field and don’t have a way of recharging your EN-EL3e batteries.

One of the things I really like about the MB-D80 is the fact that both batteries go into the grip. There is a probe on the grip that slides into the battery compartment in the camera body. What makes this feature great is that you can remove/insert both batteries with the grip still attached to the camera body. With the MB-D10 battery grip for the D300/D700 that is not so. The battery still goes into the battery compartment in the camera too. That means that you have to remove the grip to remove both batteries. Too clunky for me!

One thing I will caution you about is that the MB-D80 doesn’t like non-Nikon EN-EL3e batteries. Even if you put in an off-brand battery with a Nikon battery it will tell the camera that the batteries are too low to operate and you will get the flashing battery symbol in your LCD display.

As far as quality goes, the MB-D80 is made of the same high quality materials you would come to expect from Nikon products. I really like the way the D90 feels in my hands with the grip. It feels solid and sturdy. If not for the locking wheel that’s used to screw the grip into place, I would think the grip is a natural part of the camera body itself.

The MB-D80 features a vertical shutter release as well as primary and secondary scroll wheels. These wheels function the same as the do on the camera body. Also included is an AF-E lock button for locking in Auto Focus or Exposure while shooting in portrait orientation. The shutter release can be locked when not in use to avoid any negligent discharges of the shutter release, which is very nice. The only complaint I have about the shutter release on the grip is that it feels a little spongy compared to the shutter release on the camera. There isn’t as much distinction between the “halfway down for auto focus” and the actual shutter release. I had several misfires myself while adjusting to it’s feel, but now I have no problems with the shutter release at all.

Overall I’m very happy with the MB-D80. It gives my D90 the look, feel, and function of a D3-like camera body and the convenience, comfort, and stability are certainly worth more to me than it’s $130.00 price tag.


107 thoughts on “Review: MB-D80 Battery Grip For Nikon D90/D80

  1. Stephen,
    I ended up going with the Opteka model a year ago for my D80- the nikon didn’t feel that great to me so I went with an unknown brand who said they make it in the same factory with the same mold as the Nikon- I’d have to say it’s true.
    Both feel decent if not quite as firm and grippy as the D80/D90 body, the tactile feedback on the shutter is appalling and the command dial is a little clunky too. Overall I love it, the Opteka can take any brand battery with no hassles which has worked great for me- the grip and two batts for less than the Nikon grip alone.
    I’m adding a D90 to my lineup I think and am weighing up another Opteka or the Satechi…

  2. Stephen,

    Thanks for the post. I am looking forward to get a grip for my D90. I love shooting portrait. And I think vertical shooting options are pretty handy as well as the stability given by a grip is important.

    But i do have the fact that MB-D80 doesn’t like non-Nikon EN-EL3e batteries. Because i have got few of non-nikon batteries which are working just fine for me. So i guess ill need go get one more nikon battery. As i am experimenting videos .. D90 sucks up batteries pretty fast .. when using liveview and videos.

    Great post, very useful. To see my collection from D90. please do visit

  3. Pingback: Mi equipo fotográfico « Aprendiendo Fotografía Digital

  4. Stephen,

    I just bought the D90and the grip. How do I remove the battery door on the camera so I can slide in the grip?


  5. I’m glad I read your review because the store where I bought my Nikon D90 off the Internet included two EN batteries, one worked the other didn’t. The one that didn’t work was a non-Nikon type. They’re trying to tell me that I’m not charging it properly or inserting it properly. I’ve been inserting batteries in cameras for 47 years. I think I know how. The other problem I have with the grip is that I cannot get any type of AA batteries to work. I’ve tried all brands, Alkaline & NiMH rechargeable. None work. Any comments on that? Thank you very much.

  6. I’m glad I read your review because the store where I bought my Nikon D90 off the Internet included two EN batteries, one worked the other didn’t. The one that didn’t work was a non-Nikon type. They’re trying to tell me that I’m not charging it properly or inserting it properly. I’ve been inserting batteries in cameras for 47 years. I think I know how. The other problem I have with the grip is that I cannot get any type of AA batteries to work. I’ve tried all brands, Alkaline & NiMH rechargeable. None work. Any comments on that? Thank you very much.

  7. Stephen, have you, or anyone you have talked with, had problems using the AA batteries in the D80 battery grip? The owner of the store where I bought my Nikon D90 said that the AA batteries do not supply enough power for the D90 therefore will not work in the battery grip. He said the battery grip was not designed for the D90, but more for the D80 and lower model Nikon cameras. I’m not trusting this guy’s word because he has given me the runaround for three weeks before replacing other faulty items sent to me from his New York store operation on the Internet. Why sell a battery grip and offer the option of using AA batteries if they are not going to work in the grip? Please help! THank you. JGoff Louisville,KY

    • Hi Joe,

      Thanks for asking a great question. I have never had any problems (nor do I know any other photographers who have had problems) with using the MB-D80 Battery Grip with AA batteries. The six AA batteries provide more than enough power and if they didn’t work, Nikon would not provide the battery tray and make using AAs an option. The MB-D80 Battery Grip works ONLY with the D90 and D80 and no other cameras in Nikon’s lineup. The D90 and D80 have the same power requirements and they both use the same Nikon EN-EL3e battery. It sounds like the sales person you are dealing with has very little knowledge and based on the runaround that you mentioned he was giving you, I feel even more secure in expressing my thoughts about him.

      The D90 even will let you select what type of AA batteries you are using in the grip. You can get to this menu by going to the Custom Setting Menu > Shooting/display > MB-D80 battery type. You can select either Alkaline, Ni-MH, lithium, or Ni-Mn AA batteries. If AA batteries weren’t supported, Nikon wouldn’t include this in the menu or they wouldn’t mention it on the Tech Specs portion of the D90 page on Nikon’s website.

      I hope that helps to clear up that issue for you. If you have any other questions please feel free to ask.

      Have a great day!


    • So bummed out, opened brand new in box MB-D80. Charged the batteries both EN-EL3e by Nikon in which it worked fine in the camera since I purchased it in Oct 2012.

  8. Stephen, thank you for such a quick reply to my questions about the NikonD90 battery grip problem. I agree 100% with your thoughts. Why would Nikon offer the option if it doesn’t work? I asked a camera store owner here in my hometown of Louisville, KY whom I have had many dealings with the same question. I consider him very reputable, also. To my total surprise he told me the same thing the guy in New York said that NO battery grips work with AA batteries. I specifically asked him about the MB-D80 grip you suggested and he said that doesn’t work either. WOW! What is wrong with these people??? I believe you so I am going to investigate this very bothersome deal some more. I will let you know what/or if I find out anything different. Thank you once again.


    • Hi Joe,

      I’m glad that I could help out. I have no idea what is wrong with the two individuals that you spoke to, but I put 6 brand new AAs in my MB-D80 Battery Grip today that is on my D90 and they worked fine. I don’t normally use AAs, but I still hang on to the AA battery tray just in case I need it one day. I normally use 2 EN-EL3e batteries in my MB-D80 Battery Grip. Let me know what you find out as my interest is certainly peaked.



      • I worry about things that are third party coppies, they dont always work as we would like. I own a genuine Nikon MB-D80 that is permanently attached to my Nikon D90 and I absolutely love it. I have never used the AA battery tray in the past so I have just loaded 6 AA 2450mAh batteries into the tray (MS D200). I did this to try out my AA battery tray and it all works just fine with the AA batteries. My MB-D80 also works fine with non Nikon Li0n batteries too.

  9. by the way,im very interested in buying the mb-d80 for my D90,however,ive read about that over sensitive shutter-release button problem. anybody has a work-around for this? maybe open that thing up and stiffen the springs by pulling it,etc?

    • The so-called “oversensitive shutter release” isn’t really all that oversensitive. It’s actually very similar in feel to the shutter release on the D300, D700, D3, and D3X. But to those who are used to shooting on the D90 or D80, it will seem somewhat “oversensitive”.

  10. i got myself a pre-loved unit just now. the shutter isnt as sensitive as what the other reviewers say. but it does feel a little bit more sensitive then the one on the body.but its ok…

    i also felt that the dials and the button itself felt a little bit on the cheap side. but nevermind,so long as it works and serves its purpose.

  11. I just received the MB-D80 from B&H last week. I used it over the weekend and it was great.

    However, it is what it did to me.

    1) Tried the grip with the original battery from D90 and it worked great. I had to try few times in order to get user the shutter release from the grip.
    2) I used the grip with D90 over the weekend. For the first few shoots, it worked nicely. I turned off the camera and when I tried to use again, the camera showed the battery was low and could not really power up the camera.
    3) I tried to switch the battery to a different slot; it did not work. I also tried to use the AA battery (cheap brand from Costco) and they did not work neither.
    4) I removed the grip and inserted the battery back to the D90; it worked fine.
    5) I put back the grip and inserted the battery, it worked again.
    6) few days later (yesterday), i tried the AA batteries and they worked too.

    I searched on the web saying if the dial (lock) is too tight between D90 and the grip, it would effect the contact of the battery.

    I am not sure if it is true or not. However, so far I LOVE this grip. I had been searching it on the web and almost most of the online stores were sold out.

    Lucky to get it from B&H (got the notification email re: they had it in stock and I pull the trigger right the way).

  12. Hey thanks for the review i just got one for myself and i love it its funny cause i got a d90 to play with i have a d3x and i wanted a smaller cheaper camera to play with but i ended up getting this and now they are almost the same size 😛

    • Glad I could help out Isaac! The battery grip sure doesn’t do much
      for keeping the D90 small. I like the fact that it gives me the
      “bigger camera” feel without the “bigger camera” price!

      How’s that D3X?

  13. Hi Stephen. Thanks for such a good review. Currently my wife & I visited the distributor here in Dubai. She bought me an extra batt and the MD80 grip as a gift for our Nikon D90(recently bought, April). I’m a rookie to this new found hobby. Since I have used my cam yesterday til we visited the store today, battery that came with the cam went down to 56%. I initially charged the New batt we bought in the store. My question is do I need to recharge the other one (56%) before I use the grip? So that both batts will have same charge?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Not at all. With the Battery Grip on the D90 (or D80), it will use one battery completely and then it will switch to the second battery. You don’t need both batteries to be fully charged to start using your grip.



  14. Hi Stephen,

    Nice review, thank you for sharing. (And great blog!)

    I’m looking into battery grips for my D90 and trying to decide which to purchase, so this is very helpful.

    Are there any photo enthusiast groups you’d recommend here in San Diego? I’d like to attend if so.

    Best Regards,

    Dave Cynkin
    Co-founder, CMO, Sleep Deprivationist & Thrill Seeker
    BlogWorld & New Media Expo

    • Hi Dave,

      If you’re into off-camera flash, the San Diego Strobist group meets up once a month somewhere in town. They just had their meetup for May, and June’s will be announced soon I’m sure.

      Here’s the link to their Flickr page.



      • Thanks Stephen, I’ll check out that group. I’m not very experienced w/off-cam flash, just directed studio shoots, but with my own photography I’ve concentrated on available light.


  15. MB-D10 has a few advantages that MB-D80 doesn’t have. I agree MB-D10 would be troublesome to remove the grip in order to access to the primary battery. However:

    MB-D80 only can take one extra battery, but MB-D10 can take 8pcs of EXTRA AA batteries. The total power is unbeatable, I don’t even have to remove the primary battery (Well… almost don’t have to, just to take out for a refresh charge once a while), I just get two sets of AA Battery tray and 16pcs of AA battery, while I just keep one EN-EL3 inside D300 for good. When the AA Batteries in the grip gone flat, I just switch to another set of AA Batteries. Which is unlikely, 8pcs of AA 2000mAh NiMH can deliver over 2000 shoots before fallback to the primary battery as reported by some users. 2000 shoots is more than enough to cover a whole day of event shooting.

    If I go travel, I carry only the AA battery charger, which can be shared with the Speedlight too and the Nikon Charger can leave at home without problem.

    MB-D10 also can boost the Continous Shoots from 6fps to 8fps (with AA Battery or D3/D2x Battery).

  16. How about the other battery grips such as ones from third parties (digital concept), is their quality as good as the nikon MBD80?

    • The quality and features are definitely not the same with the third party grips as they are with the MB-D80. The ones that I have seen with a vertical shutter release use infrared (just like the Nikon ML- L3 wireless remote) to trigger the camera instead of going through the camera’s electronics like the MB-D80 does. My personal preference is the MB-D80 because of the quality and reliability.

  17. Excellent review. Wish I saw this before I bought everything. I bought a D90 with MD-D80 battery grip, new, as with two EN-EL3 batteries. However, the grip does NOT work at all with the EN-EL3 batteries. I have tried replacing the two batteries, received new ones, and still same problem. When I use the tray and 6 AA batteries, the grip works just fine. The problem with EN-EL3 is that once in the grip, it gives me a message the batteries are empty – although fully charged.
    So, do I buy other third party batteries (replacements for EN-EL3) for the MD-D80 battery grip, or just give up and use 6 AA batteries? Is there a solution to this problem?
    Thank you


    • Vlado,

      Sorry to hear about your troubles with your MB-D80 grip. I would ONLY use Nikon-brand EN-EL3e batteries in your MB-D80 grip. I haven’t been able to get any third party batteries to work at all. The AAs are always a good standby option, but are a little bit of a pain in the neck. If you are using Nikon-brand batteries, then I would contact Nikon’s Support Department and see if they will either service or exchange your MB-D80 grip for you. I have never had a problem using my Nikon EN-EL3e batteries in my grip.

      I hope that helps. Let me know how it turns out.


      • Thank you Stephen.

        I made a typo, I do use only Nikon batteries, En-EL3e batteries for my D90 and grip. But as I mentioned above, problems.
        However, after a little surfing, I came accross and found out it was a contact plate in the battery holder of the D90.
        In the batter holder of the D90, there are 3 contact plates, and when the grip would slip into the battery holder, the middle contact plate was not getting the contact. So after a little bending of the middle contact plate (which hurt me since it was a new D90), it now works just fine. For now.
        According to the above mentioned web page, it is obviously a common problem – the contact plates in the battery holder of the D90 since other people had the same problem.
        However, thank you for your time, quick response, and help. Still love the D90, and after having it just over a week, will stay a Nikon fan for sure.
        Best regards


  18. hey .
    so i just read your review
    you said that the md -80 doesnt like the nikon battery(EN-EL3e)
    so its better just to use the AA batterys>?
    whats the life on the AA batterys with the grip?
    . and when you insert the MD-80
    do you have to change the setting to shoot with the grrp
    or you can just plug it in and it works?

    email me back,

    • Hi Tony,

      The MB-D80 doesn’t like third party batteries for Nikon cameras. It only likes the Nikon brand EN-EL3e batteries or AA batteries using the battery tray. I use two Nikon brand batteries and they work great. Battery life with six AAs is comparable to using two EN-EL3e batteries in the grip, they will last you quite a long time.

      You don’t have to change any settings in the camera to shoot with the grip. All you have to do is slide it into the camera, secure it, and it works.

      Hope that helps answer your questions.



  19. Just wondering if anyone has had a problem with a D80, with the battery power waning with repeated shooting (with external flash usage in this case)? The battery in such a situation has plenty of capacity in reserve but falters temporarily, refusing to shoot any further and showing a low battery indicator until given a rest or turned off momentarily. Was thinking of buying a battery pack grip to solve the issue…? I don’t have a VR lens…


    • Hi Marish,

      I haven’t had any problems like you’ve described. How old is the battery in question? It could simply be a bad battery. It is a Nikon-brand battery or a third party battery? If you can provide me that information I may be able to help you make a better determination as to what the problem is.



  20. Hi Stephen

    Thanks for your comments. The battery is a Nikon, about two years old. Was functioning ok until recently, but then I never subjected it to any great loads either…? Was hoping the aux. battery pack would prevent such problems.


  21. BTW:

    Just wondering if there is an easy way (ANY way?) to remotely trigger an SB-600 speedlite using the built-in camera flash on the Nikon D80. I heard it can be done, but so far it seems a university degree in the field is required, ’cause I haven’t been able to manage it!


    • There is an easy way to trigger the SB-600 with your D80 (once you learn the method). Nikon has historically made this a little tough on users until the introduction of the SB-900.

      In the D80, go to Menu > Custom Settings Menu > Bracketing/Flash. Next, select Flash control for built-in flash. The default is TTL so use your multi-selector switch to toggle it to “C” for Commander mode. You need to make sure that your group and channel are the same on your flash and your D80. I suggest starting with Group A, Channel 1.

      On your SB-600, hold down the ZOOM and “-” buttons at the same time. You use the “+” and “-” buttons to select your choice in the menus and the MODE and ZOOM buttons select on or off. To go wireless: Wireless mode (icon: Z-shaped arrow): Default is OFF. Turn this ON to use as a slave. If you do, you have a different set of custom functions to set which I cover in a paragraph below. When set to ON the flash cannot be used normally until you set this to OFF. When ON you’ll see the Z- shaped arrow on the Flash’s LCD.

      1) To set the group and channel, press the Zoom and “-” buttons simultaneously for approx. 2 seconds. 2) Press the Mode button to display the blinking channel number. Press the + or – button to set the channel number, then press the Mode button to lock the selection and move to the Group display. 3) The blinking group now displays. Press the + or – button to set the group, then press the Mode button to lock the selection. 4) To turn off wireless sync, press the Zoom and “-” buttons simultaneously for approx. 2 seconds. The screen will display ON. Press the Mode button and the screen will display OFF.

      I hope that helps answer your question. If you have any other questions, please let me know.



  22. Hi Stephen

    Thank you very much for your help a while ago-I was going to try your suggestion first about triggering the SB-600 before replying-difficult with a busy schedule, two kids, including a baby!

    Anyway, I got the flash letting off pulsating twin red LEDs, as if set up for remote triggering but the D-80 camera has no ‘Bracketing/flash’ option in the Custom settings menu. I can’t find any other way to activate remote triggering on the camera. I don’t know if I have an older model or one made for a region that doesn’t include this facility. Any suggestions much appreciated!



  23. Hi Stephen

    Profuse apologies! Finally got the thing to work. Found that there is a facility to expand the custom settings menu in the setup menu! Followed your instructions from then on.

    Anyway, thanks very much for your help again.


  24. Stephen,

    Thank you for this informative site. I purchased a Zeikos ZE-NBG90, a third party knock-off of the MB-80, for my D90. I use 2 EN-EL3e Nikon brand batteries. I couldn’t figure why the left battery was being consumed and the right battery was still fully charged. I was wondering if it was defective. Then I read your note to RJ saying that one battery gets fully discharged before the other begins. Made me feel better.

    For the record, I am finding the Zeikos unit to be very satisfactory. It feels good and solid and at less than half the price it was worth trying.

    Again thanks for the help and advice.

    • Hi David,

      I’m glad that I was able to help answer your question. Thank you for taking the time to say “Thanks”, it’s very much appreciated.

      I haven’t looked at the Zeikos unit, but given your experience with it I might just have to!

      All the best,


  25. Hello Stephen,

    I have been using the MB-80 on my D90 for the past 3 months and i have noticed that sometimes even though the batteries are fully charged but the camera stops operating and shows the batter low icon on the top display. I switch the camera off and turn it back on, and it starts working fine again.

    I read up somewhere that the battery may be not be inserted all the way and by adding a piece of cardboard or other type of paper behind the hatch would help but i still have the problem.

    It usually happend when i attach it to a tripod. Any suggestion would help.


  26. Just received my mb-d80 grip for a late christmas gift. Probably the best upgrade I have had for my D90. Not only does it feel the same to the D90 body it adds serious stability. This is an upgrade that I highly recommend. I’m an avid photographer who cant seem to put camera down now that I have the grip.

  27. Got the mb-d80 two weeks ago… agree totally with your comments. Although I have not tried any of the other brands of grips, considering the price there is no question. Just came back from shooting portrait pictures to some buildings and the added stabiliby is remarkable. It is really a very good addition to my d90.

  28. I have recently bought the MD-80 battery grip for my D90 and (after tweaking the contacts!!!) it works great and I love it. BUT, if I go into battery info in the camera menu it only shows a battery in the right slot. Data for the left slot is blank. If I put only 1 battery in the grip, I get the battery info only if the battery is in the right slot. Will this give me a problem? Any ideas anybody?

    • Hi John,

      Are you using Nikon-brand batteries in both battery slots? The MB-D80 will only use one battery at a time but if you press the ‘Info’ button on the back of the D90 you should be able to see the battery meters for both batteries.

      Let me know what you see and we’ll go from there.



      • Hi Stephen,

        thanks for the quick reply, yes, both are new Nikon EN-EL3e. I’ve tried swopping them round, in case it is a problem with the battery, but get the same result.


      • Hi again Stephen

        After a bit of experiemntation I found that info for both batteries appears if I ease the battery grip away from the camera body. So I guess there is a loose contact somewhere in the chain. Quite what to do about it is another matter!

  29. Hi John,

    Try removing the grip and then taping a small strip of thin cardboard (i.e. from a cereal box or something similar) to the part of your grip that meets the bottom of the camera and then reattach it to your D90 and see if that doesn’t correct the problem. I think it will and if you’re up for it you could use something a little more permanent, like super glue, to attach the cardboard strip.

    Placing that piece of cardboard on the top of the grip should give you the required space and also help seat the grip more securely.

    Please let me know how it goes.


    • Hi Stephen
      I fixed a bit of card between the battery and the grip. It took a little experimentation with just where to place the card, but it seems to have done the trick. Since I don’t intend to remove the battery grip I haven’t glued it. So many, many thanks for your help.
      I have long wanted to own a Nikon, and now that I have one I never expected to have to modify it with a cracker packet!! But it’s great to be able to get this kind of tip,
      cheers!!!, John

      • Hi John,

        Glad that I could help out! I think that Nikon didn’t take the manufacturing of the MB-D80 grip as seriously as it should have, although I have not personally experienced any of the problems that many others have had.

        Happy shooting!


  30. i got product yesterday in good shape thanks for
    this, i read all information in manual and connect
    to my D90 but same time its show on top display
    low battery icon blink some time low battery icon
    still not able to turn cam on as mention in manual
    its because your battery is not full charge but
    its full charge i chk that
    please help

  31. i got that MB-D90 today. The problem is, why i cannot use the existing battery EN-EL3e Li-ion 7.4V 1500mAh. when i put that battery, the indicator show symbol battery blingking at my D90 nikon camera. i saw at the bottem of MB-D90 battery pack show 9V 2.5A. is it wrong battery i used? please help. TQ

    • Usually this is the result of the contacts on the battery and the contacts inside the grip not making a good connection. It could also be the result of the grip not making good contact with the camera inside the battery chamber on the camera body. Have you tried wiggling the grip any to see if it will make a good connection?

      Also, are you using a genuine Nikon battery? The grip tends not to like off-brand batteries.

      Please let me know the answers to the questions above and I will do my best to help out in any way I can.

      All the best,


  32. Saiful :mr stephen,
    I had tried so many time to making good connection for grip and the D90 body. unfortunately the result is also same (low battery icon blinking).When i try to use 6no AA battery with that battery pack, the result is good. So is it somehing wrong witch D90 or MB-D90.i,m very confiuse about that.

  33. Aloha Stephen,

    You’re my hero. I’ve been trying to figure out how to get the battery cover off, evening attempting to use a screwdriver or even a HAMMER!!! Why are such little things so easy. Thank you for posting this as this drove me crazy until I found your site. A very big ALOHA & MAHALO to you.

  34. Hi,

    After seeing all the review. i am going to get myself a MB-D80 Battery Grip for my D90. After a Marathon shoot in Singapore. i am sure the Grip will be a great help to my shooting…


  35. Hi Stephen,

    I’m very new to photograhpy and have been looking at the nikon d90 with twin lense kit( 18-55, 55- 200. I’ll be using it to take photo’s of my twin daughters and twin boys, as well as some drag racing action shots. Is this the camera for me and what type of memory card would you suggest. i’ve been told different options from sales people and i don’t want to waste money on a class 10 card if it doesn’t work in this camera. What is the biggest and fastest card for this camera that will work and also what is the best value for money. Also can i use overseas products like battery grips with batterys as well as san disk extreme 3 memory cards? There seems to be heaps of them on ebay for quite reasonable money.
    thanks for any help you can provide
    cheers Matt

    • Hi Matt,

      Personally, I think that you’ll love the D90. It’s a great camera that easy to use, small enough to be portable, yet still has features that appeal to advanced amateurs and pros alike. Those two lenses will give you all the flexibility that you will want for shooting everything from your kids, to sports, to wildlife and landscapes. The memory cards that I use personally are the Delkin eFilm Pro 8GB cards, which are Class 6. They work very well and can be bought for around $25.00 USD each. You can use overseas battery grips, but I don’t recommend them over the Nikon MB-D80 battery grip. Batteries will be fine too, but I have found that 3rd party batteries don’t work well with the battery grip.

      I hope that helps answer some of your questions. Let me know what you decide on and if you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

      All the best,


  36. Hi Stephen,
    thanks for your quick response. I’m in Australia and was wondering about the price of the Nikon battery grip for the d90. I picked it up the other day and got a great deal on the twin lense kit. I was wondering what the US$ price for the battery grip including battery’s was? Its Quite high here and i was wondering if anyone had experience with any import grips and also does anyone know if the 16Gb class 6 card works in this camera? I have a contact that can get them for less than the 4gig cards.
    thanks again Matt

    • Hi Matt,

      The Nikon battery grip can be picked up in the U.S. for $145.00 US and an additional battery is $40.00 USD. I haven’t used cards bigger than 8GB in my D90, but I’m sure a 16GB card would work just fine. As long as the card is SDHC compliant, you shouldn’t have any problems.

      Hope that helps!


  37. Hi Stephen,
    i bought the battery grip the other day and got a great deal the nikon grip and battery’s for $150 aust dollars, it was on sale and as soon as i saw it i knew that it was great value. I can’t wait to try it out this week end at the winternationals at willowbank raceway this week end.

    Funny but on the first page of the manual for the mb-d90 it tells you exactly how to remove the cover and where to store it so you don’t lose it. makes me wonder how many people actually read the manual.
    cheers and thanks again Matt

    • Hey Matt,

      You are absolutely correct – most people throw the manual away for one reason or another. I’m glad that you were able to get a great deal on your grip and I know that you will enjoy using it!

      All the best,


  38. Hi Stephen,
    I’ve just bought the battery grip and to my surprise, it works well with a third party non nikon En-El3e battery. And as u said, the battery grip really improves my D90 look…

    Looks expensive!!!!

  39. Hello Stephen,
    I finally bought the MB-D80 for my D90 and loaded it up with two fully charged batteries. As expected one battery was used up while the other remained fully charged. However when the used battery was completely used up the camera would not operate and would not switch to the full baterry. I finally had to remove the exhausted battery to get the camera to use the other. What am I missing? I read both the camera manual and the D80 manual and neither tells how to force a switch. Nor do I see a way in the battery info menu to make the switch. I can’t believe this is working as desgined so I must be having a stupid attack. Thanks for any help.

    • Hi David,

      Sorry to hear about your troubles with the MB-D80. You aren’t crazy – it’s not functioning as advertised and it could possibly be due to the fact that all the pins on the piece that goes into the battery compartment on the camera may not be making solid contact with the contacts inside of the battery compartment. It could also be an internal defect with the grip itself.

      I would exchange the grip for a new one and see if you have the same issue. Depending on how adventurous you feel, I would first remove and reinstall the grip and ensure that it’s very tight. If you would like to make sure that the grip pins are making solid contact with the contacts in the compartment, you can put small dab of dark grease on each of the pins and install the grip. Remove it and see if the grease transferred to each of the contacts in the battery compartment. Just be sure to clean the contacts well with a cotton swab and some isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol by dipping the swabs in the alcohol and then cleaning the contacts.

      If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask and be sure to let us know what you find.

      All the best,


  40. As I have just purchased the Nikon D-90 and I wanted to say “thanks” for reviewing their MB-D80 … I am also looking to buy this grip now.

    I’m looking to take advantage of the AA (rechargeable) option as I’m not a big fan of “proprietary” batteries. I’m not really a fan of anything propriety but somethings we must accept and others … well not so much! Besides a {LOL} greater portion of my life runs off AA’s anyway and proprietary batteries would be just one more cost I really don’t have to bear. Certainly this would be the best option for myself thus making those who commented on the worth of the AA option the most appreciated, it was indeed good news.

    And I also have to express a good portion of my appreciation to ALL who commented as this gave me a good feel for what the consensus generally thought about the MB-D80 … Yup thanks ALL around – w00d

    • Hi Pete,

      I’m glad that you found the review helpful! This page is probably my most popular post on my blog – by quite a margin. Even with as long ago as I posted it, there are still plenty of people reading it and finding the information here helpful. I’m glad that I was able to help some of my fellow photographers out.

      All the best,


  41. Does the mb-d80 grip feed off of both batteries at once or does it use one power source at a time. i could not find anywhere on my d-90 or the grip a way to switch the power?

  42. hi Stephen…
    i want to buy new zoom lens for my nikon d90…
    which one should i buy?
    is it Nikon 18-200mm or Tamron 18-270mm?
    is Tamron lens is good as Nikon lens?
    thank you… regards to you..

    • Hi Wan,

      You can never go wrong with Nikon glass these days, so the 18-200mm VR is a great option. However, if your budget has a hard time parting with the money for the Nikon, Tamron and Sigma have great alternatives like the Tamron 18-270mm lens that you mentioned. Personally, I own and use two of Sigma’s EX lenses and I love them!

      I hope that helps!

      All the best,


  43. Hi Stephen. Would you know if the addition of a MB-D80 battery pack should affect the functioning of the internal flash of a D80? Having put it on, the flash button now only access the flash exposure compensation setting instead of first popping the flash, then access the compensation. Is this normal behaviour for the D80 with a battery pack attached or is something going a bit screwy. I had read elsewhere that Nikon do disable internal flashes to stop them overheating when the camera is set up to take some seriously large quantities of photos, such as would be expected when an external battery pack is connected. I haven’t got a compatible speedlight so I can’t test whether it works with an external flash.

    • Ha! So somebody else has a problem too! Only twice has the addition of the battery pack allowed the use of the built in flash. There seems to be no logical reason for it disabling it either, and the fact it has worked a few times makes the issue all the more confusing! I was wondering if I had picked up a faulty one.

  44. I have started using a ANKER MB-D80 grip on my D-80. For no logical reason it seems to disable the use of the flash. ie cannot make the in built flash pop up when the flash button on right hand side of camera is pressed. On one occasion it would allow it, but more often than not it won’t. There is no logic to it at all. Another problem I came across was that it sort of scrambled the shutter and f stop settings (I did check that I hadn’t inadvertantly knocked the dial to M). Wouldn’t let me go above 1/200s shutter or below f8 even though I had an 85mm f1.8 on at the time. Has anyone else had problems like these using this brand of battery grip?

  45. Could you please tell how to releace the battery cover on the Nikon D90 so that I can insert the multi power battery pack? I cannot see any release clip.Thank you.

  46. Just bought a second hand MB-D80 for my D90 and the shutter button doesn’t work. The half press iauto focus works but then the full press fails to do anything. I loan it to a friend who also has a D90 and it works perfectly.. I’m stumped as to where the problem is… Has anyone else experienced similar?

  47. Hi David,

    It is likely due to the fact that not all of the pins on the grip are making contact with the plates inside your battery compartment on your D90. To correct this, you can use a small flat head screwdriver and gently bend the contacts inside the battery compartment downward so that they will make a solid connection with the pins on your grip.

    I hope that helps!

    All the best,


  48. Hi Stephen,

    how does the MB-D80 use the batteries. The battery info menu shows two batteries and one of them has a yellow frame around the info. Is this the active battery? The battery indicator on the info screen shows two batteries L and R and one is dim and one is highlighted. (The same that had a yellow frame)

    Best regards
    Anders Rinvoll

  49. I have a problem with the battery grip from Meike for my D90. Inserted four new AA batteries and the indicator shows 1 bar and can’t even on my D90. Then I took out, placed one lithium battery into the left slot same thing indicator shows 1 bar, insert in the right slot it’s fine.

  50. Thanks for the blog and all to the helpful people here…My problem is solved. My new D90 and Nikon MB-D80 combo was not working. I was searching the net and stumbled onto the advice here and gently used my finger nail to fix the cameras prong connection of the battery pack. I think it’s a bit crazy you’d pay for quality and then have to rig it in order to use it..come on Nikon…..not what I’d call quality control if we have to stick our finger down into our new camera and fiddle with the camera prongs in order to use a REAL name brand Nikon battery pack. What a joke! But loving the new blog I found. Thanks Steve! MyOhioGirls

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  52. So…I bought an AgfaPhoto APBGN90 battery grip for my D90. It’s made for the D80/90. The AA tray APPEARS to be identical to the ones I see in the Nikon MBD-80 versions. Does anyone know if they are, indeed, interchangeable? I’d like a spare AA tray or two, but no one sells them specifically marketed to fit the APBGN90…. I just want to make sure there aren’t any little subtle differences that would make them not compatible…

    …and thanks everyone for all the great info.

  53. Hi Jim,
    I want to buy a new battery grip on my nikon d90 camera. what do you think about phottix brand for battery grip and phottix EN-EL3e battery..can i use both phottix EN-EL3e and my original nikon EN-EL3e at the same time



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