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12-17-2013, 11:34 AM   #1
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To Grip or Not to Grip?

Hey yall, I've had my K-5ii for a few weeks now (I'm in the Black Friday K-5ii Club and I am sitting on a $200 Adorama Gift card and have been contemplating pulling the trigger on the D-BG4 grip. I was just curious what you all think of grips and how many people use them, and if a grip is one of those things that once you have one, you never use your camera without it, or is it one of those things that you only use when it makes sense to use it or if you know you're going to be doing a lot of portrait shots?

$200 feels steep for a grip but I don't want to buy a knock off clone grip. If i'm going to do it, i'm going to do it right.

I am also a Lefty so sometimes turning the camera to do portrait feels weird to me, just because i'm primarily holding on with my right hand.

12-17-2013, 12:20 PM   #2
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I've had grips for my two most recent Pentax cameras; I haven't felt the need for one with my Canon 7D. One's need for a grip is highly subjective. For me it is a matter of balancing longer, heavier lenses and relieving the fatigue of using them for hours non-stop. I find the Pentax bodies on the small side for my fairly large hands, so the grip is good. The Canon 7D is large enough by itself.

12-17-2013, 12:26 PM   #3
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Hello shaX,
You'll probably get several different opinions on this gripping question, and here's mine;
Wouldn't leave home without it. Got grips (or motor winders) for the K10D, K-7, K-5, MX, ME Super, yep, every body has a 'handle' of some kind.
No, my hands aren't overly large and sometimes the extra weight is noticeable, especially on long treks. But TWO batteries available anytime? Sure, you could carry a spare battery in your pocket or pack, but why? Put it in the grip, where it belongs. Extra SD card, too, never lose it there!
I'm a lefty also, and can tell you without reservation that in portrait, the grip makes life easier. That awkward (right-hand) wrap-over may be OK for righties, maybe they have finer touch with the right forefinger or something. But, once you click the grip shutter button (in portrait mode) the first time, you'll thank whoever designed this, they must have been a southpaw! I'm serious.
Now, if I had very small hands, perhaps it would seem bulky, but let's face it. Pentax cameras have never been huge to begin with. The grip just makes them seem 'normal' sized, to me. And, yes, once you try it, it'll never come off, except to charge the batteries.
12-17-2013, 12:41 PM   #4
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If you shoot hand-held, you want a grip.

12-17-2013, 12:55 PM   #5
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Grips are nice for studio applications and DA* glass. I prefer not using the grip while sporting Limited glass, however.

Last edited by krebsy75; 12-17-2013 at 02:06 PM.
12-17-2013, 12:58 PM   #6
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Pentax grips rule. There is a reason they cost what they do (I wish it was less too but...). Just get it.
12-17-2013, 12:59 PM   #7
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Grip it,
You won't regret it

I have found the grips very useful... on the K-10D it had the extra battery, my remote control and an extra card. On the K-5 I missed the place for the remote control but still had the extra SD card storage space.
Plus, extra battery will let you enjoy the camera for more period of times before recharging.
Also, portrait mode will be much pleasant to use and easier to compose and keep it framed .

I paid around $300CAD / grip and they were totally worth the money - at $200 is a bargain!!

Last edited by mrNewt; 12-17-2013 at 01:26 PM.
12-17-2013, 01:20 PM   #8
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Well, there you go. Again, we have varied opinions. Like many photo-related questions, the answer is "it depends." I bought a grip with my K-7 and kept it for the K-5. I used it awhile but gradually, started leaving it off. I don't do studio work or a lot of portraits so it was just extra weight that I didn't need when traveling. I grew up in the old film era so my hand-holding technique is pretty well set in stone. I found myself turning the whole thing up on its side with trigger hand on top, just like always, even with the grip attached. It was pretty silly and I gradually stopped using the grip. Now, I haven't had it out of the gear closet in a year. Short version - figure out what you want it for and if it will help you with what you do. If you can't answer that, perhaps that $200 could be used for something you need more.

Another concern, is how the camera fits your hand. Folks with relatively small hands can handle the K5-sized bodies without much problem but those with larger hands find it more comfortable and natural with the added grip area of the add-on. Again, it depends.
12-17-2013, 02:05 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by abmj Quote
Another concern, is how the camera fits your hand. Folks with relatively small hands can handle the K5-sized bodies without much problem but those with larger hands find it more comfortable and natural with the added grip area of the add-on. Again, it depends.
Then there are some (like me) who have relatively small hands, but still find that a Pentax body just doesn't feel quite right without a grip. With the bigger Canikon bodies I may feel differently. It really is a personal decision, though.
12-17-2013, 02:15 PM   #10
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I like to get differing opinions and see both sides of the equation. That's the best way to learn and gain good perspective.

I've already read enough in this thread to go ahead and pull the trigger on the D-BG4 (it helps that I've been sitting on the gift card) and after applying the gift card and a Rewards code I just got, I paid a whopping $2.02

As a Lefty who does a lot of portrait shots, this seems like a no brainer.

But feel free to keep the Grip conversation going, I would love to hear more experiences
12-17-2013, 02:48 PM   #11
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Both my k5 and k-5ii s have dbg4 grips on them , they never come off unless I need to change the camera battery, the camera just balances so much nicer in my big hands and I get more shooting time out of them , if you work in LV a lot like I do you probably find the extra battery useful , I also carry a AA carrtidge with sanyo enelop battteries in my camera bag along with at least 1 x spare LI90.
12-17-2013, 03:15 PM   #12

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I don't personally get the balance argument for a grip. Every(*) lens I've tried feels balanced with easy adjustments of where I place my left hand beneath the lens. My largest handholdable lens, a Sigma 50-500, remains balanced when I slide my left hand forwards a little bit. The extra shutter button seems like a convincing argument for portraits but I don't shoot many portraits. The grip would mean extra carrying weight and extra bag space for all of my non-portraits.

(*) My 560mm focal length refractor telescope is an exception. I have to shift my hand too far forwards. Most refractors are nose heavy because all the glass is in front. A grip would help balance it but the scope is too heavy for practical handholding, anyway.
12-17-2013, 04:38 PM   #13
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Always grips on everything, all brands, all cameras, every time, cos I've got big hands and big glass.
12-17-2013, 05:00 PM   #14
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I was excited to be able to get a battery grip when I bought my K10 years ago. I liked the big professional look it gave to the body, and thought the vertical grip and shutter/controls would make portrait oriented shots easier. I tried using it all different types of shooting and decided that it just added bulk and weight, especially when shooting events with an external flash mounted on the camera.

I also don't get the balance aspect. I mainly shoot birds, so ultra to extreme telephoto where one would expect this to be an issue. I found the added weight more of a hindrance than an advantage, even when mounting on a gimbal where one needs to balance the camera/lens to take full advantage of the system. A longer lens plate accomplishes this with a lot less carrying weight and bulk. For shooting wide to normal, a grip strap does more to relieve stress on the right hand more than the extra acreage, even for large hands. It gives me security and lets the right hand relax, which, IMO, allows for better technique.

I also never found the extended battery power a significant advantage. I shoot a lot of exposures, but have never had a situation that required more than 400 shots with no 30 second break to change batteries once I noticed the battery indicator showing a drop in power reserve.

Vertical battery grips are totally a matter of personal preference. I have no use for one, but a lot of people like 'em.

12-17-2013, 05:53 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by shaX 07 Quote
I paid a whopping $2.02
Just in case you decide not to like the grip, I am willing to consider taking it off your hands for ten times what you paid for it and I will also cover the shipping "USPS ground"

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