Gear skills Get a grip on por­traits

Tom Welsh demon­strates how bat­tery grips can ex­tend your shoot­ing time, and even mak­ing shoot­ing more com­fort­able in por­trait ori­en­ta­tion

NPhoto - - Nikon Skills -

We’ve all seen over­sized cam­eras en­cum­bered with bat­tery grips. Given the weight they add, and how long your Nikon’s bat­tery can last, you may have won­dered why these grips are nec­es­sary, but as we’ll dis­cover over these two pages, they of­fer much more than just ex­tended bat­tery life.

Bat­tery grips are not like flash­guns or dif­fer­ent lenses, which al­low you to take a more cre­ative ap­proach to your pho­tog­ra­phy: they sim­ply en­able you to keep do­ing what you’re do­ing for longer, and – cru­cially – im­prove your Nikon’s han­dling. It might sound counter-in­tu­itive, but with a larger grip and heav­ier body, your Nikon will feel sig­nif­i­cantly more sta­ble in your hands, in par­tic­u­lar when shoot­ing in por­trait ori­en­ta­tion. This is es­pe­cially the case with smaller, en­try-level D-SLRs, which are of­ten de­signed for smaller hands, and as such are of­ten too small for larger hands to get an ef­fec­tive grip on.

Of course, a grip will add weight to your cam­era, and that’s some­thing you need to bear in mind if you use a tri­pod regularly. If your usual body/

With a bat­tery grip your Nikon will feel sig­nif­i­cantly more sta­ble, in par­tic­u­lar when shoot­ing in por­trait ori­en­ta­tion. This is es­pe­cially the case with smaller, en­try-level D-SLRs

lens com­bi­na­tion is close to your tri­pod’s weight tol­er­ance, with a grip added you might need stronger legs.

Un­like with other brands of cam­era, one of the big ad­van­tages of Nikons is that you don’t have to re­move the in-cam­era bat­tery and cham­ber cover in or­der to at­tach a bat­tery grip – the grip sim­ply plugs into a socket on the un­der­side of the cam­era body.

The Häh­nel HN-D600 grip that we’ve used here can be used with an EN-EL15 Nikon cam­era bat­tery, or with six stan­dard AA bat­ter­ies, though it doesn’t ac­tu­ally come with ei­ther type, so you may need to buy these sep­a­rately, depend­ing on the grip.

What­ever body and grip you use, here’s how to get the most out of a win­ning com­bi­na­tion...

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