Nikon MB-D100 Battery Grip
August 2003
Not So Snug | The Lookover | Using NiMH Batteries

Part 1: Not So Snug

The MB-D100 battery grip is one of those accessories where you soon discover it should have been purchased a long time ago. Enabling 10-pin accessories, a microphone for recording vocal notes and reminders, audio playback, and other features, the MB-D100 is definitely going to add more excitement for you and your D100. Some D100 owners find that the camera's own grip, is too small, and when taking photos, it just "feels" unsteady. The MB-D100 solves this issue by adding more "grip" to the camera, as well as a horizontal grip, providing an easier way to take portrait shots.

The D100 battery grip sells between $250-$290, depending on where you shop (on the internet or at your local camera dealer). The MB-D100 is not without its faults though. One of the major issues is how the grip fits to the camera, and how there is a small (but noticeable) gap when the two are joined, in the area where the dumby-battery fits into the grip of the camera. Some say the slightly-raised outer-ring around the Mounting Screw, are to blame for the problematic fit. However, I've finally had the the chance to use the MB-D100 myself, and I believe the fitting problem is due to another area of the grip.

Shown above is the area that is believed to prevent the D100 and MB-D100 from mounting properly

Currently, the solution is to sand the outer-ring down so they are flat and flush with the plate itself. Using a Dremel-type tool is probably the best option for doing this, or some kind of small sander. If you are not going to use a Dremel, (which is a very high RPM machine and can sand more than what you intended to in a short period of time), and instead choose a simple sand block, getting a very fine grade of sandpaper, is also recommended. Using a Silicon Carbide type of sandpaper, with a rating of no less than 80, and under 180, is probably the best choice.

At this point, I should mention that you may want to read the following, before you do any kind of modification to your MB-D100. There are other options and possibilities that exist.

Is there another potential problem? Well, I think there is. It wasn't that obvious to me at first. In fact, I was about to go ahead and sand down the ring because many others have. However, when I closely inspected where the grip was contacting the D100, it was apparent that the ring made little difference in the contact.

Shown above is the area that I believe is the problem for the improper fit

The front "lip" of the plate on the MB-D100 seems to be the problem. Notice how it is slightly raised above the rest of the grip (and is also significantly raised higher than the Mounting Screw ring). However, this is actually not the major problem either. What is? It's the fact that the lip is not formed to properly fit the D100's bottom molding. It's as simple as that. I'm surprised that a hard piece of plastic is used as a way to snuggly fit another plastic body. This just doesn't work. The lip should have been made of a hard-rubber substance. The D100 just does not fit the MB-D100 properly.


Well, I'm currently in the process of finding a piece of very thing rubber, to fit directly within in the grooved area of the MB-D100 where it mates with the camera. Another alternative, is to sand down the front lip a little lower than the rest of the grip's lip. However, I think a thin sheet of rubber will solve the problem, as their needs to be a resistance-grip, order for the two devices to fit snuggly. Rubber is the #1 choice for making things fit snuggly together, without scraping or rubbing against the surfaces, thereby reducing the effect of the attachment.

Overall, you can go ahead and sand down the outer Mounting Screw Ring, as there have been several D100 owners who reported a difference in the feel of the grip. I also think the front lip of the MB-D100 has something to do with the proper fitting as well.

UPDATE (August 2003)
Nikon Japan has admitted to the improper fitting of the MB-D100. However, Nikon USA is not officially acknowledging anything. I have emailed and informed them Nikon Japan is mailing out new replacement plates for its owners there, but Nikon USA says they have received no such information.

In addition, those who have purchased the MB-D100 as of July/August have reported no problems with their battery grip, and the conclusion by many is that the grip has indeed been modified by Nikon to fit better. It would be nice if acknowledgment in the US could be more prevalent.