Friday, August 10, 2007

Aftermarket Grips for the K100D

The Makeall prototype grip on a K100D.

The K100D, and by extension the K110D and the K100D Super, were never designed by Pentax to have an accessory grip. There are options out there, though, so if you've got a fever for aftermarket grips, read on.

Why do people love grips so much when in contrast camera companies are trying to do everything they can to reduce the size of cameras? Usually it's because they like the added handheld stability and the usefulness of at least one of the following: motorized winders (old school SLRs only), battery packs, and vertical shutter releases.

Another reason, I assume, is one that's often unspoken. Maybe they inflate the ego. To a camera manufacturer, grips have typically been regarded as advanced amateur or professional requirements only, in other words they are lofty possessions that entry-level camera (cheap) owners aren't predisposed to purchasing. But despite what your camera looks like, especially if it's at the low end of the totem pole, you want to be taken seriously. I suppose that the iconic professional silhouette (a bulky camera that looks like an expensive and deadly ninja brick) is so much more professional looking that entry-level users who don't have one just seethe with jealousy. (I know I would if I didn't have a K10D and my wonder vertical battery grip, the BG-2. People know I mean business when I walk into a room and wave my camera grip around. And I'm sure to wave it under their noses in case they miss it. It's powerful. And it looks like I spent real money on it, like at least $100. Which is true. I'm a big spender (I'm not going to lie). And besides that, it's not like I'm totally ego driven, because any SLR fanatic worth his salt knows that the true look of professionalism is to have a bulky black camera that was intentionally designed without a pop-up flash. But I digress.*)

Alienated K100D users who want a grip dream about them. Sometimes in the same way that a redneck wants to build a limo out of junkyard trucks (pictured on the right). So if you absolutely must, there actually are ways to get a grip for your camera.

You can build your own (some skill, creativity, and glue required). Here's a link to an infamous example that I first saw on Pentax Life. Or you can look up a manufacturer who's taken up the dream.

The Makeall Grip, with Data IO door cover.

DiCain previously made a vertical grip for the *ist DS, but so far they don't make a K100D version, and the *ist DS version is really hard to find. However, another manufacturer, Makeall, is testing out new some possibilities that resemble the DiCain grip, but with smoother styling. It's not yet available for retail, although some people are already using it in South Korea. Essentially, it's a vertical shutter release grip that uses the Pentax remote IO to operate the button. There is no battery support. I imagine it won't add much weight to the camera, either. Thanks to Won at Tobogi for letting me know about this.

Ownuser Battery Grip. Photo by J. Milo.

If you're looking for a grip with both vertical shutter release and additional battery power, the only contender right now isn't as cosmetically successful, but it works. It's an FBH from Taiwanese manufacter Ownuser. Note that the camera's data port door must be left uncovered. And it does look heavy. Here's a link to a thoughtful review about it.

Ownuser FBH on the K100D. Photo by J. Milo.

So, there may not be many options out there, but maybe that's because it's not to everyone's tastes to add an additional grip to the K100D, which is plenty of fun all on its own.

* Sarcasm alert.

Links: Makeall Prototype K100D Vertical Shutter Release Grip, Ownuser, Ownuser K100D battery grip review, DiCain SG-1 *ist DS Grip, Homemade K100D grip


Pentax DSLRs said...

I like the Makeall Grip, with Data IO door cover. If you look the underside, you can see there is the possibility to attach a strap making it easy to use one of those Hand Strap instead of the standard around-the-neck strap.

I am guilty of having a battery grip / motor drive on avery cameras I ever owned. If you do weddings for instance, you want a big and impressive camera because you know the bride's uncle will be there with his dslr trying to shame you. Who has the biggest wins.

Yvon Bourque

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure at what point the sarcasm alert begins.

I bought a Winder for my ME-Super. I ditched it in the end because I realised I bought it to look more "pro" and it was actually getting in the way.

I bought a battery grip for the MZ-5n because it let me use AA batteries (and looked good) but the bulk ruined a nice camera and I could pop a spare battery in my pocket.

An extra shutter button ? Don't be so daft. Any well designed camera lets you bend your wrist without changing your grip on the camera to use a secondary button.

As Yvon says. There is a "Whoever has the biggest wins" mentality. Of course it backfires sometimes. If I see someone carrying one of Canon's amateur cameras with a grip on it, I think "here is someone who judges more by the size of the camera than quality of his photos"

Dred242 said...

I got my Pentex K10D along with the BG-2 several weeks ago.....I love them both. Yes, it adds weight and bulk to the camera, but I'm a bug guy with big hands so I can handle it. Having the extra battery is great but best of all is the additional shutter release button. No more cocking my arm and elbow up in the air when ever I rotate the camera.


Peter F said...

I like to use my K10D with two grips simultaneously, especially when I'm around anyone with white lenses. I mount one in the traditional position and another on left side of the body, so that I have a shutter release easily accessible when I turn the camera around to shoot myself because I know I look so badasstastic. (I also carry a bandoleer of spare batteries, and I have the FA 77mm lens grouping tattooed on the back of my neck).

Dr Hiding Pup said...

Given how cheap K100D are right now, here's a tip: if you have a K100D and want to look professional, don't make your own grip (it won't fool anyone)! Instead, just buy a second K100D, and hang it round your neck along with your first. Pretend you're quite used to carrying both of them around.

Anonymous said...

Ownuser makes one for the K100D.
for around 108 U.S.

Anonymous said...

There is Ansmann grip for K100D on the market now:

It includes LiOn battery pack but no secondary trigger.


how to take professional pictures said...

Practice until you know all the major buttons and settings without having to actually look at what your fingers are doing.Sometimes the perfect shot only lasts for a second or two,and you don’t want to miss that quick little grin because your fingers were trying to fumble with unfamiliar settings.Such a great information.

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