Monday, May 16, 2011

Review :: Opteka Battery Pack Grip and Hand Strap for Canon Rebel T2i

Several weeks ago, I purchased the Opteka Battery Pack Grip / Vertical Shutter Release for Canon EOS Rebel T2i and accompanying Opteka Professional Wrist Grip Strap for my Canon Rebel T2i. I have vertical grips for all of my other Canon EOS cameras and find that it really improves the handling, particularly for smaller bodies like the Rebels.

For me the vertical grip serves several practical and one aesthetic function. Ergonomically, the vertical grip gives my pinky finger somewhere to rest; on the T2i, without the grip, my pinky is just wandering out there in free space, without a natural place to land. Additionally, the grip holds a second battery and provides some much needed heft to the T2i, which helps balance it when heavier lenses are attached.

Regarding the Opteka specifically, it has the same color and texture as the T2i. I had waffled for some time on whether it would be worth my while to spend the extra cash on the Canon brand grip, rather than a third party provider. But Opteka's reputation for compatibility and and durability is generally well-regarded. And I can find no reason to disparage it here.

Installing the grip is no chore. Remove the battery from the camera; remove the battery compartment door (easily done); then slide the male portion of the grip into the battery compartment; thread the screws into the trip mount; and you're ready to go. Don't forget to install the batteries into the grip, and turn it on. The camera will function without the grip being turned on, but the shutter release and function buttons on the grip will not.

I have, of late, found neck straps to be tiresome and often more in the way than not, yet I wasn't entirely comfortable holding the camera naked, without any way of securing it to my person - I do a lot of hiking and am far from remarkably coordinated. I have found that the hand strap serves to do more than provide this simple security. It is an ergonomic wonder. Having the strap somewhat snug allows for more dextrous use of my fingers, on my right hand, without having to remove my left from the lens. Because my fingers are not longer being relied on to fully support the weight of the camera, I am able to manipulate the control wheel and buttons more nimbly and naturally.

The hand strap can be attached by one of two methods: by using the plastic attachment that screws into the tripod mount (on either the grip or the camera, if you choose not to use the grip), or not. I have elected not to use the plastic bit; because the grip has a slot for a strap along the bottom corner (when the camera is positioned normally), I found it not necessary to use the plastic piece.

Now, with the important practical considerations out of the way, I find that a camera just looks better with a grip. It seems both more proportional and imposing. It becomes, of itself, a thing of greater substance.

Update: July 4, 2011
I am still pleased with the hand grip, but have one peculiarity to note:

Regardless of how much charge the battery actually has, whenever the Opteka grip is installed, the camera reads as having a full charge. This became a problem the other day while I was out shooting. The T2i gave me an Err 20 message, which told me to turn the camera off, re-install the battery, then turn the camera back on. I did accordingly, and received the same message. Did the same several more times, with the same result, until eventually the camera would not turn on at all. The Err 20 problem indicates the following: "20 - Malfunction related to the mechanical mechanism has been detected." I didn't realize it at the time, but the batteries had run down to the point of being unable to operate camera. Once I charged the batteries, the camera began to function as it should.

Please feel free to leave any comments or questions you might have. I strive to make this as informative as possible.


  1. where did you buy the hand wrist strap?

  2. I got it at Amazon; just type in "Opteka wrist strap," and it should be the first item to come up.

  3. The greater the number, the longer the batteries will effectively work without needing a charge. Presently, the maximum rating is near 3000mAh. While selecting the chargers, be selective and choose the best one.Happy Stick Case