The JOBY GorillaPod Focus with Ballhead X is a flexible tripod for professional camera rigs with large zoom lenses weighing up to 5kg (11 lbs). The Ballhead X(purchased separately) has a universal 1/4″ tripod screw ontop of a quick release plate that has the capability of panning 360 degrees and tilting 90 degrees either direction – perfect for vertical compositions. The flexible, wrappable legs of the GorillaPod can be secured to a pole, tree limb or stabilize on a flat or tilted surface and each foot is rubberized and grippy. The pods that comprise each leg of the GorillaPod are connected with machined-aluminum sockets and high quality injection molded thermoplastic to ensure snug joints that will stay firm after lots of action. The GorillaPod Focus can carry up to 11 lbs of camera and lens, weighs a little over a pound and measures 11.4 x 3.6 x 3.6 inches.
I had been eyeing the JOBY GorillaPod Focus since I got a DSLR years ago and having loved my mini one for my little point and shoot I was excited to test out this beastly little tripod. The GorillaPod is easy enough to set up, just screw the plate into the bottom of your camera with the little twist knob until tight – don’t skimp on the tightness here and then loosen the clamp on the head of the Ballhead X, fit the plate inside and then tighten to clamp down on the plate. Now for the trickier part – stabilizing the GorillaPod on any surface. On a flat surface simply spread the legs of the GorillaPod to look like a normal mini tripod – the wider you pull them apart the more stability it will give your camera. The legs can also be twisted in opposite directions around a pole, treebranch, fencepost etc… to provide support from a higher angle. J0by’s site has great images and instructions for how to properly position the legs of the GorillaPod (CLICK HERE). The legs do require a bit of effort to position the way you want them, and then even more to get them back the way they were, but that gets easier with practice as well. I find one of the best characteristics of the Joby GorillaPod Focus with Ballhead X(a necessary addition in my mind) is the size. It’s compact portable and I often throw it in the waterbottle pocket of my backpack before I hop on my bike or on a sizeable hike. It easily fits in my carryon bag as well and weighing only a little over a pound it is sturdy enough to be a trusty stable platform for your camera but also light enough to transport with you on further adventures. I’ve also used the GorillaPod Focus as a stabilizer while filming – propping its legs against me like a steadicam of sorts, or fitting the bottom legs on my hipbone as a stabilizer during interviews when I want the camera at eye level.
$109 $78 the JOBY GorillaPod Focus is a great addition to any adventure photographer or videographer’s arsenal as it is compact, portable and stabilizes your pro DSLR on almost any surface.
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Gretchen Powers is a Maine based freelance filmmaker and photographer. She specializes is branded content creation and outdoorsy weddings. When she’s not wielding a camera she loves xcskiing, hiking, knitting, drinking tea and exploring with her pup Ella. www.gpowersfilm.com