The GorillaPod Focus with Ballhead X is no chimp. At the top of the Joby product line, this tripod combines stability and flexibility in a package that only weighs 762 grams, less than 2 pounds. Yet it can stabilize a camera rig up to 11 pounds.
I had heard conflicting reports about this tripod, so I decided to put it to the test. I mounted a Canon 5D Mark II with 24-105mm L f/4 zoom on the GorillaPod. To make it interesting, I composed a vertical shot.
No problems there. So I wrapped the legs around a 1" PVC pipe, then composed vertically. Still no problems.
So, with an everyday rig, I think the GorillaPod Focus will hold up. Will it hold a 300mm f/4 lens? Probably not. I wouldn't even try.
The ballhead itself has both pan and tilt controls. The pan is particularly handy when shooting video or composing panoramas. The action is remarkably smooth. The quick release plate is easy to operate and made of quality materials.
The legs are about 11" tall, and they don't extend. Instead, if you need more height, your find something to wrap them around -- a tree branch, sign pole, etc. Or you can find a surface to set the GorillaPod on, such as a rock, picnic bench, or newspaper machine. In return, you get a lightweight package that's easy to pack in, or on, your camera bag.
The GorillaPod Focus plus Ballhead X isn't cheap. It will run you about $115 US. But if you find yourself without a tripod way too often, and you don't photograph African game, then the price might be worth the images you're suddenly able to capture.
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