GorillaPod Focus with Ballhead X: Tested

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.

GorillaPod Focus on 1" Pole Close Up

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.

GorillaPod Focus with Ballhead X

No problems there. So I wrapped the legs around a 1" PVC pipe, then composed vertically. Still no problems.

GorillaPod Focus on 1" Pole

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.

Ballhead X

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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I may have to consider this one. Tripods have always been that nebulous area for me since I tend to do most of my shooting while I'm out walking. When I go to look for something I then get stuck in all the weight, "type of head", "what do I need on my camera" and then I give up. I have loved gorilla pods for a while now and this setup looks pretty excellent since my camera is not as heavy as the 5D Mark II.

I have the GorillaPod Zoom and recently bought the smaller ballhead.

I highly recommend getting either ballhead if you have a GorillaPod Zoom or the Focus like in the above review. Makes it so much easier to set composition when you can manoeuvre the camera into a better position.

One other advantage that you didn't mention is that this is one of the least expensive Arca-Swiss compatible ballheads out there. I love being able to leave a single arca plate on my camera and quickly change between my big tripod and the GorillaPod.

Whit, that is an excellent point! Thanks for adding on...

Derrick - have you checked out cineskates?


Pretty cool! I'm on the list to get a set in October.