Joby’s Gorillapod Focus for the Big Jobs


I’ve been taking my Nikon D700 or D300 with me on all my recent trips. I’ve also started traveling with more lenses and bigger lenses. One of my favorite lenses to shoot with is the Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VR lens. As you know I’m a fan of the Gitzo Traveler Tripod. Although as small and lightweight as it is, I don’t always have room for it in my luggage. This is what led me to using my Gorillapods more. Although I have the Gorillapod SLR, which is a great tripod for travel, it’s just not quite sturdy enough or strong enough for my bigger lenses as it only supports up to 1.75 pounds.

The Gorillapod Focus to the rescue

The Gorillapod Focus is the top of the line Gorillapod. It’s their professional model. It’s geared specifically for large cameras with large lenses. It’s rated at supporting up to 11 pounds. This puppy is solid! I could tell a difference right away when I took it out of the box and started adjusting the legs. As you can see in the above picture it has no problem supporting my Nikon D700 with the battery grip, Kirk L-Bracket and Nikkor 70-200mm lens. I’ve found it to be quite flexible in adjusting positions as long as you keep the feet pointing down. I took that shot with the Focus on my conference table and when the feet were at an angle they tended to slide on the slick surface of the table.

Although the Focus is not as small as the Gorillapod SLR, it’s smaller than the Gitzo. This means that it’s more likely to make its way into my carry on bag than any other tripod I own.

The Bottom Line

The Joby Gorillapod Focus is a nice blend between size, versatility and support. Although it is more costly than the other Gorillapod models, it’s much cheaper than the more expensive carbon fiber tripods by other manufacturers. It’s also great for video cameras. The Gorillapod Focus goes for $109.95 on the Joby site. Amazon has the Gorillapod Focus for $92.14.

Also be sure to check out my video interview with the Gorillapod product manager back at Macworld Expo.

9 Replies to “Joby’s Gorillapod Focus for the Big Jobs”

  1. Hi Terry,
    reading about what you did last Saturday on Scott’s blog ( what a great friend you are !!!) , I thought you may be the right expert to ask my question . I am a daily follower of your blog, have tried your iPhone app suggestions, have taken a look at your tech stuff tips, new gadgets, etc. I also love new tech and try to keep all my photo and other digital equipment the most current and problem free as possible , and that means upgrading hardware a few times of the year. Well, now it’s also time to find some space in my digital closet, and I realize I have duplicated ( if not more than that) the number of pieces of equipment last year. Piling up and gathering dust I have 2 PC laptops ( funny, my Macs never end there ;-)), 2 printers, 2 external HDs,1 Palm device, 3 routers, one 23″ monitor ( broken), not to mention a number of memory cards, card readers, etc. What to do with all this? I know you are THE guy to go to about new tech stuff, but what can we do with the old hardware? I try to donate as much as possible, but sometimes it’s not the case. Recycle ? Is there a specific right or wrong way of finding a use, or an end, for these things? Well, I thought this question might be something to write about one of these days in your blog 🙂 I ‘ll be checking back everyday anyway, this is one of my favorite morning readings !
    Cheers from FL

    1. Hi Ana,
      You’d be surprised how much of what we consider “no one would want this” is actually wanted by someone. I would try donating to:
      Schools, user groups, crisis centers, homeless shelters, Good Will, etc.
      If it’s something that no one truly wants, then I would check the recycling centers in your area for proper disposal.



  2. Terry,
    Do you put your ballhead on this? I have the RRS BH-40 and love it.

    Reading some rather negative reviews on Amazon, but nevertheless intrigued. Big (translate milestone) birthday trip to Key West soon and now that I’m hooked on what a difference a tripod makes, this looks like a great, lightweight, travel solution. But I’d love to be able to use my BH-40 and the L-clamp that I have on my D300.

    Thanks in advance for the insights. Karen

  3. Nice review, will have to pick one up soon. I used the SLR version during a recent Vegas trip, I fell in love with that thing. With the configurable legs, I could stuff one leg between the velcro attachment on my Think Tank digital holster, so no matter where I went, I always had a make shift tripod for that long exposure moment 🙂 I can’t wait to play with the new one, being a little sturdier will be a welcomed addition. I didn’t really have any issues that couldn’t be overcome with the SLR version, but having it be a little more stout is never a bad thing and will only make setup that much faster really. Thanks!

  4. It may be well worth it, but I just can’t justify parting with $100 for a “tripod” that I don’t think I’d be using all that often. I don’t know, it’s not astronomical, but does anyone else think the price is a little rough?

  5. Notice your Kirk Enterprises “L” bracket. Have them on all my cameras. I recently bought the Kirk replacement foot for the 70-200. The great thing about it the ARCA rail mount is already cut into the foot – no plate needed. This makes for a light lower profile mount. And while you’re at it the Kirk replacement knob for the 70-200 is great for guys with sausages for fingers (my fingers – not yours:-))

  6. I’m curious: why did you connect the camera body to the Gorillapod, and not the lens??
    [Or is it to show just how strong/rigid the gorillapod is? ]

    My concern with using this lens on any tripod [and this would cover the Gorillapod as well] is whether you can get it to point where you want, or is there any slippage/movement once you let go of the lens/camera? [Sorry, I don’t feel I explained that well at alll…!]

    1. Hi Dave,
      two reasons:
      1. I did want to show how strong it was by connecting to the camera body
      2. My lens mount already had a Kirk bracket on it for my ballhead and I was too lazy to take it off so that I could access the regular mount for the Joby.

      Once you get the legs positioned properly, there should be no slippage.

  7. I took the Gorillapod SLR Zoom with me to Honduras, worked great with my D80, 18-200 (rated for 6 lbs, I believe). It used to be their heaviest-duty model, apparently it has been superceded.

Comments are closed.