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02-14-2018, 10:14 AM   #1
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Joby Gorillapod - are they worth it?

I'm looking for a travel tripod, something that will not take up much weight or space in my bag when I go to Europe this summer.

I like the versatility of being able to wrap the Joby around objects, but is it just a gimmick?

I've read a lot already about the older versions failing... can I expect the newer 5K model to be much better?


B&H has a deal on the Focus model which was replaced by the 5K recently.
I guess I could just get the used Focus and see how it goes. If it doesn't feel right return it?


Are there better options for travel/table top tripods that would be as versatile?


I'd be shooting with a K-3ii and just picked up a 16-85 for the trip.
Also will have the 100mmWR and a DA15 with me. Just to gauge the weight and size of the gear I'd be using on the tripod.

02-14-2018, 10:20 AM - 1 Like   #2
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For a small light camera or phone that style can be fun. But for a DSLR, kind of a gimmick I think. I doubt you will find yourself using it, at least in ways you wouldn't use some more traditional alternative.

The PakPod is kinda cool -- also gimmicky but very light. I wish it wasn't made out of plastic. Good design, but seems cheaply made. Hard to trust these things with big gear.

Manfrotto makes a couple of different tabletop tripods under $50 that are very stable and lightweight -- good for setup shots where you can put it on a table or wall or whatever. If you're looking for height, can't beat a real tripod.

Last edited by vonBaloney; 02-14-2018 at 10:36 AM.
02-14-2018, 10:43 AM   #3
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I have had an SLR zoom model for a while. The ballhead on the Focus looks a bit more robust than mine. I haven't used mine a lot but it's more useful for ground-level or tabletop macro than for regular shots when you would use a full size tripod.There never seems to be a boulder, branch or fencepost around when you need one, and even then you might not be able to set up the shot the way you want to. While it would be awkward with a longer lens, it may be OK with the lenses you have. Mine hasn't actually failed yet.
For a long time I used an old Slik 38T4 which is very light but not that tall, and the legs didn't spread very wide so there was a balance issue for macro on rough ground. Now I have a Benro FGP18A which is fairly light, compact (it folds around the Benro head) and very versatile, but probably bigger than you are looking for.
Have a good trip!
02-14-2018, 10:56 AM   #4
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This was the other tripod I was considering:
Feisol TT-15 Mark II mini tripod review - | Cameralabs

02-14-2018, 11:25 AM - 1 Like   #5
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I have the large one, I don't use it as much as I expected to but year to year, it gets some use. I think it's marginal for travel too.
02-14-2018, 11:26 AM   #6
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My Gorillapod works well with a Ricoh GR and Panasonic GX85 m43. Those are very light cameras. I have on rare occasions used it with a DSLR and can say it doesn't feel very stable.

I got mine around 5 years ago. They've since released newer, heavier models that I haven't researched. I don't trust my old model at > 50mm focal length due to the risk of vibration.
02-14-2018, 11:31 AM   #7
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I have one and have used it often with my K-30 and K-70 usually with a Tamron 28-70mm f2.8. I have used it several times where I wrapped the legs around something. It has worked fine for me and travels really well. I do have a full size aluminum tripod and a full size carbon fiber tripod both by Manfrotto. I use to take one of them with me every time I traveled. Know I usually just go with the Joby because it stays attached to my bag and travels so much easier.
02-14-2018, 11:37 AM   #8
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K-1 + 15 - 30 will crush it
It worked ok for K-r + 18-55

02-14-2018, 12:23 PM   #9
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I have a Manfrotto Pixi mini-tripod and it's pretty slick...

I can't imagine using it with large lenses, but it is stable with my K-3 and just about prime I can think of (under 200mm)...
02-14-2018, 12:33 PM   #10
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It works in a pinch, better than not having a stable platform, and quick and easy to move around in tight or crowded spaces compared to a tripod.As long as you don't have a very long lens, it works fine. I have used a K-5 with an FA 77 mm for example. If you are not wrapping it around something, splay the legs outfor a broad and stable base. Use a remote or cable release and the results will be very nice.
02-14-2018, 01:06 PM   #11
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I used my Gorillapod as my only tripod on a trip to Tahoe and Yosemite and it did very well. Most of my shots were with a K-3II and the 15mm limited.


I rigged up a system with my Blackrapid strap and a tripod plate so I could have both the tripod and the strap connected at the same time. Gave me a lot more confidence in situations like wrapping the Gorillapod around the railing at Glacier Point with a multi-thousand foot drop just on the other side. That was also a situation where the crowds would have made a regular tripod almost impossible to use.


But I am wondering if I should get a more standard travel tripod for my upcoming summer trip to Iceland. I'm imagining situations where there aren't railings or rocks handy.
02-14-2018, 01:29 PM   #12
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I used to use Gorillapod with small camera, and it worked fine, especially when wrapped around something. I haven't tested it a DSLR - mine is one of early small models, totally unsuitable for heavier gear.
02-14-2018, 01:58 PM   #13
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I have the older, large model. My primary use is a bit unconventional. I place one or two legs in shirt pockets or merely rest 'em on my chest and hook the third over my shoulder. Much more comfortable than any other shoulder mount gizmo I've tried, it's more convenient and portable than any clumsy tri-,bi-, mono-pod, avoids 'No Tripods Here' issues and it's still a useful stand-alone support when needed.

At least on the older model the legs are prone to pop out of the base sockets when overly stressed and there seems to be no practical means to return the 'ball' into the socket. I'm now using it as a "mono-pod" with only one leg in a pocket and it still works fine.

This method has worked very well for me for years, especially with heavier lenses such as the DA*300 and Tamron SP 70-200. Keep in mind this application is for hand-held support and fatigue relief (think mono-pod), not for vibration elimination. Combined with SR mode it's solved many issues with heavy gear and long days in he field.

(And, yeah, you just ignore the strange looks from gear-snobs and graciously return the high-fives from DIY-ers.)
02-14-2018, 05:09 PM   #14
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K3 + DA40 is OK, but not much bigger.
02-14-2018, 05:24 PM   #15
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I have the SLR Zoom model. I bought it thinking it would be amazing... I never use it. I find it more of a pain to carry it around when travelling, so it stays home. YMMV, but I would be hard pressed to buy another.
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