This is Joby's granddaddy of all Gorillapods. The Gorillapod Focus is the ultimate flexible tripod you can get and it's built like a tank, a flexible tank. The Focus is mainly targeted towards professional cameras and lenses weighing up to 5kg (11lb). Gorillapods are widely known all over the world because of their one unique feature, flexibility. You can get some awesome angles using the Gorillapod Focus whereas a traditional tripod couldn't help you. Is the Gorillapod Focus something worth investing in? We've got the full review right after the break to help you out.
The Focus is truly an extraordinary piece of tripod. It's built better than most standard tripods and far superior to other plastic Gorillapods. It's constructed using machined aluminum joints and injection molded thermoplastic to ensure the joints stay firm and snug after lots of use. I've used a few Gorillapods in the past like the SLR-Zoom, and the Focus feels much more durable with stiffer joints that are not so easy to manipulate. This allows you to get better performance overtime and an even secure hold of a surface.
The Focus tripod is much smaller and lighter than a standard tripod and can easily be carried with you. What a flexible tripod like the Gorillapod Focus allows you to do that other tripods can't do is flex around objects and easily get a low to the ground as much as possible to take a good shot. I wouldn't recommend getting a Gorillapod to replace your standard tripod because it does not have the same functionality as a full fledge tripod. You will still need to have a regular tripod around that's for sure. While the Gorillapod Focus isn't a must have accessory to make your shots better, it will give you a few key advantages over regular tripods with a professional grade feel and build. To get very steady shots, you need to make sure you are flexes the Focus' legs around an object tightly. Do this without attaching your camera first to make sure you have a good and steady grip.
The Focus is all about being different. The rubber rings on each joint grab a hold of the surface really well whether it's concrete, wood, metal or plastic. It's very easy to set up the Gorillapod Focus and you don't need any instructions on how to get started. Twist the Focus' flexible legs around things and you're all set to go. The one thing you will need to properly use the Focus is a ballhead. You can get the Focus without Joby's Ballhead X for $99.95 and use your camera with it but I would really discourage using any Gorillapod without a proper ballhead. If you already have a ballhead then all you really need is the Focus tripod by itself, and if you don't already have a ballhead, Joby's Ballhead X is the perfect ballhead you can get at $69.95. I've been using Manfrotto tripods and ballhead which are one of the most respected brands by photographers.
Joby's Ballhead X feels as impressively sturdy as the Focus and after getting to use it, I think it's even better than a standard Manfrotto ballhead. The Ballhead X is far easier to use and the adjustments knobs are very useful. You've got a big adjustment knob to secure and lock the ballhead into place as well as another adjustment knob to lock the bottom rotation pan. All the rotating parts of the Ballhead X rotate very smoothly and you can fully pan your camera in a 360 degree angle and tilt at a 90 degree angle. All of the three adjustments knobs have very grippy rubber and are comfortable to operate.
Like other professional ballheads, the Ballhead X features a quick release plate to let you quickly snap your camera onto the Focus tripod. The Ballhead X isn't just compatible with Gorillapods but with most tripods. The only issue I had while using the Ballhead X was that after a few hours of the ballhead being locked, it would get stuck when unlocking the ballhead. This is caused because the ballhead joint isn't greased. Overtime the ball joint might get worse without proper grease.
Overall both the Focus and the Ballhead X work flawlessly and can handle tough tasks where standard tripods fail. I would suggest getting the Focus kit which included the Ballhead X at $149.95 if you don't already own a ballhead. The Gorillapod Focus tripod is like a monkey, it's main purpose it to hang and wrap around objects and it no other tripod does it better. I would highly recommend both of these accessories for any photographer who seeks a flexible tripod.