Joby GorillaPod Focus X Alternatives?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Alvi, Nov 7, 2015.

  1. Alvi macrumors 65816

    Alvi

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Location:
    Mars
    #1
    Hi everyone, I recently had a back breaking experience carrying my 12 lbs Manfrotto tripod around the city centre of Prague when I just needed something to put my DSLR on in order to take long exposure pictures.
    I just need something to get the camera a bit off the ground and have it at a certain angle.

    The GorillaPod Focus with the Ballhead X looks sweet, but it's insanely overpriced in my country (It's almost 200$, while it's a bit under 100$ in the US). What other options are there, I saw some tiny tripods from manfrotto, but I don't think they can hold a Full frame DSLR with a telephoto lens.
     
  2. NeGRit0 macrumors 6502a

    NeGRit0

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nv
    #2
    I use this one with my T2i/T5i and a 24-105L all the time.
     
  3. Alvi thread starter macrumors 65816

    Alvi

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Location:
    Mars
    #3
    I've seen that tripod, it kind of worries me that my camera will exceed the weight. It says that the limit is 1kg (2.2lbs), my D610 is 850g (1 lb 14.0 oz) and my 28mm f/1.8 Sigma lens is another 450g (16.9oz). That's 30% more than the maximum spec. And my heaviest lens is 725g / 25.6oz.

    The Joby is quite neat because it has an 11 pound allowance (5KG)
     
  4. Cheese&Apple macrumors 68000

    Cheese&Apple

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    Location:
    Toronto
    #4
    Another option (if you can set-up on a table, chair, flat railing or don't mind getting very low on the ground) is to simply use a ball-head without the tripod support and hold the base of the ball-head with your left hand while taking the shot. Not the best in terms of flexibility but can save weight while travelling.

    ~ Peter
     
  5. Alvi thread starter macrumors 65816

    Alvi

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Location:
    Mars
    #5
    I found a tripod similar to NeGRit0's one on Manfrotto's website that supports up to 2,5kg or (5,5lbs) which is more than enough for me, however it's not available in my country. I might end up getting the Joby, because I really need something until my next trip which is on Friday.
     
  6. ChrisA, Nov 9, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015

    ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #6
    Use a "bean bag". You can make one by filling a plastic bag with dry beans but they sell better ones that use plastic "beans" in a nylon bag. They are bulky but very light weight and will hold a DSLR at any angle. Bean bags have no height but allow for fine angle adjustment at very low cost and weight. They are mostly used or outdoor macro photography but even some wildlife shooters will use them as a camera rest for a large telephoto. I've done things like place the bean bag on a large rock or boulder, wooden bench or even a car hood. Use the bean bag for padding when packing camera gear when you are done.

    But really is 12 pounds "back breaking"? Weight has an advantage in that it reduces camera shake when the shutter trips and the mirror moves. You really do get better results from those massive tripods and even in the studio people still use those ultra-massive "camera stands". I would not buy either of those today for use with a smaller camera like a DSLR but they where required for my medium or large format cameras and I still have them even after retiring the larger cameras. If you have one use it.
     
  7. Alvi thread starter macrumors 65816

    Alvi

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Location:
    Mars
    #7
    Thanks for the advice, I will definitely make myself a bean bag! Regarding tripods, 12 pounds is kind of a lot for me, it almost doubles the weight of my backpack and that's not the real problem, the problem is that it's too big to fit in my bag and I have to carry it with my hand all the time. I will keep using it for when I have an indoor shoot or an outdoor one that I will go to by car, but as a tourist that will walk for hours in a city I'll take something smaller and lighter.
     
  8. Alvi thread starter macrumors 65816

    Alvi

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Location:
    Mars
    #8
    I ended up buying the Joby Focus with the Ballhead X, I found one on eBay for a decent price. I already took it with me on a trip to Milan, and all I can say is that this thing is really sturdy!
     
  9. Alvi thread starter macrumors 65816

    Alvi

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2008
    Location:
    Mars
  10. fieldsphotos macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2013
    #10
    Glad the Joby worked for you. Over the long haul you may consider saving up for a set of carbon fiber tripod legs to replace the Manfrotto. There are some good less expensive brands out there like Benro (which I own) vs paying the premium for the "name" brand like Gitzo, etc.

    As a landscape photographer who does a lot of hiking distances to reach various remote locations, losing the weight while keeping a full height tripod was invaluable. (And when you are really ready to upgrade the tripod, change out the head for an arca-Swiss style quick release system over the Manfrotto one. The stability I gained for long exposures doing that was huge)
     
  11. Badrottie Suspended

    Badrottie

    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #11
    Thats good to hear. I have a GorillaPod SLR-Zoom tripod for my SX50 HS
     

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