Joby in the jungle: The GorillaPod Focus tripod review

Joby GorillaPod Focus in Costa Rica

As a travel photographer for, I have hauled an ungodly amount of equipment across the globe. There is always a conflict between what I can carry and what I need to get the job done. For years I have traveled with carbon fiber tripods, some jobs demand them but they are cumbersome, hard to pack, and even harder to strap on your body when you’re out in changing environments photographing. Enter the Joby Gorillapod focus.

At just under a foot long and weighing less than a pound, The GorillaPod Focus will steadily  support up to 11 lbs. Built of high quality aluminum, the ball and socket arms are flexible yet hold their shape and will either stand straight as a normal tripod or wrap around or contour to any uneven surface.

The GorillaPod will not replace my other larger and heavier tripods, but it has become a regular part of my kit for all of my travel work and most of my commercial work as well.

On a recent trip to Costa Rica, I supported my 5d mk2  by wrapping the joby around palm trees , fences and railings. Last week in Cleveland I used it as a low angle tripod sitting on shelf for a long exposure of a command center room and yesterday I used it to mount a speed light to a pole in a kitchen as a hair light for a portrait of a chef.

Joby offers the Ball head x made of machined aluminum for the GorillaPod Focus. It is a sturdy head, very smooth and secure when tightened. It is Arca Swiss compatible and can be used with the quick release plate or the optional Ultra plate to simplify attaching your camera to a variety of other straps and tripods.

The Joby GorillaPod Focus has filled a gap in my camera mounting options. It is always in my lighting kit as a flash stand and just by the mere fact that it is small and light enough to fit in my camera bag, it is always with me on travel assignments. I have captured many images in our short time together that otherwise would have been missed.