East Grinstead photographer and filmmaker Nitsan Simantov. Wedding photography and commercial video production in London and West Sussex.

The Gorillapod Focus confusion

My new Gorillapod Focus... I think...
I just received it today... well, sort of...
Let me explain.

First of all, the courier dumped it outside a house on a nearby street, and luckily the man who lives there was honest so he brought it to me. There was no mistake in the address, just a dumbass delivery person. I'm not sure what courier it was, but it is in official Amazon packaging with an official Amazon "if undelivered, please return to" address... But I bought this on eBay.. Man, what the hell is going on here.

The Gorillapod itself feels very well made and has a gorgeous shine to it due to the beautifully polished and anodized (A metal coloring and protection process) aluminium.

(IMPORTANT! See update below!)

But that's where the fun stops. Upon trying to do anything with it, I realize that it is mostly useless. Even though the joints feel strong, as in, they don't feel like they will break, they move out of position very easily. Slowly and smoothly, but easily.

I guess my compact shoulder rig will be the Edelkrone for now. See my previous article for more on this.

I tried using this as a shoulder rig, useless, even with no camera on it, within seconds it has completely moved out of position just from the pressure of holding it up against my body.

I tried placing it on the floor, just like a small tripod, in a position that shouldn't put too much strain on the legs, then putting a 5KG gym weight on it, which is the official weight rating for this product, written in big letters on the box. The Gorillapod couldn't hold it for a second, the legs just collapsed immediately.

I'll send this blog post to Joby, the manufacturer, and find out if maybe I was sent a counterfeit (that's a fancy word for "fake") product. Otherwise, maybe I'm simply using this Gorillapod the wrong way. Maybe it's only intended to be used with small cameras. Maybe it's from a bad batch. Maybe it is only intended to be used for hanging cameras from trees.

Strangely enough, I really do hope it's fake. For two reasons, firstly, because it means I might still be able to find a good one, and then there is the main reason I bought this, other than hoping for a good product, I spent the extra money on this Gorillapod so that I could encourage my viewers and readers to purchase genuine products rather than Chinese knock-offs, even if it often costs more, it helps to support future creations and inventions. When you purchase rip-offs the only thing you are supporting is, well, nothing.

UPDATE: My mistake?

I tried it out again as a shoulder rig, and even though I need to avoid putting too much pressure on it, it works amazingly as a shoulder rig for a my Sony A7. Together with a tiny little ball head. I'm still very confused about this thing. 

I had a look at my old huge Gorillapod "copy" today, which I haven't used in a long time. The fake one is larger than the Focus, which is the largest Genuine Gorillapod you can get, and it is a huge piece of crap in comparison. The copy is far weaker than I remember it. I can think of three possible reasons:

  • It is summer now. Maybe all of these Gorillapods are a bit weaker in the heat?
  • Maybe the Focus is getting a little stronger with some use.
  • Maybe the fake one is getting weaker with time?
  • I have been working out a lot, and haven't used any Gorillapod in a long time, maybe I'm simply putting far too much pressure it.

I will post updates soon. Maybe I will grow to love this thing. I hope I do.