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Product Review: Gorillapod Takes Manhattan

My Gorillapod with SLIK Tripod Head

Gorillapod with SLIK Tripod Head

As an early Christmas present for myself last year, I bought a Gorillapod Flexible Tripod before traveling to Manhattan.  I knew I didn’t want to carry a full-size tripod on the crowded subway, where I might accidentally probe someone and get into trouble.  The Gorillapod, which fits in my camera bag (or even a big coat pocket if I don’t mind it hanging out a bit like a high-tech squid) seemed like a great, portable solution.

To mount my Canon 40D on it with some flexibility, I bought a SLIK SBH-120 Tripod Head, a basic but solidly-constructed ball head model.

Belvedere Castle in Central Park

Belvedere Castle in Central Park

Thus armed, I set out into the wilds of Manhattan.

I found the ‘pod incredibly useful in low light or nighttime situations where I would have been helpless without a tripod.  And as advertised,  its flexible legs really can be wrapped around damn near anything.

For example, in this night shot of Belvedere Castle in Central Park, I wrapped the Gorillapod through the wire framework of a wobbly little construction fence.

Gorillapod in Action

Gorillpod on wire fence

It was a very unstable setup, swinging wildly to and fro, but if I took my hands off the camera and let it settle into position, and used the self-timer to trigger the shot, I could get a crisp photo.

I ended up balancing it on park benches and wrapping it around railings.  In one museum I set it on the floor and took a guess as to where to point the camera (I couldn’t get low enough to look through the viewfinder) and got a great shot. Once I even placed it in a tree.

Manhattan Mannequins

5th Avenue Mannequins

The use that got me the strangest looks from bystanders, though, was photographing mannequins in the beautifully decorated store windows along 5th Avenue.  Since there is typically nothing to set the Gorillapod on, or wrap it around, in from of a store window, I ended up using it as a little tripod on the window glass itself.  I turned the camera 90-degrees, placed the feet of the ‘pod on the glass, and held it firmly there while snapping the shot.  This looked a bit odd, and some people probably thought I was trying to break into the store with some diabolical window cutting device, but I didn’t get arrested and the shots came out great.

I highly recomment the Gorillapod as a quick-and-dirty (and lightweight) solution when you can’t carry a full-size tripod and think there might be something, anything, to attach the ‘pod to in the vicinity of your shot.

Buy it at Amazon:

Gorillapod Flexible Tripod (for small cameras)
Gorillapod SLR Zoom Tripod (for big cameras)
SLIK SBH-120 Tripod Head

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  1. John Chamberlain_SA says:

    Sweet, I got a conventional little tripod that i use for those tricky situations 🙂 most definitely comes in handy, especially with live view for those low angle shots – This Gorillapod looks great – Ill keep a lookout 4 one.
    Rgs J

  2. Peter says:

    I bought on elast year after seeing all the rave reviews, but my camera is to heavy for it. I can’t even sit it on a table without the legs splaying out.

  3. admin says:

    Peter, maybe you need a bigger Gorillapod. I find that the biggest SLR model can handle my camera with most lenses. Well, OK, not a super telephoto lens, but that would be asking a lot of it.

  4. Peter says:

    When I bought my Gorillapod I did not see any mention of a weight limit in the advert. Now I see that there is a 325g limit. as my camera weighs 1.075kg this means I will have to get the SLR zoom. I do not think I will get enough use from it to warrant such a hefty price, for what looks like nothing more than a toy.

  5. admin says:

    Peter, yep for big cameras with big lenses you need the SLR Zoom model. I don’t care if it looks like a toy, if it does the job!

  6. Jillian says:

    Wow… And affordable. That’s a big happy birthday to me. ‘Add to Cart’.

  7. Roger says:

    I have been using both the Big & Small Gorilla Pods for a couple of years now.
    I really like them because of the flexibility & versatility they bring to the situation at hand. Could not live without them.

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