Joby GorillaPod Focus flexible tripod. In fact, it’s full model name is the BallHead X for GorillaPod Focus.
But there’s nothing about it that prevents you from using it on any other tripod, monopod, or other support just as you would any other small ballhead. It would be a good option for something like the Platypods, too. It uses the standard 3/8-16 or 1/4-20 screw connection (and includes a reducer bushing thread adapter, which is inserted by default) and on top is an Arca-style clamp. That’s compatible with any standard Arca-style quick release plate, but it also includes one.
And it’s the clamp and quick release plate that give this product it’s X. The plate is shaped like an X. That’s more than a gimmick–it actually allows the clamp lock knob to protrude less while still being easy to use. It’s not a perfect system. Because of the plate and its clamp are shaped it’s possible to misalign them and get the plate jammed–something I’ve done a few times. It’s easy enough to fix with some force, but it’s not something you get with a regular square or rectangular Arca-style quick release plate.
You can also use this with other Arca-style quick release plates. I’m partial to the Peak Design plates; they work well on this.
On the bottom of the plate that comes with the ballhead, you can use either the D-ring lever or a grooved screw top to tighten.
Despite its looks, it works in fundamentally the same way as other ballheads. On the bottom is a free rotating pano base that locks with a standard knob. The rotation is smooth and easy to do precisely–there are degree markers on the base to help.
The locking clamp on the main ball is done with a larger knob. The movement of the ball isn’t the smoothst I’ve seen, but it does the job. There’s no separate tension dial, so everything is controlled with the single large knob.
It’s rated to hold up to 11 pounds (5 kg). It weights about half a pound.
Dimensions: 2.68 x 2.44 x 3.27 in / 6.8 x 6.2 x 8.3 cm
Weight: 0.58 lbs / 262 g
Load Capacity: 11 lb / 5 kg
What’s in the Box?
There’s the ballhead, a quick release plate, and a small instruction leaflet.
Overall, the Joby Ballhead X doesn’t have the refinement of some other ultra-light ballheads like the Really Right Stuff BH-25 or a Markins Q-Ball, but those are also much more expensive. But compared to other ballheads more relevant to its price range, the Joby Ballhead X holds up very well indeed.
And while it’s nominally designed to be used with the Joby Gorillapod Focus flexible tripod, the Ballhead X actually stands on its own very well as a capable general use travel ballhead.
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