Gorillapods Rock!

My wife gave me one of the very first Gorillapods when they first came out.  My grandkids love playing with it, so that gives you some example of how tough it is.  Even when they popped it apart, it was super easy to pop it back together and there was no loss in usability or reliability.  As durable and resilient as this one is, I just can’t justify getting another one, I only need the one.  And there’s something about having the original.  😉  I would like to get one for my Android Droid Incredible, though, as that 8MP built-in camera results in very good pictures.

I’ve played with the Gorillapod several times, and one of the most impressive things about it was that it worked with my DSLR.  It just doesn’t look like its strong enough to support my Pentax K10D and *ist DL, but it is. I’ve not tried it with my 400mm, I’m not willing to bet it can balance the weight of that lens, but my other lenses work just fine.  Although if I were to bend up one leg under the 400mm as support, it might work at that.

So, why all the gushing about the Gorillapod?

Up to now, I’ve used (read played with) the Gorillapod from time to time but when I really needed a tripod I usually was able to find something else to brace against or used a regular tripod.  The Gorillapod was just a backup that I always carried clipped to my camera case, not really a tripod I would rely on.  This weekend, though, the Gorillapod came through when my other tripods just would not work.  I no longer see the Gorillapod as fun little tripod to play with.  I consider it a part of my photography kit now and will definitely be giving it the respect it deserves just like my other tripods.

A friend and I have been doing some work for another person, taking his photographs and cartoonizing them, if you will.  The problem is, he wants some 8×10 to frame and give as gifts.  The full size of the originals we have to work with are on the order of ¾” wide by 1” high.  It doesn’t take much imagination to realize there’s no way that’s going to expand to an 8” by 10” and still be good.

The solution is actually pretty simple but not always intuitive:  take a picture of it in a resolution that will allow you to create the necessary 8×10.  The problem is that requires getting to within 1” of the original.  For best quality, we printed the original out on good quality photo paper.  The rest is just a matter of taking the photo.

As can be seen below, the Gorillapod came into its own that day.  Without having to re-arrange a bunch of things, and even then, my usually trusty tripods could not get in close enough for the quality I wanted. Enter the Gorillapod.   The end result of all this is that after cropping the resulting new picture, the cropped version of the new picture was 13” wide by 23” high or thereabouts…very much good enough create an 8×10 portrait.

A picture showing the Gorillapod, my camera and lens, and the printout

The setup used to create the copy

Close up of camera lens and paper showing how close (almost 1") lens is to paper.

Close up of camera spacing

For the technically minded, the camera is my Pentax K10D and the lens used is my SMC Pentax DA 10-17mm F3.5-4.5 fish-eye/macro.  Yes, I really was that close: almost exactly 1” away from the printed original photo, just barely visible between the curve of the built-in sun shade in the left photo, more easily seen in the photo to right.  I also used the 12 second delay so that after pressing the shutter the setup had time to stabilize from any movements of mine before actually taking the photo.  Four tries, two excellent photos and the re-sizing job was done.

The orange loop in the left picture is the small carabiner I keep clipped on it.  That little carabiner clips into a large one on my camera bag, making it quick and easy to remove the Gorillapod when needed.

BTW, these two pictures were taken with my Droid Incredible 8MP camera.

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