I finally got a chance to put my new GorillaPod Focus with the Ballhead X to use this morning. It was uncharacteristically sunny, and there was a wonderful carpet of dew all over the lawn. So there’s me, crawling around on my hands and knees, with my 5d2 and Sigma 105mm macro. I also tried some shots with my 1.4x extender and 36mm extension tube, but the DOF was too shallow.
I would have loved to have stacked some of the super macro shots to artificially increase the DOF, but the Ballhead X doesn’t have the gripping power to hold the plate steady – the lens slowly droops down. It works fine with a 50mm lens, and if I had a collar for the 105mm to better balance the rig on the plate that would probably help. But the round knobs on the Ballhead X means I can’t get any real torque into the retaining clip that holds the bottom of the post with the plate. If it had a proper lever, I’m sure I could cinch it tight enough for this rig.
That being said, It was great being able to use the GorillaPod to hold the weight of the rig just a few inches off the ground. I used LiveView to keep the mirror locked up, as well as good technique to squeeze the shutter button to minimize vibration. The shots are well within acceptably sharp parameters. I can’t help but wonder how a better head would perform, though. I see myself likely investing in a new ballhead and getting rid of the BallheadX.