Do your smart phone photos look blurry because you can’t hold the phone perfectly still? The Joby GripTight GorillaPod Stand PRO promises to help serious smart phone photographers get the best shots. Is it worth the extra cost and the added size and weight to carry it with you?
The Joby GripTight GorillaPod Stand PRO bills itself as a “Premium clamping mount and tripod that securely holds any smartphone in any situation.” It’s not the company’s first such phone mount/tripod combination. We’ve previously recommended the Joby GripTight XL for the iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus, which also fits other big phablet style phones like the Samsun Galaxy Note 5.
Smart phone photographers can quickly fasten their phone to the Joby GripTight GorillaPod Stand PRO ($59.95) thanks to the stable clamp. The Joby GorillaPod gives users a stable tripod that can hold the phone almost anywhere. The feet on the GorillaPod aren’t magnetic like a few of their stands. However, the ball joints that make up the legs of this tripod will wrap around poles, fences or chair backs. It’s easy to place it almost anywhere.
The clamp on the Joby GripTight GorillaPod Stand PRO adjusts to fit phones measuring between 56mm to 91mm. In other words it clamps onto any size iPhone, the new Samsung Galaxy s7 or S7 Edge, Nexus phones, LG’s new LG G5 or the upcoming HTC M10.
Once the user pulls the clamp open far enough to fit their phone in the GripTight, they push the clamp closed to grab the edges of the phone. Tighten the locking screw on the back of the GripTight.
The same locking screw that locks the clamp down on the phone tightly, will also allow the user to rotate the phone between portrait and landscape modes. The Joby GripTight GorillaPod Stand PRO easily adjusts to both between the two orientations. Photo pros and enthusiasts often recommend that photographers take both a portrait and landscape photo of a scene or person because you never know which might look best until you take the shot. This grip makes that easy to do quickly without removing the phone. Unscrew the locking screen slightly and rotate it. Lock it again with the lock screw.
The mount on the Joby GripTight GorillaPod Stand PRO will unscrew from the GorillaPod so users can add it to another tripod, like a taller tripod or a smaller one like the Joby Micro Tripod (see above).
The mount will tilt up and down 150-degrees to change the angle of the phone to avoid glare from the sun or to get just the right angle. It doesn’t swivel, so the user will need to rotate the entire tripod, but that’s a minor problem. Joby makes a GorillaPod designed for heavier SLR cameras that comes with a ball joint ($49.95). If you need more flexibility, then you could buy the heavier GorillaPod with the ball joint and the GripTight Mount Pro ($29.95) separately for a total of about $80. That’s a great combination and I wish Joby would sell the Mount Pro and the GorillaPod with the ball join in a single package for about $70.
Value and Recommendation
Joby makes great products for serious smart phone photographers. The Joby GripTight XL works well as a stand for those who use their phone to watch video, but the tiny tripod makes it challenging to take great shots except in specific places. You’d have to find a tall surface to set the phone on to take portraits of people standing. It also doesn’t give the user a good enough angle to take photos looking down on top of something, like products for sale on eBay or Craigslist. That’s why a GorillaPod connected to a mount for the phone makes a lot of sense.
This stand doesn’t work well for spontaneous photo sessions because most people won’t want to carry around the large GorillaPod. It doesn’t fit in your pocket and takes up a lot of space in a computer bag. I store it in my car since I drive everywhere living in a rural area. That way it’s always around.
Serious smart phone photographers will love the Joby GripTight GorillaPod Stand PRO. It’s $60 price feels like a good value. I couldn’t find it on Amazon or for a lower price anywhere else, so get it from Joby or at B&H Photo for the retail price. If you don’t mind paying $20 get the GripTight Pro mount by itself and the larger sturdier GorillaPod SLR Zoom with the ball mount. It make it easier to get more versatile angles.