AMITIAE - Monday 21 July 2014

Glif Tripod Mount and Stand Revisited

apple and chopsticks


By Graham K. Rogers


When the Olloclip lens system for the iPhone 4 first appeared, it was clear to me that some way to connect the iPhone to a tripod or other means of support, was essential. I looked at a number of solutions before ordering the Glif mount that was specifically designed for the iPhone 4. It also worked with the iPhone 4S.

When the iPhone 5 (and later 5s) appeared, it was clear that neither the lenses nor the Glif support would work. I gave the lenses and the Glif mount to a student who was still running an iPhone 4. I already had an interesting set of lenses from a Kickstarter project: Mobi Lens. These had the advantage that not only would they work on iPhones, but on other brands, and even on the iPad, as the connection method, although not as tight as Olloclip, was more versatile.

Mobi Lens

It took me a while to realise that, although I could use the iPhone with just the lenses, there were some tasks - such as stop-motion photography - that needed the solidity of a tripod. As I have a student camp coming up soon, and one of the modules in that will discuss photography, I was pushed into ordering another Glif support which arrived recently at a cost of $30 plus $12.79 shipping: a total of around 1,365 baht.


The latest version has benefitted from some user input concerning the first support system. Instead of being iPhone- and model-specific, these newer mounts are adjustable and fit devices in a range of 58.4 mm - 86.4mm wide, and 3.1 mm - 12.7 mm thick.

To make the adjustments to both the grip and the stand there is a 5/32 hex key in the unusual package that contains the components. This goes in a threaded screw and locks into the female hex at the bottom of the threaded section. The screw thread attaches to a standard tripod.


Also in the package is a small ring connector with a screw thread. This can be connected to the Glif and used as a means of hanging the connected device. I have seen photographs of iPhones hanging from balloons. I did hang the last one out of a window for a couple of minutes, but I tend to be a little wary of this sort of activity.

Both the ring and hex key will need to be kept safe. Hex keys are fairly easily replaceable (I still have a set from my motorcycling days), but the ring would need to be reordered if lost.

Connecting the iPhone 5s into the Glif needed me to turn the hex key several times until the jaws began to grip. As I could still slide the device out, I tightened it more, until movement was difficult. This held the iPhone in place. I was wary of making the grip too tight. When I later released the iPhone, there were no contact marks at all.

Glif Glif

The previous Glif mount paid for itself over and over and I expect that the latest one, which I carry in my backpack in its neat package (along with a mini-tripod I have), will continue to give me good service.


Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.



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All content copyright © G. K. Rogers 2014