Oben Tripods Review
Oben Entry-Level Tripods with Heads
Oben’s 1300/1400 line of lightweight aluminum tripods is entry-level in name only. Their high degree of performance owes both to the quality of the materials and to the array of professional features that Oben has packed into these steadfast, yet lightweight, aluminum camera supports.
Extruded aluminum of a very high tensile strength forms the tubing of the legs and of the center column; the chassis is composed of forged aluminum. Each model is strong enough to support any of today’s DSLR cameras, even with a long telephoto lens attached. Each tripod reaches a generous working height, yet retracts and folds down to fit into a carry-on bag. Many can do so with the head still attached.
The Oben 1300/1400 tripods are versatile enough to suit a variety of working conditions. For low-angle and macro photography, the legs open and lock to a wide angle so the head can sit extremely low to the ground. If that’s not enough, the center column is reversible. For windy conditions, the center column’s spring-loaded metal hook suspends a counterweight. The legs are independently adjustable (and lockable at three different angles) to accommodate shooting from uneven terrain.
The broader features tell a great portion of the story, but the discerning photographer will notice the small yet crucial touches that ensure the day-in, day-out stability and security of the tripod. Among the thoughtful details that command attention and admiration are the strength of the head’s ball-locking mechanism; the dual lock that keeps the camera and quick-release plate from inadvertently disengaging from the head; the locking screws underneath the center-post collar, and the rubber damper on top. For keeping components tightened in the field, there’s the ever-ready Allen key that’s attached to a leg. Reflecting the models’ rugged performance over the long term, Oben stands behind its tripods with a five-year warranty.
Oben Folding/Traveler Tripods with Heads
Oben’s folding/traveler tripods share an ingenious 180-degree folding-leg design that allows them to retract to an ultra-compact form for casual transport in a backpack or carry-on bag. The included head remains attached, and the inverted feet reach just to the top of the included quick-release plate. In addition, the tripods are designed to transform into monopods posthaste. Simply unscrew the proper leg, remove the center column, and screw together these two elements to create a true working-height monopod. Despite their light weight, compact design and multi-purpose utility, these folding tripods don’t compromise anything in the way of professional performance or working stability.
The Traveler tripods differ in head design and leg materials, but they all reflect Oben’s discriminating standards for material strength and stable construction. Thanks to the non-rotating design of the legs, a single twist of the photographer’s wrist frees each of a leg’s rubber locks at once, causing all stages to extend fully. A thoughtful leg design makes a simpler task of servicing and maintaining leg sections—an inevitable prospect after working in dusty or sodden conditions.
The tripods’ Oben heads are all strong enough to support the DSLR camera bodies and heavy telephoto lenses that professionals use, with enough capacity left over for adding accessories or a counterweight for windy conditions. Across the line, the head’s ball is secured with absolute lockdown strength. With either an Arca-style clamp or a dual lock to secure the quick-release plate, you can be sure that the camera will stay exactly where it must—until it’s time to reposition or exchange it quickly. Oben understands that the stability and long-term performance of your gear is paramount, and it stands behind its tripods with a five-year warranty.
Oben Table-Top Tripods with Heads
For its TT line of tabletop tripods, Oben has employed a simple design and all-aluminum construction to create sturdy, compact supports for tabletop photography. Across the line, operating heights range from only 2.2” to a relatively towering 17”. Components have a tight, stable feel, from the hinge of the folding legs to the connection of the mini ball head to the tripod body.
The head’s operation will be familiar to a working photographer and simple enough for any amateur to master quickly. A single twist lock frees and locks both the pan and tilt movements of the head. The tabletop tripods can bear up to 6.6 lb, supporting projects such as product photography with a professional DSLR camera. Oben backs each of its table-top tripods with a five-year warranty.