Oben Tripods

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by sharpbokeh, May 24, 2011.

  1. sharpbokeh

    sharpbokeh Member

    Messages:
    52
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I am in the process of looking for a light, inexpensive tripod for hiking and traveling with a Shen PTB and came across the Oben brand on BHPhoto. Anyone use these or seen one in the wild? They appear to be the BH house brand, and on paper look like a lot of bang for the buck, though there are virtually no reviews online yet. Any further info/user reports on these would be appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

    Messages:
    7,417
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Location:
    northern Pa.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Like you, I was in search of a t-pod that fit that criteria. I decided on an Induro AKB-2, fit the bill with weight/load/price ratio. I've had it for over a month now, it handles my Cambo and Calumet 4x5's easily. It came with a padded case and shoulder strap. The strap can be used to carry the pod without the case. There is a padded leg to ease the carry sans case. My only regret was getting the ball head, I think the pan head(AKP-2) would serve my purposes better. The good part about that is I can swap the head out for what I want and have both. It also comes in a carbon fiber version, more $$$ for that.
     
  3. CGW

    CGW Member

    Messages:
    2,797
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Looks like a B&H captive import but suspect this merch is sold elsewhere under different brand names with slightly different cosmetics. My issue with this(presumably Chinese-made)gear, relative to Manfrotto, is parts/repair availability, which is usually non-existent. Build quality can often be problematic with the offbrand stuff I've seen.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2011
  4. darinwc

    darinwc Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,448
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Location:
    Sacramento,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Most of the chinese tripods are very weak at the apex and have sub-standard heads.
    For example, i tried out a benro tripod at the store. This was supposed to be a heavy-duty model for larger cameras.
    Even with it locked down as tight as I could, I could still move the ball head with just my hands.

    You can imagine how well it would work with a long lens applying leverage to it.
     
  5. sharpbokeh

    sharpbokeh Member

    Messages:
    52
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Good point about parts, so I emailed B&H and they said parts are available (though I don't see them listed anywhere on their site.) I also notice Oben tripods and heads have a 5-year warranty. Still, I'd love to hear from someone who has handled this gear.
     
  6. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    9,436
    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Your tripod is the second most important piece of gear in your kit, after your camera. Don't skimp. A good tripod well bought will last the rest of your life. Buy the wrong cheap one repeatedly and you'll more than compensate for the up-front expense of a better tripod to begin with. I recently bought an Induro carbon-fiber tripod. The thing is solid as a rock and should hold all but the biggest of my cameras. While the carbon-fiber may be overkill for your need and budget, I would still recommend the Induro aluminum leg tripods, especially as a quality peer to the Manfrotto and Gitzo tripods, with a useable savings over their prices to boot. Another worthwhile option would be to look around for a used Gitzo. You can find them for a lot less than new ones, and as long as the leg tubes are not bent, or the locks broken, poor cosmetic condition is not a problem.
     
  7. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

    Messages:
    1,492
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Location:
    Santa Fe, NM
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I agree with the above post. I've spent years with second-hand and second-rate tripods....who cares how nice your lenses are if you tripod is vibrating in the light breeze. I also bought an Induro Carbon CT113 and am HIGHLY impressed. It feels and handles just like my buddies $900 Gitzo 6X. I also got mine from the demo floor for $200 so keep your eyes peeled. It's worth the geld.
     
  8. sharpbokeh

    sharpbokeh Member

    Messages:
    52
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Just to clarify, while I mention I am looking for something inexpensive, I don't mean total el cheapo. The Oben line appears aimed to fit on the same price point tier as Induro & mid-level Manfrotto, etc, with choices in aluminum and carbon. I was actually close to pulling the trigger on an Induro, but noticed the Oben as an attractive and similar alternative. I may have to just take the plunge seeing as they are so new on the market I am not likely to find many user reports. I can always exchange for an Induro if it appears lacking.
     
  9. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,113
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You mentioned you have the Induro and I have their 113 in metal. It is a very nice traveling tripod. I also have the C313 Carbon Induro and it does more traveling than I do. It is back in for the second time in two years for rebuild. The twist locks in the Induro will not hold up very well. The center column begins to rotate as it wears out the keyed insert and the leg locks spin under the grips to lock them. Not impressed would be my vote.

    I'll send my 113 in for its first rebuild after I get back from Canada next month. It has held up better because of the lighter loads it supports, but if my two models reflect the Induro line, I'd find other legs to purchase.
    Lee
     
  10. CGW

    CGW Member

    Messages:
    2,797
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Sorry but my point stands. For a few extra bucks, you get access to parts and service thru Manfrotto or their dealers. B&H will assuredly have a longer relationship with Manfrotto. Depends, I guess, on how you define "false economy."
     
  11. Klainmeister

    Klainmeister Member

    Messages:
    1,492
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2010
    Location:
    Santa Fe, NM
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Oh man, really?! That doesn't bode well for me. I'm pretty rough on gear. We'll see how long she lasts.....thanks for the heads up.
     
  12. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,113
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'd hoped the legs would hold up better for what one pays for things these days. Hope yours hold up better!
    Lee
     
  13. sharpnikkor

    sharpnikkor Subscriber

    Messages:
    636
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Location:
    Along the So
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I'd search for a used Gitzo tripod over a new cheaper brand. The Gitzos will last for years. You might try looking at the Gitzo G-1228 carbon fiber, weighs 3.35 lbs, rated up to 17.6 lbs load, combined with a lightweight ballhead like a Kaiser 6011 rated for the same load capacity. A great combo for lightweight 4 x 5 down to 35mm.