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Oben CT-3561 5-section travel carbon fiber tripod & head: $200 (B&H)
Posted By: Doundounba, 11-18-2014, 06:42 PM

Good deal or not?

It's a bit hard to compare prices, as B&H are apparently one of the few or the only dealer that sells Oben, but just yesterday this was listed at $350, and today it's at $200. The best price I'm finding on Ebay is $253. It's a 3.1 lbs, 5-section carbon fiber tribod with a ballhead, rated to a capacity of 17.6 lbs. It folds to a length of a little under 17 inches. If you're looking for something a little taller and sturdier than a Sirui T-025X - as I am - it looks like a very good deal. I just ordered one, but would be grateful for any opinions on this deal...

Here's the link.

Last edited by Doundounba; 11-18-2014 at 07:06 PM.
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11-19-2014, 02:48 AM   #2
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I think it's very nice...
I personally prefer the sturdiness of three-segment tripods, but this looks very nice.
On Amazon.com it's the same price as on ebay...
11-19-2014, 05:18 AM   #3
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Yeah on Amazon it is $253 just like in eBay. However, B&H's $199 sounds very tempting...I dont have a tripod.

What are the negative things about this tripod? What are the implications of it being 5-section instead of 3-section?
11-19-2014, 05:22 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Moropo Quote
Yeah on Amazon it is $253 just like in eBay. However, B&H's $199 sounds very tempting...I dont have a tripod.

What are the negative things about this tripod? What are the implications of it being 5-section instead of 3-section?
Well I'd say - generally speaking - that the more sections you have, the thinner the last ones are, the more links and locks you have, the more wobbly and fragile the whole thing is.
All other things being equal I'd take a 3-section tripod for sturdiness and resistance, and a 4- or 5-section one for portability.

11-19-2014, 05:27 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
Well I'd say - generally speaking - that the more sections you have, the thinner the last ones are, the more links and locks you have, the more wobbly and fragile the whole thing is.
All other things being equal I'd take a 3-section tripod for sturdiness and resistance, and a 4- or 5-section one for portability.
Thanks very much. Also, I see this has twist locks. Could you offer your opinion on flip lock vs twist lock? Thanks.
11-19-2014, 05:31 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Moropo Quote
Thanks very much. Also, I see this has twist locks. Could you offer your opinion on flip lock vs twist lock? Thanks.
There's no "better" choice, it all depends on the particular implementation.
Flip locks could get loose over time, but serious manufacturers (like Manfrotto) supply an Allen key to tighten them if they become loose.
It still has to happen to me, and the ease with which I can unlock them with rapid flicks of my fingers can't be matched by twist locks...
Twist locks, OTOH, are said to keep water/mud out much better when the tripod is partly submerged or has to be used in a difficult environment.
It's a question of preferences.
11-19-2014, 05:59 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
the ease with which I can unlock them with rapid flicks of my fingers can't be matched by twist locks...
I had that opinion about twist vs flips until I started using the Sirui T-025X. Now I can extend the lens by grabbing all the twist locks at once and giving them a quarter-turn swivel. Takes about 1 second per leg

I agree that it's a matter of preference. I'll add that twist locks are harder to unlock accidentally but both systems work fine. It's not a deal breaker for me.

regarding the original question, I cannot vouch for the craftsmanship of Oben but for all comparison purposes this tripod looks like a larger and heavier version of the Sirui T-025X. If you're looking for something taller than the sirui then this looks like a great choice at a great price. If you don'T like the head, it will still be cost-effective to replace it with something else.
11-19-2014, 06:46 AM   #8
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I'm glad others feel this is a good deal! It was time for me to try something else, even though I've been reasonably happy with my T-025X. The twist locks can indeed all be loosened at once, which makes it reasonably quick to deploy. It's incredibly light and small, and because of that you wind up bringing it with you much more often than you would a 5-6lbs tripod. However, the last leg segment is very thin, and so I only use that in very calm environments. With the center column not extended and 4 leg segments deployed, the T-025x is 41 inches high. Let's just say that this is the kind of tripod that really makes you notice your camera's lack of a tilting LCD, as you crouch to compose. This Oben seems noticeably beefier and reaches 10 inches higher, so I'm hoping that if the last leg segment is more usable, I'll be doing a lot less crouching. I'm also hoping that the advertised weight is accurate and includes the head. 3.1 lbs is quite a bit more than my Sirui's 1.8 lbs, but it's still reasonably light, I think. We'll see if I find that light enough...

11-19-2014, 07:13 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Doundounba Quote
*snip*
I'm also hoping that the advertised weight is accurate and includes the head. 3.1 lbs is quite a bit more than my Sirui's 1.8 lbs, but it's still reasonably light, I think. We'll see if I find that light enough...
The Manfrotto I own is 2.8kg with the head (6.17lb), IIRC...
I've brought it along in quite a few short trekkings, and it is only slightly bothering... it depends on personal preferences and expectations...
11-19-2014, 10:53 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Moropo Quote
Thanks very much. Also, I see this has twist locks. Could you offer your opinion on flip lock vs twist lock? Thanks.
What I find with flip locks is the levers tend to catch on clothing. They're like little hooks. More of an annoyance than a real complaint.
11-19-2014, 11:15 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Doundounba Quote
the last leg segment is very thin, and so I only use that in very calm environments.
Honestly, the Sirui fully deployed is many times sturdier than my (cheap) aluminum tripod which is heavier, larger, with fewer leg sections. so it's not all about size.
11-19-2014, 05:33 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
Honestly, the Sirui fully deployed is many times sturdier than my (cheap) aluminum tripod which is heavier, larger, with fewer leg sections. so it's not all about size.
As I said, "generally speaking" and "all other things being equal"!
Thgat said, I agree with you that new generation tripods from reputable manufacturers are in a league of their own...
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