B&H Photo was kind enough to lend me the Oben AC-1410 and BA-0 ball head to review. The Oben AC-1410 is a 4-section aluminum tripod that travels easily thanks to it’s compact size and light weight, which is the main reason I picked it to review . I travel by bike a lot and like trying out compact tripods.
Size and Weight
The Oben AC-1410 remains pretty lightweight for an aluminum tripod, weighing in at 3.2lbs. Not bad. It also folds down to a mere 21″, making it a nice compact travel tripod. Even with the head, the AC-1410 folds down nice and compact. Usually tripod heads get in the way, not so with this guy.
Upon first inspection, I was impressed with the build quality and materials. I wasn’t expecting much from a $120 tripod with a ball head. But to be honest, I was quite impressed with the Oben AC-1410. Not to say it doesn’t have its flaws, which is does such as lever leg locks to extend and contract the legs. I prefer the twist style leg locks because they are easier on my hands. Some leg levers are so hard to use that they make my hands hurt. Plus levers can snag on loose articles of clothing and cords. Oh, and you can also pinch your hands and fingers in them!
The Oben AC-1410 is a simple tripod for a simple person. It has all of the features needed to do the job, plus some:
- Two padded leg warmers for those cold winter days
- Reversible center column for close up work
- Quick release plate for swift removal your camera
- 4 bubble levels on the BA-0 ball head
- Very nice, high-quality carrying case included.
While it has the basic features, it does lack one main feature I love such as a center column that can go horizontal like the Manfrotto 055XPROB. A center column that can go horizontal allows me to get in real close on objects that are low to the ground for macro work, or get down real low for my ultra-wide angle shots. But, you can always use the AC-1410′s reversible center column for that, it will just be a more difficult and awkward. I would have also liked some spiked feet to be included. Maybe I’m just asking too much for a $120 tripod AND head?
Operation and Usability
Oben AC-1410 Tripod Legs
Using the Oben AC-1410 out in the field was simply put, very easy and enjoyable. Set up of the tripod is pretty quick. It is a 4-section tripod, so it’s not as fast to set up as a 3-section. There are more levers to operate. BUT, because the levers on the legs are much easier to clamp and undo then other tripods I’ve used, this makes it easy and enjoyable to set up.
The levers clamp the legs down tight, too. There is no give or slack when the legs are fully extended. That’s something hard to find in a tripod in this price range!
Stability is a key component on tripods and the Oben AC-1410 fares pretty good in this department. With the legs fully extended, I tested the flex it had by using various methods. Mainly by using the legs at different angles and putting pressure on them to see how much they’d flex and give. I was surprised by how well they stood up to my primitive tests.
They did flex a tad, but only under s good amount of pressure. Under everyday use it would never be a problem. The AC-1410 is a stable little tripod!
Oben BA-0 Ball Head
Oben was nice enough to include the simple and compact BA-0 ball head with their AC-1410 tripod. You can buy them both separately but it doesn’t make sense to do that. You’ll be spending more money.
The BA-0 came with a handy quick release plate as well. The plate that screws into the camera body is good. I haven’t noticed any slipping yet. I tried forcing it out of alignment with my bare hands, but failed. I cranked it down pretty tight when attaching it. The BA-0 is a single knob ball head, which allows you to adjust your camera on all axes quickly with one twist of the knob. This makes life easy. Operation felt smooth and pretty precise for being a “budget” ball head. It’s rated load capacity is 11lbs, and I wouldn’t recommend you go above that because it does slip when under some pressure/weight.
Mounting the camera on the tripod with the quick release plate is a breeze. However, I noticed that when clipping it in, I have to fully close the lever with my thumb. It doesn’t quite close all the way. I’ve had this problem with other quick release plates as well, so I wasn’t surprised when I encountered it.
Nevertheless, I feel safe with my camera on the BA-0 . It’s a nice little ball head. It does still slip a bit even when the knob is tightened all the way, but you really have to apply some force to get that to happen.
Overall I really like the Oben AC-1410 tripod and BA-0 ball head . And for only around $120, it’s an amazing deal. Should you buy this instead of saving for a better tripod? Well, that’s your choice honestly. This tripod is excellent for the money, and you can get a lot of use out of it. If you’re not going to use a tripod a lot or want a compact tripod to travel with, the Oben AC-1410 is a good choice. But if you want all the bells and whistles, and think you might outgrow this tripod, consider saving up for a more pricey carbon fiber tripod like the Manfrotto 055XPROB .
- Small, lightweight and compact make the AC-1410 a great traveler
- Fast setup times thanks to the easy to use leg levers
- Sturdy and rigid up to it’s recommended load of 11lbs
- Supplied BA-0 ball head is a joy to use thanks to it’s simplicity
- Comes with an awesome high-quality carrying case
- Excellent value
- Would prefer twist style leg locks instead of levers
- Very slight flexing of legs compared to my carbon fiber Feisol
- BA-0 ball head slips a bit even when the knob is tightened down
- Center column can’t go at a horizontal angle for getting real low
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