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Review: Oben AC-1400 4-Section Aluminum Tripod with BA-00 Ball Head

This is theOben AC-1400 with the BA00 Ball head. It’s strong, sturdy, and sizeable. It’s also a light, reasonably priced, and easy to use photography tool. This tripod does not have the storied lineage of Manfrotto.

So why am I smitten with it?

Testing Gear

Image shot with tripod and D90 with 40mm

 

Nikon D90 /Nikon 40mm 2.8

Nikon N2020/F-501 /Tamron 28-200

Tamrac Evolution 8

Product Specs

General
Load Capacity 6.6 lb (3 kg)
Maximum Height 57″ (144.8 cm)
Maximum Height w/o Column Extended 46.5″ (118.1 cm)
Folded Length 20″ (50.8 cm)
Weight 2.95 lb (1.3 kg)

 

Head
Head Type Ball head
Quick Release Yes, with 1/4″-20 screw & retractable video pin

 

Legs
Material Aluminum
Head Attachment Fitting 1/4″-20 and 3/8″-16 via reversible screw
Leg Stages/Sections 3/4
Leg Lock Type Flip-lock
Independent Leg Spread Yes
Spiked/Retractable Feet No
Center Brace No

 

Center Column
Center Column Type Rapid (grooved, reversible, non-rotating)
Center Column Sections 1
Bubble Level 5 (1 on chassis, 4 on head)

Ergonomics

One of the most important things about this tripod is that it is compact. At its smallest, it’s 20 inches. It has a neat minimalist case that is durable and easy to manage.

Outside the case, the tripod is easily maneuverable. At 2.95 lb (1.3 kg) This tripod is light but, however it’s not too light. It does not feel like it will fall over in the wind.

The BA00 Ball head is sturdy, too. Its ease of use gives gives it an array of angles to work with.

There are multiple spirit levels that can level your camera and they are all easy to view. The safety locking mechanism is strong and I know my camera is secure once it’s locked.

The removable head mounts to the camera very tightly with a strong screw that tightens from the bottom.

One of my favorite things about the tripod is the padding on the legs. In the cold, they do not become cold. With this feature, holding this tripod while wearing gloves is a pleasant experience. My old Manfrotto had padding, and this reminds me of it perfectly.

When the camera is on the tripod, it does not move, unless you move it. This means that, in practice, the legs are super sturdy unless something super strong comes by. This also has to do with the weighting.

The center arm is also very rigid. With the tripod legs not extended, the camera gets some height and does not take up a lot of space.

With all parts of the tripod fully extended at its full 57″ (144.8 cm) everything remains stable and easy to use.

If you need more weight for the tripod, there is a sturdy hook for a counter weight.

The flip-locks are durable and feel like they will last a long time.

The legs are independently adjustable so they will work great in weird terrains as well as low angle shots.

Build Quality & Ease of use

The Oben AC-1400 is made from extruded aluminum, and its assembled nicely. All the connectors are well made, and there are enough details to make this tripod extremely efficient. This tripod is very intuitive. A quick look will let you know everything you need to know about it . This tripod can comfortably hold Micro Four thirds camera up to a DSLR with a telephoto lens.

The four section legs extend very quickly while the flip locks and pull out/press in locks secure on the legs as well as giving you the agility. The center column extends with a twist of the butterfly nob and there is a rubber damper for protection.

Twisting the spring loaded hook at the bottom of the column lets you get the tripod as low as possible. The column becomes reversible for low angle shooting.

In the End

In terms of looks, this tripod is actually quite stylish. Clean lines and a straight forward design define its appearance. How does it compare to a Manffroto tripod in the same range? Very well actually; while it does not share its pedigree, the Oben AC-1400 is a decent product if you’re just starting out on your photography path with a camera like the Nikon D7000 or the Canon T3i, or need a tripod for traveling. At $99.95, I can  recommend the Oben AC-1400.

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