Oben AC-1410 Tripod Review

This is a quick review of the Oben AC-1410 4-Section Aluminum Tripod with BA-0 Ball Head. While simultaneously testing a number of digital cameras from Sony, Nikon and Olympus, I realized that I need another tripod that is light, easy to use / setup and affordable. I already have a heavy duty Gitzo Systematic tripod with an Arca-Swiss ballhead that I use for my photography needs, but I found it too painful to remove the quick release plate every time I needed to mount a camera. In addition, there were situations when I wanted to use two tripods simultaneously.

Oben AC-1410 Tripod

As I have already explained in my “how to choose a tripod” article, the cost of a tripod system can vary between $50-$1,200 (sometimes even more than that, depending on what head and other accessories you choose to buy). I definitely did not want to spend a lot of money on a secondary tripod, so I set my budget to under $150 with a head and started my search. My main criteria were: ability to support lightweight cameras to a pro-level DSLR with a non-telephoto lens (up to 10 pounds maximum load), a ballhead with a quick-release plate, under 3-4 pounds of total weight, easy to use and with a solid build. After I narrowed down my search to a couple of tripods, I ended up choosing the Oben AC-1410. I felt that it was a good fit for my needs, because it had everything I wanted and the price was well under my set budget.

1) Product Specifications and Features

General
Load Capacity11 lb (5 kg)
Maximum Height60.4″ (153.4 cm)
Maximum Height w/o Column Extended50″ (127 cm)
Minimum Height6.5″ (16.5 cm)
Folded Length21″ (53.3 cm)
Weight3.25 lb (1.4 kg)
Head
Head TypeSingle-lever ball head
Quick ReleaseYes, with 1/4″-20 screw & retractable video pin
Legs
MaterialAluminum
Head Attachment Fitting1/4″-20 and 3/8″-16 via reversible screw
Leg Stages/Sections3/4
Leg Lock TypeFlip lock
Independent Leg SpreadYes
Spiked/Retractable FeetNo
Center BraceNo
Center Column
Center Column TypeRapid (grooved, reversible, non-rotating)
Center Column Sections1
Bubble Level5 (1 on chassis, 4 on head)

Other Features:

  1. Tripod legs features reversible 1/4″-20 and 3/8″-16 screw to fit almost any head
  2. Spring-loaded counterweight hook at the bottom of the center column
  3. Leg warmers on two legs mitigate the effects of extreme heat & cold and provide grip
  4. Two included Allen keys attach to a tripod leg, so you’re always ready to tighten components
  5. Padded carry bag provides a snug fit for the tripod/head combination and features two heavy-duty zippers, an interior pocket with a zipper, and a shoulder strap
  6. Even with the head attached, at 21″ long the retracted system fits into a carry-on bag
  7. Adjustment locks keep legs at the chosen angles
  8. Center column is grooved to prevent rotation
  9. Angled rubber feet

2) Assembly and Use

The Oben AC-1410 tripod is packaged nicely in a box that says “You’re On a Steady Ground”:

Oben AC-1410 Box

Inside the box, you will find a very useful padded carrying bag that contains the tripod and a few other accessories:

Oben AC-1410 Bag

Here is how the tripod looks when collapsed (measuring 21″ long), with a quick release plate:

Oben AC-1410 Unboxed

One thing I found a little strange, was the fact that Oben decided to only provide warmers on two legs instead of all three. Not sure why they did that, but I won’t complain, since most tripods of this class do not have any warmers. Another nice feature I rely on a lot is the level that is provided right on top of the legs:

Oben AC-1410 Leveling

This kind of level is very useful (my Gitzo has it too), especially when shooting panoramas. If one level is not enough, the tripod head has three more levels to work with, which allows for much more precise positioning of the camera. The tripod legs are solid, although the very bottom legs felt a little wobbly when extended. Extending the legs is pretty straightforward – just flip three locks at a time and extend each section.

In general, I do not recommend tripods with center columns, because they only de-stabilize the setup. That’s why I am not too excited about it on this tripod either. Unfortunately, the tripod only extends to 50″ without the center column. I’m 5’7, so I had to use the center column a few times when I did not feel like I wanted to bend my neck too much. With the center column extended, the tripod can reach 60.4″ and once the camera is mounted, it is right about my eye level. The center post has a hook on the bottom for additional stabilization, so you can hang a light bag or some light weight on it:

Oben AC-1410 Hook

The ballhead is a breeze to work with – it only has a single knob that is used for securing the head position. The base of the ballhead can be easily rotated for panoramas. The quick release system is also nicely designed. It won’t let the plate come off until the second smaller lever is squeezed, which is very useful for situations where you might accidentally release the plate without holding the camera. Here is the top of the quick-release ballhead:

Oben AC-1410 Head

The tripod is definitely sturdy enough to hold a DSLR. Here is my Nikon D700 with the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G lens mounted on the tripod:

Oben AC-1410 with D700 mounted

And here is a side by side comparison with the Gitzo Systematic 3-section carbon fiber tripod that I have:

Oben AC-1410 vs Gitzo Systematic

As you can see, compared to the high-end Gitzo tripod, it is a fairly compact setup with much thinner legs and a smaller and lighter ballhead.

Overall, I really liked this tripod, because it does everything I need it to do at a very affordable price. If you have not purchased a tripod yet and you need something for day to day photography, the Oben AC-1410 could be a great tripod to start with.

3) Pricing and Where to Buy

The Oben AC-1410 4-section aluminum tripod with BA-0 ballhead is available at B&H and other online and local stores for $119.95, which is a steal.

Oben AC-1410 Tripod
  • Build Quality
  • Handling
  • Value
  • Size and Weight
  • Packaging and Manual

Photography Life Overall Rating

4.4

Comments

  1. February 4, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    Another nice review. Wonder if the locking mechanism will hold up over time since it looks almost identical to my Benro A-157N6, which is probably a knock-off of something else (Gitzo, perhaps?). I replaced the ballhead with a much sturdier Gitzo that cost twice as much as the Benro with ballhead.

    • February 21, 2012 at 1:13 pm

      Thanks, I am planning to use the tripod pretty heavily when the new D800 arrives (will need to use 2 tripods at a time). Will update the post if I encounter any problems with the locking mechanism.

  2. February 7, 2012 at 7:52 am

    Thanks for the review Nasim! This could not be more timely as I need an upgrade from my 20 year old Ambico Camcorder tripod and was looking at the Oben line. They are really new to me and I can’t find many reviews. Actually I was looking at a CF model that came in around $300, but I was wondering about the quality of Oben?

    • February 21, 2012 at 11:24 am

      Royston, sorry for a late response. Oben makes pretty good quality tripods. They are not stellar, but definitely have a good cost/performance ratio. Check out the Benro classic CF tripods (links in comment #4 by Andrey) – they are very good!

  3. 3
    ) sunnyj
    February 11, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    Hi,

    I will be buying a tripod and was debating between the Slik 340DX (no bubble level) v/s the 700DX (with has bubble level). Now, I saw this review today and wanted to ask you if I should still consider the Oben AC-1410 since it has all the nice features?

    I initially liked the Sunpak Ultra 757TM, however it did not have Independent Leg Spread. Is the Independent Leg Spread a must have feature when doing nature photography and irregular surface? which situation do you really need Independent Leg Spread?

    Thanks in advance.
    Sunny

    • February 21, 2012 at 1:12 pm

      Sunny, the Oben AC-1410 is definitely better than the Sunpak (I used that one before and its quality is very average). Independent leg spread is what you want…

  4. 4
    ) Andrey
    February 21, 2012 at 2:09 am

    Hi Nasim,

    What do you think of Benro Classic C3580F 4-Section Carbon Fiber Tripod
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/744091-REG/Benro_C3580F_Classic_C3580F_4_Section_Carbon.html

    + Benro B2 Double Action Ballhead
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/743913-REG/Benro_B2_B2_Double_Action_Ballhead.html

    combo?

    I’m a tall guy and can’t seem to find anything appropriate from Manfrotto in the same price range..

    Any comments/thoughts on this are appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Andrey

    • February 21, 2012 at 10:46 am

      Andrey, Benro tripods are superb. I personally have not tried one out, but I have some readers that are very happy with their Benro purchase. Their carbon fiber series are almost as good as Gitzo.

  5. 9
    ) Jay
    February 22, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    Nasim,

    What are your thoughts on the use of leveling bases with gimbal heads? I have an RRS 34L with a Wimberly II for my long glass. Sometimes its a pain to readjust legs on the fly, but loosening the lens collar and repositioning can also level the horizon. Some swear by a leveling base and others say they loose some stability. What do you use with your Gitzo and do you have an opinion on the use of a leveling base either way? (seems the money would be better spend on an ND filter).

    Thanks,

    Jay

  6. 10
    ) Bishwas
    March 7, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Hi Mr. Mansurov,

    I am glad that I found your website right now when I was researching to buy a new tripod. I own an old cheap pan-head and wanted to try more sturdy options. Your review has certainly influenced a lot but I have a simple request. Can you please tell me if the following tripod is of any good:
    http://www.amazon.com/Ravelli-Professional-Camera-Tripod-Release/dp/tech-data/B004RBX0GO/

    It’s really cheap but the reviews I’ve found in various forums and blogs indicates that it’s a really good tripod and performs much better in lieu with many much expensive ones. I wanted to know your opinion on this.

    There’s also a carbon fiber version of the same
    http://www.amazon.com/Ravelli-Professional-Carbon-Camera-Release/dp/tech-data/B004RCHX0W/

    Thanks

  7. 11
    ) Pol
    June 22, 2012 at 4:21 am

    An excellent review.
    It is suitable for the Nikon D7000 + Nikkor 70-200/2.8 Nikon + Nikon SB-700?

  8. 12
    ) David R.
    September 18, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Thanks for the detailed review. Although I’m 6’0″, I’m on a tight budget and plan to soon purchase this tripod and head combo.

  9. September 25, 2012 at 8:52 am

    I recently bought the Oben 1400 model from B and H as a travel tripod and am very happy with it. It is one model below the one reviewed here but with similar features and a bit smaller (folded) and lighter!

  10. 14
    ) Nathan
    March 11, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Hi Nasim, great review and excellent web site,
    Just wondering which country make these Oben tripods? I searched the internet but I couldn’t find where they are made. I am worried that they are Chinese made, which does not make them horrible, but sometimes quality is compromised as I heard from one review on the plastic locks of the legs (not sure if its true or not).

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