The Oben CTT-1000L is essentially a larger version of the diminutive CTT-1000. It has a maximum height of 28.2 inches (716 mm) without the 3-section extender, and 54 inches with the extender. And it weighs in at just 1.1 pounds (499 g).
Given the size, I would characterize it as either a tabletop tripod that could be used for YouTube videos, mobile photography, low-angle photography or even a very small lightweight backpacking tripod.
I extended the three-section twist-lock legs and opened them several times. The CTT-1100L felt solid and precise. I locked down the ball head and tried to move it. It felt solid and immovable.
I attached their included Quick Release Plate to the rather heavy Pentax K-1 DSLR with an old Pentax M Macro 50mm f/4. This weighed approximately 2.5 pounds (1.13 kg). Then I was able to easily slide this on to the ball head and tighten it without issue. Again, everything felt solid and tight.
I am used to a tension knob on my ball heads. Consequently, this ball head seemed to go from “locked in” to “really loose” in a hurry for me. This was exacerbated by using a rather heavy camera. Regardless, when it was locked on, it felt solid.
The camera felt solid even when extending the tripod to its maximum height without the extender attached.
If I spread the legs out completely, the height of the top of the ball head was approximately 5 inches from the surface. This is the lowest this tripod can go.
Testing for stability
All tripods move. Sorry, they just do. The majority of it typically comes from the head and quick release mount. Some can also come from vibrations through the legs.
I decided to put the Oben to the test by using a 50mm macro lens. Using a macro lens would allow me to see even the tiniest movement right away.
Multiple exposure macro photography test
I first tested the Oben without the legs extended. This was approximately 14 inches in height. Every attempt at shutter speeds ranging from 1/160, 1/30 and half a second was stable. Even with a form of photography as demanding as macro photography, there was no discernible movement anywhere.
However, it was time to torture the tripod. I extended the legs to their fully. At this height, I got different results. All three of the same shutter speeds had a discernible difference between the three images when viewed at 53% and definitely at 100% with the macro lens.
However, the discrepancy between photos were all close enough that if you compensated by nudging one of the photos by a pixel or three, you would not have an issue blending or “focus stacking.”
Please bear in mind that I was testing using a 50mm macro lens, which shows very tiny movements. Had I not been photographing with macro, the tripod would have been more than up to the task even with this beast of a camera. Indeed, most people use cameras that are considerably lighter than the hulking Pentax K-1.
In the field testing
In this case, the “field” was my backyard. I continued to use the Pentax K-1, just to make things difficult for this small tripod. I wanted to see how this would function as a lightweight backpack tripod or even a small travel tripod.
With the legs fully extended, the camera felt solid and was able to take good day photos, including long exposure photos. However, it was small enough that I could carry it in the side pockets of my Tenba Solstice 20L camera bag. This was particularly excellent for a tripod more designed for vlogging and mobile photography!
Torturing the tiny tripod
It was time to be sadistic. I screwed on the 3-section extender. Without extending the other two sections, the camera was now approximately 39 inches off the ground. On a very stable concrete surface, when I gently pushed against the camera, the extender wobbled for between 2-3 seconds each time. You would likely need a windless day with the setup I was testing. If you had a lighter camera, you would fare better.
For curiosity’s sake, I extended the extender to its highest position of 54 inches. After gently pushing on it, the camera wobbled for 30-32 seconds. With this amount of shake, you would probably want to only do relatively fast shutter speeds. With a much lighter camera, the “wobble” time would be far less.
Not everyone is going to fully extend the legs of a tripod, then pull the extender to its full height with 2.5 pounds of equipment on top. Taking a tripod designed for vlogging, mobile and low-angle photography and testing like this might be considered cruel and unusual.
A discussion of load capacity
Oben claims that the maximum capacity is 11 pounds (4.98 kg), which would be an extremely heavy setup. In fact, I briefly mounted the Pentax K-1 (2.04 lbs. / 0.925 kg) and the hefty Pentax HD PENTAX-D FA 15-30mm f/2.8, which is 2.29 pounds (1.04 kg). Although the Oben showed no ill effects, I personally didn’t feel comfortable having it hold this hefty combination together for long.
After all, the general guideline among tripod users is that the user’s load capacity should be at least three times the combined weight of your camera, lens and tripod head.
Given that the combined setup of the tripod and the hefty Pentax setup is 4.32 pounds (2.41 kg), this exceeds those common guidelines. Therefore, my unease from that heavy setup was warranted.
However, the 2.5 pound (1.13 kg) setup for macro with the tripod weight for a combined weight of approximately 3.5 pounds (1.58 kg) still sits within the guideline.
As an aside, the load capacity for my typical night photography setup is five times the combined weight of my camera, lens, and tripod head. I tend to overdo more than most people.
Perfect for tabletops
I “abused” the Oben CTT-1000L with my macro setup with a heavy camera as well as fully extending everything. As I mentioned before, few people are going to use such a heavy camera and go and then fully extend the entire tripod!
In reality, this is an extremely capable tripod on tabletops for YouTube videos. And at only 1.1 pounds (499 g) it would also make an excellent lightweight choice for hiking and backpacking. And yes, without the legs extended, you could absolutely use this for macro photography.
And if it can be used for the above applications, you can be certain that it is more than solid for vlogging, mobile and low-angle photography.
Oben CTT-1000L Carbon Fiber Tabletop Tripod (Long)
The CTT-1000L Carbon Fiber Tabletop Tripod by Oben combines height with light. It is a sturdy and high-quality carbon fiber tabletop tripod that can provide a compact and secure platform for vlogging, mobile, and low-angle photography. With longer legs providing more available height than Oben’s original CTT-1000 tabletop tripod plus a robust 11-pound weight capacity, it makes an ideal accessory for smartphones, compact and mirrorless cameras, all the way up to full-featured DSLRs. With 3-position legs and speedy twist-lock joints, this compact and versatile performer is a great addition to your camera bag when you need portability and rapid setup.