Light as a feather, should the Oben Lander CT-3565 5-section carbon fiber tripod system be in your arsenal for run and gun or travel needs? I received one to find out.

First impressions

While the carbon fiber construction is sturdy, first-time users will undoubtedly notice the light weight immediately. At around four pounds, you can easily envision taking the tripod on a hike or rushing to a scene with this strapped over a shoulder. In fact, I did take this tripod (with its quality case and shoulder strap) on hikes in rugged Iceland, and it was the most comfortable hike with gear I’ve had.

But besides the weight, this small tripod gives you plenty of options.

Nice, secure tripod legs

The tripod’s three legs have five sections, allowing you an incredible working height range of 16.7–62.7 inches. The legs lock in at three positions: 23, 50 and 80 degrees.

I found the twist locks on the tripod legs to be some of the easiest on the market to quickly loosen and tighten. The tripod has both rubber and spiked feed. Simply screw up the rubber feet to reveal the spikes. For added stability, a hook at the bottom of the center column can hold a sandbag.

The legs have reverse folding capability, making the folded size for transportation a mere 16.4 inches.

Things that make you say “wow”

The center column is reversible, so you can actually turn it around and insert it, then mount your camera near ground level should the shooting need arise. The center column is extremely easy to raise or lower.

In addition, the tripod comes with a small center column piece that you can swap out with the larger column. With this column inserted and the legs spread out to 80 degrees, you can have a very stable low angle or ground level shot.

Need to go low? No problem.

Want to convert to a monopod? Simply unscrew a tripod leg, pull out the center column and screw together to get up to 65.2 inches of height. It is versatility like this that gives the Oben Lander a leg up on some competitors in this price range.

Converts to a monopod in under two minutes.

Fluid head

The TVH-108 video head that came with the tripod felt solid. It supports up to 8.8 pounds, includes a bubble level and has a 501-style quick-release plate. There is a detachable rosette-style pan handle, useful for controlling the 360-degree pan and +/- 90-degree tile of the head.

I was impressed with how quickly I could level the tripod head. In addition, I was able to achieve silky smooth pans and tilts thanks to the fluid head and pan handle. I must note that the level of control over the drag is inferior to tripod heads in the next price bracket, but this, and a lackluster spring-loaded counterbalance, were the only two features that I found to be average. Make no mistake — I still had good control of the tripod head movements, but the pan is firm and one must be careful not to unscrew the head from the tripod column mount during certain movements.

Final thoughts

I was amazed with the features that the Oben Lander CT-3565 packed into a tripod at this price point. Would I recommend it for run and gun-style or travel shoots? Absolutely. This is a solid, dependable purchase for either need.

Even if you have top-tier tripods, this is a reliable and sturdy “B” tripod for professionals. The light weight and versatility is a big deal whether you’re doing a day of hiking or involved in a demanding professional shoot. The video head is smooth and satisfactory for uses consistent with this style of tripod and price range. The height range, smooth setup and exceptional features make this a winner.

Oben Lander CT-3565 5-Section Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod System & TVH-108 Video Head

The Lander CT-3565 Tripod System & TVH-108 Video Head from Oben pairs a compact fluid-drag head with a five-section carbon fiber tripod. Together, the components in this system provide lightweight and easily adjustable support for run-and-gun-style videography. This system extends from 16.7 to 62.7 inches high, and it incorporates one leg that can be removed to use as a monopod extending to 65.2 inches.