I remember when GorillaPods first hit the scene. They were actually a little before their time but they did well with the explosion in phone cameras and action cameras. People wanted stabilization but didn’t want to carry a big tripod.
I used GorillaPods for years for special projects – until:
One day I had a light mounted to a GorillaPod and long story short, it wasn’t as well supported as I thought and $300 later, I bought a new light.
Now this isn’t a dig at GorillaPod, it was probably my fault. I probably just didn’t pay enough attention to setting it up correctly.
Combine that experience with the fact that the beefier GorillaPods now cost more than $100 and I decided to make a change.
Ever since that accident, I’ve used real tripods for similar jobs. So when I saw that Oben was releasing a tabletop tripod I got interested.
The Oben CTT-1000 is carbon fiber and weighs less than one pound. The good news is that it costs less than $100 and is perfect for mounting an action cam, an accent light, a second body running time-lapse, you name it.
Before I give my opinion on the tripod, here are the specs:
Head Type Ball Head
Base Mount 3/8″-16 Thread & 1/4″-20 with Bushing
Camera Mounting Screw 1/4″-20 Male
Quick Release Plate Type Arca-Type
Friction Control No
Independent Pan Lock Yes
Pan & Tilt Range
Vertical Tilt -40° to +90°
Panning Range 360°
Load Capacity 11.02 lb / 5 kg
Maximum Working Height 15.5″ / 39.4 cm
Minimum Working Height 4.2″ / 10.7 cm
Bubble Level Yes
Materials Carbon Fiber
Weight 0.98 lb / 445 g
Mounting Screw 1/4″-20 Male
Leg Lock Type Twist Lock
Leg Positions 3 Positions
Independent Leg Spread Yes
Leg Sections 3
Feet Features Rubber, Removable, Spiked
Center Column Sections 3
Center Column Extension Type Rapid
Package Weight 0.98 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 12.25 x 4.6 x 2.75″
As you can see from the specs, the Oben CTT-1000 will extend to 15.5 inches and down as low as 4.2 inches. I find this to be a perfect range. I don’t need anything lower than 4.2 inches because for those jobs, I happily rely on my Platypods.
If you need to go higher, this table top tripod includes a three section extender that offers another 12″ of height. Genius!
Since these sorts of tripods are used indoors more than outdoors, I appreciate the fact that the unit comes with rubber feet that won’t mar floors, etc. But if you do need to go outside, the rubber feet are removable.
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the CTT-1000 comes with a ball head. And it’s a pretty nice head given that it comes free with a $100 tripod. It is Arca-Swiss compatible and includes a quick release plate as well as tools to adjust everything.
The big test with any tripod is whether or not it’s stable and sturdy. The CTT-1000 wins on both counts. And in fact it’s the reason I’d pick this unit over one of those flexible tripods like the GorillaPod. It’s rock solid at all heights and it supports 11 lbs. I can use it to support my Olympus camera and almost any lens that I own.
I like this little tripod. It’s very well made. Even the twist locks are made of metal. The legs are narrow, which keeps the overall size small, but there’s no negative impact on the sturdiness of the tripod.
It’s small enough to fit in almost any bag or briefcase and it’s the kind of tripod that could just save your bacon so I plan to buy a couple and have one in each car, just in case.