Load Capacity 39 lb / 17.7 kg
Maximum Working Height 71.7″ / 182.1 cm
Max Height without Center Column 61.7″ / 156.7 cm
Minimum Working Height 6.5″ / 16.5 cm
Closed Length 24.3″ / 61.7 cm
Head Mount Type 3/8″-16 Male
Weight 4.9 lb / 2.2 kg
Materials Carbon Fiber
Leg Lock Type Twist Lock
Leg Positions 3 Positions
Independent Leg Spread Yes
Leg Sections 4
Feet Features Rubber, Removable, Spiked
Center Column Features Ballast Hook, Removable, Reversible
Center Column Shape Round
Center Column Sections 1
Center Column Extension Type Rapid
Lateral / 90-Degree Center Column No
Center Column Rotation 360°
In all my years teaching photography workshops, I’ve found two kinds of tripod people. The over $500 and the under $500 people. The over $500 people will spend up to two thousand bucks for the lightest, most advanced tripod. The under $500 people are looking to save money, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want (or cannot get) a good tripod.
I am constantly on a quest for an affordable tripod that I can recommend to my students and the Oben CFT-6394 Skysill 4-Section Carbon Fiber Tripod may just be the one.
Oben has been around a long time. And they now have different lines; the Skysill is a new line of affordable yet sturdy, carbon fiber tripods.
And when I speak of Oben being around for years, it comes from experience. For years, I have used and tested Oben tripods. They are competitive with brands costing much more but offer similar features. This is B&H’s house brand and they spend a lot of time trying to get these tripods right.
I have never been disappointed with any Oben tripod I have used and the same goes for the 6394.
This is the latest version of sub-$500 tripod from Oben and it’s a power house for the money.
It has a 39-pound carry capacity and is made of carbon fiber with four leg sections.
One of the things I really like about it is the fact that it will go to almost six feet tall (71.7 inches.) Most tripods in this price range top out a full foot shorter.
It features twist locks that for quickly and effortlessly adjust its height up to 71.7″ with the 12″ center column fully extended. The center column is removable and reversible for shooting from an inverted perspective for macro photography, and a secondary short column is included for lowing the camera height for dramatic low-angle perspective composition.
The legs can be independently positioned which gives you plenty of flexibility. You also have the option of rubber or spiked feet so you can shoot on any surface.
As is the case with most modern tripods, the 6394 features a 3/8″-16 accessory socket for attaching accessories like an articulating accessory arm to add an LED light, microphone, monitor, or flash to the tripod setup.
Oben tripods tend to compare favorably with Benro only they tend to cost a little less and offer almost identical features.
This tripod comes with a nice carrying bag, strap, a pouch in the carrying bag for tools, spare feet, documentation, etc.
I found it smooth to set up and tear down and also like the bubble level on the top which makes it easier to get the tripod perfectly level for jobs like shooting panoramas.
If you want a lightweight tripod (this review covers only the legs and at the current $419 (At B&H Photo) price a ball head is not included) that goes six feet tall but yet weighs less than five pounds, you owe the Oben CFT-6394 a good look.