Super lightweight basic easy to use monopod
When it comes to photography I love everything about it. I love learning and trying new things. I love testing out new gear and creating images that people enjoy. One tool I have always had is a monopod. I normally take a Manfrotto with me but it’s heavy and for me, I prefer to have a monopod that can keep my camera stable while still being lightweight. In addition to the Manfrotto monopod being on the heavy side, it also does not breakdown as small as I would like it to. Because of these shortcomings, I started to leave that monopod behind. Recently I got my hands on the Oben CTM 2600 Carbon Fiber monopod and found the ideal lightweight, budget-friendly monopod.
The CTM-2600 6-Section Carbon Fiber Monopod has, as its name suggests, 6 sections that extend. It can hold up to 26 pounds and weighs a little over 1 pound. The monopod is 16.7 inches when it’s collapsed and 64.7 inches fully extended. It uses ergonomic twist locks to secure the monopod in place and it has a retractable spike foot. The monopod comes with a wrist strap for added security while shooting and a belt clip that provides hands-free carrying while you’re on the move. The CTM-2600 is equipped with a reversible 1/4-20 to 3/8-16 mounting screw so that it’s compatible with your camera or head. The main body of the monopod is constructed with carbon fiber so that it’s durable, but lighter weight than its aluminum counterpart. There is a foam pad included so that you can still grip the monopod even in cold weather.
IN THE BOX
- Tool Clip
- Hex Key
- Wrist Strap
- User Manual
- Limited 5-year Warranty Card
The Oben CTM-2600 6-Section Carbon Fiber Monopod comes in a simple branded box. Over the years I have seen some pretty poor packaging so I am happy that Oben actually puts some effort into coloring the box and adding some information about the product. I would have liked to see an image of what’s in the box but like I said I have seen much worse. Even though most people would probably order this from an online store and therefore would have seen at least one image of the product online, some people might still buy this off of a shelf in a store.
I found right away that I was really going to enjoy using this monopod due to how light it is. It’s like night and day on the weight difference between my old monopod and the Oben. It breaks down smaller and its low weight makes it easy to carry with me pretty much all the time. The two big weight differences between the Oben and my old Manfrotto are that the Manfrotto is made from aluminum and it came equipped with a Fluidtech base that features three feet. The carbon fiber really does make that big of a difference when it comes to weight. The Manfrotto tripod weighs in around 2.65 pounds whereas this Oben one is only 1.1 pounds. I even looked up the specs of the Carbon Fiber version of the Manfrotto and it’s still more than a pound heavier than the Oben.
As I mentioned above, this monopod comes with a belt clip. I find incredibly useful and it’s such a simple add on! It’s been great to be able to quickly clip the monopod to my pants or belt and go. It’s been super handy and I have been able to use my hands more freely on shoots because the monopod can just hang off of the belt clip. I don’t need to worry about setting it down and forgetting it or taking my backpack on and off to get to it.
One thing I am not a big fan of is the screw mount. It comes with a reversible 1/4-20 to 3/8-16 screw mount. Being able to unscrew the mount to switch sizes is incredibly nice but in the middle of a production, every second counts. I would prefer to see a spring style mount that would be a 3/8-16 and when you press down it slides down for 1/4-20 mount. That would be ideal. It would save just a bit of time. This is not a deal-breaker just something I would have liked to see.
A few days ago, I was about two hours from my home in Louisville, KY for a job. It was super chilly outside and snowing so trying to shoot handheld just wasn’t possible. The cold kept my hands a bit shaky so having the Oben with me was incredible. No, the Oben did not stop the cold but it sure as heck allowed me to brace the camera so I could get the shots I needed. Because of the area I was in and as quickly as I needed to move, taking more than a monopod was not going to be possible. Thankfully I was able to use the Oben due to its lightweight nature and its ability to break down as small as it does. Would I recommend it over other brands? I have no reason not to. It’s made well and does the job while being affordable.
For more details, visit Oben.