Oben PD-117 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head

4.5 Oben PD-117 3-Way Pan Tilt Head REVIEW

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Smooth operation
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Weight
DESIGN
EASE OF USE
PRICE

A good all-around tripod head at a reasonable price.

The past few years I have really been trying to step up my camera gear game. I have been thinking outside the box and trying things that aren’t in my wheelhouse. One of these accessories is the PD-117 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head from Oben. It’s designed to allow for independent camera adjustment on the horizontal and vertical planes as well as 360º panning.

Oben PD-117 3-Way Pan Tilt Head REVIEW

DETAILS

The PD-117 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head is equipped with a quick-release system (RP-20 plate) and safety lock. There 5X bubble levels (2 bullseye and 3 tubular) for the user to ensure they are level in their shots. With a load capacity of 17.6 pounds, there are very few camera setups that it wouldn’t be able to handle. The front-to-back and side-to-side tilt motions are controlled by the two locking handles and a thumb screw locks and unlocks the panning action.

SPECS

  • Head Type: Pan & Tilt
  • Base Mount: ⅜”-16 thread
  • Camera Mounting Thread: ¼”-20 male
  • Load Capacity: 17.6 lb / 7.98 kg
  • Number of Bubble Level(s): 5
  • Independent Pan Lock: Yes
  • Material: Aluminum
  • PAN & TILT RANGE
    • Lateral Tilt: -10° to +90°
    • Vertical Tilt: -60° to +90°
  • PHYSICAL
    • Dimensions: H: 5.0″ / H: 12.7 cm
    • Weight: 1.8 lb / 0.8 kg
  • PACKAGING INFO
    • Package Weight: 2.1
    • Box Dimensions (HxWxD): 4.1 x 4.6 x 6.4
Oben PD-117 3-Way Pan Tilt Head REVIEW

IMPRESSIONS

I have several tripods for different types of photography. Along with those tripods, I have a couple of really nice video heads, but sometimes, you just want something small and versatile for good all-around use. The other heads I have are ball heads. They are sturdy and stable, but they are for more general uses while the 3-way heads like this one has more specific uses. You have the ability to fix one axis and freely move the other. This is great for capturing panaoramas and for fine adjustments in three directions — like product shots or macros.

This pan/tilt head has really been a great addition to my camera accessories. The head is a bit heavy so it’s not ideal for travel, but the handles are removable so you can stow it away if needed. Two of my favorite tripods are the Manfrotto Befree Travel tripod and the Manfrotto 190X. The Befree Travel tripod is just a little too small to use with this tripod due to its weight and the size of its base. That said, it works perfectly with the 190X.

Oben PD-117 3-Way Pan Tilt Head REVIEW

Adding this 3-way head to that tripod has really made it easier for me to get some incredible shots that would have been a lot harder to achieve with a standard tripod head. The Oben PD-117 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head came pre-assembled in a simple box with sufficient packaging for shipping. I found the head to be very well constructed. It’s easy to use and the control handles are much shorter than a standard tripod head so they are out of the way.  

Oben PD-117 3-Way Pan Tilt Head REVIEW

During my testing of this product, I took a look at several different consumer reviews of this tripod head and there were a lot of complaints that it didn’t pan easily. I haven’t had any problems with the movements of the head. It’s been smooth and even every time I’ve used it. My main camera is a Canon 5D Mark IV and one of my favorite lenses to use is the 70-200. It’s not a light lens and the Oben head seems to handle it just fine. I would recommend that if you find you are having movement problems that you should contact Oben because they offer a limited 5-year warranty.

Oben PD-117 3-Way Pan Tilt Head REVIEW

FINAL THOUGHTS

I think the Oben PD-117 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head is a great, reasonably priced tripod head. It’s very easy to use and because it can move in 3 different directions, you can really capture some great shots. I find this type of tripod head to be easier to work with then a ball head and I love that it’s portable and can be tucked away without a lot of hassle. The 3-way head is really a good investment and for me using it in the studio for product shots it’s definitly been a winner.

For more information, visit obensupport.com.

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