Photographers, videographers, and vloggers are always looking to lighten the load when traveling.
I do not do a lot of videos when I travel. My experience is with full-length videos. The video head I am using is, well, probably over 20 years old. It still works well, but when given the opportunity to try out the Oben Lander TVH-108, I thought, why not?
Two specific functions of a video head are panning and tilting. The smoothness of these actions provides interest in action without distraction from the subject. Let’s explore how the Oben Lander TVH-108 will fit into the vlogger’s bag.
Note: B&H Photo/Video sent me the Oben Lander TVH-108 to review and keep. However, this is a completely independent review. All thoughts about this video head are my own.
- Compact size
- Quick release plate
- Lock to keep the plate from accidentally slipping off the platform
- Smooth panning without being loose
- Smooth tilting without being loose
- Handle removes for packing and storage
- Tightening knobs small for people with arthritis
- Quick release plate large for DSLR type camera
- Single screw to hold the plate in place
- Cannot adjust the length of the handle
- The handle is limited to the right side
Oben Lander TVH-108 – Technical specifications
All technical specifications have been taken from B&H Photo/Video product page.
Camera Plate Features: Quick Release
Camera Plate Type: 501 Type
Camera Mounting Screw: 1 x 1/4″ – 20 male with locking pin
Base mount: 3/8″ – 16 female with 1/4″ 20 bushing adapter
Pan handle fittings: 1 x Rosette
Bubble level: Yes
Base diameter: 1.7″ (4.3cm)
Pan & Tilt
Drag Type: Fluid
Vertical Tilt: +90° to -90°
Panning Range: 360°
Independent Pan Lock: Yes
Independent Tilt Lock: Yes
Load capacity: 8.8 pounds/4 kg
Weight: 1 pound/454 g
Oben Lander TVH-108 – Ergonomics and build quality
The first thing I noticed about the Oben Lander TVH-108 was how light it was. All of the locking screws were tested and they do lockdown and hold tight. However, I am used to a clamp-type plate holder that closes around the plate. Having a single screw to hold the plate and camera in place just was not comfortable for me. The quick-release lock is a nice feature to keep the plate from sliding off while tilting.
Having the round screw-type locks were uncomfortable for me to grasp. I would prefer a wing-type screw like on the panning lock. These are easier for me to manage. The tilt lock was very easy to loosen and tighten.
The length of the handle (9 1/4″ by my measurement) was awkward. I would probably keep it stowed in a downward position if doing a lock-down shoot, so it would not be bumped. I was happy to see that the handle could be removed for packing and transport.
Also, most camera operations are on the right side of the camera. Having the pan handle on the right side only makes it awkward to zoom with the camera functions (AG-UX90) with the right hand and reach over with the left to pan.
The panning and tilting features work smoothly and are not too loose.
The bubble level is easy to see from different angles.
Oben Lander TVH-108 – In the field
Mounting the Oben Lander TVH-108 to my MePhoto RoadTrip was an easy choice. Since both items are made for travel, they fit well together. The tripod and video head assembly are roughly 5 pounds. Light enough to carry around, but strong enough to hold your gear.
My, now discontinued, Panasonic AG-UX90 camcorder (4.2 pounds) fit nicely on the Oben Lander TVH-108. The camera felt secure on the quick-release plate and it was easy to adjust the video head. When adjusting the tilt and pan it held the camera weight without creeping downward. The quick-release plate was easy to get to. The TVH-108 fits well with a camera this size.
Videographers I have encountered on my travels have typically used a DSLR so I mounted my Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III on the video head. The plate size seemed big for this camera. I did adjust it forward and backward to see if I could achieve a better fit. Originally, I had a wide-angle lens on the camera and because the barrel diameter was wider, the plate obstructed the zoom ring. Switching to a mid-range zoom (M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro) gave it more space between the plate and the lens.
The quick-release plate is clearly marked with the direction it faces the lens. The camera position adjusts by sliding forward and backward on the plate.
The overlap of the camera body with the plate locking screw made it difficult to manipulate. Attempts were made to reposition the camera, but keeping the camera body’s weight evenly distributed still caused an overlap with the locking screw.
Oben Lander TVH-108 – Final Thoughts
The Oben Lander TVH-108 is a good choice for a videographer who wants to travel light. Specifically, the avid travel vlogger will appreciate the lightweight video head and its ease of use. My biggest concern is the plate obstructing the barrel of a DSLR lens. Being an older adult with arthritis, the round turn screws can be difficult to manipulate. Whereas the winged panning screw was very easy to grasp. The base price of the TVH-108 is $99 and is currently on sale for $69.99 at B&H Photo/Video.