Last summer I was looking for a heavy duty tripod, somthing carbon fiber and with a weight capacity around 40 pounds. I started looking at some tripods from Really Right Stuff and Gitzo. Then I gave the guys at Allen’s Camera a call to talk about what I was in the market for. (A little aside - I have been shopping with Allen’s for many years and I believe that they are the best at what they do.)
Brandon at Allen’s mentioned I might want to give the Induro Carbon CT Series 8X (Model CT314) a try. It is a 4 leg section model with rapid center column. He said he would put it up against any of the other brands I was considering. I was a little skeptical but started doing some research. The reviews I read were good and people seemed to be impressed with the tripod, so I decided to give it a try. There was a rebate at the time which was a nice bonus.
Since adding this to my bag there are a few things I have come to really appreciate about this tripod. One of the first is the large twist locks. Twist locks are one of the features I wanted. I find them easier to use, more secure and better to make small adjustments than with level locks. Because of their larger size it was a breeze to use in cold weather with gloves on. Additionally they are great for quick grabs and moves.
The movable center column has a spinning lock where it mounts to the tripod. Like the spinning leg locks it is over-sized and easy to use quickly and with gloves on. Quick re-positioning is great for workflow in the field. Time spent messing with gear is time not spent creating images.
Many tripods have notch stops for their legs, 3 maybe 4 spots where the legs will rest evenly. This guy has 3. However, the legs are stiff enough to stay in place wherever you need them and still bear a great deal of weight. This has been invaluable during several time lapse shoots over the last year. Without the ability to put the legs at any angle necessary I could not have gotten the shot I wanted.
Some other features are: interchangeable feet, reversible center column and a hook in the column to add more weight for balance when needed. It come with spiked feet and rubber feet. A set of wide circular feet I had from an old tripod also fit, a nice break for me.
The tripod came with a case, which is decent. It would be suitable for lite travel, but I travel often, and with a lot of gear, so I have moved to a more heavily padded bag. Additionally, it comes with a small tool kit containing some allen wrenches and a regular wrench. This is a much appreciated touch as you never have the ability to fix your gear in the field unless you travel with tools.
There are a few things I would change. First, it would be really nice if it could lay flat. I know that is why they have the reversible column but it doesn’t do it for me. It is incredibly had to work that way and, quite honestly, too cumbersome for professional work. For macro work it makes extremely difficult to focus. I have a ground pod I made myself but it would be nice to not have to take both on some jobs. Also, although being on the picky side, It would be nice if the foam covered the entire first leg section.
I am impressed with how well this tripod has performed. It has exceeded my expectations in many ways, especially with being able to move the legs anywhere I want in there range of motion while holding the rigs I use. If you are in the market for a new tripod, the Induro Carbon CT Series 8X CT314 should be on your list.