Induro is one of those companies that had a really slow start, but has worked extremely hard to climb their way to being a household name. My first few experiences with Induro (although brief) were not great. The build quality of their products left a lot to be desired. Oh how things have changed! Today I'm going to give you the rundown on an Induro CT-114 Carbon Fiber Tripod. On a recent job I was working in a studio that had an Induro AT-114 which I used for some catalog shooting. Normally I'm not a tripod user, but certain situations require it. Over 3 days of sitting on my butt behind the camera and this tripod, I really gained an appreciation for it's quality. I decided to investigate further and decided to give one of their Carbon Fiber rigs a go. The CT-114 not only met my expectations, it exceeded them.
The CT114 is remarkably light, weighing in at a svelte 2.8lbs. This model is just over 20inches long when collapsed and right at 59" when fully extended. For being so light it's incredibly sturdy. With the first two sections extended it's rock solid, even without a weight. The "Cross-braced Magnesium alloy spider" does a good job of keeping the legs wiggle free, and even comes with a built in bubble level (very handy).When it is fully extended, the tripod's weight is actually a disadvantage. Putting a tripod head and an 8lbs camera makes this thing incredibly top heavy. The wide stance helps with this, but you really need to hang your bag, or a weight off the spring-loaded hook in the bottom of the center pole. The leg locks are super simplified, not weird springs here, just slide the lock out, position the tripod leg where you want it, then slide the lock in. The leg section locks are supposedly weather resistant, which is a plus I guess, but what I like about them is their super quick half-turn functionality. With one hand, most people can grab all of twist locks on a leg at once, and extend the leg in snap.
One of the odd things about this tripod is the removable feet. While I see the need for versatility, I feel like having to unscrew and replace the rubber feed with the stainless steel ones is a bit inconvenient. Another knock I have is the the amount of flex in the tripod legs when fully extended. The end section of the legs are barely larger in diameter than a Sharpie, and probably the reason this tripod is certified for only 17lbs. The legs flex a bit, when near the maximum capacity, but that is actually when it is the most sturdy.
I think one of my favorite perks of this tripod is the carrying case it comes with. It's a really nice nylon case which is sized perfectly to hold your new tripod with a head. The case also comes with a small toolkit to help you tighten and tweak the workings of the tripod, and of course change out the feet.
Overall, I think this is one of the best tripods I've had the pleasure of using. It's sturdy, but most importantly it's super light weight, which makes for an incredible travel companion. The price as well is not as prohibitive as you might think. B&H has them for just under $350, which is a steal considering a comparable Gitzo 6x is close to $700.
What I liked:
Rock solid at lower heights.
Half-turn leg locks
What could have been better:
You have to manually change the feet with a tool from the bag
Requires additional weight to be super sturdy when fully extended
So in conclusion, I think the Induro CT-114 is an ideal tripod for anyone on the move. The size and weight make it equally useful as a stand as well as its intended purpose of holding up your camera. Quality construction and rock solid stability are a given, but how many awesome tripods come with sexy carrying cases? Just sayin'