Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Induro Gear Guide Part 2 - Induro CT314 Tripod

Welcome to part 2 of my Induro Gear Guide. In this part we'll take a look at the Induro CT314 Carbon Fiber tripod. I'll provide a description of the tripod, its features as well as things I like and don't like about it. This post is heavy with pictures so it may take a bit to load. When looking for a new tripod I wanted something that would work with my equipment now as well as something that would work with my equipment 5 or 10 years from now. I know at some point in the future I'll be getting one of Canon's super telephoto lenses and those work best on a tripod. I also consider the tripod as the foundation for my photography gear so like a house, if it's built on a solid foundation you should be good to go. Weighing in at 5 pounds the CT314 tripod is rated for a maximum load of approximately 40 pounds.

Induro CT314 Tripod
This is how the tripod looks when you take it out of the box. In addition to the tripod you get a carrying case and a tool pack as pictured below.
Included Tools and Tool Case

Tripod with Center Column Fully Extended
Having an extra long center column is a nice addition but it also has its drawbacks. One of them being that it limits how low you can position the camera on the tripod as you'll see shortly.
Tripod With Legs Splayed and Locked
Before anyone bothers to tell me yes I know the center column isn't straight :). That's my fault and not the fault of the tripod. I just didn't lock one of the legs properly. Crooked center column aside you can see that with the legs splayed into the first position you can get down fairly low with the tripod.
Tripod With Legs Fully Splayed
Notice how the center column is straight this time. See I'm a quick learner :). Here you can clearly see one of the drawbacks of the extra long center column. You can only get your camera so low using it. Fortunately Induro has a solution to the problem. They sell a separate column that is shorter and allows you to get down very low.
Extra Long and Optional Shot Center Columns
I've never used the tripod with the longer center column. I knew I wanted to be able to get down in the weeds, literally, with the tripod so I bought the shorter center column and that's all I've used. 
Tripod Fully Splayed With Short Center Column Installed.
Photo assistant Tiger.
Now that's what I'm talking about. With the short center column installed and the legs fully splayed you can get down low for those ground level shots.

The tripod includes a spring-loaded hook that attaches to the bottom of the center column. You can hook your bag or something else to it to get the tripod that much more stability (not that it really needs any). One problem for me though is the hook just isn't quite big enough to fit around the handle of my camera backpack as shown below.
Camera Bag and Tripod Hook
Don't fret though, I have a simple solution for the problem.
Camera Bag and Tripod Hook -- Problem Solved
By using a large carabiner I'm able to hook one end around my camera backpack handle and the other on the hook. This works like a champ.
As I mentioned in part 1 one of the issues I had with my old tripod was that it wouldn't extend high enough for me to use without squatting down. That problem was easily solved with this tripod.

Tripod with Bottom Legs Extended

Tripod with Bottom and Middle Legs Extended

Tripod With All Three Legs Extended
I realize the third photo makes the tripod look 10 feet tall. It isn't. That's due to the angle I shot it from.

Tripod With All Three Legs Extended
To give you some idea of the height of the tripod the fence behind it is 6 feet tall.

Tripod Center Column Locking Ring
See that locking ring above. Make sure it's nice and tight otherwise you're liable to think there's something wrong with the tripod when there really isn't. Don't ask me how I know this tidbit of knowledge -- it's a secret :).

Overall I'm extremely pleased with the tripod. I can't thank Eric Brown enough for his review which turned me onto Induro's product line. Although I am extremely pleased with it there are a couple of things I didn't like but have managed to solve bot of them quite easily. First I didn't like that the tripod only comes with the long center column. The short column is a $55.00 accessory. It would be nice if Induro offered the tripod with our choice of center columns. The second being spring loaded hook on the bottom of the center column not being long enough to accommodate my particular backpack; however, that problem was easily solved with the addition of a large carabiner. Am I being overly picky about my dislikes? Probably so especially since I was able to solve both issues easily. It's tough for me to find any serious fault with the tripod. I have no doubt it'll be supporting my gear for years to come. Total cost for tripod and short column: $605.00 and worth every penny of it.

As I use the tripod in the coming months I'll be certain to post follow ups about it. I plan to include shots of it being used out in the field. It's nice to see it on a clean concrete pad but just how often do we shoot from that environment?

So what didn't I cover that you think I should have? Please let me know where details are lacking and I'll add them. If you prefer to email me privately instead of leaving a comment send them to zack at zdpictures dot com.

If after reading this fantastic guide and feel inclined to buy one of these tripods I'd appreciate if you'd use the link below. It's an affiliate link from Amazon and if you buy I'll earn a small commission. 


  1. Glad to see another CT314 user out there! :) Great Write-up.

  2. Thanks Eric. Induro really owes you because it was your review that turned me on to them. I couldn't be more pleased with the setup I have.

  3. Your reviews of Induro gear convinced me to go with the CT314 tripod, BHD3 ballhead and short center column. I was set on getting the PHQ3 panhead too, but those are out of stock everywhere. So I guess I have to be patient.

    After spending months trying to find the right tripod and head, to replace my old aluminum tripod, your blog has been a tremendous help. I'm very pleased with the CT314 - BHD3 combo!

  4. @Anonymous: Glad to hear you're enjoying your Induro gear. It really is great stuff!

  5. Can you take the center column completely out and just use the tripod and a head?

  6. Nope. The mounting plate for the ballhead has to be mounted to either the short or long column.

  7. Oh .. :-( Thanks for the info.

  8. It looks like the rubber feet need to be bigger, like the ones on the RRS TVC-33. The twist locks next to the rubber feet are touching the ground. When you put your ballhead and camera on the tripod will the twist locks press down hard on the ground? Will this damage the twist locks? This looks like a bad thing.

  9. You make a very good point but so far I have not had any issues with my tripod and I usually use it with the legs splayed as far as they will go. I'll have to watch for wear on the twist locks.

  10. Hi everyone just a heads up on the enduro tri pods. A few days ago while shooting at night in san francisco I noticed my camera loose on the tri pod I checked all my knobs and screws come to find out the mounting plate or base plate was broken from the center were the stud holds it to the tube , when I looked further I saw the peice pressed into the tube were the stud goes had 1 very small pin holding this into the tube also bad design. How lucky am I or should I say how lucky is enduro a 1ds mark 3 and a 70-200 hitting the ground wouldnt be good. I tried glueing it together and thinking of ways to secure the peice in the tube and said forget it, I took a chance and called induro and discused the problem with the tech and would you believe it no problem what so ever they are sending out a new tube assembly with plate with all the up grades and they didnt even want the old part back just needed to send a pic of the broken piece, so their tube comes with more screws then the one pin style and will have no problems with this one my tri pod was purchased in 2009 and is ac-413 so if you have one check it out

  11. Props to Induro for fixing you up. I'll check my tripod for wear this weekend.

  12. Thanks very much for the thorough review. Can you provide the part number of the short center column you reviewed? I am looking for it but cannot find the correct one in the Induro website. Thanks!

    1. It's ELC-3. Induro catalog number: Cat# 490-103. I checked on B&H which is where I got mine from and they no longer carry it. You should be able to find it someplace online or direct from Induro.