I had long been looking to upgrade to a carbon fiber tripod, and was eyeing the Gitzo Mountaineer series for quite some time. Given that some of the reviews from fellow nature photographers were less than stellar and echoed my previous experiences, I started looking at other options when I read that Bret Edge gave a strong recommendation for this tripod manufacturer named Induro. I had never heard of Induro before, as Gitzo and Manfrotto have traditionally been the major players in the serious tripod market but if a photographer I respect recommends something then that recommendation is going to carry some weight for me.
So recently I visited several Bay Area photography stores and handled a variety of different tripods from all the different manufacturers, and the Induro tripods really did stand out. The carbon fiber tripods were lightweight (a major consideration if you are like me and go hiking frequently with a tripod) and yet big enough to be a full-sized tripod. Induro is less expensive than the Gitzo equivalents though that was less of a factor in my decision-making than the construction of the tripod. Induro tripods look and feel more durable. The leg lock twists are big and easy to grip which allows you to twist all of them simultaneously extending the tripod instantly. Best of all, they don’t feel flimsy and as prone to rust as some of the other brands. Another benefit for outdoor photographers is that there is a hook which allows you to hang a bag from if you need to weigh the tripod down for extra sturdiness.
In the end, I decided to purchase a Induro CT-214 Carbon Fiber Tripod which supposedly has a load capacity of up to 26 lbs. It’s really a great deal for the price. The tripod also comes with a travel bag and toolkit which allows you to disassemble the tripod piece by piece for cleaning. How cool is that?!?! If I can get several years of use from this tripod then I will be happy. To date, I seem to go through one tripod every year or two. Given the type of photography I do, I don’t expect a tripod to last a lifetime but having a tripod last me more than a year without falling apart would be nice!