Induro CT214 and BHD2 impressions
I just purchased an Induro CT214 tripod and thought I'd post my initial impressions on it. First though, I'll mention my first tripod was a aluminum Bogen 3001 purchased many years ago (1986) which I passed along to my nephew after purchasing a Gitzo GT3541LS in 2008. I use my tripods mostly for landscape photography, macro work, and occasionally for portraits. I also have a Bogen 3021B Pro that I use around the house for macro work & portraits on occasion. I thought about selling it, but the resell value is very low so I'll probably end up keeping it. It is a very sturdy tripod, but a bit on the heavy side for any travel or outdoor use.
Anyways, after doing research for a lighter, shorter, 2 series tripod for traveling, I decided on the Induro CT214 after reading several very positive reviews about it, and the specifications fit my requirements (I'm 5' 11" by the way). It comes with a very nice carrying case (with room for a head attached to it) with a handle & shoulder strap, along with a toolkit (in its own little case) with spikes to replace the rubber feet if needed. The quality of materials appears to be very good, the finish and basic operation is similar to the Gitzo. Registering it online through Induros website I was surprised when I received the registration confirmation e-mail that showed the warranty is now extended from 5 years to 10 years.
I'm going to try the Induro BHD2 ball head on this new CT214 tripod. I own(ed) & use(d) the Markins M10 & M20 ball heads, as well as a Kirk BH-3 which is currently on the Bogen 3021B Pro legs. My local dealer had the Induro BHD3 that I checked out and it seemed to work very well, better than my Kirk BH-3. The tension control was smoother and more adjustable than the Kirk BH-3, closer to how the Markins ball heads work. The Kirk tension control is too abrupt and is far more sensitive when adjusting it to work effectively. It requires a fair amount of patience when composing a shot. The Induro BHD ball heads are a little more utilitarian in design compared to the Markins ball heads which are very well designed and crafted. But for a fraction of the price of the Markins, I don't really care what a ball head looks like as long as it performs well. The Induro BHD2 ball head is on order and I'll update my post after I receive it and try the whole system out.
The Gitzo GT3514LS is a very nice tripod indeed, but as I've downsized my gear it's a bit overkill for my current/future needs so that's why I decided to sell it. Plus, when I travel I'll be less concerned about having the Induro CT214 in my checked bag than a expensive 2 series Gitzo set of legs. Typically I remove the ball head and carry that on the plane in my carry on/photo backpack, so if the tripod should be stolen from my checked bag I've lost only part of the system. Most airlines allow only 1 carry on now a days and I wouldn't want to take the chance of trying to carry 2 items on the plane (photo backpack & tripod bag) and run into a less than understanding airline agent telling me I can't bring 2 items on the plane after I checked in my suitcase!
I'm interested to hear thoughts/impressions from others who own Induro tripods or ball heads. I may consider replacing the Kirk BH-3 with a Induro ball head, or maybe even one of their lower profile heads.
#1. "RE: Induro CT214 and BHD2 impressions" | In response to Reply # 0cockers Nikonian since 25th May 2006Wed 04-Jul-12 09:26 AM | edited Wed 04-Jul-12 09:32 AM by cockers
Nice report on the Induro products Art.
I've been using an Induro AT413 tripod and BHD3 ballhead for almost 5 years now and am very impressed. Very stable for all my lenses up to and including my 500P Nikkor. The BHD3 head remains smooth and locks down positively. I also use it very often with the Induro GHBA gimbal head for birding. I have used this tripod in virtually all weather conditions from 90+ degree weather to -15 winter cold and snow, and it has remained smooth operating and the the leg locks worked flawlessly.
Recently I wanted to downsize from this 4 series model to a 3 series for the times I didn't want to haul the big stuff. So about 5 months ago I purchased the sister company's model - the Benro A3580F Classic, and topped it off with an Induro BHD2 ball head. I must say that BHD2 is an awesome ballhead - very smooth. This combo is excellent and I use it without concern for lenses up to my Sigma 150-500.
There are many of us that don't have the budget to buy the "finest tripods" out there but after using the Induros as I have - - I must say I think I made a very good choice. The Induro products simply perform, and they perform very well. I think as more Nikonians try them they'll gain a bit more acceptance but for now and for my money, they are a great option!
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#2. "RE: Induro CT214 and BHD2 impressions" | In response to Reply # 1Wed 04-Jul-12 07:44 PM
Thanks Al for your comments about your experience with Induro products. Especially good to know that you're very pleased with the BHD2 ball head. It looks like my BHD2 should be arriving soon, and am anxious to try the combo out.
It's nice to find more affordable options to the "finest tripods" that will perform just as well.
#3. "RE: Induro CT214 and BHD2 impressions" | In response to Reply # 0
Follow Up Report on the Assembled Induro CT214 Legs, Induro BHD2 Ball Head, and Induro ELC2 Short Column.
After receiving the Induro Short Column (ELC2) today, I installed the Induro BHD2 ball head onto it, screwing it onto the stud and securing it with the 3 allen screws from underneath, a wrench was supplied with the head. After removing the bottom captive ring from the (supplied) long column from the tripod and pulling it through & free from the tripod, I Installed the assembled short column/ball head through the top of the tripod and attached the bottom ring to the end of the short column to keep it in place, it was a breeze.
Pulling down on the hook at the end of the column to be able to clip something onto it for greater stability is a little difficult. But an easy cure for that is hooking a small caribiner onto it, making it ready to hook any bag strap onto it quickly. I happened to have a small lightweight black nylon one handy that will work fine for that purpose.
With the legs fully extended at the first locking position (for greatest height), my D300 (w/o grip attached) on top of the Induro BHD2 ball head with a Kirk L-Bracket, the center column fully down, the eyecup of the D300 (in the horizontal landscape position) is at my chin level so stooping is very minimal for my height (5' 11"). If I raise the short column to its tallest position (just 3-4 inches taller), the eyecup of my D300 then is roughly at the tip of my nose, moving my left foot forward under the tripod (staggering my feet a little) naturally puts the eyecup right at eye level. Most of the time I expect to leave the short column down for better stability, but different circumstances may require extending it.
The leg locks have nice large knurls, and all 3 locks (on each leg) can be easily loosened with one hand one leg at a time. To loosen all the leg locks on all 3 legs at the same time would certainly require a much larger hand than I have. That was possible for me with my hands with the Gitzo GT3541LS legs.
The column lock is nicely oversized and easy gripped to loosen or tighten as needed.
All the locks on the tripod and head are easily worked with bare hands and am sure with gloves as well.
Induro BHD2 Ball Head
The BHD2 ball head is well designed and performs (basically) well. Compared to my past experience with the Markins M10 & M20 ball heads, it's not quite up to that level of design and performance, but for a fraction of the price it certainly exceeds in value. A worthy consideration for those seeking a high quality ball head at a more reasonable price than similar Markins ball heads. Even a better value than my Kirk BH-3 ball head I'd say. My Markins ball head cover fits over it with a little bit of effort just to note. I have read that the knobs on these heads are not captive, so care should be taken if you (foolishly) loosen them up all the way.
All the elements work very well together and it seems easily as sturdy as more expensive tripods I would say. I'm yet to put it to the test in the field or at home, but I'm very pleased with the combination of the CT 214 / ELC2 / BHD2 ball head. A great value worthy of consideration for amateurs and pros as well. I'm glad I came across their products and hope to get years of excellent reliable performance from this combo.