Vanguard Auctus Plus 323CT Carbon Fiber Tripod Review

Vanguard Auctus Plus 323CT

The Vanguard Auctus Plus 323CT is a serious carbon fiber tripod for serious shooters.  It’s a heavy duty tripod that’s built to hold plenty of gear and keep it stable.

Vanguard Auctus Plus 323CT Key Specs

  • 39.7lb Load Capacity
  • 70.9-inch Max Height
  • 28-inch Folded Length
  • Geared Center Column
  • Integrated Bubble Level
  • 7.83lb Weight
  • Included Carry Bag
  • Lifetime Warranty

You can see the full specifications and details of the Vanguard Auctus Plus CT at Vanguard’s website.

Vanguard Auctus Plus 323CT

The sturdy build of the Vanguard Auctus Plus 323CT is evident at first sight.  It has large carbon fiber tube legs with big twist-lock controls.  The 323CT’s center column is geared and very smooth to operate.  As with the rest of the tripod, the center column is sturdier than most.

Vanguard Auctus Plus 323CT

Perhaps the most unique feature on the 323CT, however, is the multi-type feet.  It has spiked and rubber feet options, as well as large platform feet all built into one.  The rubber feet cover the spikes when not in use and the large shoes can be used on top of the rubber feet.

Vanguard Auctus Plus 323CT

Vanguard seems to have done a very good job in constructing the way the tripod feet accessories attach.  Each one snaps on solidly over the next.  I never experienced a problem with any of them coming off inadvertently.

Vanguard Auctus Plus 323CT

Another great feature on the 323CT is the position markers on the legs.  The numbered markers make it a simpler task to quickly set up all the legs at a given height.  While there may be some leveling left to do based on your terrain, you are at least in the ballpark right out of the gate with the position indicators.

Vanguard Auctus Plus 323CT

The legs are adjust with twist-lock rings, which are big and tight.  I generally gravitate toward the flip-lock leg designs; however, the 323CT’s rugged twist-locks have won me over.  Instead of turning and turning to get it tight (and then wrenching down to make sure it’s tight), you just give the rings a short turn to loosen and a short turn back to tighten.  It doesn’t require much elbow grease to lock the legs down.

The other nice little extra on the legs are the rubberized padding area at the top of each leg.  While this is a bigger deal for me with aluminum tripods (which keeps my hands off the cold metal during outdoor winter excursions), I appreciated the grip it offered over the less tacky carbon fiber surface.  It’s also a much more robust grip than the what is found on my Slik Pro 700DX tripod.

Vanguard Auctus Plus 323CT

The leg spreaders work well to get you down very low to the ground.  Just lift up the lock at the top of the leg and move it to the desired stage.  If you want to go way low for some down-on-the-ground work, you can unscrew the center column and you can pretty much take the head down to the ground.

Given the build-quality of the 323CT, I found that it works quite well as a dual purpose tripod and have frequently used it with video heads while shooting HDSLR video.  It’s certainly sturdy enough to handle just about any HDSLR setup you can throw at it.

At nearly 8 pounds, I wouldn’t want to pack the Vanguard Auctus Plus 323CT on my back for a day hike.  However, if your shooting requirements demand a solid base and/or you have a heavy camera setup, the 323CT is definitely worth a look for the serious shooter.

In addition to the carbon fiber model, there is also an aluminum model, the Auctus Plus 323AT, which has a nearly identical spec sheet.

Both Vanguard Auctus Plus models available from Photography Bay’s trusted retail affiliates at the following links:

Vanguard Auctus Plus 323CT (carbon fiber): B&H Photo | Amazon | Adorama

Vanguard Auctus Plus 323AT (aluminum): B&H Photo | Amazon | Adorama

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