Induro CT414 Carbon Fiber Tripod Meets Nature Photography

July 4th, 2011 by Maxis Gamez

Editor’s note:  Welcome Maxis Gamez to the blog!  Hailing from Sarasota Florida, Maxis is an active bird photographer and workshop leader.  Maxis loves great gear, and will be providing us reviews of equipment that he uses in the field.  You can learn more about Maxis, view his images and scout his workshops at his website GVisions.org.

It’s no secret. Many nature photographers are curious about the new heavy duty, yet affordable 8X CT tripod series from Induro. During this review, I’ll talk about the largest tripod Induro has ever offered and how it performs in the real world. If you have seen my images or have participated in my workshops, you’ll know that I’m not a casual shooter. I photograph in mud, saltwater, beach sand and everything else you can think of and my tripod comes along with me. Therefore, I need a tripod that meets my needs and can withstand my style of shooting!

The new 8X CT-Series of Induro tripods are the strongest, most stable tripods ever offered. A wide stance cross-braced magnesium alloy spider, ultra-light 8X layer Carbon Fiber legs, oversized center column lock and enhanced leg angle locks, contribute with up to 35% greater stability, rigidity and higher load capacity. The new 8X CT-Series also includes interchangeable rubber feet and stainless steel spikes, a tool kit and deluxe carrying bag and strap.

Let’s look at the new features:

Features:


  • Wide Stance Cross-braced Magnesium Alloy Spider: This feature alone provides an excellent core system stability and support. While I’m not a big fan of the tripod base, I must say that I adapted to the new magnesium alloy spider style base with ease. After all, if the tripod is more stable with the new magnesium alloy design, I’m happy!


  • Extra Long Grooved Center Column: The extended and extra long center column allows camera positioning without unwanted column rotation. The column is designed NOT to rotate for that extra stability.

  • Full Width Leg Locks: This feature allows maximum support at any angle. I welcome the new and rapid locking mechanism as I don’t like to spend a lot of time changing my tripod configurations in the field. Pop the lock open, move the tripod leg to the desired position (3 available), snap it back in place and you are done!

  • Dust and Moisture Resistant Ergonomic Rubber Grip Leg Locks: Because of my style of shooting, dust and moisture are constantly present. Induro did an excellent job making sure critical tripod parts are well protected from the elements. However, this does not mean your Induro tripod will be dust or dirt free. I strongly recommend rinsing off your tripod legs with freshwater every time saltwater is present.

  • Interchangeable Rubber Feet and Stainless Steel Spikes in Carbon Fiber mount: There are times when the “stock” rubber feet will not do the job depending on the environment the tripod is being used in. The folks from Induro thought about the little details and that makes a difference. You can easily change the stock rubber feet with a set of steel spikes in the field.

  • Spring Loaded Weight Hook: Another one of those little details that makes a difference. The additional weight mounting hook allows extra stability under windy conditions. This feature I very much looking forward to using as I hang my Canon Battery Pack from that hook. The built-in spring mechanism makes sure whatever you hang from that hook, stays hooked!

  • Oversized Center Column Lock: I’ve never been a big fan of center columns and there is no exception here. The main reason is because I’m normally at very low angles. However, Induro also thought about those circumstances and created a short center column for the tripod. The much smaller center column can also be purchased directly from outdoor Photo Gear for a reasonably low price.

Induro claims that the center column lock adds vibration reduction and structural support to your camera and/or ball-head. Because they have done such great job designing the tripod, I’m confident that is the case.

  • Non-Rotating Carbon Fiber Leg Sections: Yet another feature that will help you set up your tripod at a much faster pace. As a bird photographer, I often look for the best possible perspective, therefore this 1/2 turn locking and unlocking mechanism means a lot to me. Tripod manufacturers are using this feature more and more. However, I’ve used other tripod brands where this non-rotating feature is not as effective as they advertise.

  • Reversible Locking Center Column: The reversible center column feature is probably useful to those that photograph macro, allowing extra flexibility during low angle shooting situations. This feature I will probably not use very much, but it’s good to have it available.

  • Adjustable Leg Angles with Lock: The adjustable leg angle locks help accommodate uneven surfaces and awkward shooting situations. In my opinion, a tripod is not a tripod without this feature.

  • Integral Bubble Level: During my workshops and seminars, I often remind participants to keep an eye on the horizon line and to also make sure your tripod is level at all times. This feature allows adjustments to prevent uneven pans and tripod head movements using Gimbal style heads.

  • Easy Fold: Induro has even thought of this! To accommodate the traveling photographer, the CT414 folds to approximately to 25.8 inches allowing you to easily carry the tripod inside your check-in bag.

 

Specifications:

Material

Carbon Fiber

Maximum Load

55 lb (25 kg)

Max Height w/Column Extended

77.6 in (1970 mm)

Max Height w/Column Retracted

66.9 in (1700 mm)

Min Height w/Column Retracted

23.1 in (587 mm)

Min Height w/Short Column

7.4 in (189 mm)

Max Height

in mm)

Height

in mm)

Width Including Handles

in mm)

Length

in mm)

Folded Length

25.8 in (655 mm)

Number of Leg Sections

4

Leg Lock Type

Moisture and dust-resistant locking grips

Independent Leg Spread

Yes, with three position stops

Center Column

Grooved-Rapid

Bubble Level

Included

Spiked Feet

Removable - Included

Head Mount Thread Size

1/4″-20 & 3/8″-16

Weight

6.3 lbs (2.9 kg)

 

Included Items:

Includes

Deluxe carry case, strap, toolkit

Warranty

2 years (+3 Online = 5 total)

 

As you can see, the Induro CT414 is FULL of useful yet reliable features that will enhance your shooting experience. Let’s see how the tripod performed in the field!

 

Field Performance:

Tripod Height:

At 6’ tall, I used to have problems with my old FEISOL CT3472LV tripod because the tripod only extends to a maximum height of 59.01 inches (under 6’). The way I used to deal with this was by narrowing all 3 legs allowing an extra 2 or 3 inches but sacrificing stability.

With the Induro CT414 maximum height of 77.6 inches without extending the center column, I no longer have to sacrifice stability for few extra inches; therefore I’m always comfortable under all circumstances. I’m confident this tripod can easily accommodate taller photographers as well.

Tripod Weight:

I find the Induro CT414 carbon fiber tripod weight well balanced. The tripod weighs only 6.3 lbs. Not necessarily “light” but you don’t want a tripod that is extremely light-weight, as you can sacrifice stability and performance in the field. Completely loaded this tripod can be easily handled.

By the way, if you have a hard time carrying your photography gear in the field, the folks from Outdoor Photo Gear now carry the Eckla Gear Carts designed for photographers. You can learn all about the carts by following this link.

Tripod Weight Support:

The Induro CT414 offers a massive maximum weight load of 55 pounds. Supporting my Canon 800mm f/5.6 L IS lens attached to the Canon 7D or 5D MKII with a grip each, 580EXII flash, brackets and battery pack feels secure and solid. While the 800mm lens only weights 9.8lbs, this set up is no match to even consider limiting the capabilities of the tripod.

Things got a lot easier for the CT414 when I mounted my Canon 500mm f/4.5 L lens using the 7D and 5D MKII. I’m pretty sure the tripod will impress folks using heavier set ups including the Nikon 600mm f/4 and the Canon 600mm f/4 as well.

Tripod Stability:

With the new wide stance cross-braced magnesium alloy spider, this tripod is ROCK SOLID and very stable. The magnesium base feels strong and most importantly, it never rotates unlike other tripods I used in the past. Another important aspect of this magnesium base is the light weight factor. Because we need a strong base, doesn’t mean it has to be heavy. I also find the spider like leg holder lower design critical for more stability.

The tripod legs never let me down under any circumstance even under heavy and uneven terrain or while photographing from the water. As a bird photographer, I often find myself in mud, saltwater and uneven terrains. The tripod legs feel firm and without any unwanted movement.

Tripod Salt Water Performance:

Living in S.W. Florida, saltwater has become part of my normal shooting environment. This tripod offers a very unique seal I find extremely brilliant, which it doesn’t allow water to penetrate the tripod legs. If you really want to expedite your bird photography, you must learn the true power of approaching birds from the water. I have no problems getting this tripod wet at any time!

Rinsing the tripod with freshwater after a long day shooting in saltwater is a good idea. This will also help you keep the tripod clean and will last for many years to come.

Conclusion:

I feel Induro really made an extra effort and stepped-up to the plate. Coming from using FEISOL tripods, the CT414 was an eye-opener. The rock solid feel to it, the little details, the incredible maximum load capability and durability, the Induro CT414 will impress you all the way.

Induro also made sure to keep this tripod 8X series affordable.  Prices have unfortunately has gotten out of hand by other manufacturers. Not everyone can afford the current high prices of Gitzo tripods!

Overall, this tripod will serve you well for many years to come. I feel very lucky the folks from Outdoor Photo Gear allowed me to try this tripod and compare it with other brands.

If you have any other question about the tripod, feel free to contact me directly by visiting my website contact page.

Stay tuned, more reviews coming up!

Thanks!

You can learn more about Maxis, view his images and scout his workshops at his website GVisions.org.

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3 Responses to “Induro CT414 Carbon Fiber Tripod Meets Nature Photography”

  1. [...] a thoughtful review which covers all the bases weighed when considering a new tripod, Gamez has put together a [...]

  2. Daniel Dunn says:

    Thanks Maxis, that’s a great review. I’m an Induro tripod user, and looking at heavier, sturdier tripods. This helps.

  3. Mola says:

    Hi,
    Does this or any other induro tripod go coletely flat on the ground?

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