Gear Review: Induro CT414 Carbon Fiber Tripod

When photographers have a couple of bucks burning a hole in their pockets, it’s not long before Gear Acquisition Syndrome, lovingly referred to as GAS, kicks into high action. A couple of weeks ago, those hard-earned dollars of mine went into a new set of sticks. This had been a long time coming, and is the first tripod I’ve actually ever purchased new. Big props to the super-knowledgeable, all-photographer staff from Midwest Photo Exchange in helping me find this. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, the Induro CT414.



Okay okay, this isn’t the most hot-to-the-market piece of gear. In fact, this tripod has been out for almost four years, with very few reviews to be found. But for the big ‘ole camera shooters out there, it isn’t often modern manufacturers throw us a bone. And boy oh boy did Induro throw us a nice one! Let’s lead off with the specs, then I’ll get into some thoughts on this tripod. Specs courtesy of InduroGear.com:

Material: Carbon Fiber

Maximum Load: 55 lb (25 kg)

Max Height: (24° Leg Angle) w/Column Extended: 77.56 in (197 cm)

Max Height: (24° Leg Angle) w/Column Retracted: 66.93 in (170 cm)

Min Height: (24° Leg Angle) w/Column Retracted: 23.12 in (58.74 cm)

Min Height: (80° Leg Angle) w/Short Column: 7.44 in (18.9 cm)

Max Height: 77.6 in

Length: 25.8 in (6.55 cm)

Folded Length: 25.79 in (65.5 cm)

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

Spiked Feet: Removable - Included

Head Mount Thread Size: 1/4”-20 & 3/8”-16

Weight: 6.3 lbs (2.9 kg)

With the tech specs out of the way, what did I think of these 21st tripod legs?

The first thing any photographer thinks when they hear carbon fiber (well, maybe after $$$$) is lightweight. The CT414, while the biggest and bulkiest in their entire lineup, is still quite light, even with my tried and true Bogen 3047 3-way tripod head. The whole setup comes in at 9.5 lbs. / 4.3 kg. as opposed to the old setup at 12 lbs. / 5.4 kg. When hauling around what could be upwards of 50 lbs. of gear, is this a big deal? The longer I work in the field and the older I get, the answer is a resounding “YES!”.

In addition to being lightweight, this beast of a carbon fiber tripod, while being lighter than my two other tripods, is actually sturdier! Not only can I mount my 8x10 Tachihara Double Extension field camera to the CT414, I can also mount my behemoth Sinar P2 8x10 monorail camera. Add in the up to 6 lbs. / 2.7 kg. in lenses, shades, and other accessories, and the gear I’m throwing on this is cable of pushing the the CT414 to its 55 lb. limit! I’ve still yet to experience even the slightest wobble, even when doing close-up with the Sinar P2 at very odd angles, with a monster 360mm f/6.8 Schneider Symmar-S lens.



The next thing the Induro CT414 has going for it is the convenience of its twist-lock legs. I’ll admit that up until this tripod I’ve been a Bogen/Manfrotto user. As such, I’ve never used a tripod that had anything other than flip-lock legs. The ability to give the legs a quick half twist to lock/unlock is a breath of fresh air. It makes for quicker setup in the field, and allows me to keep my gloves on in the winter months (or in Ohio, until early April) and still have full control of the tripod. In a matter of seconds, I can go from collapsed to fully extended and ready to the mount the camera. A+ for Induro having these oversize, easy to operate twist locks.

Just when you thought this tripod couldn’t impress me more, it also comes with an arsenal of accessories, a good warranty, and an attractive price point. Starting with the accessories, the Induro CT414 ships from the factory with a nicely padded carrying case with strap. Inside this case, there’s another padded zip-lock case that contains all the tools you’ll need to tighten/adjust your tripod in the field, along with a set of ground spikes! Of all the accessories, the ground spikes were the nicest touch, something that not all tripods ship with, but are indispensable when working with varying terrains outdoors. Alongside these accessories, all Induro tripods come with a 5 year warranty, and offer customers an additional 5 years on top of that for registering their product online. The final cost of such a tripod? Less than $700, making the Induro CT414 the most affordable heavy duty carbon fiber tripod on the market!



To quickly sum things up…

Pros:

  • 2lbs. lighter than my 1960’s aluminum Bogen tripod!
  • Twist-lock leg columns.
  • Accessory hook under center column.
  • Supports the Tachihara AND Sinar P2 8x10’s!
  • Comes with carrying case, tool kit, and interchangeable feet/spikes.
  • 5 year warranty + Additional 5 years for registering.
  • Most inexpensive carbon fiber tripod in its weight-class.

Cons:

  • Tall center column, shorter columns cost extra, no option for column-less.
  • Seriously, that’s it.
  • I struggled to find a darn thing to complain about.

If you’re in the market for a very well-built, affordable tripod, the Induro line of tripods should be at the top of your list. Consider the Induro CT 8X series of tripods for lightweight, rigid legs, and the AT 8M series for equally sturdy, slightly heavier-weight legs. Paired with all of the included accessories, 10 year warranty, and incredibly easy use, I can see myself many years from now still being a happy Induro customer!

The new (to me) Sinar Pan-Tilt Head on the new, incredibly lightweight Induro CT414. This combo is rock-solid, can get super low to the ground, and is shaving ~15 lbs. off of my back!

New55 Film Kickstarter: Will You Be Backing?

Well folks, it’s finally here! After nearly 3 years of build-up, Bob Crowley and the rest of his team over at New55 have finally launched their Kickstarter campaign. In case you’re wondering what this film is, it’s a totally new formulation of the classic Polaroid Type 55 film. Type 55 was a spectacular single sheet instant film in 4x5” size that produced a B&W positive, and with a little washing produced a spectacular negative.



Long story short, if you’re a film shooter, now is the time to show your support for the community and kick-in on this project. Yes, their target amount is high, but rightfully so. When I see a number like these guys have presented, it means to me that they’ve taken their time to analyze the market and asses their needs.  Many Kickstarters under-ask and end up floundering after their funding period. This $400,000 may seem like a lot, but for even a small to medium size business it’s a pittance to get this kind of product off the ground.

As someone that doesn’t even shoot 4x5, I’m pitching in for this project because it’s something I’d like to see happen for all of my fellow large format shooters. While large format emulsions dwindle year after year, it’s a breath of fresh air to see a start-up focused on providing a solid product to the community.

Will you be backing New55?

New55 launches Kickstarter to create new instant film

believeinfilm:

Kickstarter to replace Polaroid 55

Shitty Wet Plates

pnicholsonphotographs:

why are shitty tintypes still cool?

From what I’ve seen over the past year, there’s already a decline in the number of photographers jumping into wet plate collodion. It’s still a very hip thing to be into, but it seems the bad practitioners are running out of silver/money/patience and the guys that have been around the block are cranking them out more than ever. Heck, some of those guys are moving further back to daguerreotypes to separate themselves from the crowd.

Unfortunately, I too am guilty of making shitty wet plates. Made a few at the end of 2011 and haven’t really tried since. I had little control over my process, and didn’t really have a body of work in mind, just made them to say I made them. Folks unfamiliar to the process marveled in them, while practitioners I trusted just gave them a “meh”. I’ve been working with modern films and modern lenses and haven’t looked back since.

In the age of the internet, we’re always going to be seeing far more photographers than we would have before. This applies to the whole spectrum of work, not just the outstanding stuff.

(via photomic)

darkroomsintheworld:

Ways of Seeing

Reblogging this great mini-series because every photographer needs to see this.

thephoblographer:

An Early Glimpse of Joe Giacomet’s Shots for the Cigar Sanctum Ad Campaign

All images shot by and used with permission from Joe Giacomet.
London-based photographer and…

View Post

Very nicely done portrait series. Has an almost Karsh-esque quality.

thephoblographer:

An Early Glimpse of Joe Giacomet’s Shots for the Cigar Sanctum Ad Campaign

All images shot by and used with permission from Joe Giacomet.

London-based photographer and…

View Post

Very nicely done portrait series. Has an almost Karsh-esque quality.

imagemulsion:

Platinotype in a tanning salon. #PhotographerProblems #photography #altprocess #art #bham

I can see it now, the new “Guerilla Alt Process” Movement! ;D

imagemulsion:

Platinotype in a tanning salon. #PhotographerProblems #photography #altprocess #art #bham

I can see it now, the new “Guerilla Alt Process” Movement! ;D

thephoblographer:

Review: Lumopro LP-180 FlashLumopro’s LP-180is the successor to the very well acclaimed LP-160. As an all manual and well…View Post

Reblogging b/c LumoPro LP180’s are my speed lights of choice. Oh, and on Cyber Monday, MPEX will be having a crazy sale on them!

thephoblographer:

Review: Lumopro LP-180 Flash

Lumopro’s LP-180is the successor to the very well acclaimed LP-160. As an all manual and well…

View Post

Reblogging b/c LumoPro LP180’s are my speed lights of choice. Oh, and on Cyber Monday, MPEX will be having a crazy sale on them!

Incredible historic photos at the Library of Congress Flickr

istillshootfilm:

image

Incredible historic photos at the Library of Congress Flickr

The art of photography is a blip on the radar as far as history is concerned, considering it’s less than 200 years old. First photographs were often blurry, although we must admit they were huge accomplishments in and of themselves. That being said, coming across well-preserved, clear historic images is a rare treasure. The US Library of Congress has gone through the laborious process of digitizing tens of thousands of historic images, all of which are available online at its Flickr stream.

We’ve put together 50 of our favorites from the 1940s on color transparency, photochrom prints from around the world, Civil War ambrotypes and three-color glass separations of the Russian Empire. We highly recommend you reserve at least an hour of your time to head on over to the Library of Congress Photostream on Flickr and look through over 20,000 amazing historic photographs. Other great sets not to be missed include FSA Administration favorites, American Baseball and the Jazz Age.

1940s in Color (slides):

image

Shepherd with his horse and dog on Gravelly Range, Madison County, Montana, August, 1942, by Russell Lee

image

Woman aircraft worker, Vega Aircraft Corporation, Burbank, Calif. Shown checking electrical assemblies, June, 1942, by David Bransby

image

Japanese-American camp, war emergency evacuation, Tule Lake Relocation Center, Newell, California, 1942 or 1943.

image

Crowds of French patriots line the Champs Elysees to view Allied tanks and half tracks pass through the Arc du Triomphe, after Paris was liberated on August 25, 1944, by Jack Downey.

image

A good job in the air cleaner of an army truck, Fort Knox, Ky. This soldier, who serves as truck driver and mechanic, plays an important part in keeping army transport fleets in operation, June 1942, by Alfred T. Palmer.

image

C. & N.W. R.R., Mrs. Irene Bracker, mother of two children, employed at the roundhouse as a wiper, Clinton, Iowa, April, 1943, by Jack Delano.

image

M-3 tanks in action, Ft. Knox, Kentucky, June 1942 by Alfred T. Palmer


image

United Nations Fight for Freedom : Boy Scouts in front of Capitol, they help out by delivering poster to help the war effort, 1943, by Jon Rous

image

Japanese-American camp, war emergency evacuation, Tule Lake Relocation Center, Newell, California, 1942 or 1943 by Russel Lee


image

Mrs. Eloise J. Ellis has been appointed by civil service to be senior supervisor in the Assembly and Repairs Department at the Naval Air Base, Corpus Christi, Texas. She buoys up feminine morale in her department by arranging suitable living conditions for out-of-state employees and by helping them with their personal problems. August, 1942 by Howard R. Hollem.


image

Woman putting on her lipstick in a park with Union Station behind her, Washington, D.C., 1943.


image

Lincoln, Nebraska, 1942 by John Vachon

image

Jim Norris and wife, homesteaders, Pie Town, New Mexico, October 1940, by Russell Lee

image

Woman working on an airplane motor at North American Aviation, Inc., plant in California, June 1942, by Alfred T. Palmer.

image

Sailor at the Naval Air Base wears the new type protective clothing and gas mask designed for use in chemical warfare, Corpus Christi, Texas. These uniforms are lighter than the old type, August 1942 by Howard R. Hollem.

image

Eagle Fruit Store and Capital Hotel, Lincoln, Nebraska, 1942 by John Vachon.

image

Women workers install fixtures and assemblies to a tail fuselage section of a B-17 bomber at the Douglas Aircraft Company plant, Long Beach, Calif. Better known as the “Flying Fortress,” the B-17F is a later model of the B-17, which distinguished itself in action in the south Pacific, Germany and elsewhere. It is a long range, high altitude, heavy bomber, with a crew of seven to nine men, and with armament sufficient to defend itself on daylight missions, October, 1942, by Alfred T. Palmer

Read More

Reblogging because these colors are absolutely gorgeous. If you’ve never seen/held a large format slide, do yourself a favor and experience first hand what good color can look like! :D