photography by maxis gamez

Induro CT404 Review.

 

Make Way GITZO… Induro introduces the Grand Series of tripods!

A new chapter has begun for nature photographers around the world. Induro Grand Series of tripods are for those seeking the highest level of stability, durability, rock solid performance and affordability. As Induro CT-414 carbon fiber tripod user, this announcement brings excitement!
Let’s begin.


Key features:
         8X Carbon Fiber
         Lightweight
         Newly designed Spider Flat-Top Plate
         No center column
         Accepts other Induro Accessories including a leveling base
         Ratchet style top-plate locking lever
         Three independent leg positions
         Extra-large top plate hook for backpacks and other accessories
         Deluxe backpack style carrying case (will hold a gimbal style head attached)
         Tool kit included
         Other models available


Induro CT404 Grand Series – Ideal for up to an 800mm f/5.6 lens with a pro-body and flash system mounted.

New Spider flat-top Plate Design:

The new Induro CT404 carbon fiber tripod includes a new spider flat-top plate designed to create more stability and solid performance for those using long lenses. The flat-top base also includes a new ratchet style locking mechanism which allows you to secure the top plate with ease. The top plate can be remove and replaced with Induro’s new leveling base if you wish. I personally don’t use it but is good to have the option available.

Key Specs: (Full specs below)

Induro’s maximum load weight recommendation for the CT404 is at an amazing 61.7 lbs. which is plenty of support for most wildlife photographers and videographers. My Canon 800mm f/5.6 L IS lens attached to a 1D MKIV, Flash Brackets and Gimbal feels stable and rock solid without sacrificing height.

The CT404 comes at a maximum height of 67.9 inches and weighs 5.9 lbs. almost a half-a-pound lighter than my current CT-414. The tripod also folds down to 25.4 inches which can be easily carry on a domestic airliner.

You can shave even more weight by replacing the new socket-style feet which I’m not a big fan of, not to mention they are heavier compared to the older style feet which I like. I simply grabbed my older CT-414’s feet and installed them on the new CT404. It’s a direct fit and is easy to replace. If you don’t have an older Induro tripod laying around, you can purchase these parts separately. The tripod also accepts Induro’s stainless steel spikes. I highly recommend replacing them.

Features & Accessories:

As bird photographer, I can appreciate when my tripod incorporates accessories that can help me carry my set up. The new Induro’s large hanging-hook is simply fantastic! You can now hang a backpack with ease. If you are a videographer, this tripod also includes extra mounting screws for your portable monitor, sound recorder and other accessories needed. The tripod also includes a much needed leveling bubble on top of the base.

Non-Rotating Carbon Fiber Leg Sections:

The much popular locking-grip and mechanism did not change. The tripod legs locks securely and firmly allowing me to adjust the legs on all terrains with ease. Another benefit and as previously mentioned, this locking system works great even after being exposed to salt-water. As bird photographer, I’m always in water! Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for GITZO tripods. I destroyed a set of GITZO legs in one week after my normal shooting style. Never considered them again!

But not everything is positive. One thing I find myself doing is adjusting the tightness of the legs at the base. I like my tripod legs to be well tightened. Of course, this is my personal preference and may not apply to your own style but is only fair to point things out. That’s all I’ve found so far with this tripod.

In the Field:

In the field the CT404 performed as expected. Rock solid stability, easy to carry and my equipment feels nicely secured thanks to the new ratchet locking system. One accessory worth mentioning is a good set of tripod legs wraps. Your shoulders will appreciate them!

During those low, perspectives the tripod legs can be spread almost flat on the ground due to no center-column. That’s a great feature for any bird photographer.

 

Specifications:


Material

Carbon Fiber

Maximum Load

61.7 lbs.

Max Height

67.9 in

Folded Length

25.4 in

Number of Leg Sections

4

Leg Lock Type

Moisture and dust-resistant locking grips

Independent Leg Spread

Yes, with three position stops

Center Column

Not included. Available as an accessory

Bubble Level

Included

Spiked Feet

Not included. Available as an accessory

Head Mount Thread Size

1/4″-20 & 3/8″-16

Weight

5.9 lbs.

Included Items:


Includes

Deluxe carry case, strap, toolkit

Warranty

2 years (+3 Online = 5 total)

 

The Induro CT505 and bigger brother of the CT404 is simply an over-kill for any nature photographer. At a little over 8 lbs. and with an amazing equipment support capabilities, this tripod is not necessarily what you want to take for a hike but will work great for studio photographers and videographers seeking an impressive support and stability.

As part of the Grand Series family, the CT505 offers the same features of the CT203, CT304 and CT404 but with much more strength!

I feel fortunate to be able to share my thoughts about this exciting new line of tripods to anyone seeking the highest level of stability starting with the CT404 & CT505. I will be retiring my old CT414 and upgrade to the new CT404 as part of my bird photography set up. The new and rock solid flat-top base, lighter weight, no center column and compact design will serve my needs well for years to come.

As a follow up to this review and to continue with the Grand Series, I will be reviewing the smaller versions of the CT404 in the upcoming weeks.

To learn more about my photography, workshops and seminars, please visit my website at http://www.gvisions.org.

Thank you for reading this review and until next time….