Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Induro Adventure AKB0 Tripod Review - Introduction

Ever watch the John Belushi movie Continental Divide? If not it's the story of a Chicago journalist that goes up into the mountains to write and article about an Eagle researcher. There's one scene where he's down to his last cigarette and he's in a world of hurt because he's out of shape and has been huffing and puffing his way up the mountain to see what this Eagle researcher does. That's pretty much how I was feeling the day that Donna and I set out to find one of the waterfalls in upstate South Carolina that was listed as "moderate" in difficulty. Clearly the person that rated it moderate must be part mountain goat because that hike for us was down right hard! Of course it doesn't help being out of shape and lugging my camera backpack with extra lenses and my Induro CT314 tripod with me. Long story short Donna and I made it to the waterfall, got some great pictures and made it back to the car without killing ourselves. One valuable lesson I learned that day was traveling light is the way to go on waterfall hikes and hauling around my camera backpack and heavy duty tripod was clearly not traveling light!

Thus began my quest for a lightweight tripod to use when shooting waterfalls. Since I'm obviously a huge Induro fan I checked out their tripods first and read about the Adventure AKB Series of tripods. These lightweight tripods come with matching ball head and carrying bag. They are available in three sizes: AKB0 which is designed for loads up to 10.3 pounds and weights 2.6 pounds, the AKB1 which is designed for loads up to 12.8 pounds and weighs 3.6 pounds, and the AKB2 which is designed for loads up to 18.7 pounds and weighs 4.2 pounds. For comparison my CT314 and BHD3 ball head are designed for loads up to 40 pounds and weigh 7.2 pounds. I spent a good amount of time reading about these three tripods but couldn't decide which one I wanted. My first choice was the AKB2 thinking that it even though I wouldn't be coming close to its load capacity that it would be better to have a tripod that can support way more than I would need but it weighs nearly double what the AKB0 weighs and I really wanted to go as light as possible. I knew that the good folks at Induro had read my previous write up I had done on the CT314 and ball head so on whim I contacted them and told them I was in the market for a lightweight tripod and wanted to know if they happened to have any of the AKB series tripods available for a trial basis. I figured they may have some that didn't meet QC specs or something like that they would be willing to send me. They said they did have something I could test with, faxed me the agreement which I signed and faxed back and a few days later the UPS box arrived.

Inside was not a some loaner tripod that has been used by others and was passed along to me but instead it was a brand new AKB0 tripod. Our agreement was for me to keep the tripod for a few weeks, test it thoroughly and then return it to Induro. For this review I plan to document the following aspects of the tripod:

  • Introduction - this post
  • The Tripod
  • The Ball Head
  • Use in the Field
  • Short Post Accessory
  • Comparison to the CT314
  • Summary

Induro Adventure AKB0 Tripod with Donna's Canon Rebel T2i with 18-200 lens

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