When not having fun making tiny planets, I primarily use my Theta V for work shooting 3D virtual tours for real estate. But does anyone have some suggestions for an affordable adjustable tripod base that will allow me to shoot my 4-6 required stairwell shots?
I currently use a Bushman monopod but it’s way too unstable for stairwell shots so I have to move the Theta to my larger tripod, and of course the tripod head gets in the shots.
I found the Velbon Ultra 353 Mini Q tabletop tripod might work well, but it includes the ball head which I don’t really need. And the price is somewhat steep too at $175.
That looks like an slick tripod. The rectangular mounting plate with the 1/4" screw looks a little big and may appear in the pictures. Is the extender (the description refers to it as column) in the picture for the the rectangular bottom plate, the space between the camera and the mounting plate?
That actually looks like some pretty nice kit for cheaper than the Manfrotto base and extension setup.
I’m curious as to whether or not you’re mounting the camera directly on the rectangular base or using an extension. I was actually looking at this same problem myself, but haven’t found anything. If the ball joint was removable and you could put an extension on it, looks awesome.
I suddenly remembered late yesterday that I bought Velbon UT-63D earlier this year and I think it’ll work perfectly. I can unscrew the Velbon head from the Velbon tripod base, but it has a long screw tip so I need an adapter. The size seems to be 1/4 inch as the monopod and Theta V will thread onto the Velbon screw tip, but the screw is obviously too long.
And I think the threads are slightly different too as the monopod and Theta will screw onto this tip, and it does not cross-thread, but it feels loose so it appears the threading is different (and of course it won’t screw all the way down either).
So I guess I’m now in search of an adapter that will screw all of the way down onto the Velbon tip and provide the shorty 1/4 inch thread for the Theta/monopod. I’m still going to do some test shots today or tomorrow to see how it works.
Since 360 cameras have been on the market a while, I’m really surprised that a company has not yet packaged a more sturdy adjustable tripod base with a slim monopod, and perhaps included a few Velcro wrist weights for wind issues too. I think a packaged design like this would quickly sell.
I’m going through the same search myself and at the moment, have resigned myself to having to look at different components and cobble something together. The THETA mounting screw is 1/4" by 20 threads per inch. You can get these types of adapters on Amazon. I don’t have the particular kit below, but I’ve been planning to order something similar. With this type of $16 adapter kit, you can use existing equipment to see how to balance, the stability of the tripod, the weight of the entire setup, the size, and the impact on picture taking. Once you have a good setup, you can then spend more money on a specialized tripod with the features you want.
Most of the packaged solutions out there for 360 cameras have feet with limited adjustments and no weight on the feet, which is fairly dangerous for the camera as it may tip over.
The Bushman monopod screwed all the way down onto the Velbon tripod providing the perfect solution for me anyway. It’s a very sturdy combination with a low-profile and completely adjustable base so it holds up to winds on flat surfaces really well and no visible tripod base either! I’ll post a pic later today!
I have found that a small base microphone stand works great. You will need an adapter to get from the mic base to 1/4 20 thread. Got mine on Amazon. I find it steadier than a small three leg stand, easy to pickup and place and makes a circle so the nadir is easy to patch. It might even have a smaller footprint.
Does your small base microphone stand have adjustable length feet to keep it steady on uneven ground? I’m using a desk microphone stand and a monopod with feet for testing the camera for industrial use.
However, I want to get a good solution to take virtual tours outdoors.
The Velbon UT-63D looks awesome, but it’s $260. I’m looking for something cheap as I only need to take the outdoor shots for technical tests. The Manfrotto base is also $280. Yikes.
As mentioned earlier, the Velbon Ultra 353 MINI Q Tabletop Tripod is $175.
For indoor testing on a table or a wood floor, I have this type of gear in addition to tripods for DSLR cameras. Attaching the monopod to a DSLR tripod works, but I can’t detach the head on my tripods, so it is cumbersome to work with.
As the Z1 is both heavy (compared to the V or SC2) and expensive (again, compared to the V), I want a super stable base outside so that it doesn’t tip over.
The Velbon UT-63D is fully adjustable at any length, and extends from just 13.5 inches to 5 feet! So when the legs are completed collapsed, there’s a decent amount of weight in the base which has made me feel totally relaxed when walking away from my Theta V for an exterior shoot on a breezy day.
The price was steep, but I bought the tripod on a trip last year when I didn’t want to carry my tall Manfrotto tripod. But I’m glad I did as the Velbon UT-63D with the Bushman monopod has been the perfect combination I’ve been looking for.
I emailed both Bushman and Velbon and explained to them that this combination is something they should consider marketing as there’s a demand for it, but no response yet.
Would I buy the Velbon UT-63D if I knew it was the complete solution for my needs? The painful answer is yes as it works, and it works well for both shooting 360 and regular real estate shooting too.
The Velbon base is heavy enough to allow placement on rocky terrain, stairwells, and in breezy conditions (and a few Velcro wrist weights added if required). And I also now find myself using the Velbon more than my Manfrotto for regular real estate shoots, as the small form factor allows me to place the camera in tight places like on a bathroom or kitchen sink countertops, which permits me to take some great shots of smaller bathrooms or kitchens.
I’ll post some images of the Velbon/Bushman later today so folks can see it being used in actual situations.
This is fantastic information. As the weight of the base is an important consideration to counter the weight of the Z1.
That’s something that is difficult to understand from online research. First-hand experience is invaluable. This problem is made more difficult because most people attach a monopod on top of the base to reduce the impact of the base in the 360 shot.
In the videos below, I can’t see the monopod attachment. This is also something that is difficult to assess online. In both of the videos, it is not clear if the ball joint detaches easily. I have two DSLR tripods where I can’t figure out how to take off the rectangular base that connects to a DSLR.
If you have time, can you post a picture of the full setup with the base, monopod, and Z1 connected and then a closeup of the connection between the monopod and the base?
Sadly, as I don’t generate money from taking these types of pictures, I probably won’t be able to justify the cost for this type of nice equipment. However, I think it will be very useful for professional photographers.
I’m still amazed that I can’t find a complete kit with a good monopod and stable (wide and heavy) base for a reasonable price.
It’s very common to use the THETA Z1 for real estate shots. While non-adjustable feet will work for many shots, it is too risky in specialized shots where the ground is not level. For example, garden gazebo, driveway, patio shots. As you mentioned, a bigger tripod is too cumbersome for small space shots like the bathroom and kitchen pantry. Does everyone have this same problem?
My intended use case is to use for outdoor virtual tours on unstable ground. At the moment, I can use an existing tripod and monopod, but it’s not ideal.