Tripod Types for RICOH THETA Z1 in 2021

I’m using the video above as a way to get feedback on available tripod types.

Option 1 - Tripod Base + Monopod (shown in video above)

Cost: $100 to $500
Cheapest option I could find includes these parts

  • ESDDI tripod base for $55 without tax, free shipping
  • Koolehaoda monopod for $43
  • tripod adapter screw set $14 (22 pc)

Option 2 - Monopod with Additional Weight

You must add weight to the bottom of the monopod or it will be unstable. Without the weights, it may tip over and crack the lens of your Z1.

  • Bushman monopod v2 is $150 with 0.9 lb counterweight

The weight attaches between the monopod and the feet.

Option 3 - Light Stand

Cost: $22 for Amazon Basics to $40

This works surprisingly well, but it is a bit bulky and heavy.


References

original post

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Optional idea to weight a monopod. These are ankle weights.

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You need to weight the monopod as low as possible to offset the weight of the Z1.

Place the weight at the bottom of the monopod.

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Spike

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My Setup

I’m using a separate tripod for the base plus a monopod. My setup is more cumbersome, but I wanted it for more stability outside for virtual tours testing.

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I basically use a tripod of some sort every time I take my THETA out. That spike idea is cool.

How wide are the feet on the equipment you use? Do you mount the monopod on a tripod?

I use a monopod with feet (ProMaster Professional MPV428+ Convertible Monopod) that has two mods: (1) I weight it with a baseball bat weight (24oz) and it has never faltered; (2) I strapped a universal bubble level (from Freedom 360) onto the shaft and have not leveled a photo in post since! Although I shoot commercial property 360 work with DSLR rigs, I shoot a lot of smaller homes with the Z1 and this monopod rig really works well for me. The monopod was about $100 and the bat weight and level was about $25 more. The footprint is the same every shot, so I have a Photoshop action that replaces the visible part of the monopod with content-aware fill at the press of a button.


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Thank you for posting your rig. It’s great to hear from a professional photographer. :slight_smile:

Nice tip about the baseball bat weight. I’m planning to share this on social media.

For the level, the Z1 has auto-level correction using the internal gyroscope. Do you turn off auto-level and use the level?

Is there a problem with the auto-level?

Craig - I use DFE exclusively when shooting, so have not explored the App interface with the Z1. I don’t think my old Theta S has auto-level, so didn’t notice that feature on the Z1. Guess I don’t need the universal level after all! Thanks for pointing that out :wink:

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I’m not a professional photographer, so I’m not sure of the downside with the auto-level. The feature was introduced after the introduction of the V/Z1. You’ll need to upgrade the firmware of the camera to see the feature. I believe the mobile app can adjust it (but I’m not sure). I need to verify this.

For the baseball bat weights, is something like this what you’re using?

It seems more convenient that the ankle weights.

Does it fit over the Z1, or do you need to unscrew the Z1 from the monopod?

That’s funny - all this time I thought my shots were well leveled because I carefully adjusted the monopod to be level. The 24oz weight I bought is currently unavailable on Amazon, but the softball weights in your Amazon listing are perfect. I slide the weight over the bottom of the monopod with the feet extended straight - plenty of room. It will slide over the Z1, but I don’t risk that. At first, I was concerned that the weight would be off-center at times, but it doesn’t matter. My monopod’s feet are much shorter than the OP’s monopod legs. Nevertheless, my monopod is very steady in moderate to high winds, but high winds move the camera enough to affect multi-bracket shots. I’ve seen less expensive weights (usually 16oz or less) and you can stack them for more weight, but the price you’re seeing on Amazon was OK for me. A machined part seems like overkill and although ankle weights worked OK, the center of gravity is lower with the bat weight and it’s just easier to work with and keep track of. Also, it’s double handy during softball season :sunglasses:

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Your solution with the baseball bat or softball bat weight seems easier to deal with compared to ankle weights. It always seemed like the velcro and buckle of the ankle weights might be too much of a hassle to use regularly. I’m going to pick one up.

Hope you have a fantastic Sunday. :slight_smile:

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