Despite my best efforts, I scuffed my Ricoh Theta X lenses! Here are 5 accessories for Ricoh Theta X and other 360 cameras that can help you protect your investment and avoid disaster.
TL-3 lens cap for Theta X ($19.95)
TL-3 is a hard plastic lens cap for the Theta X. It can also serve as a tabletop stand for the Theta X. I already have a case for my Theta X, but my Theta X’s lenses were scuffed on both sides even though I have never dropped it or put it on a bare hard surface. On a normal DSLR lens, such fine scratches do not always have a noticeable effect on the image. But on a 360 camera with a small sensor and extremely short focal length, they will blur the image noticeably. My best guess is that the scratches might have been caused by my current case, which has zippers that I think might have scratched my Theta X’s lenses as I inserted the
On the other hand, I’ve used the same case for my Theta Z1 with no issues. In any case, cough cough, I got the TL-3 which I believe is a safer alternative. I also suggest this waterproof hard case which has a foam liner and no zippers.
TD-2 stand ($79.95)
Ricoh has a new stand designed for virtual tours. Compared to the previous TD-1, the TD-2 has almost the same height (1.5 meters vs 1.52 meters) but a wider base and is therefore more stable, which means it’s less likely to accidentally topple over. It is also much more affordable at $79.95 instead of $229.95. Compared to other monopods with legs, the TD-2’s leg folds in a way that enables it to be used with the legs partially collapsed, or even fully collapsed for a slimmer nadir (albeit with less stability). Compatible with most 360 cameras but not heavy professional 360 cameras.
TT-1 weight (around $67)
TT-1 is a weight for your tripod or monopod for additional stability, similar to a sandbag. Each TT-1 weighs 690 grams and is very compact, portable, and won’t make a mess with spilled sand or water. You can stack several of them to increase the total weight and stability. Compatible with any 360 camera.
TM-3 compact selfie stick (around $42)
Do you want a slim invisible selfie stick? The TM-3 is a selfie stick with a slim profile that is invisible to any 360 camera — even a 360 camera as slim as the Theta X. What makes it different from most 360 cameras is that it uses a thumbscrew to tighten its connector. With regular selfie sticks, the camera is rotated until fully secured to the tripod connector. The problem with this is that the fully tightened camera may be pointing in a direction that is not ideal, which could lead to some selfie sticks becoming partially visible. It’s not going to damage your camera but it can ruin your shot. With the TM-3’s thumbscrew, you would be sure that the fully tightened camera will be aimed where you want.
Ricoh has previously released a similar selfie stick, the TM-2. The issue with the TM-2 is that it could tilt, which is an advantage for regular cameras but a disadvantage for 360 cameras. 360 cameras must always be in-line with the selfie stick for the selfie stick to remain invisible. See here.
One issue with the TM-3 is that it is limited to 42.3 cm / 16.6 inches, which is short for a selfie stick. TM-3 is compatible with lighter 360 cameras. Not suggested for heavier 360 cameras such as Pilot Era.
TW-2 dive case (Price TBD)
Are you going snorkeling this summer? TW-2 is a waterproof dive case for the Theta X that lets you capture 360 photos and videos from as deep as 40 meters. The optics of the case have been designed to allow the Theta X to stitch smoothly despite the refraction underwater. Ricoh said they’ll send me one to test. I don’t know how to dive but I’ll at least try it out in a swimming pool.
The TM3 has a 1/4″-20 thread at the base so you can put basic tripod legs or something like Matthews MICROgrip extension rods to enhance its usefulness.
The key point is not the accessories to buy with the X it is the impossibility of having it repaired..
most 360 camera lenses cannot be repaired (or are impractical to repair), so this issue is not unique to theta x.
Why why WHY has there not been a waterproof acrylic case that fits the Z1? I can’t tell you how many lenses I’ve scratched. Or at least a lens protector for it. Wow Ricoh. Bout time.