Guide to panoramic photography
Généralités sur la panoramic photography Stitching a panorama Create a virtual tour Reviews equipment and software Links, books, DVD, VOD

Updated on October 18, 2019

Photo tripods and telescopic poles to make a virtual tour

In this third page dedicated to photo equipment to create a virtual tour, we'll study photo tripods, almost essential, and telescopic poles - surprising! - and then, start talking about special heads: spherical panoramic heads. There are indeed few cases of virtual tours when this equipment isn't essential...

The key points if you're a beginner...

Here are the key points to remember about photo tripods and telescopic poles. The rest of this page is aimed at those who want to learn more.

A tripod or a monopod are almost essential, regarding the shooting process. Shoot a panorama with the camera hand-held can be considered, but not for a virtual tour.

The telescopic poles make it possible to really change your point of view without having to invest in a drone or to undergo its legislative constraints.

Next key points: Leveling bases suivre




Photo tripods

Photo tripodsThe process of shooting mentioned in the first page makes using a tripod almost essential when you want to be rigorous, hence productive. It is one thing to manage to stitch a complete sphere correctly and it's a different thing to make several "easily". Leveling will be more accurate and long exposure times possible. But of course, when it's about creating a virtual tour in the middle of a crowd, of a riot, etc. the use of the tripod is useless and even annoying sometimes. See the work of Gilles Vidal about that Suivre Some images need to be taken instantly and some photographers specialized in virtual tours don't hesitate to work with a Fisheye lens with the camera hand-held or with a monopod in the middle of a crowd. The photographer can also be looking for special artistic effects: camera shakes...

Photo tripods

It's the most stable solution. Any tripod can be fine, of course, but it can also be useful to place it very close to the floor in certain cases or even at an important height (photo here on the right) - it's less common though because a height of 1.50 m seems very interesting to me... see preparatives | setting up the camera Suivre - and finally as stable as possible, above all in the particular case of the realization of a gigapixel virtual tour.
In many cases you'll just make it work! For their settings possibilities and their value for money, Manfrotto, Benro, Bushman Panoramic tripods are very interesting and for their quality only, Gitzo carbon tripods are among marvelous tools because light and rigid.
It's interesting to note that there's a new generation of tripods which central column can be slightly tilted, like on the models Gitzo LVL or by adding a special column to Manfrotto - 555B and 556B -. It appears to be especially convenient when levelling the panoramic head because 15° of tilting in all directions enable to fix almost any situation in one screw movement. See below.





My opinion on the FEISOL CT-3472LV

Feisol really makes very good carbon tripods, very light and yet stable enough and they also possess what I find most convenient to quickly level a panoramic head, a central column that tilts on about 10°, as on the famous Leveling Gitzo... But unlike Gitzo, Feisol offers a tripod that would be the equivalent of a serial 3.


Technical specifications

Price $
from 8
to 177 cm
2.25 Kg

Buy on... Support this site, buy this advice from affiliate retaillers !

FEISOL CT-3472 LV Price Seller
  Logo $887.10 Buy from



GITZO Carbon LVL tripod


My opinion on Gitzo 2540LVL tripod

Gitzo has among its range of carbon tripods - hence expensive, unfortunately! - two tripods which central column can be completely tilted on 15° unlike the Manfrotto one on which only the ball tilts. It is more convenient because the clamping screw is easier to reach. I love these tripods which qualities I praise everyday to realize panoramas! You can change parts very quickly and level it...

My note : 10/10 - I love these tripods that I use to realize my virtual tours for ten years. They are light, absorb very well vibration and the reclining column is so convenient!

Technical specifications

  Manufacturer Size Weight Kg Price $
from 16 to 158 cm
from 16 to 172 cm

Buy on... Support this site, buy this advice from affiliate retaillers !

2531 or 2540 LVL Price Seller
  Logo $749.99 Buy from





Monopods and telescopic poles

Trépied photo hautAnother solution is to use a monopod as support for the panoramic head. It's more convenient when you want to make a virtual tour in three photos only to go very fast, anywhere like in a crowd for instance and when you're working with a circular fisheye lens...
Unless it's about realizing a panorama in height, with a telescopic pole. With lots of carbon tripods now on the market, light and not too expensive, this shooting mode is expanding. It will then be easy to make monorange panoramas at a height of more than 6m without heavy installation to set up. It prevents of course long exposure times but when technically the photos can be shot, the point of view of the panorama. As for now, one telescopic pole stands out: the carbon pole Nodal Ninja / Fanotec P2 . It is light to carry, not too long once folded, very well made and designed... a true revolution, very pleasant to use.



Nodal Ninja pole Series 2
Complete (5.9 m)

726.67 € *

My opinion on the Nodal Ninja Pole Series 2 Complete (5.9 m)

There are many variants to reach different heights. So you have to do your market according to your needs.

Qualities :

  • Lightweight: less than 2 kg!
  • Choice of height: from 1.3 m to 6 m,
  • Short when folded: less than 1.20 m,
  • Finish,
  • Practice !

Excellent value for money to discover another world, perched at 6 m high!



My note : 10/10 - Much less restrictive to use than a drone (no legislative arsenal against its use), P2 Fanotec mast is really the mast best designed to perform virtual tours at 6 m high. Distributed again in Europe by ...


Technical specifications

Telescopic poles
P-1 P-2
Max. height (m)
Height folded (m)
Weight Kg
from 0.78 to 0.90
Nb of sections
4 or 5
Price (in euros)
€267.00 *
€551.00 *

Buy it from...

Nodal Ninja pole complete
Price in € Retailer
  726.67 € *

* Price without accessories - You'll need to add the base, the carrying case, the rotator hence about 180.00 € more.

And to finish this part: the leveling base Suivre

Next 6/14 : the leveling bases suivre


Pratical Guide N°1 :
The Nodal Point

$12.90 USD


My practical guides in e-books - N° 1!

"Find the nodal point or no parallax point accurately in less than an hour"... whether you are photographing a simple panorama or a 360° photo - PDF of 100 pages - More information... Suivre

from this site !



Home > Create a virtual tour > Tripods and poles > Next...



This website is almost entirely free and yet almost free of ads. Why? Because they look so bad! It is lucrative though, and enables many websites to keep on living. So I asked myself: what can I do? To keep on developing this website, I'm going to need a regular income just like everyone else. How can I keep on giving access to free information like I've been doing since April 2002?

And I finally found the answer: affiliation. Every time you click on a link from this site to one of my partners' shops, they know you've been referred by me and give me a small percentage on your purchase, be it something I recommend on my website or anything else. Remember to use my links when you shop on these sites! It doesn't cost you anything and it's a win-win deal – for me, them, and you!


  Thanks for your visit and your support!  


Homepage   |   Contents   |   What'new   !   Legal notices   |   Contact me

Version française          
General information
Virtual tour