It’s been years and years since we’ve seen any true major innovation in tripods. But Cokin is doing it: the Cokin Riviera is a tripod designed to look, feel and function like vintage tripods. We’re not talking 1970s: but try 1800s. With that said, it incorporates wood and leather into the design.
True to the classic vintage design, Cokin is incorporating wooden knobs, metal dials, and is overall meant to work in conjunction with lots of the vintage/retro designed cameras of today. The wood is Ikoro and the handle (which is made from said wood) is crafted in France. The wood joins knurled aluminum and brushed aluminum for the design and leather to create the tripod. All of these go into the head, which Cokin describes as multi-action with a 360° plate
The Cokin Riviera can extend up to 63 inches high and fold out to take up 23.6 inches of space. Its overall weight is 3.4 lbs and can hold up to 11lbs of cameras. Plus it comes with a case.
We’ve got no official word on the price yet but this is all quite exciting. Every manufacturer has been creating great tripods for the past few years. There has been little innovation with the exception of Gitzo creating a tripod that becomes far taller than a person and MeFOTO adding in a splash of color. For the most part though, companies have been working on creating tripods that photographers and videographers need and instead don’t want. Indeed, carrying the extra weight is quite a pain in the back. But what if you carried something that you really wanted to use? It seems like the Cokin Riviera is targeted at that audience.
Is it hipster? Probably, but folks say the same thing about film photographers while not knowing a single thing about the user experience. It’s sort of like Leica, you don’t totally understand it until you experience it. And on that thought wave, this marketing idea goes along with so many things in the world. When my dad recently came to visit me, he complained about how much I paid for bagels with cream cheese and coffee. Then he saw how big they were and experienced how good they were. One bagel was two meals for him! He got on the phone with his wife later and even told her about how incredible it was. Only then, he understood why I needed to pay extra here in Brooklyn.
It’s the same thing: people sit there and say “Oh, a tripod? Why would I want to use a tripod. There’s so much extra weight.” But the Cokin Riviera seems like something much more. If you’re a film photographer, you may digg it for long exposure work. Or if you’re a medium format shooter, you may want to use it with your camera providing it isn’t too hefty.
Film cameras often get a different reaction from folks that you’re photographing too in the same way that Polaroid cameras do, your phone does, a big DSLR, etc.
I’m excited to get my hands on the Cokin Riviera for testing. Indeed, I haven’t truly been excited about a tripod in a bit, but Cokin just did it for me.