Vivo Tripod

In addition to Miranda cameras, I’ve fallen in love with these “Vivo“-branded japanese tripods. They are very well made, light but sturdy travel tripods. The quality and finish of the cast and alloy parts is incredible; they look more like a piece of jewellery than a tool.

There doesn’t seem to be much information available about the history of the Vivo tripods. All I know is that they were made in Japan during the ’50s and ’60s, probably by Sanwa (not the same company as the current Sanwa Denshi Co., Ltd). They were also occasionally sold under other brand names, like Sunset and Korvette.

Vivo tripod with Miranda S

Currently I own four examples of these beauties. In the picture above is one of them, fully extended to its 110cm height, and crowned by a 1959 Miranda S.

Vivo tripod #1
Vivo tripod #1: folded with a case
Vivo tripod #1: closeup

This perfectly preserved example with a quick release plate was recently found in Germany.

Vivo tripod #2
Vivo tripod #2: folded with a case
Vivo tripod #2: cork inserts
Vivo tripod #2: closeup
Vivo tripod #2: closeup

A previous owner had tried to repair the rubber parts of this tripod with some substance which had turned the rubber into bubble-gum-like goo. I scraped it off and replaced the former rubber-covered areas in the quick release plate and the top platform with ones made from cork gasket sheet. This model also has a remote control mechanism for the camera’s shutter release; unfortunately the interconnecting cable is missing. If someone has a surplus cable, please let me know…

Vivo tripod #3
Vivo tripod #3: folded

This is a rare tabletop version of the Vivo tripod. This example is quite worn, the cable release plunger is missing and the locking system is on the verge of breaking completely… but this is the only example of this type I’ve ever seen, anywhere!

Vivo tripod #4
Vivo tripod #4: folded with case
Vivo tripod #4: closeup

This pristine black version from Switzerland is, if possible, even more slender and graceful than the ones above.