Ricoh Screw Mount Cameras

Ricoh Company, Ltd., Tokyo, Japan.

Ricoh Singlex, 1964-??

(Also SEARS SL II in USA)
Fixed pentaprism
Shutter: 1-1/1000,B (vertical metal mechanical)
Flash: swtcheable MX synch (?)
Metering: none (clip-on CDS exposure meter)
Finder: split-image rangefinder in Fresnel screen.
Battery: none

Auto diaphragm
Instant return mirror
Self-timer

From Bill S.:
There appear to be two versions of the Sears SL11. The first being the Nikkorex F, Ricoh Singlex, Sears SL11 triplets with Nikon F bayonet mount. The second Sears SL11 appears to be a meterless Ricoh Singlex TLS body. An accessory CdS meter clips onto the camera and attaches to the camera's FRONT MOUNTED shutter dial.

Ricoh Singlex TLS, 1967-73?

(Also SEARS TLS in USA; interflex TLS in France and possible Belgium).
(Information about the interflex name and pictures are courtesy of Laurent Dutech)

Fixed pentaprism
Shutter: 1-1/1000,B (vertical metal mechanical)
Flash: standard F and X synch at 1/125, no hot shoe
Metering: Stoped-down metering
Finder: Microprism spot and ground-glass collar in Fresnel screen.
Battery: PX625

Auto diaphragm
Instant return mirror
Self-timer
Shutter dial in front of the camera.
Viewfinder image 93%
Mirror lock up with selftimer (Thank you, Adam B.)

Ricoh TLS 401, 1970-??

Fixed pentaprism with waist-level viewfinder on top, so the views can be switched.
Shutter: 1-1/1000,B (vertical metal mechanical)
Flash: standard F and X synch at 1/125, hot shoe
Metering: Stoped-down metering TTL average or spot, with selector on the back of the camera.
Finder: Microprism spot in Fresnel screen. The type of metering visiable in the viewfinder.
Battery: PX625

Auto diaphragm
Instant return mirror
Self-timer
Shutter dial in front of the camera.
Viewfinder image ?

Ricoh SLX 500, 1976-??

Similar to Singlex TLS but, cloth shutter 1/30-1/500, hot shoe, no self-timer.

Ricoh Singlex II, 1976-??

Similar to Singlex TLS but, hot shoe and shutter dial on top of the camera.

Ricoh Auto TLS EE, 1973-??

(Also SEARS Auto TLS in USA)
Fixed pentaprism
Shutter: cloth 1-1/1000, B
Flash: standard F and X synch at 1/60, hot shoe
Metering: Open aperture metering, shutter priority (?)
Finder: Microprism spot and ground glass collar in Fresnel screen
Battery: ?

Auto diaphragm
Instant return mirror
Self-timer
Max aperture of lens set on top of the dial; AE hold.


Should you buy one?

The only Ricoh camera I have is the TLS401. The switcheable viewfinders are really handy when photographing something close to the ground. I like the ability to use the spot meter as well. Unfortunately, the viewfinder is relatively dark. This is, probably, because the light sensors are located behind the mirror, which is transparent.

From Jeff Wiseman:
I've been using mine Ricoh Singlex TLS off and on for over 20 years and have never had a problem with it. Built like a tank and weighs about the same. I have the original 55 1.4 and 28 2.8 lenses which are very good. I'll keep using mine until it falls apart.

From Mark F. O'Brien:
I have owned a Ricoh Singlex II for several years, and have assembled a pretty good assortment of accessories and lenses to go with it. The camera is very sturdy and reliable. The meter is sometimes jumpy, but I have had consistently good exposures with it. I've used it with a microscope adapter, bellows, and other close-up equipment, and it has worked great. I bought mine on eBay with 2 lenses for about $70. They don't show up that often.

From Paul Wehner:
(About Ricoh TLS401) A very good and solid camera and as you said, a very dark viewfinder. Despite this, I take pictures with this camera for over 32 years.

From Herman Cheung:
I have just got my second Ricoh Singlex TLS with the hot shoe accessary for US30. I like its simple clear styling and the robust light shutter so much that I got 2 of it now. It is amazing to see everything works so perfectly for such an old camera. It is so stuborn that I may hand them to my next generation. Furthermore, the fast f1.4 Ricoh lens is really needle shape and it is a pleasure to look at the big glass.

What do you think about Ricoh screw-mount cameras?

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