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Is the Sears brand T-L-S a Ricoh or Mamiya product?
Old 03-26-2018   #1
driver
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Is the Sears brand T-L-S a Ricoh or Mamiya product?

I just acquired a Sears T-L-S (in PRO black) w/ 1.4 kit lens. I have always assumed that these were Ricoh manufactured.

http://mattsclassiccameras.com/slr/s...h-singlex-tls/

The later Sears TLS ( 1000MXB ) looks very similar only with the shutter speed/ASA on top vs. on the front. These were kitted w/ a Sears-Sekor lens.

Does anyone know for sure? Are they just very similar looking bodies?
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Old 03-26-2018   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by driver View Post
I just acquired a Sears T-L-S (in PRO black) w/ 1.4 kit lens. I have always assumed that these were Ricoh manufactured.

http://mattsclassiccameras.com/slr/s...h-singlex-tls/

The later Sears TLS ( 1000MXB ) looks very similar on with the shutter speed/ASA in top vs. on the front. These were kitted w/ a Sears-Sekor lens.

Does anyone know for sure? Are they just very similar looking bodies?
The first one was definitely a Ricoh (bought mine when they were new). The second one may be a Mamiya design, it's been a while since I've seen a photo of one.

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Old 03-26-2018   #3
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The latter camera is a rebranded Mamiya MSX 1000.
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Old 03-26-2018   #4
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The Auto Sears 55/1.4 lens is one of the best fast 50-ish M42 lens that you will ever find.
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Old 03-26-2018   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greyscale View Post
The Auto Sears 55/1.4 lens is one of the best fast 50-ish M42 lens that you will ever find.
Greyscale, do you have a copy of both cameras? If so, would you be willing to compare the body dimensions?
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Old 03-26-2018   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by driver View Post
Greyscale, do you have a copy of both cameras? If so, would you be willing to compare the body dimensions?
I have four of the former, if you count the Ricoh version, but none of the latter.
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Old 03-26-2018   #7
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The Ricoh model has the SR logo on the prism (Sears:Ricoh).
I have a chrome and a black one both with the 55mm f1.4.
These things are tanks.... Very strong shutter design in this camera.

I understand the later models are Mamiya.
There is a link somewhere in my bookmarks will try and find it

...found the link. List of Sears models and corresponding makers going way back.
http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Sears
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Old 03-26-2018   #8
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The SR is Sears Roebuck.
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Old 03-26-2018   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greyscale View Post
The SR is Sears Roebuck.

Sshhhh.... don't break the internet!
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Old 03-26-2018   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f16sunshine View Post
The Ricoh model has the SR logo on the prism (Sears:Ricoh).
I have a chrome and a black one both with the 55mm f1.4.
These things are tanks.... Very strong shutter design in this camera.

I understand the later models are Mamiya.
There is a link somewhere in my bookmarks will try and find it

...found the link. List of Sears models and corresponding makers going way back.
http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Sears
Thanks for the link Andy.

Now, I'm going to have to ask the question . . . . is it possible, that earlier (Ricoh) TLS 's are in fact Mamiya cameras?

. . . just asking
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Old 03-26-2018   #11
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Did Ricoh manufacture cameras? They were more of a paper/printing company from the start.

Mamiya was founded by an actual camera engineer.
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Old 03-26-2018   #12
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Yes, they manufactured both cameras and lenses. And printing presses and copy machines and wristwatches a bunch of other things. They started manufacturing cameras in 1938.
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Old 03-28-2018   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greyscale View Post
The Auto Sears 55/1.4 lens is one of the best fast 50-ish M42 lens that you will ever find.
I must say Mike, the lens on your Sears TLS over on the "show us your SLR" thread has a very Takumarish look to it.
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Old 03-29-2018   #14
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driver,

I guess you've read Roger Hicks's History... book, and/or Matanle's SLR... book?

One of them (or both) explain it; there has been a connex Ricoh/Mamiya, but the third party involved wasn't Sears, it was, of all possible firms, *Nikon*; Sears was the fourth party in that connex; see:

http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Ricoh_Singlex

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Old 03-29-2018   #15
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I have not read any of those books. I have just read the link you posted. Thanks for that.

I just have this feeling that ALL Ricoh Singlex TLS's were Mamiya produced in addition to the earliest Singlex cameras.
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Old 03-29-2018   #16
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I can tell you, without a doubt, that the original Sears TLS was manufactured by Ricoh. It's the reason I bought mine. I got the Sears model for two reasons.

One, since I lived in a town no where close to a camera store (about sixty miles either way, and I had no car), it was easier to order it from the catalog, plus all the other lenses and accessories at the same time. If I recall, it was also on sale at the time I placed my order, which probably coincided with a changeover to Mamiya as the product source.

Secondly, you could get it in black, with no additional charge. Folks thought I was a pro photographer when I was out and about with the rig, especially when I had a flash attached to a bracket with a coiled PC cord. I had to tell them I was still in high school.

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Old 03-29-2018   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by driver View Post
I must say Mike, the lens on your Sears TLS over on the "show us your SLR" thread has a very Takumarish look to it.
It is reputedly a Tomioka product. Whether or not this is true, I do not know.
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