Ricoh Singlex TLS  –  Vintage Camera

Ricoh Singlex TLS (three quarters, with Petri C.C Auto 55mm f/1.8)

Ricoh Singlex TLS (three quarters, with Petri C.C Auto 55mm f/1.8)

Ricoh Singlex TLS (three quarters, with Petri C.C Auto 55mm f/1.8)

Ricoh Singlex TLS (three quarters, with Petri C.C Auto 55mm f/1.8)

Ricoh Singlex TLS (front view, with Petri C.C Auto 55mm f/1.8)

Ricoh Singlex TLS (front view, with Petri C.C Auto 55mm f/1.8)

Ricoh Singlex TLS (rear view)

Ricoh Singlex TLS (rear view)

Ricoh Singlex TLS (top view, with Petri C.C Auto 55mm f/1.8)

Ricoh Singlex TLS (top view, with Petri C.C Auto 55mm f/1.8)

Ricoh Singlex TLS (bottom view, with Petri C.C Auto 55mm f/1.8)

Ricoh Singlex TLS (bottom view, with Petri C.C Auto 55mm f/1.8)

Ricoh Singlex TLS (with 35mm cassette for scale)

Ricoh Singlex TLS (with 35mm cassette for scale)

Ricoh Singlex TLS (three quarters, with Petri C.C Auto 55mm f/1.8)Ricoh Singlex TLS (three quarters, with Petri C.C Auto 55mm f/1.8)Ricoh Singlex TLS (front view, with Petri C.C Auto 55mm f/1.8)Ricoh Singlex TLS (rear view)Ricoh Singlex TLS (top view, with Petri C.C Auto 55mm f/1.8)Ricoh Singlex TLS (bottom view, with Petri C.C Auto 55mm f/1.8)Ricoh Singlex TLS (with 35mm cassette for scale)

Ricoh Singlex TLS Specifications

Manufacturer: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
   
Country of Origin: Japan
   
Made in: Japan
   
Introduced: 1967
   
Camera Type: Single Lens Reflex
   
Lens Mount: M42 Screw Mount
   
Format: 135 Film
   
Dimensions (cm): 14.8 x 9.2 x 5.3 (body only)
  14.8 x 9.2 x 9.4 (with lens)

Ricoh Singlex TLS Review

The Ricoh Singlex TLS is an MMM (metal, mechanical, manual) single lens reflex camera introduced by Ricoh in 1967. In addition to selling this camera under the Ricoh name, it was also rebranded for sale in France as the Interflex 7L5 and in the United States as the Sears TLS and the K-Mart Focal TLX at their respective discount department stores.

The TLS is fairly standard for its time. Everything is mechanical except for the cadmium sulfide light meter which needs to be powered by a battery whose door is located on the bottom of the camera next to the tripod socket. On the user’s left side of the top plate, just above the two flash sync sockets is a film indicator that helps remind users that the camera is loaded and what it’s loaded with. Nested inside that dial is the film rewind knob which also pops open the film door when pulled upward. On top of the pentaprism is an optional cold shoe attachment that uses the viewfinder to keep it in place. On the other side of the top plate is a threaded shutter button, frame counter, and film advance lever. Under the TLS badge on the front of the camera is shutter speed selector (1-1/1000 seconds and Bulb) and a film speed selector. Underneath that knob is a silver self-timer lever and next to the Ricoh badge on the other side of the lens mount is an “on” switch for the light meter.

Since Ricoh didn’t have their own proprietary bayonet mount, they decided to use the standard M42 screw mount for the TLS which opened it up probably because of the great variety of available lenses made by dozens of companies. The TLS almost undoubtedly came from the factory packaged with one of the many Rikenon M42 lenses that Ricoh made but by the time I found this particular example at the thrift store, it had a Petri C.C. Auto 55mm f/1.8 attached to it. At $15, I bought this camera for the lens.

Want one for yourself? Find your very own Ricoh Singlex TLS on eBay.

References:

McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown’s Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 2001-2002. (Grantsburg: Centennial Photo Service, 2001), 567.

“Ricoh Singlex TLS,” Camerapedia, http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Ricoh_Singlex_TLS

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