Top of the line, feature-packed K-mount SLR made by Ricoh for Sears. Sharp, fast 1.4 multicoated lens. Aperture preview. Multiple exposure button. LCD readout. Accepts Sears autowinder (pictured), same as Ricoh XR2. Speeds from 16s-1000, aperture priority auto exposure mode, EV -+2 adjustment. Lighweight. In a word, awesome. Bonus feature: tiny mirror window shows you the actual selected f-stop in the viewfinder! I've heard this called a Judas window but I can't really see myself calling it that.
Sears enjoyed a long relationship with Ricoh, who made cameras for sale under the Sears name for many years. These cameras are generally of very high quality and can often be found at relatively bargain prices, making them a great value. This particular model is equivalent to the Ricoh XR-7. You can find manuals for this and many others on this great site I've mentioned before: the Chinon SLR page. Drop him a Paypal bone while you're there!
Got this with a host of extras as a cosmetically nice fixer with a stuck shutter, figuring I could at least use the lenses and winder with my KSX Super. Fresh batteries showed the self-timer and meter were working fine, just the shutter wasn't tripping, so I figured the electronics must be ok. I took off the bottom and reset it so I could wind on, still nothing. Then I decided to see if I could trip it with a cable release, and after a couple of firm attempts the shutter unstuck! Schweeet!
The explanation is that grease (where have I heard that before?) had gotten in and gummed up the mechanicals just enough that the electronic shutter release wouldn't trip. Using the cable release freed it up and it worked after that.
(Also replaced the light seals.)
Tips & Tricks
LCD indicator turns off after 8 minutes to save batteries, turn it on again with the button in front where the self-timer lever is normally found on mechanical cameras. Aperture-priority auto-exposure is possible when set to 'A', a little button next to the dial unlocks AE mode and allows you to turn the ring again. 'L' is to lock the shutter. EV adjustment is the same dial as the film speed ring, you lift and turn to set the film speed, turn the whole dial for backlight/spotlight adjustment up to +-2EV.
Another bonus feature - the standard shoulder strap came with a built-in viewfinder cover that slips onto the viewfinder to keep stray light out during timed exposures!
If you didn't know, the Pentax K-mount in its various forms is one of the most versatile in history - with only a couple of exceptions, any K-mount body will accept any K-mount lens, and will use any features in common to both lens and body. Many great lenses from many makers are available second-hand, including Ricoh, Sears, Vivitar, Chinon, Cosina, not to mention Pentax and KMZ-Zenit, who at the time of this writing are both still actively making top-grade lenses with Pentax-K mount.
- The manual at the great Chinon camera manual page
- Ah, the incomparable Rick Oleson has one and thinks pretty highly of it
- Tangential timeline on Ricoh Japan site
- For info on actual Pentax lenses and accessories visit Bojidar Dimitriov's K-mount Equipment Page