Ummm....Sears....KS-1...don't laugh..yet

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by f_p, Aug 13, 2005.

  1. f_p

    f_p

    Hi. Anybody know about the Sears KS-1? I just bought one, thinking I was buying a re-branded Pentax. Imagine my suprise once I realized (I think) it's made by Ricoh. Anyway, it is extremely clean and came with a SEARS (really) 135mm f/2.8 lens as well as a Sears 50mm f/2, a (leather?) case and a strap. All for less than $50 bucks. Did I get taken? Can't find any reviews. Anyway, here's a pic from my first roll. F.
    00DCzs-25144584.jpg
     
  2. f_p

    f_p

    Oh...and if this is not pre-1970, please excuse the post.
     
  3. The camera is a Ricoh XR-6 - see Michael Butkus's site at www.butkus.org for a lot more details.

    Nick
     
  4. f_p

    f_p

    With a Pentax K mount? That is wierd. Clearly I lack education in
    this area. How do the camera, and particularly the lenses, rate?
    If it proves to be a dud, at least I can use Pentax lenses on it.
     
  5. I do not know how it rates but I had one in middle and high school years ago and I loved it. I learned everything I needed to know from it I kinda regret selling it. I think you got a good deal do not worry about what others think just shoot. Enjoy.
     
  6. I had one with a Sears 50mm f1.4. It was a very nice lens, no complaints.
     
  7. Can anyone explain the popularity of 135mm lenses on cameras of this era? Is it related to the range of lenses that were available for rangefinder cameras that SLR cameras were replacing - i.e. did lens designers just switch over the designs to SLR mounts? Eb$y shows plenty of these lenses as part of kits from this era, so I was just wondering.

    And if you pay $50 and get a body and 2 lenses and you put film in it and it takes nice photos then you are doing alright. Shoot some more.
     
  8. I have a hunch 135 mm was the longest they could make a lens and still get it faster than f/4, at least at one point -- and by the time they could make an f/3.5 155 mm, the 135 mm was seen as a standard. It's abou 3x over the true "normal" 45 mm, or 2.5x over the "long normal" 55 mm, which is a convenient length -- still makes a decent portrait lens, but it's long enough to be worth changing for for things like sports and wildlife. A 155 was a lot heavier than 135, too.
     
  9. The Camera's a Ricoh, the lenses are rebranded Ricoh's that are really rebranded Pentax(in most cases).

    Good deal. I've a little more cash in my KR-5sv (Cosina SLR in K-mount really), but I got a 200mm f4 instead of the 135.

    There's very little info as to Ricoh stuff on the web, at least the SLR's.
     
  10. >the lenses are rebranded Ricoh's that are really rebranded Pentax(in most cases).

    Any reference to that claim? Just because they shared the same lens mount, doesn't mean they were "really rebranded Pentax."

    Other K mount camera systems were offered by Cosina, Chinon, Petri, and even Zenit. http://www.butkus.org/chinon/
     
  11. 135mm lenses? I think it started because it was a common focal length of the lens manufacturers years ago. It was the standard focal length on 9x12cm (3.5x4.5 inch, common in Europe) press cameras and slightly wide angle on 4x5, but favored by press photographers because of that. The early Leica rangefinders could accurately focus a lens up to about a 135mm f/4.5.

    As for the KS-1, if it works you got a good deal. Enjoy it!
     
  12. >I have a hunch 135 mm was the longest they could make a lens and still get it faster than f/4, at least at one point

    Close - "they" meaning "post-war upstarts" who couldn't make such a lens, at least not well enough to sell.

    Zeiss introduced the legendary 180/2.8 Olympia Sonnar in time for the 1936 winter games (though other sources say it was the 1938 Belin summer games.) http://rafcamera.com/scl/m42/olympia.htm
     
  13. Ricoh started making cameras as early as 1934. Nippon Kogagku (now Nikon) and Asahi Optical (now Pentax) only did so after WWII.

    The XR-7 and the 50/2 Rikenon, both from 1980, were respectively the world's lightest SLR and standard lens at the time: http://www.ricoh.co.jp/camera_lib/library/index.html
     
  14. I mean Nippon Kogaku.
     
  15. f_p

    f_p

    Hi.
    Thanks for your responses. I'd still like to know who made the lenses though, as I've had no experience with Ricoh. Pentax I like, however. Well, I'm off to shoot another roll.
     
  16. Hold certain Pentax SLRs (the ME-Super, Program compact etc. era) and Ricoh SLRs (the last ones) in your hands and you will see the similarities. I expect Ricoh may have made some of the Pentax cameras as a subcontractor, much like Cosina made some Nikon, Olympus models. That doesn't mean bad. Chinon made some great SLRs that appeared under other names, as well as their own. The Vivitar SL220 era (approx model number) is as solid as any screw mount SLR ever made, etc.
     
  17. Asides from the truely _cheap_, aka no quality control or damaged goods, are there _any_ bad 50/2's (or faster but not ultra-fast), 28/2.8's, 135/3.5's or 135/2.8's from the 60's to the 80's?

    I can understand some are simply not as good, but are there any bad ones? It seems that the basic lense formulas were ironed out by then, and it was mostly a problem of q&a, and better coatings for that era.
     
  18. Sears/Ricoh lenses are NOT re-branded Paetax lenses! Pentax lenses are far superior, they also contain more metal, Ricoh lenses use a lot of plastic. Compare the Ricoh 50F2 with the Pentax 50F2. The Pentax lens is much heavier. Same with the cameras, more plastic in Ricoh.
     
  19. As you can see from the above post, Ricoh doesn't have a great reputation. However, I think the XR-series bodies were among the best K-mount SLRs ever made and I think you got a good deal. I wouldn't know the origins of the two lenses but try them out, and if they're good, that's all that counts. And you can choose from thousands of K-mount lenses from Pentax and others.
     
  20. >Sears/Ricoh lenses are NOT re-branded Paetax lenses!
    Correct, but it has nothing to do with the following.
    >Pentax lenses are far superior, they also contain more metal, Ricoh lenses use a lot of plastic.
    Master of generalization, are we?
    >Compare the Ricoh 50F2 with the Pentax 50F2. The Pentax lens is much heavier.
    You must have a different definition of "heavy" than anyone else. The Rikenon weighs 190g http://www.ricoh.co.jp/camera_lib/library/1980a2.html while the KA weighs 145g. http://www.bdimitrov.de/kmp/lenses/primes/normal/A50f2.html
    >Same with the cameras, more plastic in Ricoh.
    Have a look at these "plastic wonders" from Ricoh: http://www.ricoh.co.jp/camera_lib/library/1965.html http://www.ricoh.co.jp/camera_lib/library/1970.html.
    Then compare them with these "heavy metal" monsters from Pentax: http://www.bdimitrov.de/kmp/bodies/A/A3.html http://www.bdimitrov.de/kmp/bodies/P/index.html.
    The fact is, Pentax made its share of plasticky stuff even back in the 1980s, not to mention the AF/digital systems of today.
    >As you can see from the above post, Ricoh doesn't have a great reputation.
    I guess their GR series of cameras sucked big time too. Why not look them up and see what bad rap they get, especially from those Leica users who paid big bucks for the LTM versions of the GR lenses?
     
  21. Here's a typical page about the Ricoh GR1: http://www.photo.net/equipment/point-and-shoot/gr1
     
  22. Correction: the 50/2 Rikenon weighs 153g, though still heavier than the Pentax KA at 145g.
     

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