Sears KS 1000

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The KS 1000 is a manual-exposure 35mm SLR offered by US retailer Sears, appearing in the store's 1978 Fall/Winter catalog[1] at a price of USD $289.50 (about $1,150 in 2021 dollars). This was the very first of Ricoh's new SLRs accepting K mount lenses which Sears rebadged under its own name. Specifically, it was Ricoh's XR-1 released in late 1977.[2] By the time of the Sears fall-winter 1979 catalog, the KS 1000 was listed with a note "accepts autowinder",[3] which is not indicated in the prior two catalogs—implying that the Sears camera likely received a silent update to the Ricoh XR-1s without a change to the Sears model designation. Ricoh's autoexposure variant of this camera, the XR-2s, was soon also offered in a Sears version.

Unexpectedly for a general-merchandise retailer like Sears, the KS 1000 is a rather enthusiast-oriented model. Alongside a full range of shutter speeds from 1 to 1/1000 second—with flash sync at 1/125—displayed in the viewfinder, the camera offers a self-timer, depth-of-field preview, a locking ASA dial, and a multiple exposure switch. The bundled standard lens was 50mm f/1.7 rather than the typical f/2.0. A direct-view peepsight shows the photographer the current aperture-ring setting above the viewfinder image. Many subsequent Sears/Ricoh SLRs, like the followup KS 500, would scale back on these features (the missing peepsight is the reason for the curious blank "nameplate" often seen on other models).

The film advance lever of the KS 1000 must be pulled outward to unlock the shutter release and activate match-needle exposure meter readings, with power provided by two silver-oxide button cells (type S76, 357, or SR44). Unusually, the collar around the shutter release acts as a battery-check switch.