Sears KS 500

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Immediately following on from the KS 1000, US retailer Sears offered the KS 500 in its 1979 Spring/Summer catalog[1] at a price of USD $239.50 (about $800 in 2021 dollars). This was the second K-mount camera offered by Sears and once again is a rebadging of a Ricoh model—specifically their cost-reduction exercise the KR-5 (no suffix).

Quite a few features were sacrificed to get what was initially just around a 13% price savings versus the "1000." Available shutter speeds are limited to 1/8 to 1/500 second plus B (with flash sync at 1/60th), there is no depth-of-field preview, and no "ME" (multi-exposure) switch. Neither shutter speeds nor aperture are displayed in the viewfinder. (In place of the KS 1000's aperture "peepsight" on the front of the pentaprism, there is a plain blanking plate.)

The film advance lever of the KS 500 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 357 or SR44 are suitable).

The KS 500 had a comparatively long run in Sears' lineup (into 1983) as their entry-level SLR option, with the camera's price dropping over time,[2] and based on surviving examples this seems to have helped sales. The Sears KSX-1000 was a later camera continuing its tradition of a basic manual-exposure model; but by the mid 1980s, stripped-down autoexposure models like the KS Super II would take its place as the retailer's lowest price bracket SLR.