Wards SLR 600

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The Wards SLR 600 is a fully mechanical SLR with a built in light meter sold by the Montgomery Ward department store chain. The camera was introduced in late 1964 and was advertised for sale until around 1968.

The SLR 600 was manufactured by Yashica but is not an exact match to any Yashica-branded cameras. It is most similar to the Yashica J-3, including that camera's unique self timer lever, shutter wind lever, and the late version of the J-3's shutter speed dial. The camera's semi-automatic aperture system also indicates its J-3 heritage. However, the left side of the camera uses the light meter and rewind knob from the later Yashica J-4 (minus that camera's battery check button), the nameplate area has the taller embossed style from the J-4 and J-7, and the trim plate surrounding the base of the lens mount has a black finish like the J-4 and J-7.

The SLR 600 features a high-quality Tominon 50mm f/2 lens manufactured by Tomioka, who were the primary lens suppliers for Yashica at the time (Tomioka was purchased by Yashica in 1968). The lens is set in a relatively standard M42 mount; however, it uses a semi-automatic aperture actuation that must be set separately from the shutter wind for each shot if the photographer wishes to use full-aperture focusing.