Sears tls 500 mx


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Aug 2, 2012
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Hi guys, I know nothing about older cameras or film in general. I aquired a Sears tls 500mx, a 28mm lens, a 50mm lens, a 135mm lens, and a 2x teleconverter a few years back for free from my Grandparents but never touched it.

First off is it a good camera at all?

Second, I searched all over the internet but can't find a clear answer of what lens mount it has so can you tell me what mount it has? I was wondering if it is at all possible to mount these lenses to my Nikon D3100 dslr since I have them.

One more thing, What is the best film to use in this camera?

I have never messed with film but thought it might be cool to try for fun since I have something to play with.
Thanks for your time.
I believe it is an M42 screw mount.

There is no best film.
Personally I like slower films like <50 ISO.
I think it's an earlier version of my Ricoh Singlex II and I agree, I think the TLS is a screw mount; Pentax also made some M42 screw mount lenses before they switched to their bayonet K mount system.

Try searching Ricoh TLS cameras, that should give you some resources about those cameras also being sold by Sears like yours. Matt's Classic Cameras: Sears TLS (Ricoh Singlex TLS). The Butkus site mentioned in the link has copies of manuals (users can make a small contribution for a copy).

Any film can work; I generally use 100 ISO outdoors and 400 indoors - the slower speed films like Dennis mentioned above usually are less grainy than the higher speed, more light sensitive films.

I seem to keep posting this but what's one more time - Film Photography Project | An Internet Radio Show & On-Line Resource for Film Shooters Worldwide - they have videos for beginners on how to load film etc. and have a fairly active Flickr group.

edit - I don't know if there are adapters from M42 screw mount to Nikon but I would guess so, it would need to be M42 not 39 as that's Leica screw mount size.

(And I too found an MX 500 which maybe was a somewhat later model than the TLS.)
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Here are some pictures of what I have. Thanks for the help.

Nice set. Check if shutter speed of 1 sec is about right. Old cameras have most problems with slow speeds due to aging lubricants and dirt in general. However I have 3 Ricoh and all are fine. You may have a problem with the battery for light meter.
The 28 is the wide angle, 50 is normal, 135 is about a 2.5X telephoto and the 2X convertor will work with the 50 & 135. I have always had a 135 f2.8 for all my cameras as it is one of the easy to use and focus lenses for sports. They are also very abundant. The small pin onthe bottom of the lens mount is the piece that will stop down the lens to the exposure aperture. You get wide open focusing as long as you keep the little slide on the lens to the A setting. Check on line for batteries since the old batteries may be obsolete. There are replacements available for most. Good Luck and enjoy that classic. I think you will f ind the shutter speeds go from 1/2 to 1/500 sec. so it will be hard to check on 1 sec. but if you hear the gears on t he 1/2 sec. it should be good also.

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