I've always had a fondness for the Ricoh brand. My first real film camera was a Ricoh A-100, which served me well for the time that I used it (It was also the camera I took with me to Italy). Ricoh primarily made high quality consumer-grade and semi-professional 35mm cameras. I've always liked that a lot of Ricoh cameras have a K-mount or 42mm screwmount, which allows for the use of many awesome Pentax lenses.
The 1970's era Ricoh TLS 401 is a pretty standard 35mm camera, with one pretty cool innovation. The feature that made me buy it (for $7.95 off ebay mind you) was that it has two viewfinder windows. Two! On one camera! The TLS 401 has a normal eye level finder window, but then at the twist of a knob, you can compose your shot through a waist level finder window!
|The two viewfinder windows, with the knob you use to switch between them.|
|The waist level finder, top view.|
Overall, however, I really enjoyed shooting with the Ricoh TLS 401. The camera has a nice, solid build. It's big, but not monstrous. The shutter speed dial is in a slightly odd place on the front of the body, but it was still very easy to adjust. I took the camera to Novelty Golf and Games, our favorite local mini-golf course, which was established in 1949. I used a Pentax Super-Takumar 50mm 1.4 lens that I ripped straight off of my Pentax Spotmatic. Take a look!
So yeah, I found the TLS 401 a lot of fun to use. It's definitely a camera that I'll use again. Thanks for looking!