Japan: RICOH: 1962-1998:

Ricoh is a Japanese company that first of all is known for their copy machines, where they are a world leader. But they have been, and are still making cameras. Ricoh was never a leader in the field of PP SLRs, but from 1962 (Ricoh Singlex) till late 1990s they sold Singlex, TLS, XR, KR and other series. The production of most of their PP SLR cameras was done by other factories. Mamiya made the Singlex (with Nikon mount!), Cosina made Singlex TLS, some XR and KR models. Their last PP SLR was introduced in 1997, the XR-X 3000. Although Ricoh never became the leader of the PP SLR producers, they kept it going for 35 years.
 
Note: Ricoh is back in PP SLR business from October 1st, 2011 as they bought the Pentax Camera Division from Hoya. Can they manage to take Pentax back to its leading position from the 50s, 60s and 70s? 
 
Here is a KR-5 from 1975 with s/n 50 369736. Who produced it? Well, it's on the Cosina List..
Riconar 55/2,2. A modest lens.
Very classic design, no surprises, working well.

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26.03 | 20:19

Hi,
Yes, their first PPSLR was introduced in 1960. I will add that that was Kowa(flex). Then the Kowa(flex) E in 1961, introducing auto metering. Thanks!

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25.03 | 23:47

Kowa made one even earlier than this Kowa H, there seems to be one from 1959 (?) called Kowaflex. There is one on ebay now.

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23.02 | 00:17

The Konica Autoreflex of 1968 was the first automatic system to measure light through the lens, TTL. I will rewrite things to make this more clear. Thank you!

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23.02 | 00:14

Savoyflex was first, but not regarded as a very useful system. Then Kowa H in 1963. Then Kiev Avtomat in '64. But Konica got all the credit from 1965.....

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