Classic Pentax M42 & K Mount SLRs:
Mamiya Sekor 500 TL

by Karen Nakamura


Overview and Personal Comments

The 500TL was released in 1966 by the Mamiya Camera Company of Tokyo, Japan. Mamiya is famous for making the RB67/RZ67 medium format cameras that are the standard cameras of fashion photographers. The 500TL along with its twin sister the 1000TL (the 500TL goes up to 1/500 sec, the 1000TL goes up to 1/1000 sec) were Mamiya's first 35mm cameras with through the lens (TTL) exposure metering using a CdS cell. If you compare the 500TL with other cameras in the same period, the Miranda Sensorex or Pentax Spotmatic for example, you'll see that Mamiya was technologically very advanced.

I bought this camera at the estate sale of an elderly collector who had passed on. He treated his cameras well. I would have kept it except I'm smitten by the rangefinder bug and am selling my SLR gear to finance that new direction. I'm selling this with regret because I have a soft spot in my heart for Pentax/Praktica M42 screw mount cameras of the 1960s. They have a certain look and feel that current cameras don't even approach.

The 500TL has a very clean, modern look that has not aged in the last 45 years. The chrome on this body is very thick and retains its luster. On this model, the chrome has pitted a bit on the rear, which is visible in the photos below.

Thanks to "Joe" who contacted me by e-mail to explain how the wind-lever worked. See how the wind lever in the photo below is in the 30° "ready" position, which indicates that the meter is on? There's an interlock on the top of the wind lever that allows you to push it to return the wind lever to the 0° "locked" position. Thanks Joe!

The 500TL uses the very popular Pentax/Praktica M42 screw mount.




Interesting quirks

The 500TL has match-needle exposure metering. It's normally powered by a 1.5v MS76 button battery (aka LR44/SR44 easily bought at any drugstore or camera store). You turn the meter on by pulling the wind-lever forward until it's in its 30° "ready" position. You release the meter by pushing the button on the top of the winding lever.


Technical Details

Camera Name
500 TL
Mamiya / Sekor
Place of Manufacture


Date of Manufacture
Focusing System

Single-lens reflex with pentaprism eye-level viewfinder

Lens Mount

Pentax/Praktica screwmount (M42)


Focal plane shutter
1 sec ~ 1/500
X-sync = 1/60

Metering System

CdS TTL metering

Flash Connections
PC socket connections for both Focal Plane (FP) bulbs and electronic X sync
Film type / speeds

135 type (35mm standard film)
ASA 25-800

Battery type
1.5v LR44/SR44 cell battery
Dimensions and weight


Note: Using the text or images on this site in an ebay auction without permission is a violation of your ebay Terms of Service. I will report you to ebay if I discover such a violation taking place.




About Mamiya

Mamiya started making cameras during the War. The Mamiya Six folding bed was apparently the first. The "Six" refers to the 6x6 medium format size of its photos. These cameras and the brethren the Mamiya 7 are still very much in demand as Mamiya early on mastered high grade optics. Right now, Mamiya is part of a larger conglomerate that makes everything from high tech golf clubs to electronic data systems. They used to have a 35mm SLR line, but this was discontinued sometime in the 1980s. The popular models are now their medium format systems: the Mamiya 6 and 7 rangefinders and Mamiya RZ67 rotating back medium format camera. Mamiya has recently made the jump to medium-format digital with their 645AFD, which is apparently rather well regarded. Since I'm non-digital, I wouldn't know.


On the Net

Praktica/Pentax M42 Screwmount


Copyright © 2002-10 by Karen Nakamura. All rights reserved. This page and its images may not be reduplicated in any form. Use in ebay auctions strictly prohibited, violaters will be reported. Please do not jeopardize your feedback ratings by engaging in copyright violations, it is a violation of Federal and International Copyright law as well as ebay terms of service.
Last modified: Thursday, 11-Mar-2010 00:54:47 EST , [an error occurred while processing this directive] .