Sears Auto 500

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Before using the camera, put silver oxide battery in the compartment on the bottom of the camera.  The Sears AUTO 500 is a single lens reflex camera, however, the lens is not interchangeable. Therefore, any attempt to turn the lens forcibly may result in serious lens/camera damage.


Specifications...... 2

Description of parts ...... 3

1. How to insert battery...... 5

2. Loading thefilm ......  6

3. Setfilm speed ...... 7

4. Automatic exposure photography ......  8

5. Exposure meter ...... 9

6. Focusing ...... 10

7. Composing the picture ....... 10


8. Infra-red photography ...... 11

9. Depth-of-field ...... 11

10. Holding the camera ......  12

11. Flash photography ...... 13

12. Non-automatic operation ...... 14

13. Time exposure photography ...... 14

14. Rewinding the film . ...... 15

Accessories ......  16

Helpful hints ...... 17


TYPE: 35mm Single Lens Reflex with built-in behind the lens light meter

FILM AND THREADING SIZE: 35mm (20 or 36 exposures) 24 x 36mm

LENS: Sears/Sekor f/2.8-48mm, 3 elements in 3 groups, angle 48°, filter size 52mm

SHUTTER: Between the lens

SPEED: 1/15 - 1/500 Second, and B (bulb)

EXPOSURE CONTROL: Highly sensitive CdS meter located on the back of the mirror. Accurately measures light intensity. By preselecting a shutter speed and turning the diaphragm ring to "A" (Automatic), the meter provides fully automatic exposure. Can also be operated manually. Operating range: EV 7 to EV 17 with an ASA 100 film.

ASA RANGE: 10 to 400: DIN 11 to 27

FINDER: Pentaprism finder with rangefinder spot (split-image) for instant focusing. Aperture scale visible in the viewfinder, a needle indicates the aperture at which the photograph is being taken.

REFLEX MIRROR: Instant return type.

FILM ADVANCE: 180° single stroke: advances film, cocks shutter, and advances the exposure counter

EXPOSURE COUNTER: Automatically returns when camera back is opened.

DIMENSIONS: Width: 5.5 inches,  Height: 3.5 inches,  Thickness: 3 inches,  Weight: 1 pound 7


1. Neck strap eyelet

2. Automatic reset exposure counter

3. Rapid film advance lever

4. Shutter release button (with cable release socket)

5. Accessory shoe (with direct flash contact)

6. Film plane indicator

7 Rewinding crank

8. Aperture adjusting

9 B (Bulb) setting lever

10. Focusing ring

11. Diaphragm ring

12. Shutter speed ring

13. Depth-of-field scale

14. I Index dot

15. Infra-red mark

16. Film chamber

17. Viewfinder

18. Film sprockets

19. Take-up spool

20. Pressure plate

21. Back cover lock

22. Tripod socket

23. Battery compartment cover

24 Film speed setting lever (ASA/DIN)

25. Film rewind release button

1. How to Insert Battery

To open battery cover, use a coin in slot on base of camera body, turning it counter-clockwise. Then insert battery, with negative (-) side

The battery will last approximately one year, depending upon the frequency of use. For replacement, we recommend the Eveready S-76 or equivalent. When you are not using the camera for an extended period of time, remove the battery.

2. Loading the Film

Do not load in bright light. Open back cover of camera by sliding back cover lock. Pull up the rewind crank knob, and put the film cartridge into the film chamber. Return the rewind crank to its former position. Draw out film leader and insert into take-up spool. If the slit is not in proper position to insert the film leader, turn the take-up spool.

Turn the rapid film advance lever, and make sure that both sprockets properly engage film perforations. Take up film slack by turning rewind crank in direction of arrow until film is taut. Close and lock back cover.

The letter "S" appears opposite the mark in the exposure counter window. Advance film a single stroke and depress shutter button after each stroke. Continue this until the figure "1" appears opposite the mark. The camera is now ready for the first


Each time the film is advanced, the rewind crank will turn slightly. This assures proper film action in the camera.

The shutter is automatically cocked when film is advanced: the next frame can only be advanced after the shutter is released.

3. Set Film Speed

Press the ASA film speed setting lever and move it until it is lined up with the desired ASA number. The ASA scale has click stops for accurate


            (12) (20) (32)(40)(5O)     (80)   (125)160) (250) (320) 
ASA 10 16 25 64 100 200   400 
DIN 11 13 15 19 21 24 27

4. Automatic Exposure Photography

A) Turn the diaphragm ring (11) until A (Automatic) is aligned with the index dot (14).

B) Turn the shutter speed ring (12) until the desired shutter speed is aligned with the index dot.

A shutter speed of 1/125th of a second is recommended for most photographic requirements; however, you may need a higher shutter speed for fast moving objects or unusually bright surroundings. Where less light is available, use a slower shutter speed.

Do not attempt to turn the shutter speed ring while the shutter release button is depressed.

C) The exposure meter pointer can be seen in the viewfinder on the right side. When the pointer is between the upper and lower warning marks, the picture will be properly exposed at the aperture indicated.

If the meter pointer is at the warning mark at the top of the viewfinder, move the shutter speed ring to a slower speed. When it is at the lower warning mark, move the shutter speed ring to a higher speed.

5. Exposure Meter

One of the most advanced features of your Sears AUTO 500 camera is a built-in, behind the lens spot meter (covering about 10% of the picture area). The unique advantage of a spot meter (and the reason it is used by most professional photographers) is that you can expose for the most important subject in your picture. The meter is not affected by unimportant large, bright areas such as sky, beach or snow.

In using this system, it is not necessary to figure exposure factors, regardless of auxiliary lenses or filters used.

6. Focusing

The rangefinder spot (split-image) located in the center of the viewfinder offers fast, critical

While looking in the viewfinder, turn the focusing ring in either direction until the two vertical lines across the image inside the small circle are aligned into one straight line. (When holding the camera vertically, turn the focusing ring until the two horizontal lines are aligned into one straight line).

For subjects with irregular outlines, such as a wooded hillside, the entire ground glass area of the viewfinder may be used for focusing.

7. Composing the Picture

The Sears AUTO 500 camera is a single lens reflex. You view and take the picture through the same lens. What you see in the viewfinder, you see on the film.

8. Infra-red Photography
Infra-red rays focus slightly behind the film plane normally used for ordinary light rays. This, therefore, requires a modification of normal focusing procedures. First, focus in a normal manner. Then move the focusing ring from the index dot to the infra-red mark (15) on the depth-of-field scale ring.

9. Depth-of -field
A depth-of-field scale(13)tells you how much of your picture will be in focus at different taking apertures. By using a smaller lens opening you can increase the area between the farthest and nearest point that will remain in focus.

For example, with the aperture set at f/11 and focused at 15 feet, the depth-of-field ring (13) indicates your subject will be in focus from 7 feet to infinity.

10. Holding the Camera

Holding the camera steady is very important in obtaining sharp photographs. Lightly support the bottom of the camera with the palm of the left hand; adjust the position of the camera so that the thumb and forefinger of the left hand can reach the focusing ring. Place the palm of the right hand against the end of the camera body. Then the forefinger of the right hand will automatically be near the shutter release button, and the thumb will be on the film advance lever. Bring the viewfinder window to the level of the eyes and rest against the forehead. This will help steady the camera.

For vertical-format pictures, the camera should be held with the film advance lever down. The shutter release button and the film advance lever are operated with one's thumb. Press the right elbow as close to the body as possible when holding the

11. Flash Photography

For flash photography, be sure to use a clip-on-type, cordless flash unit.

By attaching the flash unit to the camera accessory shoe, both contacts provided for the unit and shoe are directly connected.

For flash photography, the aperture is set manually, determined by dividing the guide number of the electronic flash unit or the flash bulbs by distance to the subject.

Aperture = Guide Number . Distance

The guide number appears in the instruction manual or on the package containing the flash unit or flash bulbs. By referring to a conversion table, the aperture can be easily determined.

The AUTO 500 camera is equipped with an X-contact flash synchro circuit.

When using electronic flash, synchronization is obtainable at any shutter speed; when using flash bulbs, it is necessary to follow instructions for the bulbs and to select a shutter speed within the range of the speeds at which flash synchronization can be obtained with the X-contact connected.

12. Non-automatic Operation

When manual operation of the camera is desired, the diaphragm ring (11) should be turned until the desired aperture is aligned with the index dot. This method is used for both flash and time-exposure photography. Film advance and other operations are the same as in the case of automatic exposure photography.

The exposure pointer in the viewfinder now functions independently and is used in setting the correct aperture. However, this pointer has no relationship to time exposure


13. Time Exposure Photography
Set shutter speed ring on B (bulb) by depressing bulb setting lever (9). The shutter will remain open as long as the shutter release button is depressed, depending on the length of exposure desired.

When making time exposures, use a tripod or rest the camera on a steady supporting base. For extremely long exposures, a cable release with locking mechanism is recommended.

12. Rewinding the Film

Rewind the film into its original cartridge as fol lows: push the film rewind release button (25) of the camera.

Then turn the film rewind crank (7) in the direction of the arrow. Stop rewinding when you feel the tension on the rewind crank lessen as the leader end of the film slips off the take-up spool. Avoid direct sunlight when unloading your




Filters: Screw-in type, 52mm diameter. 

Conversion Lenses:  (1 set: Telephoto and wide-angle lenses)

These conversion lenses can be used by screwing them into the filter threads on the camera lens.  When these lenses are attached to the camera lens, the focal length and the angle of view are converted as follows:
  Focal length Angle of view 
 Telephoto lens 70mm 35 °
Wide-angle lens 38mm 58°

The telephoto lens is useful for portraits, landscapes, and sports photography, producing a larger image size at a given distance.  The wide-angle lens is practically indispensable when shooting in cramped quarters or interiors, such as architectural shots, street scenes, landscapes, and large groups of people indoors.


When attaching or removing a filter or a conversion lens, be sure to grasp the distance scale ring on the lens barrel, to avoid accidental damage to the shutter mechanism.

Focusing with Conversion Lenses

While looking through the viewfinder as when ordinarily photographing an object, focus by turning the focusing ring of the camera lens. In this case, reading of the lens distance scale differs from the actual photographing distance.

Actual distances can be calculated by using the following equations.

Actual distance for telephoto lens = Camera distance scale reading x 2.07

Actual distance for wide angle lens = Camera distance scale reading x 0.65.

Helpful Hints

Storage: (When the camera will not be used for a long period of time.)

· Store without cocking the shutter. This relieves spring tension.

· Remove

· Store the camera where it will not be subject to extremes in temperature. High temperatures of over100°F, and low temperatures of less than freezing, moisture and salty atmosphere are injurious to any camera.

When the camera does not function properly, do not lubricate or attempt home repairs. If service is necessary, return camera to your nearest Sears retail store or catalog order store.