Standard reconstruction methods used in tomography produce images with undesirable negative artifacts in background and in areas of high local contrast. While sophisticated statistical reconstruction methods can be devised to correct for these artifacts, their computational implementation is excessive for routine operational use. This work describes a technique for rapid computation of approximate constrained least squares regularization estimates. The unique feature of the approach is that it involves no iterative projection or backprojection steps. This contrasts with the familiar computationally intensive algorithms based on algebraic reconstruction (ART) or expectation-maximization (EM) methods. Experimentation with the new approach for deconvolution and mixture analysis shows that the root mean square error quality of estimators based on the proposed algorithm matches and usually dominates that of more elaborate maximum likelihood, at a fraction of the computational effort.