Sometimes very strange things happen, an ebay camera purchase that works, or even rarer, a Soviet made camera that came from Ebay and works perfectly.
This one must have been made for TOE (Ltd)., the importer in the UK., it's Industar lens is marked in feet only, and must have escaped from the Russians, an example not made on Friday afternoon, but perhaps in a good mood on a Monday.
It works perfectly, all speeds spot on, very quiet shutter that would do credit to a Leica, Very clean lens, no dust, no marks, no fungus, very smooth focus, rangefinder perfectly adjusted, and very clean....why, Oh why, did they all not come in this condition when new?
Most of the Fed's were variable in build quality, to say the least, and normally the Fed 3 was not the most popular model, the Fed 2 was a bit better, with it's long base rangefinder, and the Fed 4 was dire in design and quality.
I'll do a full test film, I am pretty sure it will work very well, I have a Jupiter 35mm F2.8 which can fit as well, it should make a good combination. The Industar standard lens looks in very good condition indeed, it is a late production, I will try to find the exact production years.
When USSR cameras are in this good condition, and work correctly, they are fine cameras, and the lenses rival the best German, especially the Jupiter, which is a Zeiss design.
Interesting. Your's looks identical to this late FED 2. I have two FED 3s with the two-level top--both knob wind--one with English lettering and one with Cyrillic. They had a lot of variations during those years.
A check on the net shows 1966 plus to be the appropriate date of manufacture, the lens dates from same period, so this has been very well looked after indeed. There is a good condition brown leather case, and a lens cap, which must have always been used. Not bad for £20 on ebay.
The FED 2(E) was actually made after the Fed 3! it uses the original Fed 2 shutter mechanism, and was classed by the Russians as an economy model, but used the same body castings and minor parts from the Fed 3.
If you look, the shutter speed knob lifts on the main shaft, and scales from the knob, not a surrounding scale as with the Fed 3.
I suspect the Soviets did it to use up a stock of the earlier shutter parts, a common manoeuvre with the Fed designers, when the model variants got out of phase, or logical order.
Early Fed 1 cameras have dozens of minor variants, and KMZ made unusual variations during the war and after, due to the bombing out of the original FED plant.
Both FEDs and Zorki 1s have more variants than can be documented because most of the parts from all the models were interchangable and they didn't stop using a specific part until they ran out--even if they overlapped into what was supposedly a updated model. I at one time had about 60 Zorki 1s and it was difficult to find many that were EXACTLY the same.
One slight adjustment, the rangefinder arm and cam were set a fraction too low to operate with the Jupiter 35 F2.8, it had to be eased upwards a bit to clear the glass rear element, but works now with all my other Russian and Leica rangefinder lenses. The Jupiter has the vast solid glass rear lens element that projects back into the camera body, ending about a 1/4 inch short of the film plane, same as the Contax version, based on the German Zeiss Biogon design.
A quick test of the lens on a cut piece of Pan f film, shows the resolution is as good as a Leica standard lens, this particular lens is exceptional for an Industar. It is very well finished, and finely coated, and has the lens interior in matt black. I wonder if this particular camera was once especially prepared as a trade sample, or for a Soviet trade show. It may have been a TOE (UK) sample camera or on display in the Holborn shop in London. From the general condition, and the leather case condition, it has not been used much, sometimes suspicious as it may indicate a bad camera. The shutter speeds are exactly correct on the body, the only complaint is that the release is a little bit too strong in pressure, and this can easily be reduce by attention to the base spring under the shutter. It is only strong in comparison to my IIIg or the Periflex. Very quiet, it has the Russian shutter sound, not quite as crisp as the Leica shutter, but it does not have the clunk that the Zorki's have. I will run a Fuji colour negative through the camera this week, as long as the weather holds! There is a Christmas fair in Rochester at the Norman Castle by the River Medway, and that may give good interesting shots to test it out properly. Stephen.
Last Edit: Dec 10, 2012 17:10:34 GMT -5 by Stephen
Now with brand new aluminium lens hood, especially made in the lathe to match the lens, push on the outside, leaving the filter thread free. Matt black interior to the hood, it turns around to fit under the leather case. I am making a aluminium cap as well, the plastic is OK but can go on another lens, the new metal one will be screw in. Now to find a decent early Fed 3...... Stephen
That's a nice looking camera, I love the material they used to cover the cameras instead of leather / leatherette, my Zorki and some Zenits have it and I like the look of it. That's a great job on the hood as well, do you turn them from billet?
I have box full of aluminium bin ends from auto lathe operations, they are bored out a bit, very useful for hoods. If I need a solid, I melt and cast the bar or scrap to a suitable disc or chunk. Aluminium melts easily in a propane torch gas flame.
The Aluminium hoods are about .8mm thick, much less than the old Actina types, sold in the UK. The matt black is VHT heat proof matt paint baked on, a very durable paint.
A tip if you turn any, make it a push fit, just a tiny touch loose, then gently crush the back ring with light pressure from the three jaw chuck, it gives the back ring a minute triangular shape, and the hood will stay in place, the minute distortion acts as a spring. It works better than putting slits in the ring like Actina did.
Another Fed 35mm Camera from ebay, a Fed 2, 1959/1960, in clean used condition, all works, but it will be tested out carefully.
The Fed 2 has a much longer based rangefinder than usual, more like the Kiev based on the Zeiss Contax long based finder. Internally it is not Contax, but is a stretched out Fed design giving better than usual accuracy.
The lens is an Industar F2.8, same as the Fed 3 type, but will need checking over to see if as good as the lens that came on the Fed 3.
This particular one has no self timer, one of the variants during the many years they made the model.
Oddly they were not imported into the UK very much, TOE(UK) ltd seemed to favour the Zorki or the Zenit reflex. Lots have turned up now, sold from Russia or Poland over the past few years.
The Fed 2 is more reliable than the earlier models, but like all Soviet cameras were at the mercy of fate as to whether they were well assembled. Stephen.
Last Edit: Dec 15, 2012 15:50:57 GMT -5 by Stephen
The cheap Ebay Fed 2, works fine, all speeds, and general condition is fine, very slight marks on the chrome, all clean inside, with accurate shutter speeds.
The release is a bit stiffer than usual, needs the bottom spring adjusted a bit. Quiet, but not quite as quiet as the Fed 3. The blinds are OK, no holes or wear, film backplate is clean and scratch free.
The Industar lens looks 100%, clean, no fungus or dust, coating bright, and works the rangefinder correctly.
Earlier style Fed 2 body, with the raised surround to the viewfinder., probably made !959/62 according to serial numbers, the lens is a later production. The speed range is the modern sequence. It still has the lowered flash shoe, changed about 1962 or so. Not bad for a 50 year old camera.