FED-2  –  Vintage Camera

FED-2 (three quarters, with Industar-26m 52mm f/2.8 lens)

FED-2 (three quarters, with Industar-26m 52mm f/2.8 lens)

FED-2 (three quarters, with Industar-26m 52mm f/2.8 lens)

FED-2 (three quarters, with Industar-26m 52mm f/2.8 lens)

FED-2 (front view, with Industar-26m 52mm f/2.8 lens)

FED-2 (front view, with Industar-26m 52mm f/2.8 lens)

FED-2 (with 35mm cassette for scale)

FED-2 (with 35mm cassette for scale)

FED-2 (top view, with Industar-26m 52mm f/2.8 lens)

FED-2 (top view, with Industar-26m 52mm f/2.8 lens)

FED-2 (with 35mm cassette for scale)

FED-2 (with 35mm cassette for scale)

FED-2 (three quarters, with Industar-26m 52mm f/2.8 lens)FED-2 (three quarters, with Industar-26m 52mm f/2.8 lens)FED-2 (front view, with Industar-26m 52mm f/2.8 lens)FED-2 (with 35mm cassette for scale)FED-2 (top view, with Industar-26m 52mm f/2.8 lens)FED-2 (with 35mm cassette for scale)

FED-2 Specifications

Manufacturer: FED (ФЭД)
   
Origin: Soviet Union
  (modern day Ukraine)
   
Made in: Kharkov, USSR
  (modern day Ukraine)
   
Introduced: 1955
   
Type: Rangefinder
   
Lens Mount: M39 Screw Mount
   
Format: 135 Film
   
Dimensions: 14 x 7.5 x 3.2 cm (body only)
  14 x 7.5 x 6.7 cm (with lens)

FED-2 Review

The FED-2 is a 35mm rangefinder built in Kharkov, Ukraine in a factory that was once an orphanage. After the groundbreaking Leica II was introduced in 1932, Soviet leaders tasked the FED factory with building a clone. The FED-2 is a descendant of that first Leica copy. And if that’s not interesting enough, FED is named after Felix E. Dzerzhinsky who was the founder of the NKVD, the shadowy secret police organization that would eventually become the KGB.

The FED-2 came from the factory with an Industar-26m 52mm f/2.8 lens but it will accept any M39 screw mount or Leica Thread-Mount (LTM) lens. As for the controls on the top plate, first from the left is a diopter adjuster which is attached to the film rewind knob. Next is the accessory shoe and then the shutter speed selector with a range of 1/25 to 1/500 seconds. After the shutter button and on the very right is the film type indicator set in the top of the film advance knob which also serves as a frame counter.

I bought this camera a while ago on eBay and I don’t remember how much I paid for it but it couldn’t have been more than $20. Like many photographers, I lust after Leicas but since I can’t justify the cost of one, I’m perfectly happy owning a Soviet copy. While it’s been a long time since I’ve taken the FED-2 out for a spin, I bought an M39 to Sony E-Mount adapter and will occasionally mount the Industar-26m on my NEX-5N. It’s far from being the sharpest lens in my arsenal but man, does it look cool.

Want one for yourself?
Find your very own FED-2 on eBay.

References:

McKeown, James M. and Joan C. McKeown’s Price Guide to Antique and Classic Cameras, 2001-2002. (Grantsburg, USA: Centennial Photo Service, 2001), 210.

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