Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Fed 5

fed5 camera

Not to be confused with the Fab 4 or even the Fab 5 (a disgraced chapter in UM basketball history), the Fed 5 is a robust Russian rangefinder with a Leica thread mount. My camera came directly from Russia. About six years ago, a colleague at work went to St. Petersburg for a few weeks, and I gave him a $20 bill and a photo of a Fed 5, and asked him to buy one if he saw some for sale. Sure enough, he did, and the camera is in pretty decent condition and works properly. I haven't used it as much I probably should, and last summer I loaned it to my buddy Marc Akemann to shoot with. he recently returned it after finishing a roll of Kodachrome 64. His wonderful photos inspired me to use the camera again.

The Fed 5 has a pretty nice rangefinder, and the eyepiece has an adjustable diopter control, which I find very useful. Mechanically, the camera works well -- not as smooth as a Leica, but not bad. The cloth focal-plane shutter goes from B- 1/500 sec, and the selenium light meter on my camera works, though I have never used it. The only thing the camera lacks are strap lugs! For some reason, the designers must have thought that everyone uses a camera case, so why bother with strap lugs?

A few recent photos:

Hey buddy, can you spare a floppy drive?
Mike Myers at the Recycle ReUse Center 3/15/09

Habitrail
The "habitrail" parking garage in East Lansing, MI

Power Center
The Power Center at UM (cropped image).

Some Fed Links
From Wikipedia
Antique Russian Cameras
Rick Oleson tears open a Fed 5
Soviet Cameras

5 comments:

Marc Akemann said...

Nice shots, Mark. I've read other articles about how mediocre (or worse) Russian lenses are but was quite impressed with the quality images this lens, on your particular FED 5, produced. It's a great little camera and I'm glad to see you've been putting it to good use! Thanks again for letting me borrow it. ;-)

Mike said...

The lens body looks like my Industar 61, but can't quite make out the markings on yours. Fabulous results in any case. I haven't done as well with mine, but probablyl just need to work with it more.

Reith said...

My mother have this from 30 years ago.
good shots! ;)

cleaningmarks said...

There is a small dedicated group Soviet era camera users here--> International Commie Camera Day 2009

A lot of talented and interesting members.

Amazing work with that FED-5.:-)

Davide Tambuchi said...

Great and reliable camera! I always use a Fed 5C model (bright viewfinder with lines for parallax error correction) or a 5b model (similar t Fed 5, but without exposure meter)