Tuesday, March 17, 2009
The Fed 5
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:
Mike Myers at the Recycle ReUse Center 3/15/09
The "habitrail" parking garage in East Lansing, MI
The Power Center at UM (cropped image).
Some Fed Links
Antique Russian Cameras
Rick Oleson tears open a Fed 5