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FED cameras                      LTM lenses

It seems strange that a 35mm rangefinder camera would be listed on a website in a directory of "6x6", but if it wasn't for my ventures to 6x6 and 6x9 cameras I would never have found the FED and Zorki line of cameras.

It all began when I started to discover the joys of using Former Soviet Union photographic gear.
Reading about this gear on the web, I soon found that Medium Format users also talked about the sharpness of 35mm camera lenses.  They spoke affectionately about Zorkis and FEDs (whatever they were)...  They spoke of the joys of using cameras you have to focus, the satisfying "click" of a cloth shutter, rangefinder adjustment, etc...

I was finally persuaded to take a "step back/down" to a 35mm film camera after the local camera shop had a display of old Leicas.  One looked very similar to a FED 1 or Zorki 1.  A few years ago I would have said it was ugly.  That was in the years prior to me owning Pentacon six TLs, a Kiev 60, a Moskva 4, a few Moskva 5s, and Iskra and an Iskra 2.  Slowly my tastes changed and as I grew accustomed to these "old world" cameras I found the FED 1, Zorki 1 and early Leicas starting to look pretty cool.  Lots of windows along the top of the camera - something that doesn't exist on my SLR cameras. A few knobs/dials too.  Cool.

After a bit of web research I was sold on the FED 1.  A few people said these were more solid than the, similar, Zorki 1.
Both of these are frequently modified (re-engraved) to look like early Leicas.  I could have bought a fake Leica, but I think that the FED has enough history behind it to make it interesting to have in it's own right, rather than owning a "wannabe Leica".

There is a bit of information on the web about the history of the FED cameras, so I won't go into details here.  Basically FED is named after Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky, founder of the NKVD (later know as the KGB).  He died in 1926 and a Commune was named after him.
In 1934 the Russians decided to manufacture their own Leicas, the commune was chosen as the place of manufacture.

In 2004 I decided to try some FED cameras and Leica Thread Mount (LTM) lenses.

My first FED 1

A FED 1 with problems


LTM Lenses

Soviet camera film plane tolerances

This page was created Tuesday 15th September 2004