From Wikipedia:

“The FED is a Soviet rangefinder camera, mass-produced from 1934 until around 1990, and also the name of the factory that made it.

FED is indirectly named after Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky, founder of the Cheka. It was his name that was given to the labour commune at Kharkiv (Ukraine) whose manager, Anton Makarenko, encouraged a workshop education for indigent children and who decided to copy the Leica

Earlier, and much sought after, models of the FED 1 are sometimes reputed to have been made by criminals, but those rumours are unfounded. Despite the millions of Soviet cameras produced over decades, the FED camera remains the most famous. There are even unscrupulous sellers on ebay that refurbish them and try to pass them off as original Leica cameras!

This is my FED 1:

FED 1 camera

FED 1 Camera – 1950-1953 model

As you can see, it’s small and sleek. The lens looks to be the original collapsible 50mm 3.5 FED Industar lens. First, I’ll need to clean it up with some Isopropyl Alcohol, as it sports a textured layer of decades old grime and dust. I then need to remove the lens to check out the shutter curtains for any deformation or holes. I know that the shutter does work, but since this is a bottom loader in the classic style of old Leica cameras, I don’t have easy access to the chamber to see if the shutter curtains are in good condition.

I’ll keep you all posted as I make my way to, hopefully, making some photos with it !

You can read Part 2 here


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