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FSU Former Soviet Union RF This forum is for the Former Soviet Union rangefinder cameras, especially the many and various Fed, Zorki, and Kiev.

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Old 11-30-2007   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adsg2
Hello all... RF newbie here...

I've read through the threads, and after deciding on a Russian vs. Yashica RF, I'll go for a russian. It seems that the top contenders here are a Fed 2, Zorki 6 and an early model Kiev 4.

Can you help me narrow my choices further? I most likely will be making my acquisition from eBay.

TIA!
Narrowing the choice further will depend on your list of requirements. Things to consider would include the type of photgraphy you do. Do you need slow speeds, for instance? Neither the Zorki nor FED has them. Can you live without the hinged back of the Zorki 6? If you are buying from eBay, consider the chances of getting a properly working example. The Kiev is a more complex camera and is more likely to have problems unless it's been serviced, which most FSUs have not. Of your choices, the FED is the simplest if you do some DIY servicing. The Zorki will have the brightest VF but the FED has good contrast - which do you prefer? The Kiev will also have the most limited range of lenses but those lenses are probably quite enough and are relatively cheap.

Whatever you choice, the usual pitfalls of eBay will apply. Try to get one from a seller who will accept a return if faulty or at least get some sort of guarantee. Alternatively you can just accept the risk of a dud, since most FSUs are quite cheap. Be warned though, that very price makes them addictive!
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Old 12-01-2007   #82
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Here is a short guide

Zorki 1 with Industar 22 (collapsible) or FED 1 if you want a light and small camera that will fit in any pocket (caution, no slow speeds!).
Zorki 4 or 4k if you want a more advanced camera with a full set of shutter speeds and a 1:1 viewfinder.
Both cameras accept Leitz lenses with a few limitations due to the shape of RF actuator in the lens.
For more info take a look at Jay Javier“s Zorki survival site.

Kiev 4 if you like the Contax feel.
Lenses in Contax / Kiev mount are not too expensive even being original german made Zeiss glass. The russian copies are really good and cheap.
Another nice feature is the very big RF baselenght which allows for slow but precise focusing.
There is a lot of info about this cameras at Russ Pinchbeck“s Kiev survival site in the internet.

Hope it helps.

Cheers
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Old 12-01-2007   #83
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thanks for the replies everyone!

i'm leaning towards a kiev4 (i think the slow speeds would come in handy for me). the ones i've been seeing on ebay have bodies with serial numbers in the 70s and 80s. And i read somewhere that models made during these times have rather unpredictable performances.

should I hold out for the 50s and 60s model bodies? or will the later model bodies do just fine? how about lenses? Should the date of manufacture matter for lenses as well?

apologies for having so many questions. TIA again!
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Old 12-06-2007   #84
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I bought a FED-2c with green "leather" two weeks ago and am now waiting for the promised take-up spool from Kim Coxon now. Hope to be able to use it soon, since there'll be a photo-enthusiastic students' meeting soon in my town. Would be very cool to use it then and see the results gained on that day.
Also if the Industar 26 works well etc. From the plain sound and switches it works very good.
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Old 12-30-2007   #85
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I can't decide among few sweet offers.

A never used FED 5, with the box and all included.

FED 2, used but in perfect condition.

FED 3, With a Jupiter-12 lens.

What would you say?

They're all the same price.
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Old 12-30-2007   #86
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Fed 3 and the 35/2.8 is a good combo.You could add a J8 later and have a nice set up.Is it the new or earlier model 3?Has it a flat or step down top plate?Good hunting............Robin
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Old 12-30-2007   #87
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Not quite sure. I've decided to look for some Russian RF cameras locally and these people just keep on calling me with offers.

Well the FED 3 sounds promising, but I already own a 3b[flat top] with Industar-61 and I love the click-stops:-)
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Old 12-30-2007   #88
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Very interesting thread...I am interested in a Fed 2 D, But I have seen 2 versions...

1) FED 2 inscribed where the F is more like a box with a line through it, and

2) Fed 2 in script with the word "Fed" in english letters under the scipt lettering

What is the differnce ??

Thanks Peter
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Old 12-30-2007   #89
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If you already own a FED 3, go for the 2 then. The 2 is a bit smaller and lighter and is usually very reliable, although lacking slow-speeds. The 5 is a camera that has no more capability than the 3 you already own (unless it is the metered version and the meter works properly). The 5 is generally regarded as ugly and it's bigger and heavier too...
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Old 12-30-2007   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arbib
Very interesting thread...I am interested in a Fed 2 D, But I have seen 2 versions...

1) FED 2 inscribed where the F is more like a box with a line through it, and

2) Fed 2 in script with the word "Fed" in english letters under the scipt lettering

What is the differnce ??

Thanks Peter
The difference is what you just quoted. I'm not entirely sure but the dual-engraved one may just be an export version (allegedly better made but I'm not convinced that's true). There will be no difference in capability. The only real change made to the FED 2 was the shutter-speeds changing from 1/25, 1/50 etc to 1/30, 1/60 etc. Other than that the changes were only to the style of certain parts, like the wind-knob.
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Old 12-30-2007   #91
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Thanks Wolvs3012
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Old 12-30-2007   #92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Permanent
I can't decide among few sweet offers.

A never used FED 5, with the box and all included.
FED 2, used but in perfect condition.
FED 3, With a Jupiter-12 lens.

What would you say?
They're all the same price.
There's nothing like the out-of-the-box experience of a 'new' Fed 5. It's just incredible what you get for your money. There are and will allways be plenty of used Fed 2's, but the number of 'new' Fed 5's is finite.

Regards,

Wim
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Old 12-30-2007   #93
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Thanks for the opinions. It really helped me out. I think I'll try to get both, Fed 2 and the boxed FED 5 for a considerably cheap price. They're both of the same person, so I think it'll get around 20$ for both..
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Old 12-30-2007   #94
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You ought to really get that J-12 somehow. What lens is on the Fed 2? Maybe you can do a trade off with the lense thats on the fed2 for the J12. Of course then you will need a finder but there pretty cheap. Also you wont be sad that you got the fed 5.
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Old 12-30-2007   #95
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I don't really know, haven't seen any of those cameras yet. I'm up to see a very old professional photographer sometime soon. He always had the best equipment during the SSRS occupation. I think he could toss me some old lenses. So I'm just up to get some bodies first..
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Old 12-31-2007   #96
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Hi,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Permanent
I'm up to see a very old professional photographer sometime soon. He always had the best equipment during the SSRS occupation. I think he could toss me some old lenses.
Are you from Lithuania? Ironically, if he was a professional photographer in the USSR, there is a certain probability that the best equipment he was using was Western equipment... Either way these people are contacts we should hold on to.

Philipp
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Old 12-31-2007   #97
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Quote:
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Are you from Lithuania?
I am. And yeah, I'm actually excited to see it myself.
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Old 01-15-2008   #98
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Guys, what about The Leningrad? Is there anything I should know about it before buying? Is it worth it?
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Old 01-24-2008   #99
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Quote:
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Guys, what about The Leningrad? Is there anything I should know about it before buying? Is it worth it?
http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...ad.php?t=52994
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Old 03-18-2008   #100
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This is a really helpful thread for new people! I just got into rangefinders over the past few months and I thought I'd share my experience as a new user.

I bought a Fed 2b and a Fed 5c. I bought the 2 because it seems to be so beloved on the forums, and the 5c because I heard that the lens was great and I wanted the convenience of a light meter.

I like both cameras, and have used both quite a bit. For a person just starting out, though I think the Fed 5c is perfect. I love the Fed 2 and have taken some great shots with it (despite the fact it has a light leak I can't find) but that match number system on the 5's light meter makes playing with depth of field so easy. (you get a list of shutter speeds and apertures that you can use.) I'm sure once you're really good at this you can see the proper lighting very easily in your head, and when I'm at that point I'll be fixing my Fed 2 and using it a lot more, but for now the 5 makes it so easy to take great pictures.
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FSU Leningrad anyone ?
Old 01-20-2009   #101
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FSU Leningrad anyone ?

Thinking of buying a Leningrad, just from the looks of it. Does anyone have any experience with this camera ? Thanks !
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Old 01-20-2009   #102
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Only one!! Read the instructions BEFORE operating it!!!
It is easy to jam through. for example. misuse of the self timer. (Bitter experience!!)
also not all m39 lenses fit, as there is a protruding ledge above the lens mount.
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Old 07-03-2009   #103
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I just got a 1956 Kiev 3A with flash sync. It also has the self timer removed and replaced by an ordinary flash sync! Can anyone tell memore about the Kiev 3A?
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Old 11-06-2010   #104
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Thanks for this thread! I just bought a Fed-2e with an Industar 61 from eBay.
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Old 11-07-2010   #105
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Quote:
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I just got a 1956 Kiev 3A with flash sync. It also has the self timer removed and replaced by an ordinary flash sync! Can anyone tell memore about the Kiev 3A?
What would you like to know, Raid?

Background for interest: http://www3.telus.net/public/rpnchbck/zconrfKiev.htm
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Old 12-28-2010   #106
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I have 3 Zorki-4s, 2 Kievs, 1 Zorki-1 and Zorki-S, 1 Fed-3. Now, I prefer the bottom-loaded cameras due to their compactness and accurate viewfinder.
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Old 09-22-2011   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolves3012
Zorki 4
This is just about the same as the 3C. It has the same features but adds a self-timer. There is also a later variant, the 4K, which has a lever wind but is otherwise the same. Early models (pre-1965 ish, there's variation) have engraved text, an engraved shutter-speed dial and strap-lugs. Later models have no strap-lugs, printed text and dials and, sadly, the print wears off with use. Early models are usually better made and are more sought after. The Zorki 4/4K was produced in large numbers and is common and cheap, yet is a very capable camera. Framing isn't overly accurate. A variation on the Zorki 4 was made, called the Mir (meaning peace). This is a standard 4 without the slow-speed mechanism. Due to when they were made, the Mir has engraved markings not printed. Top marked speed is 1/500 not 1/1000, although some at least still actually have the 1/1000 speed, marked only by a dot.
Zorki.4 was built 1956 to 1973(?). As mentioned, early models had engraved shutter speeds, etc. Like the 3C, early examples also had attractive [IMHO] embossed or raised trim framing the front VF and RF windows. Later versions did not. There were several variations / styles of the name Zorki engraved or painted across the front all during Zorki.4’s production.
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Old 08-26-2012   #108
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Great thread by the way.

Though one question I do not believe I saw addressed was that of batteries. I say this because I had an issue with an Yashica G (from what I have been able to determine was a second series), which takes a battery to operate certain functions. A battery of which has a tendency to left in and forgotten, but I digress.

Which of the FSU rangefinders takes batteries, if any actually do?

Last edited by kometman : 08-26-2012 at 09:08. Reason: clarification . . .
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Old 08-26-2012   #109
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Great thread by the way.

Though one question I do not believe I saw addressed was that of batteries. I say this because I had an issue with an Yashica G (from what I have been able to determine was a second series), which takes a battery to operate certain functions. A battery of which has a tendency to left in and forgotten, but I digress.

Which of the FSU rangefinders takes batteries, if any actually do?
None of the usual FED, Zorki or Kievs does. I think some of the MF Kievs, with metering and the Kiev 35 take some form of battery. All the "usual suspects" have mechanical shutters and if they have a meter it's a selenium cell powered one.
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Old 08-28-2012   #110
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Thinking of buying a Leningrad, just from the looks of it. Does anyone have any experience with this camera ? Thanks !
The Leningrad is actually quite a capable camera. It has an excellent finder, and as far as I know, it is the only FSU camera with multiple frame lines, for 50, 85, and 135mm lenses. The full finder area is probably correct for 35mm. It provides dioptre correction through a rotating eyepiece.

Conventional wisdom, and writeups I have seen state that the framelines are not parallax-correcting, however, the framelines in my late model and very ordinary Leningrad DO move to correct for parallax.




It has styling that only a mother could love, but it manages to appear strange as opposed to aggressively ugly like some of the later FEDs. There is a raised area just above the lens mount that will foul the Industar-26 or 61 lens with the large focus ring at the back. The various Jupiters will fit properly. The J8 with the focus lever fits with no problem, but it is a little more difficult to get at the lever than for some other cameras. It looks ridiculous with a little Industar collapsible lens, and it's not as if this beast is pocketable anyway. Please note that it is pictured here with an 85mm Jupiter 9 lens, which provides about the same proportions as a J8 on a smaller camera.

This is a relatively big and heavy camera. Here is a list of several FSU's with their weights (body only). Only the scarce and enormous Kiev 5 manages to score higher.
FED 1 435 gm
FED 2 525 gm
Zorki 6 570 gm
Zorki 4 625 gm
Leningrad 745 gm
Kiev 5 765 gm

From the few of these cameras I have examined, I would say that the build quality is very good, a cut above other FSU's with the exception of very early Kievs. The paint, leather, and chrome are all really good.

The whole reason for this camera is of course the spring motor drive, which provides for single shots only for any version of the Leningrad anyone is likely to ever find. This uses a very heavy spring, and moves the film fast. It makes an alarmingly loud CLANK when advancing the film. I do not have real data on the reliability of this system, but I would think that it would not be a great idea to fire this camera too much with no film in it.

I do not understand the reason behind the rumoured reliability problem with the self timer, but I have heard this often enough that I am willing to believe it. The story is that the self timer should never be set when the shutter is not cocked. Of course, if the spring motor is wound to any degree, this situation will never happen.

I think the Leningrad should be considered a special application camera, rather than something to use every day. It is a real good conversation starter though when people on the street get startled by the noises it makes!

Cheers,
Dez
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Old 09-08-2012   #111
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But Helios Multi-finder does not have parallax correction, does it? This should become a real limitation in longer focals?...

I am hesitating between a turret and a Helios, but if I get with Helios the same kind of parallax error that I get with the internal viewfinder, I really don't think it is worth it.
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Old 09-10-2012   #112
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But Helios Multi-finder does not have parallax correction, does it? This should become a real limitation in longer focals?...

I am hesitating between a turret and a Helios, but if I get with Helios the same kind of parallax error that I get with the internal viewfinder, I really don't think it is worth it.
I think this post may have been referring to something further up in the string..

You don't get parallax correction with any accessory finder I know of other than the special ones Canon made for their V and VI series cameras. With FSU equipment, the only available parallax correction I have ever seen is with 50 and 85mm lenses on the Leningrad camera.

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Old 09-10-2012   #113
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You don't get parallax correction with any accessory finder I know of other than the special ones Canon made for their V and VI series cameras. With FSU equipment, the only available parallax correction I have ever seen is with 50 and 85mm lenses on the Leningrad camera.

Cheers,
Dez
Actually the Zeiss-copy turret finder *does* have parallax correction. The correction is rather limited but is still quite useful at times and better than none.
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Old 09-13-2012   #114
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Welllllll...yes, there sort of is parallax correction in the FSU turret finder; rather primitive, with only 1m and infinity selections for 50mm and shorter. I was really thinking of automatic parallax correction as you focus, and for that, the only choice is the Leningrad.

Can you imagine a Zorki 6 with frame lines and automatic parallax correction? Maybe we should toss in slow speeds at the same time without changing the housing. Add in a light meter and you have a Bessa R!

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Old 09-25-2012   #115
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Recently I was given a FED-5V and I had fiddled with the exposure head quite a bit while not having read that "The exposure can be set only with the shutter cocked. Do not turn the exposure head in the interval between «30 and «1»".
Is it any possible way to test if the shutter speeds are properly set and fired? Have I damaged it?
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Old 09-25-2012   #116
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Too late! The exposure head started moving around freely. Took a few screwdrivers and explored the inner parts of a FED-5V The best 5 bucks ever spend!
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Old 01-04-2013   #117
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Few post earlier Dez made nice list of weight of different FSU bodies. I acquired late Zorki 1 body and really fell in love. I own FED 2 and their weight feels about the same but Zorki is as you know just more narrower, slimmer, lower. FED 2 is not big and those two make nice couple but the thing, why I'm posting is Zorki 3. Where its place among these two. There is many differences between these two, removable back and other "improvements" but is the body size roughly the same? Bottom and top plates are different which makes comparison slighly difficult (especially that bottom plate and its legs which make Z3 look already taller).
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Old 01-10-2013   #118
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I am in the process of moving, and all my Russkii treasures are packed away, so I can't weigh it, but the various Zorki 3 versions are probably about the same as the Zorki 4. The original 3 is probably my favourite of them, followed by the M. the 3C is a Zorki 4 without the self-timer.

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Old 01-12-2013   #119
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Originally Posted by Aapo View Post
Few post earlier Dez made nice list of weight of different FSU bodies. I acquired late Zorki 1 body and really fell in love. I own FED 2 and their weight feels about the same but Zorki is as you know just more narrower, slimmer, lower. FED 2 is not big and those two make nice couple but the thing, why I'm posting is Zorki 3. Where its place among these two. There is many differences between these two, removable back and other "improvements" but is the body size roughly the same? Bottom and top plates are different which makes comparison slighly difficult (especially that bottom plate and its legs which make Z3 look already taller).
Roughly speaking, all the usual FSUs (FED/Zorki/Kiev) are quite similar in weight and they're hefty, being all-metal/glass. In terms of size, the Zorki (1), Zorki 2/2C and FED (1) are noticeably smaller than the rest. All the later ones are close to the same size, give or take a few millimetres here and there. The differences in apparent size are more illusion than reality and not really significant in actual use - except that some fit better in the hand as a matter of personal preference. The Zorki 3/3M looks a bit smaller but that's because there's a chunk "missing" where the top is stepped. The FED 4/5 looks taller because the top is deep to accommodate the meter cell. The FED 2 is a bit wider but not quite as tall as most others. And so on...

In terms of your specific question: the overall dimensions of the Zorki 3/3M are that it's a couple of millimetres wider than a FED 2, about the same depth but probably 5mm or so taller - most of which is due to the bulges for the case-locks. The top-plate, not counting the RF housing, sits lower. Against a Zorki 1, it's a fair bit bigger - it looks rather like its big brother.
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Old 05-04-2013   #120
Kingston
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After my Kiev 4 I would like to try something different and I basically hesitate between Fed 2 and Fed 3.

Most of the arguments about the Fed 2 is that it is more reliable because there are no slow speeds. I was just wondering the following:

- Would you say that because of the slow speeds the Fed 3(a) is less reliable than the Fed 2? What kind of problems can arise?

- Would you say the slow speeds are useless? do you ever shoot with the slow speeds that the Fed 3 can offer compared to the Fed 2?

Thanks
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