View Full Version : Fed 2 Viewfinder

11-21-2004, 12:32
I've bought a nice Fed 2 cheaply from Ebay. The camera looks and feels great, very different to the other rangefinders I have.
What's also different is the viewfinder. It's so dim, even in bright sunlight it is dim, and therefor extremely hard to focus.
Is this dimm-nes common on a Fed 2, or does it need an internal cleaning. I noticed that the viewfinderglass is as dark as Rayban spectacles, I wonder why that is.
I was thinking of using a external viewfinder as a solution, but then another question comes to mind, how do you know when the subject is in focus with an external finder ?
Anyone with the same problems with a Fed 2.

11-21-2004, 12:55
Well, the FED 2 viewfinder is definitely dimmer than on most other rangefinder cameras I know, but I would not say that it is as dimm as Raybans - it is tinted slightly greenish; maybe a cleaning is in order with yours?
On the other hand, the rangefinder spot is very bright (brighter than the surrounding area), so even in low light, focussing is quite easy...


11-21-2004, 13:05
Fed VF/RF is usually dimmer than a Leica :)
However, it sounds like yours could use a good cleaning...


Gordon Coale
11-21-2004, 13:23
Laika covers this with: ED2 - DIY VF/RF Service (http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=895). Everything you need to know about cleaning your rangefinder.

11-21-2004, 16:21
Even with a good cleaning, the FED's VF is fairly dim, but it's probably not much worse than any of the other Soviet LTM copies.

I can get good pics out of the FED, but the more I handle the Kiev, the more I like it over the FED in terms of focusing. However, that could be due to the longer baselength of the Kiev.

11-22-2004, 11:36
Thanks for the replies, maybe I'll try the cleaning. The strange thing is that my viewfinderglass is extremely dark. Will a external viewfinder help, I still wonder how focussing works with an external.
A Kiev 4 is on my wishlist !

11-22-2004, 19:01
I have five FED 2's (crazy, but each is a different color and at those prices. . . ) Anyway, after reading this thread last night, I checked out several of mine inside at night. I had no problems which any of mine. I could easily focus and view. Mine are just as shipped from Russia or Ukraine. So I think yours needs some servicing.

11-23-2004, 00:42
with an external viewfinder (you mean something like the revolver/turret-finder, or the dedcated 35/85mm finders), focussing is still done with the camera's rangefinder - those extra finders are just for estimating the correct angle of view of lenses other than the 50mm.
There are add-on rangefinders as well (like Blik, Watameter, etc.) - but using those are defeating the point of using a rangefinder-integrated camera.
Did you already try focussing with your FED-2 in low light? It definitely is pretty dark & greenish tinted, but I never found it a problem, as the rangefinder spot itself is much brighter, and as I said before, really contrasty, and that's what matters most for focussing.


11-23-2004, 09:44
That's a very good explanation on external finders Roman !

I will follow the Fed 2 cleaning procedure, if that won't help, I get another Fed 2 'cause I like the feel and looks of the camera.

12-12-2004, 01:44
Problem is solved. My Fed 2 has a lever under the filmrewind knob, which function is dioptric correction.
Maybe handy for those who have bad eyes and cannot afford glasses, but to most it isn't usefull and just a gimmick.
After setting the lever in the middle, the viewfinder is sharp and clear.

12-12-2004, 10:00
Ah yes, the diopter. I forgot about that the other day and started to think my eyesight was really going south.

06-14-2009, 13:34
Bump! Thanks to this old thread, I figured out why the Fed-2 I bought years ago and never got around to figuring out, that I thought needed a major servicing/cleaning of the viewfinder/rangefinder assembly (which I'm just not up for, skill or time-wise), in fact just needed its diopter set right. Okay, it's not the brightest viewfinder, but more than usable.

Thanks everyone! Now, if I'd read the instructions, I'd have been using it for years. (And wouldn't have fogged the roll of film I didn't rewind fully the one time I did try it)

How mortifying...