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Fed 2 and Other?
Old 01-01-2017   #1
DFigueira
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Fed 2 and Other?

Hi guys,

So I've decided to enter on this gamble since I'm going on a trip and I can't bring any of my big boys since they are cumbersome from what I'll be doing.
I'll be investing on a FED2 and other camera but I have two questions about it.

Which version of the FED2 would be the best in terms of quality control (yes I know it was low, but there are the fine years like DDR had on the 50's and 70's) to buy?
And the other is, which other FSU RF has a rather large and bright viewfinder? I'm afraid the FED2 won't be usable on darker scenes so I need another one to complete the set.

Thank you guys!
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Old 01-01-2017   #2
bobby_novatron
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"Investing" in a Fed-2 is not really the word I would use ... more like "gamble". These cameras are now 40+ years old and many of them need work.

In my opinion, the Zorki-4 has a bigger and better viewfinder than the Fed-2. It would be a good companion for the Fed-2.

I would suggest buying any FSU cameras from a reputable vendor -- many of the sellers on eBay are not very good, and refunds are almost impossible and not worth the hassle.
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Old 01-01-2017   #3
DFigueira
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Originally Posted by bobby_novatron View Post
"Investing" in a Fed-2 is not really the word I would use ... more like "gamble". These cameras are now 40+ years old and many of them need work.

In my opinion, the Zorki-4 has a bigger and better viewfinder than the Fed-2. It would be a good companion for the Fed-2.

I would suggest buying any FSU cameras from a reputable vendor -- many of the sellers on eBay are not very good, and refunds are almost impossible and not worth the hassle.
4 or 4k?
And in which way is better?
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Old 01-01-2017   #4
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I can focus my fed 2, (d4. 1965-ish, apparently), indoors with my ceiling light on, which is a low-powered 'green' bulb that puts out the equivalent of about 60w. I don't find it fast to focus and I have to look for high-contrast edges. The rangefinder window is smaller than the one on a zorki-4k, but it does have a slight yellow tinge to it, which makes it a bit more noticeable than on any of the 3 4k's I've had.
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Old 01-01-2017   #5
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Forget about quality control for any FSU camera made. These days it works after recent CLA or it came DOA in 50-70 or it needs CLA...

I have no idea why to invest in FSU RF before any trip. You will need to get it first and run at least five rolls before you could trust or else in it.
I'm also with all of these comments about dim FED-2 dim VF, while same kind of folks are driving cars with tinted windows.

If you want it small and bright, just get IIf and Leitz matching lens. Those are bellow 200$ after CLA on ebay.

Leave FED-2 story for another day.

4 or 4K ain't any better, it is like looking in VF through the fish eye lens, IMO and cameras are as ugly and clumsy as it could get, IMO.
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Old 01-01-2017   #6
gb hill
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If you buy one get it from Oleg.

http://okvintagecamera.com/
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Old 01-02-2017   #7
David Hughes
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Hi,

Was QC low?

Most people with FED 2's bought them second hand fairly recently and from people they'd never met, selling on ebay. Blaming the current state of a second-hand camera made round about 60 years ago* on the factory is rather simplistic and that's me being polite as usual.

Having said that, the FED 2 with an Industar or Jupiter lens that's been treated properly (as it should be), including regular servicing etc, is a very pleasant camera to use and own.

But is it right for you and your trip? I just don't know enough to answer that. Do you need a back up? What about metering? How will you get a lens hood? We need more info.

But, as I said, the FED 2 outfit is a very pleasant one to own and use and the prints will be more than adequate.

Regards, David

* 1955 onwards...
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Old 01-02-2017   #8
kb244
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Though if you get a Fed-2 that's been CLA'd professionally you can expect a reliable tank. It's just in the wild that's a gamble. If you're good with tinkering some just need a little TLC.
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Old 01-02-2017   #9
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I would personally never set off on a trip with my only camera being a 40+ years old, possibly never serviced camera of questionable QC anyway, that i never used before. Too much of an unnecessary risk.

If you have no other option but buying another camera, get one SLR from the 80's or 90's - they are plentiful, cost below £20 and 9 out of 10 are in perfect working order. Minolta's, Pentaxes, Canon, olympuses... you name it.
Some suggestions: OM-10, Pentax P30, Minolta X300, Chinon CG-5, Nikon F301, Yashica FX-D.... and the list goes on and on....
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Old 01-02-2017   #10
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Quality control would not really be a worry for these cameras. They're dead simple and they were made in an Era when Feds were still rather nice cameras. Age will be your biggest concern. I wouldn't gamble on one, if you can inspect one, in your hands, before buying - that would be wise. Then you can know if it works or if it needs attention or has been abused.

When these cameras are in good condition they operate very smoothly. Any roughness or stiffness in operation should be suspect. Check curtains for wrinkles and pinholes. Listen for shutter squeaks or squawks indicating dried out lubricants.

If you don't want to take a risk, many have had good experiences buying these cameras from Oleg (mentioned above).

As for alternative cameras, I have a preference for the Zorki 4, particularly the earlier versions that have strap lugs. The 4K, in theory, is a nicer camera, but they were made in an era when quality was more wishy-washy, as well I don't like the lack of strap lugs which necessitate carrying the camera around in its case. The benefit of the 4 over the Fed 2 is it has a full range of shutter speeds and a larger, brighter viewfinder, but that's really it.
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Old 01-14-2017   #11
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I am working with a Leica M7, FED-3, two Zorki-6 and a Kiev-4AM. In RF the M7 is really the best however the rest of the FSU cameras are not that bad. And you can also use an external VF. For 35mm I am using an Oly VF-1. So the J-12 is very easy in handling.
Furher these cameras can work perfectly if they have had an complete overhaul and CLA. Apart they are full mechanical I can not say the FSU RF are less reliable then the Leica.
The same with the lenses, they all need a CLA. After this they are moving smoothly. And the Jupiter lenses (pre-was Zeiss design) can be very good. They are costing a fraction of the Leica glass and a good J-12, J-9 or J-8 can compete with the Leica glass.
So buy from a reliable source and you will be happy with them. Of course there is a lot of crap floating around. The same for the Jupiter lenses. In coating they are much less then actual Leica glass. In the 90's this technique improved a lot. So you need a (ventend) sun hood, pretty simple, 40,5mm.
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Old 01-14-2017   #12
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You're going on a trip and using a new camera and that camera is a Fed? Bring your smart phone and a sketch pad too.
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Old 01-15-2017   #13
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I bought a fed 2 from KEH. It never worked and the guy who CLAed my Leica wouldnt touch it. You will have to pay dollars for a CLA. You might as well buy a leica screw mount.
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Old 01-15-2017   #14
David Hughes
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Hi,

And did the Leica cost dollars to do? Perhaps you would have been better off with a FED...

Regards, David
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Old 01-15-2017   #15
DFigueira
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Well guy's, I've decided to struck into a Petri 7S (found one from a Japanese private collection). Almost mint, being the only problem the ghost image being very faded from the age of the glass.

Still, gonna gamble on the future on of these.

But still I have an extra question - how hard would it be to CLA a camera like that?
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Old 01-15-2017   #16
tunalegs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lawnpotter View Post
It never worked and the guy who CLAed my Leica wouldnt touch it.
I wouldn't trust him with my Leica if he can't handle a Fed...
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Old 01-15-2017   #17
Ko.Fe.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DFigueira View Post

But still I have an extra question - how hard would it be to CLA a camera like that?
Like what? FED-2? It is only RF 135 film camera I could CLA by myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tunalegs View Post
I wouldn't trust him with my Leica if he can't handle a Fed...
Bodo, who was ex-Leica technician and serviced Leica cameras in Ontario until he passed away in 2016, was not servicing FSU cameras. He explained it to me once and I understand. It is same as car service people prefer to work with German, but not FSU cars.
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Old 01-15-2017   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tunalegs View Post
I wouldn't trust him with my Leica if he can't handle a Fed...
He is the most respected Leica repair man in my city. He could handle it I am sure but he didnt want to
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Old 01-15-2017   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lawnpotter View Post
He is the most respected Leica repair man in my city. He could handle it I am sure but he didnt want to
So why did you think your comment about that experience was relevant in this thread then? It seems to have more to do with you repair man than with the camera. Certainly plenty of people are capable of giving a Fed 2 a CLA. And yes you will have to pay dollars for a CLA, regardless of camera brand (assuming of course, you live in any society where dollars are currency).
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Old 01-16-2017   #20
David Hughes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lawnpotter View Post
He is the most respected Leica repair man in my city. He could handle it I am sure but he didnt want to
So nothing to do with the camera.

Leica are just like any other old camera and break down or need a little TLC from time to time. They are also common having been sold in most countries* since the 1920's. (And being exposed to their advertising from 1920 is another factor.)

OTOH, FED's were not sold outside of the USSR until the 70's or 80's and so people have less experience of them. Many repair people like doing work on unusual models as a change from the routine, boring everyday stuff.

Regards, David

* Britain is an exception since sales dried up in 1939 and were not resumed until well into the 1950's but repairs continued...
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