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An Acquisition of Interesting Gear
Old 09-21-2015   #1
Godfrey
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An Acquisition of Interesting Gear

A friend told me his friend had a bunch of cameras to give away, cast offs from a bunch donated to a local museum. So we went over to his place today.

He had a bunch of stuff ... more than a few Wirgins, a passle of Argus C3s, a bunch of Polaroid roll film cameras. Some interesting cameras in the bunch.

I took home a Voigtlander Vitomatic I, a Zeiss Ikon Tenax, and a Graflex Graphic 35. I think the Vitomatic and Tenax might be working or close to it, and the Graflex might be able to be repaired.

There were a few others ... a little Kodak Bantam, an "Official Girl Scouts 620 by Kodak", a small double-eight movie camera, a "Primo JR" 4x4 twin-lens reflex, and a Polaroid Big Shot. I think the Big Shot works; the others are shelf toys.

The most interesting piece I took home is a FED with case and 5cm/3.5 (uncoated) lens. It has in inscription on it that suggests it was property of the secret police under Stalin. The shutter works, the lens needs to be cleaned up; it seems in pretty good shape for having been used a lot. It's got a wacky gizmo on it to implement flash sync. I'll make some photographs of this little stash.

The guy I obtained them from is happy to give anyone else who would like to stop by the chance to poke through the gear he's got and take any of it they want. For those who like to repair and restore cameras, it could be a nice bit of spare parts, and they might make good shelf decorations, if nothing else. If you live in the area near this part of California (San Francisco/San Jose) and would like to do so, message me and I'll put you in touch.

G
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Old 09-21-2015   #2
sevo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
The most interesting piece I took home is a FED with case and 5cm/3.5 (uncoated) lens. It has in inscription on it that suggests it was property of the secret police under Stalin.
Unlikely. Most probably it is just a inscription referring to Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky - in whose memory the FED factory was named (and who had already died before Stalin was appointed solitary leader).
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Old 09-21-2015   #3
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I guess it has НКВД. It is one of the names the place for FED making was called.
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Old 09-21-2015   #4
JP Owens
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I've had a Graphic 35, which actually took pretty good photos. The weak link is the focusing mechanism. And, when it broke, I couldn't find anyone who would repair it.
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Old 09-21-2015   #5
Godfrey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sevo View Post
Unlikely. Most probably it is just a inscription referring to Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky - in whose memory the FED factory was named (and who had already died before Stalin was appointed solitary leader).
For sure. I don't read Russian, just going by what the gent had as documentation on the inscription. I'm not well-informed about Russian Leica copies or FEDs.

This is what I have...

The inscription:



A scan of the data that was included with this camera:



If you (or anyone else) can tell me what it means, I'll appreciate it. I am not expecting that it's worth anything or particularly special. It does seem a nice, if crude, Leica II copy.



G
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Old 09-21-2015   #6
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My guess is, camera made or assembled in NKVD governed labor camp where prisoners work hard instead of surfing internet or arguing their food doesn't include feta cheese.
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Old 09-21-2015   #7
JP Owens
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Everything you ever wanted to know about the Fed 1A's is here.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FED_(camera)
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Old 09-21-2015   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP Owens View Post
Everything you ever wanted to know about the Fed 1A's is here.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FED_(camera)
Thank you!
Looks like this one is a 1b from '35-36.
The RF follower is weird, don't know how accurate it is.
I'll try it after I clean up the lens.

G
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Old 09-21-2015   #9
David Hughes
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Hi,

That link's a dead end. Better to look here:-

http://www.sovietcams.com/index.php?-886716444

And here for history:-

http://www.fedka.com/Useful_info/Com.../commune_A.htm

I'm amazed the myths about the NKVD etc are still doing the rounds...

Regards, David
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Old 09-21-2015   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
Thank you!
Looks like this one is a 1b from '35-36.
The RF follower is weird, don't know how accurate it is.
I'll try it after I clean up the lens.

G
The FED 1b had many subvariants:

http://www.sovietcams.com/index.php?414372438

Enjoy the reading.
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Old 09-21-2015   #11
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Nice Godfrey!

I have one of those too (YCCP NKVD). Mine has different leatherette covering. I much prefer yours with that pebble texture. Mine is more like the usual vulcanite texture. In addtion to the YCCP version (like yours), I have a KOMBINAT body as well. These early Fed 1's can (emphasis on "can") be quite smooth operators, similar enough to the models they were attempting to copy. One of my Fed 1's is pretty close to my serviced IIIa.

Now, I'm pretty sure the flange-to-film (registration?) distance of your camera is not standardized. Both of mine are not and I think my Kombinat is younger than yours. So......don't lose that attached lens (assuming its the matched lens for the body). Unfortunately, I don't have a known matched lens for either of my early Fed 1's. I have an early lens (Fed 50?) that appears to be a non-standard, and I need to see if it works (adequately) with one of them. But that takes time.....
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Old 09-21-2015   #12
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I suppose the Tenax is the scale focus version? Pre- or postwar? Nevertheless, fun little cameras.
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Old 10-05-2015   #13
Godfrey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfaspen View Post
Nice Godfrey!

I have one of those too (YCCP NKVD). Mine has different leatherette covering. I much prefer yours with that pebble texture. Mine is more like the usual vulcanite texture. In addtion to the YCCP version (like yours), I have a KOMBINAT body as well. These early Fed 1's can (emphasis on "can") be quite smooth operators, similar enough to the models they were attempting to copy. One of my Fed 1's is pretty close to my serviced IIIa.

Now, I'm pretty sure the flange-to-film (registration?) distance of your camera is not standardized. Both of mine are not and I think my Kombinat is younger than yours. So......don't lose that attached lens (assuming its the matched lens for the body). Unfortunately, I don't have a known matched lens for either of my early Fed 1's. I have an early lens (Fed 50?) that appears to be a non-standard, and I need to see if it works (adequately) with one of them. But that takes time.....
I took it out and cleaned it up some last evening; lubed the rewind shaft, cleaned the lens, exercised the shutter ... and I think it works. Time to load some film and see.

I thought about fitting my Color Skopar 28/3.5 to it, but the rangefinder follower is rather crude and I wouldn't want to damage the CS28. So I'll just enjoy seeing what it does with the standard lens for the present.

G
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Old 10-05-2015   #14
Godfrey
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Originally Posted by Jerevan View Post
I suppose the Tenax is the scale focus version? Pre- or postwar? Nevertheless, fun little cameras.
Scale focus ... Looks post-war because of the lens coating. Unfortunately, the shutter needs repair and I'm sure the selenium cell is near dead. It's a pretty camera, but likely will remain a shelf decoration.

G
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