Tuesday, December 18, 2012

ФЭД - The Fed 2

Fed 2 Gazing
"The Fed 2 Gazing" - HTC Kaiser Smartphone
Not to be outdone, the Fed 2, a Leica M39 screwmount rangefinder copy, is actually a very impressive little camera.  With speeds of 1/30s to 1/500s, it is capable of handling pretty much any situation needed.  The only downfall to this camera is the shutter.  The cloth curtain is unfortunately very prone to pinholes.  Now, of course, this is also common with Leica's as well, especially if you accidentally forget to put the lenscap on and have it pointed toward the sun.  In only a matter of moments it'll burn a hole through the curtain.

The rangefinder on this, although a little murky when compared to some other rangefinder cameras, is very easy to use, and I find it actually pretty bright, myself.  The winding mechanism to advance the film is pretty straight forward, and again, easy to use, even wearing gloves.  Loading the camera is a simple endeavor, unlike Leica's, you don't have to cut the film and load it in some weird fashion.  You basically load it like any other 35mm camera.  Pop over the back, although there are two locking mechanisms on the bottom that you have to open, and the entire back comes away allowing simple and easy access for loading of any film.  The lens attached is a Industar 50mm ƒ/2.8 lens, which is very sharp, contrasty, and simple to use.  The coatings are very basic, and it is prone to a little bit of flare, but nothing that isn't easily remedied with a lens hood, and in fact, I would highly recommend a lens hood for pretty much any lens.

The lightweight, solid, and slender body of this camera is very easy to hold, and fits very nicely in anyone's hand, big or small.  The camera is also very durable, and since there are no electronics on it, takes no battery(s) so you can use it in any weather, or temperature.

The best feature, and one that is not on many other Rangefinders, is a built in diopter correction in the viewfinder.  Nearsighted, far-sighted, no longer a problem with this camera.  Take off your glasses and adjust the diopter for sharp focusing so that you can see without smushing the camera up against your glasses and hurting the bridge of your nose (especially if you have lost the nose-guards on your glasses).

Simple Quickspecs;

Fed 2 - 35mm Rangefinder Camera
M39 Leica thread mount (for any M39 Rangefinder lens)
1/30s to 1/500s Cloth Shutter Curtain (X-Synced and M-Synced at 1/30s)
Rangefinder designed around a 50mm standard lens

"Wagon Suspension" - Fed 2 Rangefinder
Polypan F 50ASA Film
HC-110 Dil. M (1+250)
If you haven't had your chance to try out a Russian Rangefinder, pick yourself up a Fed or a Zorki, they are wonderful little cameras, and will fill your days with shooting bliss.
Just be careful, collecting these little cameras can be rather addictive!
"Bike" - Fed 2 Rangefinder
Polypan F 50ASA Film
Caffenol-CM Coffee Developer

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