FED-5. Review of the film camera from the reader Radozhiva

FED-5 review specifically for Radozhiva prepared Rodion Eshmakov.

Appearance of the FED-5 camera with the Jupiter-8 lens

Appearance of the camera FED-5 with a lens "Jupiter 8»

The FED-5 series of cameras is a mass and affordable (cost ~ 75 rubles) rangefinder cameras with interchangeable lenses, produced in the USSR (in Kharkov) from the mid 70s until the beginning of the 90s. This review presents the FED-5 model (without additional characters) with a Jupiter-8 lens (instead of the standard Industar-61 L / D).

Camera Specifications:
Type: single-lens rangefinder camera;
Format: small, film type 135 (24 * 36 mm frame);
Viewfinder: paired with an optical range finder (base - 43 mm);
Exposure metering: manual aperture setting and excerpts, selenium non-conjugate exposure meter with shutter speed calculator;
Shutter Type: Slit Shutter, excerpts from 1/500 to 1 s, excerpt "IN";
Lens mount: M39, 28.8 mm working length;
Features: diopter correction mechanism +-2 Dptr, self-timer (9-15 s).
Camera Instruction: download

Camera Design FED-5

Now that you have remembered and climbed into the closet behind the old dusty rangefinder, a small reminder:
First cock the shutter, then change the shutter speed! Failure to comply with this rule is an instant camera breakdown.

The camera is a typical rangefinder camera, although it has a number of features that greatly simplify the application. The first one is a removable back cover. It seems wild, but the first Soviet cameras did not have it, instead, only the lower part of the case could be removed. Filling the film with such a camera and its removal is the very quest in which I would not want to participate, and FED-5 just does not insist.

FED-5 with the back cover and lens removed

FED-5 with the back cover and lens removed

Inside the FED-5, you can see the shutter curtains, the film feeder and the pressure table on the lid. Everything is done as austerely as possible, but with high quality.

When purchasing a camera, special attention should be paid specifically to the curtains, looking at the clearance with the cocked and lowered shutter - especially when cocked. During storage, the impregnating material is poured and the curtains, even with external integrity, begin to shine through and spoil the film. Even large bald spots are easy to patch with elastic glue and then tinted in black.

The table is smooth, spring-loaded. No film scratching was noticed.

Rear view of the FED-5 camera

Rear view of the FED-5 camera

On the back of the camera you can see a ring around the sight - this is a diopter correction mechanism that greatly facilitates the lives of people with poor eyesight. On very, very many Soviet cameras, it is not (including on the "improved" model - FED-5C). Correction is possible in the range from -2 to +2 Dptr by simply turning the ringlet.

Also located nearby is a sync contact for external flash. I never worked with her, therefore, to get acquainted with the possibilities of using flash lamps, I recommend reading the wonderful native instruction for the camera.

Top panel FED-5 camera

Top panel FED-5 camera

The upper panel of the camera contains a cocking and shutter release mechanism, a calculator and a light meter scale, shutter speed heads (cock the shutter!) And rewind, mount for external flash, frame counter.

To cock the shutter, it is necessary to smoothly pull out and fully rotate the trigger lever, which can be locked in the retracted or folded (marching) state.

The shutter speed head can be used only and only after the shutter is cocked, moreover, it has a free play from 1/30 to 1/60, then its stroke becomes tighter in the range from 1/60 to 1 s due to the need to cock the moderator. Between 1/30 and 1 second, the shutter speed head does not rotate.

The correct exposure aperture-aperture allows you to determine the selenium element of the camera. His testimonies are displayed on a pointer galvanometer on the top of the camera, equipped with a scale of 1 to 11 conventional units. To determine the exposure pair, you must first combine the sensitivity of the film with the risk on the small shiny ring of the exposure calculator, then select the number indicated by the galvanometer arrow with the external ring of the calculator. Thus, a set of exposure lenses for apertures from 2.8 to 16 will be obtained - it remains only to watch with what number the desired aperture value is combined.

An important feature of a selenium exposure meter is its instability in relation to light, especially UV: the camera must absolutely not be stored in a lit place without a case. The selenium exposure meter degrades remarkably quickly and becomes unable to give adequate readings (read - to supply the required voltage / current to the galvanometer).

It is also worth remembering that exposure metering with the selenium element is integral (i.e., the overall illumination of the frame is measured) - in the presence of strong differences in brightness, you need to make a correction.

The frame counter on the camera resets automatically after removing the back cover. It has several positions up to mark 1 - frames that are usually illuminated during film installation. Three symbols next to the counter allow you to set the type of film (daylight or for artificial lighting) - just so as not to forget.

FED-5 is very good in that it is easy to maintain. For example, changing the lens may necessitate a readjustment of the rangefinder. For FED-4, 5 cameras, this makes it very easy: just pry off the spring-loaded panel with the inscription "FED-5" and tighten the adjustment screw with a thin screwdriver. If this is not enough, you can tighten the eccentric of the small eye of the range finder. I am very grateful to the designers of this camera for such an opportunity: the very Kiev-3 or Zorkiy-4 would have to be disassembled almost completely, which not every amateur photographer would dare to do. The availability of the rangefinder adjustment allowed me to install the beautiful Jupiter-8 of 1955 on the camera, taken from some faulty "Vigilant".

With a correctly configured range finder, for focusing, it is enough just to combine a double image in the viewfinder in an orange window in the center of the field of view. And that’s all! Focusing is very simple and fairly accurate - in fact, a well-tuned range finder allows you to achieve much better focus accuracy than JVI many SLR cameras (especially the slightly-blind zeniths and digital cameras with a pentaser).

Thus, the FED-5 is not only very affordable, but also convenient (in comparison with the conventional “Sharp-4”) camera: it has everything you need for shooting - a shutter with a sufficient shutter speed range (Zenith has the longest - 1/30 !), a light meter (although not a TTL, but still, nevertheless!), a configurable rangefinder “on the knee” and, of course, a very popular mount for M39 optics. FED-5 is compatible with a huge number of lenses: Industar (-10 50 / 3.5, -22 50 / 3.5, -26m 50 / 2.8, -50 50 / 3.5, -61 50 / 2.8), FED (50/2, 50 / 3.5, 28 / 3.5, 100 / 5.6 (6.3)), Jupiter (-3 50 / 1.5, -8 50/2, -9 85/2, -11 135/4, -12 35 / 2.8), Orion-15 28/6, Russar MR-2 20 / 5.6. Do not forget the rangefinder optics Carl Zeiss and Leica. This means that optics in the FR range from 20 to 135 mm with aperture up to F / 1.5! The only negative - the use of wide-angle or telephoto optics requires the use of an additional viewfinder (universal turret, for example).

I acquired my FED with the aim of shooting from time to time on one of my favorite lenses - Jupiter-8, which I can not fully use on my digital camera. From it I will bring in conclusion a few shots on a cheap Fujifilm C200 film, which was developed and digitized in a photo lab.


FED-5 is a camera that is very easy to learn and, moreover, very convenient (from among Soviet cameras), endowed with everything you need for shooting. It is easy to find in working condition, easy to check, easy to prepare for shooting, easy to find inexpensive optics. All this makes the FED-5 the very camera with which you can begin acquaintance with the “vintage” analog photo.

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Comments: 85, on the topic: FED-5. Review of the film camera from the reader Radozhiva

  • Dmitriy

    I'm sorry - there was a mistake in the previous post. point 2 (about the camera on the splash screen).

    • Rodion


  • SashOK

    Thanks to the author for a wonderful review! And you don’t need to read the instructions :)
    Straight nostalgia.
    He himself shot a lot on FED first 3rd, and then 5th (as in the review). And now he’s in service, only now I’m renting more for Nikon anyway. A lot of positive emotions.

  • Oleg

    Hello. Do not tell me how to change the lens correctly, from Industar to Jupiter-8 in my case, so as not to bring down the rangefinder?

    • Rodion

      Just replace the lens and readjust the rangefinder at infinity with a screw. This, as practice shows, is enough.

  • anonym

    They changed the film from the bottom, not a quest at all, since it’s two-cassette. Here it was difficult to clean from dust. The rangefinders were convenient because you had to try very hard not to get into focus.

  • Rafis

    Thanks for the pictures, very beautiful in color.

  • Ytsuken Fyva

    About the instant breakage of the shutter, you bent something. Yes, after setting the shutter speed when the shutter is not cocked, it will start fooling with shutter speeds, but it is easy to cure - release the shutter with the wheel to rewind the film and then move it to the shooting position. That's all

    • Rodion

      Thanks for the information.

    • Lina

      Hello! Please help a newbie. It looks like I happened to have something similar that you describe. I rotated the shutter speed after the shutter was cocked, and yet something was wrong with the device - now, when the shutter is cocked, the shutter speed dial also starts to rotate next, but for each frame it can be turned to the required value. I'm wondering, can I finish shooting the current film, and then show it to the master (I'm afraid to twist something myself), or could there be something significantly disturbed that would affect the quality of the photo? I would be grateful for your advice!

  • Sanya

    can I shoot on it without a cover on the lens, the film will not light up?
    I'm a newbie, I apologize for a possibly stupid question

    • Anonymous

      Semen Semenych!

  • RussTamblyn

    Tell me, does the viewfinder's field of view match the standard lens? That is, how to crop?

    • Rodion

      It seems to correspond, at least - there were no problems on this basis.

  • Aleksandr28

    Kiev has 2,3,4 bayonet mounts, it is not necessary to adjust the camera when changing the lens, IF THAT.

  • Lina

    Hello! Please help a newbie. I rotated the shutter speed after the shutter was cocked, and yet something was wrong with the device - now, when the shutter is cocked, the shutter speed dial also starts to rotate next, but for each frame it can be turned to the required value. I'm wondering, can I just finish shooting the current film, and then show it to the master, or there could be something significantly disturbed that would affect the quality of the photo? I would be grateful for your advice!

  • Matthew

    Today I bought one))) Production date October 19, 1987, the condition is close to ideal, but there is one defect - the descent timer does not work. Thanks for the review!

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