FED 5. Thoughts from the reader Radozhiva

Overview of the camera specifically for Radozhiva prepared Boris Timofeenko.



The FED 5 is one of my favorite cameras. A descendant of the German "Leica", although it is less technically perfect than "Kiev" (a lens with less aperture, a smaller range of shutter speeds), but still he has some charm.

FED is a device for thoughtful shooting. This is facilitated by the absence of any automation, except for a selenium exposure meter, and a lens with not too high aperture (f / 2.8).

The park of available lenses for this camera is very modest, and most of it is made up of Industar lenses with similar characteristics. In this review I will consider “FED” and “Industar” inseparably from each other.



On my copy is the “Industar-61L / D” lens. This 55mm prime has the ability to adjust the aperture from f / 2.8 to f / 16. I love the killer sharpness of this lens in the center with minimal distortion on the sides, even at open aperture. This sharpness is very artistic when combined with the characteristics of the film (colors, grain), which can produce amazing pictures. Lens vignetting is weak and will not be noticeable on digital cameras with a crop sensor. The aperture blades are circular at f / 2.8 and f / 4, turning into a regular hexagon at other values. The bokeh is absolutely not distorted: it does not twist (unlike Helios 44-M), the light sources look like regular hexagons or circles. The lens holds back light well, maintains good contrast, and at the same time often presents very beautiful "spots" of light. In my experience, this lens is well suited for various types of photography, from portrait to subject: with impressive sharpness and minimal distortion, the images are very pleasing to the eye, artistic. In terms of ease of use, the lens disappointed with a tight focusing ring (sometimes the entire lens is scrolled when scrolling).



The ergonomics of the camera is unique. Weighing about a kilogram, the “Fedya” is made of very high quality, with almost complete absence of plastic parts. In the hands lies confidently and comfortably, with easy access to the controls. You can't wear the device for a long time on your neck in a case: it outweighs. The workmanship is excellent: the minimum number of plastic parts, a reliable shutter. Due to the absence of a mirror, you can take shots at shutter speeds of 1/30 and even 1/15 from your hands (however, the latter are not always obtained).

The viewfinder of the camera is dark and small, not too wide rangefinder base. Using such a viewfinder, and especially focusing, is quite inconvenient. It is almost impossible to focus in the dark (for example, in a concert): the focus circle is simply not visible in the viewfinder!



There is no electronics in the camera, so there is no battery in it (unlike, for example, Zeniths). There is a mechanical self-timer and a selenium exposure meter that has degraded over decades. The shutter speed calculator is located on the upper part, which makes it possible to calculate the light pair according to the readings of the light meter. On the shutter rewind lever there is an indicator of the number of frames and type of film. Convenient thing! There is a sync contact and a hot shoe, you can connect a flash (however, I have not tried). Flash sync only shutter speed 1/30 sec

Now, let's look at some of the shots that I got on this camera. Kodak ColorPlus 200, ISO 200 color film and A-125, ISO 125 black and white film:

In conclusion, I will say that I fell in love with this camera. At one time, “Fedya” motivated me to study photography: due to the lack of automatic modes, I had to study the materiel before going out and taking pictures of everything. Yes, ergonomics are imperfect, but with the proper skill, you can get great shots. However, the scope of the camera is limited: "FED" is suitable only for thoughtful shooting in good lighting conditions. Even shooting with a flash, for example, night activities will be extremely problematic.

Another FED-5 review can be found here. You will find more reviews from readers of Radozhiva here.

Add a comment: Anonymous 2.0



Comments: 46, on the topic: FED 5. Thoughts from the reader Radozhiva

  • Ivan Wolverine

    and still, compared to the first Zorkiy, this FED is like a tradesman in the nobility :-)))

  • Sergey

    I also started with FED. Only the older one - FED-3. The sharpness in the viewfinder was never possible to direct, but I was able to develop the eye. Due to its sharpness, I still use the lens for macro photography.

  • serjkar

    Fifth - very bulky devices. And for some reason, their locks are not eternal for long: either the curtain will crumble, then the braid will break, then the retarder will jump. Although their viewfinder is still good, contrasting. In general, the apparatus is much better than the focal-plane mechanical zeniths.
    For me, FED-2 is better. He survived all my fifth FEDs. And I have never seen such a soft descent anywhere in our technique. Only the viewfinder is not as comfortable and contrasting. The rest is a tank, which, in the event of a breakdown, is repaired with a set of two screwdrivers.
    A question to the author. And why did the aperture 2,8 not please you? Quite enough for most filming after all. More is better, I agree, but more expensive.
    And about the choice of optics for the camera ... In addition to Industars, there are Jupiters - 3, - 8, - 9, - 11, - 12, Orion-15, FED-19, - 35, - 36 and some other rare 20mm wide ... With optics, there is just where to roam.

    • Boris

      2.8 is still a bit dark for filming in low light. Even the massive Helios 44-M had f / 2.0.

      I hardly managed to find the lenses you listed on sale in my city (except for a couple of Jupiter models), unlike Industars.

      • alexey_laa

        Tessar can't get high aperture. But I read that an aspherical Tessar was developed, from which they received an aperture ratio of 1: 1,5.

      • serjkar

        In principle, I agree about the aperture. In general, not enough, but I personally have enough.
        Jupiters are a bit rarer, but I had a small park of 8, 11, and 12 to the first sharp-sighted one. It is necessary to search in the regions.

  • Anonymous 2.0

    Film photography got on joyful) this topic needs to be developed) Now, many fans are addicted)

  • Basil

    It is disrespectful that somehow the Feday was called.

    • Vadyukhin

      So everyone called him that, lovingly)) Not to call Felix (if the abbreviation “FED” is decrypted))

    • Iskander

      Yeah, Felix is ​​his name. Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky.

  • Wade

    Today, to review the film camera produced in the 70s of the last century, and seriously discuss its advantages and disadvantages, nothing more than an attack of nostalgia)))

    • Boris

      On the contrary, there is a new boom in amateur film photography! From the mezzanine, grandmother and grandfather's Soviet cameras fall into the hands of a new generation. For this, the review was written - to show the experience of using the camera and its capabilities and limitations.

      • Wade

        Well, about the boom, it is said loudly. I have a couple of girls I know, for a penny they bought something from Nikon Fx or Fxx, they indulge little by little, but I feel they will soon abandon them)))
        They definitely cannot be parted at the FED, the new Zenit-ET suggested, they refused.
        So I insist, the main motive is nostalgia)))

        • Rodion

          Personally, the FED-5 seemed to me much more convenient than the Zenith. In general, I really like the idea of ​​a rangefinder camera. They are convenient to shoot, convenient to focus, faster. At least in comparison with the “blind” zenith with its poor OVI.

    • Alexander

      And what's wrong with a camera released in the 70s of the last century ...? Or do you think that if Nikon wrote to you about improved exposure and focusing algorithms and raised the price for nothing I really want, then such a camera will make a masterpiece ...? The only useful parameter in determining exposure is center-weighted and spot metering ... And I don't think that an ordinary selenium element will show the wrong result ... I had both Viliya auto and FED 5V and had an exposure meter from Sverdlovsk ... And I don't remember one of the thousands the film shots taken on them are neither overexposed nor underexposed ... And now I have Nikon D7000 and D7100, and if you do not follow and correct the exposure all the way, you will not get good exposure photos ... And at FED-3, this is how I generally learned to put an expo-pair and everything was always right ... And now they have crowded the processors, intelligent metering systems and there is not much sense from this, you still need to control each frame yourself ... Previously, everything was shot with the usual Soviet flash head-on and everything was fine ... Now with this modern flash one hemorrhoid ... Recently I have been shooting without a flash at all - the main thing is that there is a uniform arrangement of lamps in the room on the ceiling and then there is no no flash needed ... Conducted a series of experiments on shooting with an external flash ... No attachments and diffusers give anything ... All this is a scam for sales ... Either the flash head is a little back, or the flash stands separately from the camera and also the head is in the opposite direction upwards from people ... In all other cases, it turns out crap and then in Photoshop you have to steam with correcting shadows ... But in general, I used to hang a 200W lamp on a chandelier, a FED-3 camera, instead of a tripod stools and still admire those photos ... And now, when you put two in the room umbrella, from both sides, that's when really normally worked out pictures are obtained ... The rest, whether on the forehead or on the forehead, you still have to fiddle with Photoshop ...

      • Iskander

        Likewise. I don’t use a flash, but I use an ICE lamp 20 Watt (200 in equivalent) in a white conical diffuser with a diameter of half a meter - and no flashes are needed! If it is not enough, you can screw in an 80-ku (800 watts in equivalent).

        • SashOK

          You could not take a picture. and show how this design looks like? What conical diffuser? I also want to bungle something so portable.

  • Andrey Vyunenko

    There is such an aggregate. Bought for the occasion, for the collection. Brand new, in sealed plastic bag. Now I think whether to print or not. 😁

  • Serhiy Todoriuk

    Great review! I started with the film and I have only fond memories of it :) If anyone is interested, there are a few of my pictures taken with the same bunch .. http://oldcam.net/film-cameras/40-fed-5.html

  • Andrei

    Full frame from which you can unscrew the lens and use it on a mirrorless camera. And not the worst lens at the price of “3 rubles per bucket”.

  • Dmitriy

    If now you want to shoot with a film rangefinder, the best option is Zorky-6. Bright viewfinder, long base rangefinder (very accurate). Well, and an ultra-compact case - with a tube industar 50, you could put it in a pants pocket (not tight, of course).

    • Cruel Kronos

      and yet now from such free pants only some kind of rapper. My classic jeans except that narrow-film spy cues will fit. In the jacket pocket, yes, it’ll go well. But in general it’s convenient to carry them in their native leather case, you don’t have to worry, a hard case and a metal case (yes the penny price of the device)

  • koba

    Thank you for the memories! He himself started with FED-5c, and the correct thing is that because of his complete mechanics, he also had to learn everything about the exposition, as well as manual black and white printing. Switching to any other camera from it was easy. On the figure you can get just great pictures of the winter landscape, but it is almost impossible to get that warm and some kind of romantic effect, which we see on one example in this review. Technically correct and impeccable shots are also often obtained as some kind of repulsive.

  • Oleksandr

    At one time, “Fedya” motivated me to study photography! Heh! At one time, blacksmithing motivated the emergence of the metallurgical industry! Until now, with the proper dexterity, with the hammer and anvil, you can get excellent (frames) products! Axes for example! But why, when there is casting, molding, rolling, welding, cold and hot stamping, allowing mass production of products of much higher quality than forged single pieces! For connoisseurs of crafts: try to forge Chicago beans in a forge, for example. Or a plain bearing.
    It smacks of fetishism and photo-docuring. My opinion.

    • Alexander

      Why immediately with photo docs? There is such, I do not deny. But all of my acquaintances, the filmmakers (and there are many of them) are taped because they like it. I like the whole process, from buying a coil to receiving scans. Yes, and I myself shoot mainly on film, although there are a couple of great digital cameras. I just like everything, completely different sensations. Of course, the technical quality of the film is long ahead, 15 years is already a minimum, but the film is not about that.

      • Roman

        Are they manifesting themselves and printing too? Without this, it’s not safe.

        • Alexander

          Someone himself, someone gives to the forehead. Even without developing and printing is normal. And do not say that if the films are digitized, then there is no difference with the digital anymore. She is also huge. Today I got scans from the e100vs slide, so to get such a color on a digit, you need to dance like that with a tambourine in the editor, but I'm not ready for it, it's easier to charge the desired film and get the desired result without any dancing.

    • Iskander

      Damascus steel, for example. You can’t make it either by casting, or by stamping, or by welding. Only forging, manually or using a hydraulic hammer, but still pens, pens. Aivazovsky also can’t be written automatically. There will always be things that automation will never cope with.

      • Roman

        The process of obtaining Damascus steel is not automated for one single reason - there is no need. Performance is worse than modern alloys, and aesthetics are not worth it. Plus it corrodes very quickly. It would be necessary - they would come up with technology, do not worry.
        Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Film aesthetics as a thing in itself is possible, but nevertheless it is only a technique and it cannot be an end in itself. I can’t be ecstatic at the sight of film photography just because it is film photography. Some kind of artistic value is also supposed - plot, compositional and so on. Otherwise, it’s really photojacking. Like with steel. Admire and store, and cut the bread with an ordinary stainless steel knife, and kill people with something more high-tech.

        • Pavel Gorbunov

          Well said.
          As a professional motorist, I can add that after driving a Mercedes on the Volga, they don't cry.

          • Alexander

            Forgot to mention that other owners of Mercedes and other Bentley sometimes have several Volga, Victory and other older cars in the garage.

            • Alexey

              I have such a classmate. Vlasnik of a couple "Mustangs" and "Mercedes". In new restored and tuned 21-sha “Volga. Vlasne, with the restoration and tuning of the old car ("Win" for yourself), win, vasne and set up your business. For me, why should I go to the “Mustang” or “Merci” - I say this: “The process of bringing quiet old people to the working camp is like this:“ It befits me. Come up with tuning. In fact, the development from scratch of deyaky constructions. Ale їzditi on tsikh graves ?! Well yogo fuck! It's not handy and not safe. And the Volga? won dosi in garages, more ponaphano in ney style, but for an adequate price you do not want to cupuvati. From, I pay off, rent out, and I pay for it. "
              Taksho, mothers in the garage - nifiga does not mean koristuvat.


    Try Jupiter-8, lighter, more interesting and not rare at all ...

  • Alexander

    I have a FED-5S. The weak point of the camera is the rubber shutters. The rubber dries and crumbles from time to time. I myself had cracks, they said: you need to change the shutter. But in my city there is no such specialist who would undertake a replacement, but I myself will not climb. I sealed it with a “Moment” from a syringe, sprinkled it with graphite powder. Everything, the shutter works fine, there are no highlights! And I was worried about adjusting the rangefinder. I adjusted it three times until I got a normal hit in the distance. Good camera, exposure is very pleasing. He would still have interchangeable optics at a penny price, like the I-61 l / d ... Oh, I was dreaming!

    • Ytsuken Fyva

      This, let me, why are his excerpts so pleasing?

      • Alexander

        Wide range, from 1 second to the 1/500th. And not like the Zeniths 1 / 30-1 / 500. I missed my eyes.

  • Mfіnd

    Zagalna bіda СРСРівської техніки))) Low yakіst. It’s almost impossible to bring the condition to the condition.

    • Cruel Kronos

      It's good to talk about low quality in 2019. And to the condition now I have to bring the same age Nikonov

  • Ytsuken Fyva

    Under the current conditions, the thing is good only for “see how I can”). Which, however, is important

  • SashOK

    Thank you for the review and great pictures! I never thought that FED would be on Radozhiv when the thread would appear. I, too, when I returned to the film 10 years ago, I started with FED (though the 3rd). I shot a lot of memorable shots on it, and now it's nice to look. And somewhere in the 14th year at a flea market for 80 UAH. already bought the 5th FED. But here's the trouble - the shutter curtain fell down and we have white holes in almost all the photos. I ate somehow to paint over - but it did not help much, in general I abandoned it. Then Nikon appeared, and somehow now it's too lazy to shoot on FED. Especially annoying is the construction of the shutter. While you build it, you can lose an interesting frame. And take it up and leave (if you didn't find anything to remove that day) - the load for the mechanisms (the springs are stretched, etc.) It's easier on Nikon; click! The machine rewound and that's it. But I still love FED! How can I load a film into it, like in the good old days;)

    • SashOK

      Here's another…

    • Michael

      Kodak ... Ehhh ...

  • Cruel Kronos

    Thanks for the review. It will be good if high-quality reviews of such equipment also appear on the joyful. Of course, the audience of old cameras is noticeably narrower than that of old lenses, but this topic is also interesting and has its own response.
    I shot two films myself on FED-3. The second time was a "project" one - a weekly photo of a child. I was quite pleased with both the result and the technical performance. Although a shutter speed of 1/15 is required in home lighting conditions, do you know the risk

  • Someone

    Of the Soviet rangefinders with interchangeable lenses, I have an almost complete line of FEDs (except 4 and 6), Zorki (except 2) and Kiev (except 5), plus Drug and Leningrad.
    And among the FEDs, I see the first and third ones as the most convenient. The fifth relative to the third (with a trigger) received only a machine gun. frame counter and hot shoe (plus exposure meter if available). At the same time, the workmanship is much worse PLUS a problem with ergonomics was added - the frame counter, although it became automatic, was swollen in width and rested against the shutter button - it is simply UNCONVENIENT to press. And the pressure itself became tighter (it is not clear why). Here in the article a person talks about sometimes successful shooting at 1/30 - I successfully shot at 3/1 on the FED-8. I have a softer button from the Soviet ones only on the Friend.
    And the most enjoyable to shoot of all of them - Kiev 50-60s.

    PS My FED-5v is obviously the end of production (apparently 1994, although everywhere it is indicated that they were not made later than 1991) and a tight button may well be the result of a drop in production quality. But everything else does not depend on it.

    • B. R. P.

      It's not surprising about 1/8, it's not a DSLR. (...) After 91, they were not made, but collected “from what was” in the barrel.

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