FED 5. Thoughts from the reader Radozhiva

Overview of the camera specifically for Radozhiva prepared Boris Timofeenko.



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 a smaller aperture, a smaller range of shutter speeds), but still he has some charm.

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

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



On my copy is the lens "Industar-61L / D". This 55mm fix has the ability to control aperture from f / 2.8 to f / 16. I like the deadly sharpness of this lens in the center with minimal distortion on the sides, even on an open aperture. This sharpness looks very artistic in combination with the features of the film (color, grain), so you can get amazing pictures. Lens vignetting is weak and will not be noticeable on digital cameras with a “cropped” sensor. The aperture blades have a circular shape at f / 2.8 and f / 4, turning into a regular hexagon on the remaining 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 backlight quite well, while maintaining good contrast, and at the same time often presents very beautiful “bunnies” of light. In my experience, this lens is well suited for different types of shooting, 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 upset with a tight focus ring (sometimes the entire lens scrolls when scrolling).



The ergonomics of the camera are peculiar. With a weight of about a kilogram, the “Fedya” is made very high quality, with an almost complete absence of plastic parts. In the hands lies confidently and conveniently, with easy access to controls. On the neck in a case you can’t swear the device for a long time: it outweighs it. Workmanship at height: the minimum number of plastic parts, a reliable shutter. Due to the lack of a hand mirror, you can take frames at shutter speeds of 1/30 and even 1/15 (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 is imperfect, but with proper dexterity, 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 with a flash, shooting, for example, nightly events 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: Alexander

Comments: 44, 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 the FED. Only the older one - FED-3. The focus on the viewfinder never managed to induce, but was able to develop an eye. Due to the sharpness, I use the lens to this day for macro photography.

  • serjkar

    Fifths are very bulky devices. And their shutters for some reason are not long lasting: either the curtain will fall off, then the braid will break, then the moderator will jump. Although the viewfinder is still good, contrasting. In general, the device is much better than curtain-slotted mechanical zeniths.
    FED-2 is better for me. He survived all my fifth FEDs. And I have never seen such a soft descent anywhere else in our technology. Only the viewfinder is not so comfortable and contrasting. And the rest - the tank, which in case of breakdown is repaired by a set of two screwdrivers.
    Question to the author. And than you did not please the aperture 2,8? Quite enough for most shoots, 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 here - 3, - 8, - 9, - 11, - 12, Orion-15, FED-19, - 35, - 36 and some other rare shirik at 20mm ... With optics, there is just where to go for a walk.

    • 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, now a new boom of amateur film photography! From the mezzanines of grandparents, Soviet cameras fall into the hands of a new generation. For this, a review has been 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, FED-5 seemed to me much more convenient than 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 wretched JVI.

    • Alexander

      And what is the problem with the camera from the 70s of the last century ...? Or do you think that if Nikon wrote to you about improved exposure and focusing algorithms and lifted the price for the most I do not want, then such a camera will make a masterpiece ...? The only useful parameter in determining the exposure is the center-weighted and spot metering ... And I don’t think that the usual selenium element will not show the correct result ... I had both Viliya auto and FED 5V and a Sverdlovsk exposure meter ... And I don’t remember any of the thousands The captured film frames are neither overexposed nor overexposed ... And now I have Nikon D7000 and D7100, and if you don’t follow and adjust the exposure all the time, you won’t get good exposure photos ... And on FED-3 I learned how to do it eye expop Ru and everything was always right ... And now we have a lot of processors, intelligent metering systems, and there’s not much sense from it, you still need to control each frame yourself ... Previously, everyone was shot with the usual Soviet flash in the forehead and everything was fine ... Now with this modern flash there is one crap ... Recently, I’ve been shooting without a flash at all - the main thing is that there would be a uniform arrangement of lights in the room on the ceiling so that no flash is needed ... I conducted a series of experiments on shooting with an external flash ... ki and diffusers do not give anything ... All this is a scam for sales ... Either the flash head is a little back, or the flash is separate from the camera and also the head is in the opposite direction up from people ... In all other cases, it’s crap and then you have to steam in Photoshop of shadows ... In general, I used to hang a 200W lamp on a chandelier, a FED-3 camera, instead of a tripod stool and still admire those photos ... And now, when you put two umbrellas in the room, on both sides, then I get really well-designed pictures tsya ... The rest, that on the forehead, that on the forehead, still have to mess around in Photoshop ...

      • Iskander

        Similarly. I don’t use flash, but I use an LED lamp of 20 watts (200 equivalent) in a white conical diffuser with a diameter of half a meter - and no flash! If it’s not enough, you can also screw 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. 😁

  • Serhii 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

    Fullframe, from which you can unscrew the lens and use it on a mirrorless mirror. And far from the worst lens at the price of “3 rubles per bucket”.

  • Dmitriy

    If you want to shoot with a film range finder now, the best option is Zorkiy-6. Bright viewfinder, long-range range finder (very accurate). Well, the ultra-compact body - with a tube industrial 50 could be put in the pants pocket (not tight-fitting, 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 people who drive a Mercedes along the Volga 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 couple “Mustang” and “Mercedes”. In ny є 21-sha “Volga. Vlasne, with restoration of the tuning of an old car (“Win” for yourself), wine, power and tuning. In my opinion, why should I go to the Mustang, or Mersi, I would say this: “I like the process of the quiet old colimag at the workstation. I came up with tuning. In fact, scrubbing from scratch of deaky constructions. Ale izhditi at these tombs?! Well yogo fuck! Tse is insecure and not without reason. And the Volga? there’s won in the garage, it’s more fun in the cold, but for an adequate price, you don’t want to. From, I pay back, I’m renting, and I’ll pay for the rental. ”
              Taksho, mothers in the garage - nіfіga don’t meanє brow.


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

  • Alexander

    I have a FED-5C. The weak point of the camera is rubber blinds. Rubber dries and rolls over time. We 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. Tape “Moment” from a syringe, sprinkled with graphite powder. Everything, the shutter works fine, there are no highlights! And tormented with the adjustment of the rangefinder. He adjusted three times, until he achieved a normal hit in the distance. Good camera, very pleased with the shutter speed. He would have replaceable optics at a penny price, like the I-61 l / d ... Oh, 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

    In current conditions, the thing is suitable except for “look how I can”). Which, however, is important

  • SashOK

    Thank you for the review and cool pictures! I really didn’t think that on the Radozhiv FED when the thread appears. I, too, when I returned to the film about 10 years ago, I started with the FED (though the 3rd). I shot a lot of memorable shots at him, and now it's nice to look. And somewhere in the 14th year at a flea market for 80 UAH. I already bought the 5th FED. But here's the trouble - the shutter curtain fell and in almost all the photos we have white holes. I ate something like paint over - but it didn’t really help, in general I abandoned it. Then Nikon appeared, and now it’s too lazy to shoot on FEDU. Especially annoying the construction of the shutter. While you erect, you can lose an interesting shot. And to insert and leave (if you did not find anything to remove that day) - the load for the mechanisms (the springs are stretched, etc.) Nikon is easier; click! Automatic rewound and all. But I still love the FED! How to charge a film into it, as 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.
    He shot two films on FED-3. The second time was “project” - a weekly photo of the child. I was quite pleased with the result and the technical performance. Although exposure to home lighting requires 1/15, you know the risk

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