Ken Smith  fine art photography  



   Produced: 1963-1980 by FED, Kharkov, Ukraine (former
  Film:  35mm
  Negative Size: 24 X 36mm
   Lens: Industar-61L/D 52mm
   Aperture: f2.8 - f16
  Focal Range: 1 meter to infinity
  Shutter: Double cloth curtain, Speeds: B, 1sec - 1/500sec
  Viewfinder: Coupled rangefinder

The Fed-3b was my first Russian rangefinder camera. The lure to find one came after a passing comment from Matt Denton in one evening's email. For both of us it was the start of growing collection of rangefinder cameras from the former Soviet Union. My find was a lucky version produced in 1980 to commemorate the Olympic Games in Moscow. It's not too rare, but stands apart from the throng of others with it's Olympic logo. The -3b, I first thought, was the most beautiful of the available Fed cameras with it's smooth top. I thought the Fed-2s to look sort of unstreamlined in comparison. Little did I know I would soon change my opinion and lust after the Fed-2. Actually, the -3b is heavy to the feel, and boxy. It is convenient with it's film wind lever instead of a knob like on the -2, but who needs to shoot that fast? Well, the camera is likeable, tho it could sure use camera strap lugs. I have to carry it around in the bottom half of the strapped camera case, and that just adds to the bulky feeling. The Fed-3b is made to look somewhat like the Leica M3, though it has the usual quality control problems of Russian Leica copies. It takes a bit of regular maintenance to keep these cameras running smoothly, but when they are they make decent images with it's sharp lense. Not bad considering they can be found on eBay for about $20 plus shipping from the Ukraine!

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