This Soviet Era Fed 2 camera arrived as part of a Camera Rescue mystery box of cameras purchased in September 2020. I already own a Fed 3, that is still in the original box, but sadly the Fed 3 doesn't work.
I was excited to discover the Fed 2 in the mystery box looked like it was in working condition, and the 52mm f/2.8 lens it came with was clear of any fungus or scratches.
The Fed 2 is a 35mm rangefinder camera, and from the information on Fed 2 cameras I have been able to glean from internet searches, this model is a Fed 2e, the giveaway being the film advance lever and lack of strap lugs (which is quite annoying when out and about). The Fed 2 cameras were produced between 1955 and 1970, this particular model is from 1969-70.
Keen to run a test roll through, I loaded it up with a roll of Ilford HP5+ and took it out for a few walks around the local area. Not having any form of light meter, all of the shots I took used the Sunny-16 rule, and I had my fingers crossed the shutter was still close to accurate. The rangefinder seemed accurate, so I put trust in it that my shots would be in focus.
One thing to note with these cameras is that you should never alter the shutter speed until you have wound on from your last shot. Not doing so risks damaging the internal mechanism.
Due to a lot of work commitments in November and December, I hadn't been able to find time to develop the roll of film at home, and really wanting to see the results I ended up dropping the film into Hillvale to develop and scan for me.
As with any initial camera test, you just don't really know how well the shots are going to come out. You can test the camera, and check the light seals, but until you get that first roll back, you just have to hope it will be as good as you thought it might.
Unsurprisingly, the shots from this camera turned out great!!
Sample photographs from the Fed 2
About Madeline Bowser
I've been photographing with film for what seems like forever ... well since the late 90's. I shoot both film and digital, but film is where my heart is and I get the most ongoing enjoyment from and what I enjoy sharing and teaching to others. I also travel the world hunting down old cameras and unique locations to photograph in, and exhibit and sell my travel photographs.
When out shooting film, I often get asked the questions 'can you still buy film?', 'I thought film stopped being made 10 years ago' and 'why would you want to shoot film when you can shoot digital'.
My answers are, 'yes', 'no, it didn't', and 'I also shoot digital, both have their place in my mind'.
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All images remain the property of Madeline Bowser and may not be used without permission.