ON the Anniversary of D Day.... a Russian Camera

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Niner
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ON the Anniversary of D Day.... a Russian Camera

Postby Niner » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:05 pm

I got this Russian FED 5B recently. It was very popular in Russia as the preceding 4 models would suggest. The one I have must have been made in 1980 because it has the emblem of the Summer Olympics which were held in Russia in that year. It's clunky and funky and weighs in at a little over a pound and a half.

It's a total mechanical rangefinder. No light meter. Shutter speeds 8 marks plus a couple unmarked half steps from B to 1/500. Aperture 2.8 to 16. Cloth shutter screens. Odd double knobs on base to remove the base and back to put in film. Lens is a screw mount and the lens that came with the camera is a standard 55mm that is supposed to be pretty good for a Russian lens. The shutter speeds can only be set after the camera's shutter is cocked. If you attempt to change shutter times without cocking the shutter you may likely...so it is written...break the camera. You also have to lift the speed knob and turn it only in one direction. The faster time settings cause the spring in the knob to pull the knob down and lock but on the longer time openings the knob doesn't lock down. The small square patch in the view finder that focuses the image by matching the outline is small and difficult to see in less than bright light. And when you are done with the roll, instead of the nearly universal button release in the base, there is a ring around the shutter button that has to be pushed down for the rewind key to do it's thing.

So... it being D Day.. I went out to the Battleship Memorial park. And... the picture taking went smoothly enough but my later developing hit a few glitches. The film reel wouldn't load the film and kept jamming up. I took it out of the bag and checked for trash in the ring grooves. I reloaded, trimmed the end of the film edges, then after several failures used a different metal reel. All of this in a small bag dark room and my hands coming in and out the bag sleeves and presenting possible light leaks. The results included some film binding on itself and not developing in spots, multiple reloading glitches and also some light leaks from the various reel maneuvering. In the end many of the negatives that seemed more or less ok had a distinct splash of light in the bottom right center. This later may be a pinhole leak in the cloth shutter curtains....or not. The way I fumbled the developing its no telling exactly what to blame. Really disappointed in efforts today..... but that's the way the cookie crumbles, as they say. In WWII didn't they say something like SNAFU that would pretty much explain my film developing efforts?

Hard to believe that the Russians, who could send men into space and make serious weapons of mass destruction couldn't produce a more modern camera in 1980. On the other hand.....I read where FED was a work commune that produced it's cameras out of a former orphanage. Maybe they should have left the orphans alone.
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Niner
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Re: ON the Anniversary of D Day.... a Russian Camera

Postby Niner » Wed Jun 06, 2018 5:20 pm

Here are some better images with mm Sony HX20V..... a camera that somehow cured itself of some kind of error message that had been affecting it for a while. Good zoom on it even for a pocket camera.
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