Saturday, January 19, 2013

FED 5 Test Roll

Kodak Gold 200 ISO,  f2.8, 1/15 Sec.

 Kodak Gold 200 ISO, f4, 1/60 Sec.

Kodak Gold 200 ISO, f4, 1/125 Sec. (Crop)

I'm glad to say, my latest little investment works well - very well. I'm back in  the Russian Rangefinder cult for $10.00 plus $20.00 shipping, it was. You can see the whole roll of "keepers" here. The non-keepers were no fault of the camera - just my poor experimentation. The only flaw is that the rangefinder adjustment is off by a noticeable amount, but I wanted to verify this with actual photos to determine how badly this affects things. Generally, it doesn't seem to affect things too much  but you can really see it in the following, where I deliberately put it to the test:

Rangefinder Test - f2.8, 1/125 Sec.

Here the rangefinder was telling me that my focus was set near the second shrub back, but as you can see, good focus doesn't come into play until behind the third one. The adjustment is simple - there is one screw behind the camera nameplate, which slides off.

I really love using these cameras, along with the look of the results - great photos are easily achieved. Not the best cameras in the world, they have their quirks, and I would actually rank the overall viewfinder on the FED 5B as "poor"  - it is very dim, and has a very low eye-point - I actually do have to remove my glasses to use it, and it's a good thing the diopotre adjusts all the way out to the +4.5 that I need. I don't recall the Zorki-4 being quite so bad - I was able to keep my glasses on. Otherwise, the quality of the FED and Zorki cameras and Industar / Jupiter lenses goes far beyond their prices - if you're looking for a good film camera with rangefinder focussing,  a few of these should be near the top of your list.

3 comments:

  1. Were did you get your russian camera?

    Mike

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  2. Hi Mike - it was from Ebay seller "artemstore" located in Ukraine.

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  3. UPDATE - I was able to make the rangefinder adjustment - very easy to do. The adjusting screw is under the nameplate on the front (note- not the entire bezel that holds the nemaplate, just the thin plate itself). This is easily removed by pushing it to the left against a tension spring. Once removed, you'll see two screws that hold the bezel in place, and a hole just to the right of these screws - the slot-headed adjustment screw is in this hole. Using a tape measure, get an exact measurement to an object 80 inches (2 metres) away and focus the rangefinder on that object. If it lines up at greater than two metres on the lens barrel, then you need to rotate the adjusting screw clockwise until correct rangefinder registration is seen. If it shows less than 2 metres, turn screw anti-clockwise. Re-check on a far away object for registration close to infinity, and also on one at a measured 40 inches (1 metre). I found that once you adjust for one distance, all others are good.

    Now I'm looking forward to shooting another roll (which will be Fuji 800 ISO)

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