was the first Leica II(D) copy made in the Soviet Union. Its production
started in 1934 and lasted till 1955 with an interruption in 1941-1946
during WWII. At least seven different variations of the FED are known.
This FED is a type 1c by Princelle
or type 3 by McKeown (5 digit serial number). It is also known as FED-NKVD
(YCCP). Production years 1937-1939.
FED-NKVD is the most historically
significant camera made in the USSR. A large and painful piece of history
is engraved on its top plate.
Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky, one of the Lenin's henchmen's, founder
of the OGPU-NKVD-KGB. Died in 1926 at age 49.
NKVD, for Narodny Komissariat
Vnutrennih Del (Interior Ministry) - the organization responsible
for millions of innocent lives. In the years of Stalin's Great Terror
(mid to late 30's), millions were arrested, tortured, executed or sent
to remote labor camps with very little chance of survival. Women, children,
old and young - made no difference to the NKVD officers. The fear in the
society was so great that arrest often brought a relief. Later became
known as MGB and KGB, current nam
e - FSB (Russia).
YCCP (Cyrillic for UkSSR, Ukrainian
Soviet Socialist Republic, where the FED factory
is actually located) was a part of the Soviet Empire, but yet for some
unknown reasons looked like a separate entry on this FED engraving. This
"inconsistency" was fixed in 1939 when the engraving changed to NKVD-CCCP
Two things survived - the FED factory in Kharkov
(now spelled Kharkiv, Ukraine) and the Soviet Leica copies it made - the
Some technical specs of the camera:
- Shutter speeds - Z, 1/20, 1/30,
1/40, 1/60, 1/100, 1/200, 1/500.
- The lens is a collapsible FED,
F=5 cm, 1:3.5, 39 mm LTM, coated. This lens is a copy of Leitz 50/3.5
Elmar. All prewar lenses were uncoated and had the old aperture numbers
- 3.5, 4.5, 6.3, 9, 12.5, 18.
- As a true Leica copy, it accepts
the Leica threadmount lenses. The Soviet standards were somewhat different
from the German's, so some Leitz lenses may not RF couple with the FED.
They will all fit, though.
Please feel free to ask questions.
This FED comes complete with a
take-up spool and a lenscap.