FED-2 type 1a, Preseries, Square RF Window

The FED-2 is the first and quite successful attempt by Soviet camera makers to improve upon the original Leica design, which was copied in the FED 1 for two decades. The camera has the following features - a removable back cover, a new, wide base, rangefinder coupled with a viewfinder, a dioptric adjustment of the VF and strap lugs. As any Soviet Leica copy this FED-2 is compatible with the 39 mm Leica TM lenses.

The body and the back cover were cast, which made the camera more rigid than the original FED. The shutter and the film transport mechanism were also redesigned and work very smoothly. There were many modifications made to the FED-2 during its production from the mid 1950's to 1970.

This FED-2 is the first production model (ca. 1955), type 'a' by Princelle. The camera has a "Zavod im Dzerzhinskogo" engraving on the top plate and a collapsible FED lens. This particular FED-2 is a version "a" preseries, it has a rectangular RF window (changed to a round one for production) and a transport disconnect lever under the release button (changed to a collar-type part which stayed with the FED-2s until their production ended). According to J-L. Princelle, only a few hundred of these FED-2 cameras were made.

  • Shutter speeds: B, 1/25 - 1/500.
  • Lens: C ollapsible FED, f=50 mm, 1:3.5, coated, Leitz Elmar copy.

The FED-2 is great classic Leica mount rangefinder. It is more convenient to use than the original Leica copy (combined RF/VF, removable back). It is surely better than the newer FEDs (models 3 to 5) - more reliable shutter, wider base rangefinder, better appearance. You can use any Leica threadmount lens with it, and use its sharp FED lens with any screwmount Leica.

Also, this FED-2 variation is very uncommon and will make a great addition to your Russian camera collection.

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