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Fed 1d NKVD favori envoyer Print
Photos by MT text by MT. From the collection of MT
France Version française

Chronology of the Fed brand  New window

History of the brand Fed New window

Manufactured in ex-URSS from 1941 until 1941.
Index of rarity in France : Rare (among non-specialized garage sales)
Sold listing on New window
Inventory number: 10828

See the complete technical specifications New window
Fed 1d NKVD

Combinat 152116 .
NKVD means " the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs "

Some generalities :

The history of FED is told in many books and mentioned elsewhere on the site. I will not repeat it in these few lines. The Fed 1 is a copy of the Leica II made ​​in Ukraine .
Before the war, mounts lenses were not strictly compatible with the Leica .
Several kinds of engraving have successively been made , all in cyrrilic writing .

Some Features:
The first writings indicated YCCP because Ukraine was not yet part of the USSR .
Subsequently , writings indicated CCCP . (Like on my model dated 1941).
The first stated: " Labour commune ', then' Kombinat ' from 1939 and ' Factory ' after war (1946).
From 1953 only the ' FED ' appears as a rounded engraving.
The reference to the founder ' FE Dzershinsky ' will be present on all models except the last (from 1953).

My model is one of the very last made ​​in Karkov before the manufacturing is moved to BERSK USSR where very few specimens will be produced during the war (highly sought models produced from 1942 to 1945 ) .
The latest models from pre war mass production manufactured by 'young' in Karkov will be at that time (about 175,000 cameras).
Until 1948 production will be very slow , showing a variable quality and partly done in Siberia.
From 1949 the production will resume in a systematic way and continuous .we may recognize these models by rounded and simplified engraving on the top of the hood . The speed scale become 'standard' (1/25 to 1/ 500). The number of cameras made will be about 500,000 .
Some rare specimens (2000) provided with speeds up to 1/1000 th will be produced from 1938 to 1941 (FED S (written 'C') .

The FED 1 is particularly small and well made ​​.
Its retractable lens allows to put it very easily in a pocket. It is always supplied with a good leather case.
No FED 1 had a belt clip , so you need to use the leather case to carry it.
Most of the FED1 have a speed selector from Z and 1/20 to 1/500  then 1/25  to 1/500 as seen above.
None, to my knowledge, was provided with slow speeds, except a very rare series 'B' (40 specimens).
The Fed 1 have 2 viewports . The rangefinder is not coupled , You need to use the left viewfinder to adjust the focus and the right one to frame .
The loading takes place through the bottom... you must have small fingers and a good practice to load the film after cutting 10 centimeters of the start.
With the exception of its cousin Zorki 1 and 2, no Soviet camera will bring such a pleasure to use in such a small format. The following will be more convenient with more pleasant viewfinders and range finders and more modern loading systems (removable back), but with an important concession on the volume.

Like most Russian rangefinder cameras of the time, it must be kept in mind  that you should never change shutter speed before winding the film, with the risk of damaging the camera.

Editor's note: The work of JL Princelle devoted to Russian and Soviet cameras , published by the Editions "Le Rêve Edition" is the key element to know more (the maximum) on these cameras.