An overview of the fully manual Fed 4 rangefinder camera.
This is a Fed 4, fully manual range finder camera and is supposedly a very cheap Russian copy of a Leica with an industar 61 lens. I bought mine from eBay and it produces remarkable photographs for its price. It is a very heavy camera, so if you want something light to take places, this isn’t a great camera as its body is mostly made of metal, which makes it heavy. However this makes it a very durable camera and I’ve bashed it about a fair bit so if you want a very tough camera then this is great. This camera takes 35mm film, which is widely available. I have found it easy to load as it simply open from the bottom with two metal knobs.
It has an aperture of f/2.8-f/16 and focus range of 1-20m and infinity, I have found this to be accurate and good enough for me. On mine at least the focus ring is fairly stiff and so impossible to focus with cold hands and the aperture ring is fairly loose so it’s easy to accidentally change the aperture if you aren’t careful. It has a manual frame counter, making it a little annoying if you forget to set this up before you start shooting. The camera has a light meter which is easy to read and interpret, however it isn’t that sensitive so you have to be in a fairly well lit environment to get much use out of it, I mostly end up just guessing and hoping for the best (it’s sometimes better that way). Other than these main features it has a regular hot shoe, self timer and place to plug in a clicker thing (sorry, not very technical). It’s just a remarkably cheap, solid camera, that is easy enough to use but only useful if you can be bothered to do the whole manual thing, I usually bring an automatic camera too to take more instant shots.
I have only used this camera a few times but have loved it those few times I’ve used it. It’s the perfect camera for taking pictures in the daytime or with a lot of light, it doesn’t perform so great when there’s not much light but can still produce some great effects in the dark. I love the shots though, as there’s good colour, great contrast and it does wonders with yellowy light, bringing out reds and oranges in the photographs. I love it.