The Fed 2 Rangefinder camera (manufactured in six variations) is recognized as one of the most excellent rangefinders that’s easy on the pocket.
Coming from the (Ukraine-based) Fed factory that’s known for its well-crafted cameras, The Fed 2 is a series of rangefinder cameras with six variations – Fed 2a, Fed 2b, Fed 2c, Fed 2d, Fed 2L, and Fed 2e. The differences between these models are minimal – only a few adjustments, mostly design-related. Later models are improved with a self-timer, and a dioptic adjuster (which allows the photographer to adjust the viewfinder’s magnification according to their vision). Like the other Feds in the family, it boasts the much-revered Industar lens, famous for producing sharpness, contrast and high resolution.
Looks-wise, you can tell that the Fed RFs are patterned after the Leica. Quality-wise, the Fed RF can match the German Leica, too. A successful span of over 70 years in the camera business proves this, selling over 700,000 units of the Fed 1 during its heyday!
So what makes the Fed 2 different from its ancestor? The Fed 2 is completely redesigned, in efforts to divert from the origins of the Fed – as a Leica II clone. The redesign provided more convenience – no more switching between two windows to focus and frame, thanks to the longer RF base of 67mm and a coupled viewfinder/rangefinder window. Additionally, loading up a film has been made simpler, with its detachable back – a feature similar to the Contax Kiev camera.
For anyone who’s ever dreamed of owning a Leica, consider the more-reasonably priced, but equally-sharp Fed 2. An avid rangefinder collector (by the name of Stephen Rothery) has this to say – “(The Soviet Fed 2) has taken everything that was good about German pre-war cameras and created an unknown timeless classic which is in a league of its own."
Check out the Fed 2 here