A hefty Russian rangefinder with a beautiful Industar 61 lens that’s willing to put out and give you beautiful, sharp, vibrant photos on the first date – as long as you get to know him first!
You know how you order something online and all you do is check the tracking number every hour for a week, counting down to when it arrives and basically planning your entire weekend around receiving it? Well … maybe that’s a little much, but that’s what happened with my Fed 3.
After carefully examining this Russian beauty, I affectionately named him Sasha (I mean, what’s hotter than a Russian guy named Sasha?) In any case, the first thing I noticed was the hefty metal body and after playing with every setting and understanding the camera, I threw in a roll. I guess my first suggestion is to get a copy of the directions online, just so you have an understanding of what every dial and knob does – and more importantly not setting the shutter speed until it’s cocked and ready to go!
Sasha was my first Russian cam, and for anyone else out there who has this as a first, again, I stress taking a few minutes to understand everything. All these little numbers and meters look a bit intimidating, but getting to know your new date will help you score later on. I recognized aperture and shutter speed easily enough, but little rules and understanding will help things run smoothly.
Without a light meter, I followed the “Sunny 16” rule as a starting point – f/16 and a shutter speed closest to your film speed. In this case, I was shooting f/16 at 1/125th of a second, for good measure.
You might need to adjust the little bumpy ring around the viewfinder (diopter) to get everything in focus before attempting to shoot. I’ve never used a rangefinder camera before, so it was a unique experience for me. There’s a circular overlay in the middle of the viewfinder that you adjust with the focus ring to match the big picture, so to speak. Ingenious!
The harmonious CLACK at the beach sent me into giggle fits. I couldn’t wait to develop this roll – although I was nervous because I’d learned photography on film, I haven’t used a camera without a light meter other than the ultra-forgiving Holga and Diana+ cams.
Imagine my face when I received the images back, completely stunned. This little beast of a Russian camera gave me a plethora of crystal clear, vibrant photos. I realize shooting at f/16 would be sharp, but never did I think I’d get an almost digital style quality. The Industar 61 lens that Sasha has gave me beautiful photos and has quickly become a best friend for casual outings.
- Remember to adjust the shutter speed AFTER cocking the shutter! Otherwise you can totally damage your Russian beauty and we wouldn’t want that.
- The film loads a little different – on the right side, the spool rolls counterclockwise, so make sure to feed the leader so that it passes OVER the sprockets and then UNDER the takeup spool.
- The Fed 3 doesn’t have a hotshoe, it’s an accessory shoe – so if you want too hook up a flash, you gotta use the PC connector
Check out the Fed 3 here