Fed 1: Take Pictures With "Old" Atmosphere


Pros: it is sexy! Cons: it may scratch your glasses… :-( The first time a FED-1 is in your hands you only can say: “Wow!”. It’s heavy, is cool, is nice, is perfect…

If you had used before cameras like Smena-8M, there’s nothing to do with FED-1. Taking pictures with a FED-1 is always an experience. People always look at you, and even ask you what camera is that. But using it is hard, it has no sophistications. First of all you have to load the film: the hardest thing in life! Please follow the instructions, if not, there’s a big chance of even breaking the camera, for sure the film is going to broke… I haven’t found a trick yet to put the film, but the only thing I’m sure of is that you have to cut at least 12 cm of the film for the middle and remove one side of it. After that, only luck will tell. I have to admit that the first time I loaded my FED-1 there was no problem… but after that roll I almost broke 3…

Here you’ll find a good link how to load the camera: http://www.fedka.com//Useful_info/leicaload.jpg

Even with your camera loaded is there a chance that the film breaks during operating the camera, at least mine does. If the camera is loaded properly is time for fun. First of all you have to adjust the shutter speed and the aperture (I found a good reference in http://www.fredparker.com/ultexp1.htm). Be careful: you only could move the speed dial if you have advanced the film, if not you could break it. Once you find a picture to capture you have to look through the viewfinder from the left, the rangefinder. You should see the picture doubled, so you have to turn the lever in the collapsible lens until you see it crisp. Then is time to look through the central viewfinder in order to take the picture as you want. After that, press the shutter button.

The results are extraordinary old, especially if you are using b&w film. I have two lens: the original one (copy of collapsible Leitz Elmar f3.5/50mm) and a Industar 61. I spent a roll testing both, and I realised I prefer the collapsible, as I found the colours more natural and the image is more crisp. One more advantage of that lens is that fits in the leather case…
Fed-1 is a good choice if you want to obtain crisp pictures with old appearance and you have plenty of time!
One trick I discovered: if you want to make doubles, after taking a picture move the small lever you use to rewind the film, advance the film, put the lever in its previous position and take the next picture… that rocks!

Check out the Fed 1 here

written by minicooper on 2008-11-20 #gear #review #fed


  1. stinketier
    stinketier ·

    I love the pics in munich, my hometown.
    Nice stuff.

  2. mcrstar
    mcrstar ·


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