Fix Your Fed for Pfennigs!


I was ecstatic to find an old Fed 3 going cheap in a thrift store. Some real Soviet-era heavy metal for my collection of cameras. It looked great. Nice clear lens, shiny chrome bits, and everything seemed to move as it should. So I bought it and took it home.

The real proof of the pudding is, as we all know, in the eating. I quickly fed my new friend a roll of color film. When I saw the photos it was obvious that there was a problem.

Okay, these leaks were white, not red, so the problem was in FRONT of the film. They were always in the same place. It had to be the shutter curtain. I removed the back and the lens on the Fed 3 and held it up to the light. Remember that the image in your camera is reversed, so for a problem at the top of the photo, look at the bottom of the curtain; and for a problem on the left, look to the right. Also, remember these cameras have TWO curtains which ‘chase’ each other across the frame.

On my camera, the problem was on the curtain which is visible when the shutter is cocked. I’ve tried to highlight the problems with some red circles:

I’m not skilled enough to take a camera apart and do complicated repairs. But I thought I could bodge my way around this one. All you need is some black fabric paint. I liberally daubed the problem areas with the fabric paint, then importantly DO NOT TOUCH the camera for 24 hours. If it’s cocked, leave it cocked! It can take it.

Steps 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, from left to right, top to bottom

Okay, if you’ve done everything correctly, it’s time to find out if it worked. Put your camera back together, put some more film in and take it for a spin. In my case, it worked! Maybe it won’t last as long as a proper repair, but it cost me almost nothing and I now have a working Fed 3 which I love! If the light leaks do start to re-appear, I’ll just get out the fabric paint again.

This tutorial was written by Community member simon-hedge. Follow simon-hedge for more of his tips and tricks by creating a LomoHome.

written by simon-hedge on 2011-07-18 #gear #tutorials #russian #fed #zorki #camera #tutorial #curtain #zenit #repair #tipster #lomography #shutter


  1. toffeeish
    toffeeish ·

    What if you used different colour paint?? would it make a difference??

  2. falsedigital
    falsedigital ·

    Hooray for DIY camera repair! I too had to fix my Fed 3 which I posted about here:…

  3. rtmoratin
    rtmoratin ·

    You should always cover your lens with a lens cap when you're not going to use it, and as much as possible never place your lens/camera in direct sunlight. I also did this DIY thing long time ago, very effective! :)

  4. paappraiser
    paappraiser ·

    Very Good Idea!!!

More Interesting Articles