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FED-1 | by Süleyman (Deceased 04.2012)
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Manufactured by F.E. Dzerzhinsky factory, Kharkov, Ukraine, CCCP

Model: 1951, Type 11a, (produced between 1949-52), Produced pieces 120000

as to Alexandr Komarov

all FED NKVD and FED-1 produced between 1934-55

Engravings on the top plate:

ФЭД завод им. Ф.Э. Дзержинского (= FED Zavod IM. F.Z. Dzerjinsky) and serial no.

Zavod means factory, IM. is the abbreviation of "imeni", means in the name of

35mm film Rangefinder camera

Lens: FED 50mm f/3.5 (ФЭД M/M), collapseable,

mount: Leica 39M screw mount, filter size 32mm slip-on

Aperture: f/3.5-f/16, setting: ring with a lever and scale on front of the lens

Focusing: Matching yellow rangefinder images in the rangefinder window, left one on the back of the top plate, lever and distance scale on the back side of the lens, Focus lever locks on infinity

Focus range: 1.25-20m +inf.

Shutter: Horizontal focal plane cloth shutter, speeds: 1/20-1/500 +Z (= B, Bulb)

Setting: Old style shutter dial, on the top plate, lift and set, turns when cocking

Shutter release: old style with short collar, beside the winding knob

Cocking and Winding knob: on the top plate, right-hand,

Frame counter: Beneath the cocking knob, additive type, manual setting

Viewfinder: seperate view finder and rangefinder windows, right one is viewfinder, fairly bright, left one is rangefinder window

Re-winding knob: on the left side of top plate, turns when winding

Re-wind release: lever just front of the shutter release,

markings are Cyrillic: B re-wind, and У wind

Flash PC socket: none

Self timer: none


Film loading: bottom loading like old Leicas, bottom plate opens by a ring on it

Engravings around the opening ring: 3aKP - ОTKP (Zakr- Otkr = Close - Open). ОTKP is an abbreviation for ОТКРЫТЫЙ

Special old style take up-spool

Tripod socket: Old type 3/8''

Body: all metal, weight: 544g

serial no. 277239

+ Lzos Yellow filter, 36 JS-17 (ЖC) + Lens cap

The early Leica cameras, and the other Leica inspired cameras like Canon III, FEDs and Zorkis, and almost any camera which winding also causes the film speed selector turning, always cock the shutter before changing film speeds.

When FED camera production resumed in 1946 the NKVD engravings were replaced by a simple Cyrillic FED logo on the top. This version is known as the FED-1.

Fed -1 is a Leica II inspired camera, first models was the true clones but later some properties remained the same, but some improvments were made, eg. rangefinder far more better than Leica II, easy to use, cause there is a seperate rangefinder window.

LZOS (Лыткаринский завод Оптического Стекла) (=Lytkarino Optical Glass Factory) is based in Lytkarino, 100 kilometers north of Moscow. It was a KMZ satellite plant. LZOS was the most famous for manufacturing various lenses for KMZ cameras.


Brief FED History: The FED was introduced in 1934 by factory of the Dzerzhinsky Commune in Kharkov, Ukraine, CCCP.

FED are the initials for F. E. Dzerzhinsky, the founder of the NKVD, in honour of him the camera was named.

The NKVD was the People's Commissariat for Internal Affairs (= Народный комиссариат внутренних дел Narodnyy komissariat vnutrennikh del, НКВД (=NKVD ), a public and secret police organization of the Soviet Union later known as the KGB.

The factory was originally an orphanage workforce was based on youths living and working together in a commune.

After the groundbreaking introduction of the Leica II in 1932, Soviet leaders stopped the import of photographic equipment and set the FED factory to its task of creating a Leica of their own.

Only 18 months later, in 1934, the FED factory began churning out its first clone of the Leica II rangefinder camera. Since then, they have produced millions of cameras, some good and some not so good.

The early FED is a true copy of the Leica II, itself only introduced less than two years earlier.

Camera production resumed in 1946 the NKVD engravings were replaced by a simple Cyrillic FED logo on the top. This version is known also as the FED-1.

The variations in the engravings on the FED camera tops make it worth a special mention, reflecting the changes within the Soviet Union.

The FED-1 was continuously improved and produced in great quantities until 1955 at which point series production of the FED-2 commenced.

more info:

Sovietcams Oscar Fricke


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Taken on June 4, 2010