This Fed 4 Rangefinder camera came into and out of my collection almost silently. My wife and I had travelled to Gloucestershire to visit family and took a walk into the lovely town of Nailsworth for lunch and a mooch. There are a number of up-cycle/charity shops there, which have now become places I visit looking for bargain books or camera gear… one day I’ll find that elusive, bargain Leica! 😉
On this occasion, I wandered happily between the charity shops looking for anything of interest. Sure enough, nestling at the back of the shop behind the counter, was a distinctive brown leather case. It had a tag saying, “Slow speeds not working. £10.00” next to it, a small plastic light meter for another £2.00. All seemed to be working! After a quick inspection and a few test releases, I took them both.
I had high hopes for the Fed with its LTM possibilities of interchangeable lenses. So I ran one roll through it, and compared the Industar lens with a borrowed Jupiter 8. I could see very little difference between them in practical terms. I’m sure lens tech heads would explain all the subtleties, but they seemed fairly similar to my eye.
I enjoyed our time together, and the experience of shooting with this little Russian beauty, but in the end it wasn’t the Fed, it was me. I had grown accustomed to the larger brighter viewfinders of my Olympus rangefinders and SLR’s. The meter was simple, but awkward in use and the shutter release was in just the wrong place, so shortly after aqquiring her, our time together ended.
Here are some of the results of that one roll of Fuji Superia 200. After that I let her go to a new home in Italy (via eBay) where I hope it’s being used and loved. Bon Voyage!
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