Wednesday, August 25, 2010

FED 5C: A Review of the Soviet Rangefinder

There was no doubt about it. This was an impulse buy. The sensory stimuli that began from cells in my eyes sneakily bypassed my brain and led my hands straight to my wallet. Thankfully I only had to fork out RM190 for this. Dirt cheap yes?

The FED 5C is a rangefinder camera made in the Soviet Union. The company initially started off by making copies of Leicas in 1932 as was evident in their earlier FED models. They then started mass producing the cameras and for such a cheap price, they were notorious for their shoddy quality control.

I had to wait 3 weeks before my camera arrived from Russia. When I took it out from the package, my first thoughts were 'Wow, this is heavier than I thought'. If it turned out to be a dud I could always use it to pound chili or something.

What I love about this camera is the metering. And that it doesn't need batteries. It uses a selenium cell light meter (as you can see below) and I must say that I'm pretty fortunate to get a working copy. Indoors it may get a bit tricky, but outdoors it works like a charm. If you have a camera that has this type of metering, always remember to keep it in the dark when not in use. This will help you to preserve the life of the light meter.

Another concern about this camera was the lens that came as standard on this model. The Industar I-61 L/D lens is not only famous for being sharp but radioactive as well. This is because it contains the the rare Lanthane in its glass elements. After doing some research, I found that the radioactivity emitted by the lens is negligible. You'd probably get more radiation from sunbathing than by carrying this around.

The bottom line is how will this camera perform? Is it just a looker but empty on substance? Is this rangefinder going to be a Kournikova or a Sharapova?

I'd say Sharapova without the grunts. This is probably the start of something beautiful.

More FED 5C pics


Rommel said...




where you bought it from?

Ted said...

Heheh thank you Rommel. Pinjam boleh, u come Sabah I lend it to you. I bought it online from here.

The 3 weeks wait is really suffering, but you know if u can wait then its rewarding. *Winks*

Davide Tambuchi said...

great camera!!!

Ted said...

Hi Davide! Yes it is, I enjoy the camera very much :)

dimzPhoto said...

Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
thank you :)