FED 4 - Few questions.

Discussion in 'Film Discussion and Q & A' started by K_Pugh, May 15, 2008.

  1. K_Pugh

    K_Pugh No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hi,

    I currently bought a little FED 4 to sample the delight of using a rangefinder for street photography. I've got a few questions/problems however.

    1. I can't use the light meter dues to the inner dial (the one with the f-tops and ASA numbers in it) moving with the outer dial which you';re supposed to turn to align both needles.. so basically the f-stop and shutter speeds are staying the same.. how can i solve this? or am i at a loss here.

    2. It appears that the rangefinder is out. I've set it to infinity on the lens and the two images don't line up. I also tried it at 3.6 foot and again it doesn't line up, i need to adjust the focuse to about 4.2 foot for it to align... any way to fix this?

    Any manuals or service information would be appreciated. In the meantime i'll use the Sunny 16 rule and estimate distances and keep my f-stop as near f16 as i can lol.
     
  2. K_Pugh

    K_Pugh No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It's ok..

    I stripped it tonight and fixed both problems. Came across a new problem though, the rewind thumbwhell retaining screw hole thread was knackered, i couldn't be bothered drilling abigger hole, getting another screw, tapping etc.. just glued it in, doubt it'll hold but i can do all that in the changing bag if and when it does fail.
     
  3. AndrewG

    AndrewG TPF Noob!

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    I had one of these in the early '80's and it was the camera on which I learned most of what I now know-unfortunately quality control was very variable and they do have their issues. Fortunately mine lasted ok and the lens (58mm?) produced some nice images. I subsequently replaced the Fed with my first SLR-a Pentax MX.
     
  4. K_Pugh

    K_Pugh No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Just a (late) update. The FED is a joy to use, i ran a roll through it recently and the shots that came out (half of the roll never due to me opening the back thinking i had rewound the entire roll, but the reel got stuck) came out pretty good! i think i'm addicted to the whole rangefinder thing, even though the FED ain't the greatest.

    I've noticed a few scratches on the lens and in harsh side lighting you can see crescents of light quite clearly.. luckily i've just bought another one on Ebay with a good lens and a leather case for 8 UKP - so hopefully i'll have a good one out of the two.
     
  5. Rhys

    Rhys TPF Noob!

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    The best thing is the Fed will take Leica S series lenses. The Fed was a Soviet rip-off of the Nazi Leica. After the war, the Soviets captured a lot of Leica factory staff and set them to work making the FED - named after the first director of the KGB.
     
  6. bartolo

    bartolo TPF Noob!

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    Actually, the FED is named after the founder of the Čeka, not the KGB.
    When the KGB was founded, in the 50's, Feliks Ėdmundovič Dzer┬×inskij was already resting in peace.

    But this is history, and I'm more into understanding how K_Pugh fixed his problem with the lightmeter.
    I'm afraid that mine is not working: the smallest needle, the one that's supposed to move by itself when the light intensity changes, is always at the top end of the bar and it moves down a little bit only when the camera is fully lit by the sun.
    I'm already convinced that the selenium "things" are worn out and the lightmeter is gone, but I'd like a second opinion.
     
  7. Ron G

    Ron G TPF Noob!

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    I have found that the contacts from the cell to the meter corrode with age and sometimes can be cleaned up to work again.I have repaired many of them that way.Ron G
     
  8. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    In the OP, you touched on the pleasure of prowling about with an old rangefinder in the tradition of the great street photographers of yesteryear.

    It's one of my favority things [along with brown paper packages tied up with strings, of course.]

    On any given day you might find me wandering about with a pocketfull of home-loaded Tri-X(r) and an old Fed, Zorki or Kiev. Additional gear is limited to a light meter [an old Luna Pro] and a yellow filter.
     
  9. bartolo

    bartolo TPF Noob!

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    Interesting... I thought that the cells wore out over time, but if it's a matter of corroded contacts it not as bad.

    Can you explain how to clean them?

    Respect.
     

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