My "New" Fed 2 & improved Brew

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by subbarayan_prasanna, May 3, 2010.

  1. I bought this Fed 2 with an Industar 26M lens from Ukraine. Went through the usual CLA process at home and polished the aluminum beading, after removing the black paint. It was peeling off anyway. This model is a bit unusual; it has a beading that wraps around the lens mount much like the Zorki C, 2C and 6. Other models of Fed 2 do not have this broad a beading either. It is also rare and I think it is one of the later models before they changed to Fed 3, which has a similar bead. I have seen this before only with JDM in his Red Fed 2. I modified my brew after extensive readings of Anschell's Film Development Cook Book and other similar write ups. I increased the Boric Acid and salt [NaCl] content in the brew. I am told that Boric Acid "buffers" the developer meaning that it keeps the pH value constant. How ? I don't know; funnily no body is explaining it either, whether it is Anschell or Gearge Eaton fo Kodak or others. Possibly these are arrived at through empirical experiments. The salt is said to be a restrainer and should give a finer grain, more uniform [a la Microdol-X]. Again, that is not really explained well except for the speculation that it was discovered during WWII by photographers on the field, when they were forced to use sea water when there was a shortage of fresh water. Others feel that it could be acting just like Potassium Bromide, the traditional restrainer. So I tried these things with some success more like an Alchemist mixing different brews hoping to "extract gold from Tiger's urine!" Here are some results.
  2. Ah yes that is Sheaffer calligraphy pen; goes with the old timers.
  3. The pictures cam out with finer grain.
  4. Banal pictures with no particular focus seem to provide good tests for the lens and the brew.
  5. I should have used a filter, yellow or orange to get the clouds better. Missed out!
  6. Thank you for viewing; and, I appreciate your comments. Forgot to mention that the Fed 2 is very, very smooth. Handles beautifully. Regards, sp
  7. Hi SP,

    You do incredible work reviving these Feds..I don't have any of this model so I can't help you on identifying the bead. I love it that you mix your own brew and experiment. I have only a vague understanding of the chmical process. I'D say it was a success. The grain is softer and smoother. I find the first three pictures better balanced in tone than the last two. Maybe it's your scanner or the pre-monsoon. The blacks are really black and the contrast while strong doesn't suffer. The later two pictures don't seem to have the same contrast. Anyway, I'm certainly not much of an expert..this is merely my impression and my monitor!
  8. This is my fed2 it's not a same modell yours is much nicer on the outside but I believe their inside is the same. :)
  9. The Fed looks much smarter with the polished aluminum bead, it seems to intergrate the top with the body. Great restoration, SP,and that brew does seem better. "Evening Sun" is a fine photograph with a very full tonal range. A very interesting post, as always.
  10. SP -
    A beautiful camera and excellent restoration. It seems any camera that finds it's way to you is in for a luxury "spa" treatment. Rick is right, the polished aluminum bead lends a much improved appearance and finish. The new brew is a hit, much more intensity and contrast, a superior formula. You're an artist with considerable talents.
    Thanks for all the posts and photos.
  11. Very nice. Interesting variant. The covering is nice (very "Soviet" somehow) and the lettering on FED is more calligraphic than I have seen. Great job cleaning it up.
    The new developer looks good, and I realize from your nice pictures how much more "vertical" things are than in my little college town (which may be as well as we are on top of a major earthquake zone).
    I also note that your temperature is almost identical to ours today, even our humidity is close to the same today, but I know ours is as low as I've ever seen it. I think it's all the foreign air from Canada come in with our storms.
  12. I dont know but got a feeling that is the other way around yours is more classic kind of an older modell. Just looked the letters, yours is an oldish style mine is more like a stirilized modern type of russian letters. I don't know it's just a thought. I know the russians repainting the body to diff colors a kind of modernisation as the chrome were bad on those and often very rusty.
  13. wrong feeling :) you might be very right anyway its just much nicer thats for sure
  14. Beautiful camera and I like the shots from the home brew. I also like the polished aluminum look of the beading.
  15. Hey Sabbarayan
    I like your I-26m. I made few shots with mine which came with Zarya camera and the contrast seems a bit low even I have used a lens hood.
  16. I very much like the tonal scale of these pictures -- your new brew is definitely better. They show the "brightness" that I expect of a sunny day in India.
  17. Great photos. Your "home brew" developer works very well.
  18. Thanks everyone. Chuck, you are right; during the last two pictures the light was fading fast. Thanks Rick, Patrick; the shiny bead does give it that extra Old World look. JDM, the verticals in Bangalore are new developments since the past 3 decades, mainly due to population pressure. Yes Frank, the basic mechanism seems to be the same except for some small chnages relating to the springs at the bottom that work the escapement of the slower speed levers like 1/30sec and B. Thanks Raymond, John, Mike; KP did you verify the focus of your lens on the film plane with a ground glass and a magnifier? I found that some of these lenses are way off the designed focal length, even when the RF shows the correct distance. They have problems with the helical mounts that need correction. The other Industars 61/2.8 and the 50/3.5 seem better made. Regards, sp.
  19. There is no mystery in how pH buffers operate. You will find an explanation in any university introductory chemistry textbook.
  20. Thanks Wendell; I have that kind of information. I was referring to the photographic literature, which advocate the use of Boric acid and sodium chloride etc. And, exactly what effect they would cause in the outcome of the picture quality. That is where they are not definitive as to the cause and effect in a measured manner; but they advocate more in a prescriptive manner. I have myself experimented with inputs at varied levels and measured the outcome qualitatively and made nomographs to arrive at a suitable formulation. That is much trial and error empiricism. That is what I meant. Regards, sp.
  21. Nice camera, nice shots! I have a large camera collection, but no Soviet rangefinders... until now. I decided to rev up. I found a Ukranian dealer in Kharkov (off eBay) and bought four cameras at once, Zorki 1, Fed 2, Fed 4 and Fed5. All cameras were adverstised as being recently and completely overhauled including new shutter curtains. Having been bitten on the "freshly serviced" claim in the past, I was surprised to see that all four cameras had been restored; fresh lube, clean optics, everything working, and not the first dirt speck inside the cameras. They are good as new. I even received warranty cards for each camera. Total cost for the 4 cameras including the single shipping was $185. I got a great deal considering that the camera's conditions were not overstated a bit and that the professional overhaul had in fact been done. Except for Zorki, all the cameras have Industar lens; one 22, and two 61 l/d's.
    I took a couple of days to acquaint myself with each model, then loaded them all with test rolls that i'm in the process of shooting. When finished, I'll have all the color film printed and see what I have. But, out of four camera i cannot find one defect or any function that isn't working. Even the selenium meters on the FED 4 and FED 5 are working and spot on. So far, the FED2d is my favorite, although i can't articulate just why. I just like it better.
    I'm curious about one thing... how is "FED" pronounced? Are the letters spelled out indivdually, or is the name "fed"... as in eat... used? Also, the seller listed these Russian cameras as "Leica copies", yet with the exception of the Zorki which is a ringer for the Leica IIb, I don't think the other cameras were copied from any existing Leica model.
  22. Hey Frank! Is one of the lenses in front of your FED2 an enlarger lens with an M39 thread?
  23. I have this camera, it is FED 2 type E, it is evolutionary between FED 2 type D and the FED 2 type G which has the film/shutter lever. What is important about this camera is that it retains the wider rangefinder so that focusing is much easier. It also has a smooth metal body covered with cloth, this can be replaced with leather. I am now getting ready to do this, I saw one that had a really professional leather covering and it was just superb looking. I like the feel of leather. At about 1961 the Zorli 6 was produced with this basic design, but a lever was included. A very modern design that appears to be a hybrid of the Zorki 5 and the FED 2 type E. I had it dissembled cleaned and rebuilt recently and it is also a fine camera with a Industar 2,8/55 N-61 lanthanium lens. Also, I recently read that the Industar 26 of this vintage FED 2 type E had lanthium infused optics making them Apo-chromatic. The Russians did a lot of advance work on the use of rare earths in lens development and these lens benefited from that work.
    I really like how you finished the camera by stripping the paint off, very unique, mine is almost mint so I am leaving the paint as is, but the fabric, its gotta go. Also, you may want to coat the stripped area with clear lacquer (finger nail polish) or it will turn black. All the silver barrelled Russian lens are alumimium and lacquered with a hard clear coat, where it wears off it darkens, just a thought, I clean mine with alcohol.

Share This Page