Restoring old Fed 2

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by subbarayan_prasanna, May 21, 2014.

  1. This is a little show and tell. I bought three of these near junk Fed 2s from Ukraine. It was my urge to find out what was inside and to tinker with it. I have been working on these off and on, thinking to innovate. Maizenberg’s book is very helpful in repairing the FSU cameras. However, Even Maizenberg says that things are not standardized in their mass production efforts. So one needs to innovate and resolve the problem.

    1. All three cameras had bad shutters. They had to be rebuilt from Scratch. I could do it on two of them; but third one simply collapsed. The mechanical parts were worn out badly. So, I am using it to cannibalize spares.

    2. After rebuilding, not all the shutter speeds work, especially, at the ends of the scale. So, I/500 sec in one and B in the other are out. This is okay for my kind of work.

    3. The body was in bad shape, except for the wrinkled covering. The chrome areas had brassed out. Initially, I tried some silver nail polish that matched the chrome. Was okay to look at from a distance.

    4. I searched around and found a paint shop in the next neighborhood that does powder coating. They do it for the metal furniture-makers, in bulk orders of hundreds of items. I called the manager and asked if he would do small jobs. He said “Hey! No job is too small for us here. Please bring it along we shall see what we can do.”

    5. I took the top and bottom parts that were chrome finished and worn out. The top is easy to remove. The bottom has problems with the locking keys. The keys come in different forms. Some are threaded and fastened with a cylindrical nut and a set-screw on top. Easy to unthread. Some others come with a cupped and threaded cylindrical nut. Also, can be removed if it is not jammed. The third type is really a pain. It is a press fit. If one is lucky, one can pry it out with a heavy screw driver/lever. It can also break the key! I broke a couple of them.

    Overall, I am very happy with the results. The paint shop did a good job of powder coating. I painted the beading with black enamel to give it the shine. Wax polished the wrinkled covering. The camera looks good and works well too, except for those end-of-scale speeds. I am posting some pictures of the restored Fed 2. Shall post picturess taken with it later.

    I have been not posting for awhile. I thought that this would be a good beginning to go ahead.
  2. I found the third type of keys [press-fit ones] used in Zorki 4. The early Fed 2 was the easiest to work with.
  3. The Fed 2 has only two chrome plated parts, top and bottom. The Zorkis have three such. The bottom, the top that sits like a hat with the knobs on it and a third one just below that. The third one difficult to remove and paint, as it is fixed to the chassis. One has to dismantle the chassis completely to get at that. That would be a job for a workshop.
  4. I wonder why they made the designs progressively complicated. Of course, most mechanical items got that way over time. The FSU camera designers may not have expected some one would want to restore their cameras six or seven decades later.
  5. I have missed your posts. Great to see you restoring these FSU cameras. I'll bet in a few more decades the only ones still functional will be the ones you restored. Thanks for posting.
  6. SP--I'm with Mike--your posts have been missed! Good to have you back and good luck with your projects. I'd love to see more your neighborhood shots.
  7. Lovely. Just lovely.
    Hope there will be more coming, it's been a long spell.
  8. Glad to you back to restoring cameras. This one looks really nice The camera just shines. You always
    bring a unique perspective to what ever passes your observation. That the design became more
    complicated especially to the restorer etc. I wonder if this was to deter repair .. ie we need to make them
    more idiot proof . They think they are improving them, but in the final measure they have made them
    obsolete. Our iPhones of today are not repairable.....they are so perfect and beyond reproach that they can
    only be replaced. This may have been the Soviet mindset as the years of production continued and the
    innovation was left to others
  9. That's a great restoration job!
  10. Excellent, SP, a fine restoration and a great way to re-commence your involvement with the Forum. I'm looking forward to the pictures. More soon, please!
  11. A very nice restoration, SP, the powder coating gives a quality finish. I don't recall seeing a black FSU rangefinder before.
  12. Good to see you back SP, and I have never seen a Fed looking so good! I do admire your tenacity and skill, I'm all thumbs. Look forward to some shots around your town.
  13. SCL


    I take my hat off to you....that must have been quite a challenge, and the end result (even if the 2 speeds are still problematic), is just spectacular. Thank you for sharing the story and pictures with us.
  14. super cool
  15. Good to see you still weaving your magic on these old Feds which most of us I'm sure would have consigned to the dead camera box, and getting them into something special. Look forward to seeing your results .. (no pressure...).
  16. Thanks everyone for viewing and appreciating. I am encouraged greatly. I am learning a lot doing this kind of restoration. It keeps my hand-eye coordination going and provides a mental challenge and focus in diagnosis and repair. I think that it helps keeping me younger than my age! I must confess, though, these days I have to use enlarging glasses to be able to reach the small parts, correctly. I hope I can continue this kind of work. Regards, sp.

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