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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Niko80 Posted - May 06 2013 : 5:20:19 PM
My apologies beforehand to all of you who are unfamiliar with statistics (I don't claim to fully understand it either), still I hope I can show you something you haven't seen before!

One of the many mysteries of the FED1 (and probably many other models) is how camera and lens serials could be related and if there is some pattern that would allow predicting a certain lens serial range from only the camera and vice versa.

I have a FED-S 'd' with an odd 4-digit serial and wondered if the lens serial could shed some light on this issue.
See here:

My hypothesis was that the No.2570 might mean that the first and last digit went missing, making the true serial "12570x".

Getting bored while working on my PhD thesis, I instead ran some statistical analyses on the correlation between camera serials and lens serials in FED-S cameras listed in the Wiki.

I got 48 samples - 17x FED-'c', 27xFED-'d' and 4x FED-'e'.

If we plot the camera s/n on the x-axis and the lens s/n on the y-axis we get a scatterplot which looks like this:

While there are some datapoints far out in the middle of nowhere, most seem to group pretty nicely in the middle. The orange point would be my #2570 assuming it is #125700. To avoid making things even more complicated I have not included this camera in further statistics.

I have marked the 3 models (FED-S 'c', 'd' and 'e') in different colors so we can distinguish them. They form nice separate groups.
Now for a simple linear regression fit:

The red regression line tries to fit a linear relationship between lens and camera s/n depicted in the formula below, while r² measures how well this model fits our actual datapoints - with 1 being a perfect correlation and 0 no correlation at all. We get r² of 0,78 which is pretty good but not extraordinary. Since many datapoints lie far above or below the line it misses most of them.

Next I did something you should not really do in statistics - I excluded all far off datapoints to see if we could get a better fit and thereby a model that would explain most camera:lens relationships. Of the original 48 camera/lens pairs only 33 remained.
Excluded datapoints are drawn in a darker shade.

The red regression line now crosses most of our datapoints resulting in a r² = 0,994
An excellent correlation!
The corresponding formula to calculate lens-camera s/n relationship would be:

Camera = (Lens - 15459) x 10
Lens = 15459 + camera / 10

Feel free to try it out on the FED-S cameras listed in the wiki

Still we see that the datapoints form more of a slight arc than a straight line so I fit a logarithmic curve to the same
25 datapoints, which resulted of an even better match of r² = 0,998

The corresponding formula would be:

Lens = 25200 x log10(camera)-99708

A bit more difficult, but still easy with a calculator. Again you can try it out on any FED-S camera-lens pair in the wiki to see how good the model fits.
The dotted red line is the 95% confidence interval, meaning that according to the model, 95% of samples should lie within these boundaries. Indeed all but one of the datapoints do, only the excluded ones are outside.

Now what does all of this mean?
I'm afraid not very much…

.) I think there is a general relation between lens and camera s/n even though there are exceptions which don't fit in very well

.) The theory that my camera #2570 is missing first and last digits (#125700) seems possible as there are at least 2 examples with similar lens:camera s/n ratios

.) The amount of cameras which seem to have "younger" lenses than average (above red line) seems to be about the same as the amount of cameras which seem to have "older" lenses than average (below red line)

.) By no means do I claim that this model is suitable to determine "matching" or "wrong" camera-lens pairs, we know virtually nothing about how they were paired in the factory. All we can say is, that at least the 2 points high above (1c #76862 / #27890 and 1d #107723 / #31185 as well as the point far below the regression line (1d #158978 / #24761) seem to be quite unusual.

.) There might be a nonlinear relation between camera and lens s/n indicating that in the beginning more lenses than cameras were produced but this is more than speculative.

.) Finally: all of these results are likely to change with more datapoints.
The 48 camera-lens pairs are a good start but twice as much would be a lot better. If you have a FED-S or know someone who does - please submit the camera and lens s/n to the wiki.
If you don't want to reveal the full s/n for whatever reason you can replace the last digits with "x", this is irrelevant for statistics on this scale.

I'd love to do the same thing for "normal" FED1 but therefore I need you to provide a lot more camera:lens s/n to the wiki, currently there almost none listed.


I managed to restore the images but only from May 23rd 2013 onwards. Therefore the graphs above already contain seven cam/lens pairs which were added by the posters below.
50   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
mirror Posted - Nov 14 2020 : 12:57:40 PM
I have recieved the FED-S lens without s/n, it looks like some early lens with brown aperture blades. It has coupling number though.



Here is some pictures for comparison with two other lenses, №24129 with blue blades and one of the very late №32726 from may 1941.




What I noticed is different apart of aperture blades color is knurling on infinity fixator and different font used to mark f-number.
Caps are also different.

Jacques M. Posted - Mar 29 2020 : 11:21:36 AM

Just a remark about my twins, the S s/n 67723 and the ordinary NKVD s/n 67724. I had forgotten to talk about them in this thread...

They are absolutely identical. All is the same, even the very light step for the three last ciphers which are not exactly on the same line as the two first ones.

Internally, the engraved date shows 23/VII for the NKVD, and 26/V? (certainly VII too) for the S. So, an interval of 3 days for the certification of the S (checking of the mechanism and adaptation of the lens). Everything seems square...

Amitiés. Jacques.
Jacques M. Posted - Mar 21 2020 : 05:29:50 AM

I have just received the 1e S s/n 182757, already in the wiki (without lens).
Interesting, as the RF patch is blue, like on Zorkis. It's the only one in my 1e series ("Berdsks" and Red Flags).
A late mounting or a repair...
Niko80 Posted - Mar 19 2020 : 4:40:13 PM
Great find, Ihar!
Another perfect match to the regression line, the lens for this camera is only 8 serials off from the prediction of the model!! I am now certain that at least within the range we know, 'e' followed the same production procedures as 'd'.

If you want to try:

FED S 'c':
camera = (lens - 12983) / 0,1337
lens = 12983 + (0,1337 * camera)

FED S 'd/e':
camera = (lens - 17067) / 0,0906
lens = 17067 + (0,0906 * camera)

Thank you, Jacques, every late 'e' lens would count.
I have already omitted #147794 in the latest graphs. It is good to see #76862/27890 is not an original pair too, it further strengthens my model.

I will do further graphs over the weekend.
Jacques M. Posted - Mar 19 2020 : 04:42:49 AM

I have just added some mentions (lens original/lens added) after the answers I had.
Two observations: the lens 27890 on my 76862 was added (and not original: my mistake). And visibly, the 147794 is an error of typing for the 146794, of which I know the owner. So the 147794 was cancelled.

Bon courage. Jacques.
Jacques M. Posted - Mar 17 2020 : 09:11:25 AM

Thanks, Ihar. Added in the wiki.
Christian: I have sent several PM to owners about 2/50 serial numbers.
Hope they will allow you to complete your work...

Just two ideas more. The changing 1c/1d was certainly gradual, as it was for the 1b where we can observe several modifications which overlap each other at the same time. But that changing during 15000 serial numbers is a bit long. I wonder if it was not a question of repairs too. Unless it corresponds to a shortage of brass and that the remaining stock was used without real order.

And about the "heirs" of the S, there was probably the Fed-Zorki too. Very roughly, 2000 to 3000 of them certainly have a Fed shutter box...
mirror Posted - Mar 17 2020 : 08:30:48 AM
Originally posted by Niko80
Too bad so many lenses of late 'e' cameras are unknown,

Here is one for you

Fed 1e 176159 / 33035
Niko80 Posted - Mar 16 2020 : 8:14:16 PM
Interesting about the late 'c' models!

We should not forget that the serial is only on the top plate. Maybe they had still some 'c' plates left while already producing 'd' cameras? The last 'c' pair matches the 'd' distribution perfectly and has little gap, see the red circle on the left in the FED S'c' camera against lens distribution graph (all green, 2 pics above).
There definitely was not an abrupt change from 'c' to 'd', rather gradual with some possible gap towards late 'c'.

Concerning 'e' I think the main conclusion is that cameras up to #181.306 most likely were prduced at Kharkow under normal circumstances. You are right about the latest cameras having no or odd lenses, I agree they may be produced elsewhere. I would also propose that 50mm f/2 lenses were only produced and available at Kharkow hence cameras assembled after evacuation had none.

I wanted to see if we can extrapolate the end for FED S camera and 50mm f/2 lens production.
The highest known FED S serial is #183.892 (unknown lens), the highest known 50mm f/2 lens serial is 33.509 for camera #177.376. That's a bit above the line but not much. May as well be factory matched, I can't say with the current data.

Our regression model suggests a camera serial of #181.400 - #182.500 for lens 33.500.
All later cameras have odd lenses so they fall out of the prediction range of the model. This suggests little more than 33.500 lenses were produced but FED S'e' camera production - or assembly - continued up to at least 184.000. We can assume things went chaotic after a possible evacuation and the last cameras may never been sold and got lost in the turmoil of war but still - my current estimate is that lens production stopped shortly after 33.500 and camera production around #184.000 - at least higher serials never made it out of the factory.

We can be relatively sure there is some gap between FED'e' and Red Flag, otherwise the later would not have started exactly at 200.000.

Too bad so many lenses of late 'e' cameras are unknown, do you maybe have a way to contact those collectors for info?

Also I saw the latest FED S'e' is not listed as FED S in the FED1e wiki. Are we sure this is a FED S?
Jacques M. Posted - Mar 16 2020 : 10:03:04 AM

What a work!

So, a ratio of 1:11 for the S-d and e, and around 1:7 for the S-c. An important difference, in fact. All that with a regular distribution for the first ones, and a more hazardous pairing for the "c". For the beginning of the S-c series, there are of course the usual explanations: starting with new material, supplies, training of workers... But is it enough? For the end, I have noticed that some of the s/n 90/95000 had already the speedbox of the 1d after c. 11xxxx: made of magnetic metal rather brass (perhaps repair too?). Anyway, I don't see anything important in the history of Fed to explain the irregularities you have found. For what we know about their history: very little, in fact...

Probably I exaggerated a bit about the "mystery" of the lenses beyond # 30000... But the overlapping in the 2/50 and 6,3/100 numbers is surprising in itself: Fed will found other solutions (later) to avoid that problem. It's that fact that made me think that 10000 Fed S were originally planned.

Concerning the S-e, all seems right in the pairing bodies/lenses up to the 181306/33408: you have noticed it. But after, there is no rule between the bodies and lenses. In fact, the 33408 is the last number in the wiki. I suppose that a certain number of S-e did not find "their" 2/50mm and it could be why we find them without lens (I have just bought one), or with a 3,5/50mm. The extra 3500 2/50mm lenses would not have ben sufficient...

And about the last 500 or 1000 1e, very probably some of them, by their poor quality, were mounted elsewhere from parts to become Fed-Arsenals or Red Flags.

But all that is really another story. Thanks for your great job, Christian!

Amitiés. Jacques.
Niko80 Posted - Mar 15 2020 : 9:04:19 PM
Good news, I managed to find all my old FED data including photos of my collection and the old graphs!
So I should be able to restore everything, might take a while though. Page 1 should be fine again, let me know if anything does not add up, I had to make a few changes.

The camera/lens pair graphs above are updated as well.

Now what strikes me most is that though the number of FED S camera/lens pairs has doubled since the first graph, virtually nothing changed. The model I proposed in 2013 is still perfectly valid.
As I had forgotten everything I did all calculations from zero and only noticed afterwards I got virtually the same results as back in 2013.

I'll show you:
Sorry for this cluttered graph, take your time and I hope you'll understand.

Basically we see a fundamental difference in the way lens serials were assigned to FED S 'c' cameras than to FED S 'd' and 'e' ones.

As I concluded in 2013 the ratio is 1:11 for 'd' models and this is highly certain. No matter how many cameras we add I doubt we'll end up anywhere else than between 1:10 and 1:12. Also the model correctly predicts the number of manufactured cameras and lenses.

The fundamental questions are:

1) How did they manage to achieve this?
I looked into the serial distribution of FED-S to find patterns of how cameras were picked from the range of FED1 cameras to become an 'S'. Though the distribution is most likely not completely random I have not come up with any clues. What I can rule out is that regularly larger batches were converted to FED S. We'd see a stair-like distribution which we don't - it seems completely linear on the resolution we have. However from the current data we cannot see what is going on in the range of dozens of cameras. Hundreds at best. And the model suggests roughly every 10th FED1 was a FED S.

What we can also rule out is independent production of cameras and 50mm f/2 lenses and then picking random cameras for FED S conversion. This does not work, and would lead to random blob-like distribution, not our almost but not completely perfect line of 'd' cam/lens pairs.
I normally work with environmental data and I have never seen a distribution like this. It certainly shows well-planned human work but also not some perfectly executed industrial process.

If I would not color them in the graphs you could not discern 'd' from 'e' at all.
Look at the 4 lenses perfectly on the regression line and a fifth only a bit above it.
How can we explain this if the factory was evacuated to Siberia? Impossible to retain exactly the same production ratio under such circumstances. Fact is - the latest known FED S'e' pair #181306 / 33408 (Fed plate mounted Sonnar), the rightmost blue dot, fits the regression line perfectly. I find it hard to believe that anything fundamentally would have changed in production up to this serial range. The 'outliers' are so far out and random seems strange they would intermittedly use these old lenses in the factory and then resumed their perfect cam:lens ratio shortly after. I do not think these lenses are original.

To me it seems like they planned beforehand which lens serial was to be assigned to a certain camera serial range (in the hundreds), but not to an individual camera. Meaning 50mm f/2 lens production followed FED1 production, not FED-S production.
Also we do not see lens batches at all. It appears lens output was strictly coupled to FED1 production. If camera serials rose by ten, lens serials rose by one. And this for the entire 'd' range and seemingly well into 'e' production without any disturbances. Another amazing detail.

In contrast something fundamentally different was going on during 'c' production. the pairing of cameras and lenses was far more fuzzy and roughly followed an 1:7,5 ratio. But maybe even less down to 1:6? It seems the beginning and end of FED S'c' productuion was chaotic. In order to arrive at around #54.000 for lens 20.000 initially more cameras had to be picked to become 'S' than later on. Either they alerady had lots of 50mm f/2 lenses when FED'c' production started or they could not keep up FED S procuction and had to settle for fewer ones? Also towards the end there appear to have been serious problems. We have few FED S cameras in the range 80.000 - 95.000 and they have odd lenses. Likewise the expected lenses in the range 24.000 - 25.750 we know of ended up with much later 'd' and even an 'e' camera.

Now regarding the curious number of 33.5xx 50mm f/2 lenses:
I always found it weird to plan the maximum number of components beforehand. Keep in mind that in contrast to all other items the 50mm f/2 was not an 'accessoir' to be bought separately but was sold with the FED S. So we can assume that if more cameras than planned were produced they also had to exceed the lens number.
However lens 30.000 falls in the mid 'd' range and we see nothing unusual there. Anyway I think there are way stranger things about the FED S than the 'excess' 3.500 lenses.
Jacques M. Posted - Mar 12 2020 : 10:11:47 AM

I have added "lens original" where necessary, and corrected a mistake (original 32189 on my # 180971, and not 31110).
Hope you will manage!
Jacques M. Posted - Mar 12 2020 : 08:40:49 AM

You are right about the pairs, Christian. I will add that in the wiki for my own ones. Of course, the fact that we had bought the camera and the lens together does not make a proof, but it's better than nothing.

About the fake Leica, I have just checked again. It's an original Fed S 1d; you can count the couple 128698/28597 as original. Anyway, impossible to share them, as the s/n 128698 is written too on the beauty ring!

I am still puzzled by the 2/50mm lenses beyond # 30000. Not really understandable, as they overlap the 6,3/100mm series (c. 30000 to 39999). Perhaps we will solve that mystery later...

Amitiés. Jacques.
Niko80 Posted - Mar 11 2020 : 6:51:39 PM
Thank you for your contributions, it seems my graphs are already outdated again!
It would be great help to know which of your camera/lens pairs were purchased separately and definitely are not original.

Your lens is likely 31xxx, we do not have FED 50mm f/2 in the 37xxx range to my knowledge. Maybe you can post a photo?

Jacques, for now I have excluded the odd serial numbers because I do not know what to do with them. But they are certainly enigmatic.
About your Leica II fake #128698 with 2/5cm #28597/8: Do you think it was once a genuine FED S? The serial numbers would be matching so I guess I should include this pair?

I found two more lens-camera pairs on ebay, both of which match very well:
FED S 'c' 65658 Lens 21547
FED S 'd' 129233 Lens 28599

I will update all graphs during the weekend, the last ones I posted contain some minor copying errors like switched digits in some cases but nothing dramatic. Overall things have not changed much from 2013 despite an enormous increase in samples. If anything, the model I proposed on page 1 was strengthened but still a lot of things leave me puzzeled. More conclusions and graphs next time.
Jacques M. Posted - Mar 09 2020 : 10:25:52 AM
Hi Luigi,

In this thread, we normally discuss about the Fed S and their 2/50mm lenses.
About the "ordinary" NKVD, the lens is more or less in the range of the s/n of the body.
It seems the case for your 1c camera s/n 56450 with the s/n 54779 (if I read well) for the lens.

As for "14", it's a factory technical number.

Amitiés. Jacques.
schyter Posted - Mar 09 2020 : 10:12:28 AM
Hi guys ... My NKVD camera is strange >> http://ussrphoto.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3359

his serial number is 56450 ... but the lens has two numbers (see photo) I don't know if this lens is consistent
with the camera (hybrid?) and if it can fit into a statistic...



Only dead fish follow the stream ...
Jacques M. Posted - Mar 09 2020 : 08:49:52 AM
Originally posted by mirror

Huge thanks Niko80 for reviving this thread.

I have added a my pair of FED 2/50 lens and my FED 1d camera (Lens #32726 and FED-S #172936) to related wikipages one week ago, so they are probably included in graphs and should fit perfectly in the line.
The shutterbox of my FED has "21/V" scratched on the side, that probably means it passed quality control on May 21 1941 according to this page

You are completely right!
mirror Posted - Mar 09 2020 : 07:20:23 AM
Huge thanks Niko80 for reviving this thread.

I have added a my pair of FED 2/50 lens and my FED 1d camera (Lens #32726 and FED-S #172936) to related wikipages one week ago, so they are probably included in graphs and should fit perfectly in the line.
The shutterbox of my FED has "21/V" scratched on the side, that probably means it passed quality control on May 21 1941 according to this page

Jacques M. Posted - Mar 09 2020 : 06:42:28 AM
Looking at your last graphs, these gaps could mean that the productions of S bodies and 2/50mm were not co-ordinated... About the 1d s/n 164433, an interesting detail concerning this camera. I bought it without lens. When I tried the wartime LTM Sonnar, I was astonished to see that the position of infinity was perfect. On checking the camera, I saw that the lensplate had been turned of 90° clockwise. Possibly Fed had no more available 2/50mm...

I have begun to complete the wiki about the S, the 1e, the Red Flag and the Fed Arsenal. All these cameras are related together. And for the moment, I am astonished by the number of "irregular" 1e and 1eS, with Fed B parts, or even with Fed Arsenal ones (!!), without lenses or with lenses other than the regular 2/50mm... Certainly, all the existing Fed 1e were not mounted at Kharkov, especially the last ones!

I stop there for the moment!

Fred_L Posted - Mar 09 2020 : 06:34:27 AM
Hi all!!

If I can help, here are my Fed S with lenses:

1c: 65494 with 23814 2/50mm
1c: 75914 with 23285 2/50mm
1d: 132162 with 29057 2/50mm
1d: 139695 with 30219 2/50mm
1d: 140716 with 24786 2/50mm
1d: 147763 with 29974 2/50mm
1d: 148486 with 30713 2/50mm

And 3 more 2/50mm not mounted on bodies

31894 (could be 37894....)

geoffox23 Posted - Mar 08 2020 : 6:58:05 PM
Hello Nico and Jacques

I have amended #123272 to remove the lens.
Lens #26054 was fitted but purchased separately.

Niko80 Posted - Mar 08 2020 : 5:52:36 PM
Thank you, Jacques!

I noticed the wiki entry for FED 50mm f/2 lens is a bit behind and missing a lot of entries seen for FED S. Also there are two conflicting entries:
FED 50/2 #21535 listed as lens only but with camera # 63146 in FED S wiki
FED 50/2 #26054 listed as lens only but with camera #123272 in FED S wiki
How to resolve this?

Next I looked into all available FED S cameras.
Currently (but lacking your latest additions) we have:

FED S'c': 56
FED S'd': 83
FED S'e': 24
Sum: 163

Assuming 12.000 cameras that's about 1.3%, a substantial sample size for statistics. Of every 100 cameras produced we have 13 in the wiki.

Nothing out of the ordinary here, no big gaps.

Let's look at the models in detail.
I plotted them diagonally get a better spread of datapoints but it's still just a line of camera serials. Hope that's not confusing. The units on x and y axis are the same. Note the scale is not the same between models c, d, e as they occupy different serial ranges. So the gaps seen here are NOT the same size!

FED S'c'
56 cameras from #55739 to #93609 = a range of 37870 serials

No idea if this has any significance but what we see here is a mix of small tightly grouped batches and gaps in the first half of the serial range. I'm inclined o say this is not a coincidence.
In the later serials we see no such batches, generally less cameras and quite a gap between #85000 and #90000 with a single camera in the middle - #86826 which has the unusually late lens #27821.
The largest gap is 3037 serials.
There is also some gap between the last 'c' #93609 and the first 'd' #96152 over 2543 serials.

FED S'd'
83 cameras from #96152 to #173444 = a range of 77292 serials

There are also some tightly grouped batches separated by gaps but it's less clear.
The gaps are the largest seen in FED S with a hole between #148500 and #156300 with again a single camera in the middle and again it has an odd Sonnar lens. The largest gap is 4016 between #152345 and #156361 but there are several gaps of 3000-4000 serials throughout the range.
There is virtually no gap between 'd' and 'e', only 535 between the last 'd' #173444 and the first 'e' #173979.

FED S'e'
24 cameras from #173979 to #183892 = a range of only 9913 serials

Not much we can say with so few samples, there are 3 larger gaps but the biggest one is only 1752 between #177597 and #179349.

Next I'll look at those peculiar batches in detail and compare a range of 10000 serials of each model at the same scale. This should make it easier to see patterns.
Jacques M. Posted - Mar 08 2020 : 05:48:04 AM

For the moment, I only think it's really good to see you back!
And I am going to try and complete the listing...

Niko80 Posted - Mar 07 2020 : 9:45:40 PM
Cheers, Jacques!
'Impossible' is such a harsh word, let's call it 'difficult' instead!

First of all my apologies, I can't believe so many years passed since I last visited this forum.
I wanted to restore the graphs long ago but could not find them anymore and then outright forgot.
Been busy with a million other things in the past years and just today thought about checking on the state of FED1 research.

So while I cannot restore the old images - it makes no sense anyway as they are completely outdated - I can make new ones with the current state of wiki entries. As filehosts on the web don't live forever please save these graphs so you can repost them, maybe put them on the wiki. I made them for you, they are free for all.

Omitting all strange serials, we currently have 97 camera-lens pairs for the FED-S with FED-50/2 lens. 33x FED'c', 56x FED'd' and still only 8x FED'e'.

I cannot even remember the old graphs but I believe we see more or less the same here.
Camera-lens pairs concentrate along a vaguely logarithmic line in the center with outliers above for early cameras and more outliers below for middle and later ones. So far not very surprising.

Now let's divide the datapoints into models 'c' 'd' and 'e'.
Full dots are what I arbitrarily considered 'outliers'.

Immediately we see the 3 generations form distinct clusters.

FED'c' (red)
The earliest 'c' cameras make a nice cluster, a few late ones were fitted with lenses of very high s/n. Only two late cameras have unusually low serial lenses. Late 'c' cameras don't group well, there's quite an gap between #80.000 and #95.000

FED'd' (green)
Unsurprisingly the largest batch.
Interestingly from earliest to latest 'c' numbers we see camera-lens pairs clustering along a narrow perfectly strange line. There is no way this is a coincidence, I think we can safely assume these pairs were sold together. We see some lenses with unusually low s/n for early 'c' both high and low for the middle and as one would expect quite some lower s/n lenses for late models.

FED'e' (blue)
Unfortunately we only have eight camera-lens pairs for this enigmatic series, one additional lens has only 4 digits so I omitted it. And we have no lenses for the latest known 'e' models at all.
We have five pairs clustering along the same line as the FED'c', three of which are extremely close together. I would also see these as factory-matched but with so little samples it's hard to tell. Three more have far lower serial lenses, two of which are extremely low and more in the expected FED'c' range.

Now finally I again did some bad statistics and excluded all outlier-datapoints not clustering together and made a separate regression line for 'c', 'd' and 'e' cameras.

What we see immediately is that camera-lens pairs behave differently for 'c' and 'd' models.
The best fit through the 'c' cluster is much steeper but the cluster is fuzzier than the almost perfect straight line in 'd'.
What does this mean? It looks like when lens production started a lot of FED-S'c' were produced hence the gap between camera serials was smaller than in later 'd' models. I'll check this with normal FED1 against FED-S serial numbers. Also it looks like in the lens range #24.000 - 25.500 they had not enough cameras and these lenses ended up in later 'd' and even 'e' models?

Whatever happened, upon production of the FED'd' some different and fixed ratio between camera and lens serial was applied and strictly followed at least for the majority of cases, possibly until at least mid 'e'. The 'd' and 'e' regression lines are basically identical but the data for 'e' cameras is very poor. I did exclude the 'e' with the highest known lens serial number above 33500 as it was only listed in the lens wiki. It falls well within the 'd' line but would mess up the data for 'e' because we only have 5 samples.

Also note that pairs off the regression line never cluster together, they are more or less randomly distributed and far apart. In my opinion this indicates these pairs were not formed in a factory in an organized manner but probably much later as repair or upgrade with random available parts at different places. Maybe even cobbled together recently from parts for sale. We don't know what happened but it’s relatively safe to say it was not an intentional and organized matching of lens and camera serial numbers in the cases of these outliers.

Still keep in mind we have only 97 samples which, given an assumed production number of 13.000 FED-S and 50mm f/2 lenses is about 0,75%. Not great, not terrible. The clusters are highly significant in any case.

So, what do you think?
Jacques M. Posted - Feb 24 2020 : 11:26:35 AM
Originally posted by mirror


I know it is almost 7 years since you posted. But could you please reupload all pictures, it would be really great because the topic is really interesting.

I support your request, Ihar. But I asked Christian to do so some years ago, and it sems it's impossible...
Really a pity.

mirror Posted - Feb 16 2020 : 2:24:01 PM

I know it is almost 7 years since you posted. But could you please reupload all pictures, it would be really great because the topic is really interesting.
Niko80 Posted - Oct 31 2013 : 1:02:36 PM
No problem, David, at least one mystery we solved.
RCCCUK Posted - Oct 30 2013 : 03:11:31 AM
Please see my entry on 'FED Summar. topic. Apologies to everyone.

Niko80 Posted - Oct 29 2013 : 12:48:39 PM
I noticed that David's two 'Summar' lenses are mounted to FED-S cameras.

FED'c' ___ 65494 ____ 23814
FED'd' __ 132610 ____ 28957

The first one lies above the regression line of expected camera-lens serial relations but the 2nd one fits just perfectly with another 'normal' camera-lens pair being extremely close.

If we assume that the 2nd camera and lens do truly belong together, what's the point of creating a fake 'Leica' lens but pairing it with a normal FED camera?
Any ideas?

It would be interesting to know if David's camera #132610 is a regular one or if it was converted to look 'Leica-like' too.

Niko80 Posted - Oct 07 2013 : 5:45:29 PM
Too bad...
But thanks for trying anyhow.

I am a bit disappointed by the amount of Type b-d cameras we have in the wiki so far, I expected to find more when searching online.
We'll see how things look in a couple of months but for now I think a FED-S : FED1 ratio of 1:10 seems quite realistic.

Please keep on adding serials!

Jacques M. Posted - Oct 04 2013 : 03:11:42 AM

No. I fear we won't have any.
Niko80 Posted - Oct 03 2013 : 4:51:30 PM
Any news from Princelle, Jacques?
Jacques M. Posted - Sep 19 2013 : 03:38:43 AM

I sent Princelle a mail yesterday. Wait and see now...

About the number of S-s in the 1e range, it seems the S were not mounted with the same number rules as before, exactly as if the workers had used the last spare parts. This is valuable too for the great number of 1/1000th shutters amongst the Fed-Zorki.

All that makes sense if 1e were mounted at Krasnogorsk with the last prewar parts. Only a guess!

Another more simple possibility: it's easy -and interesting- to fake a 1e S with a cover of 1e and parts of S 1d...

Niko80 Posted - Sep 18 2013 : 6:56:02 PM
Jacques, Princelle's opinion would be very valuable, I hope you can arrange this. I'd like to know how he estimated 2.000 FED-S cameras.

Surely the majority of FED1 cameras ever produced do not exist anymore, no wonder after such a long time. It would seem logical that on average more 'S', NKAP, and other special cameras survived than normal FEDs as these were more valuable and surely more cared for as well as often offered for sale.

Anyway, searching online we seem to find about 0,5-1% of the serial range in pretty much all FED1 cameras we have so far. I've also added FED-Zorki.

What's strange is that in FED1'e' we have 60 normal cameras and 15 FED-S, that means 1/4 of all FED'e' we have are 'S'!

I'll start collecting 'c' and 'd' serials, let's see how this turns out. I'd expect a much lower rate of serials found, but that's just my guess.


Jacques M. Posted - Sep 18 2013 : 03:15:24 AM

... and how much Fed were thrown in a bin, just because they did not work, rather than repaired like a Leica...
I am going to ask Princelle about his estimations.

nightphoto Posted - Sep 17 2013 : 6:00:26 PM
Dear Christian,

Congratulations on 100 posts to the forum! Your charts and information are very valuable to the forum, collectors and probably the solving of some of the history of production! No one has done the work and great job that you have and I thank you for it.

Your last post is very interesting and helpful. Next I would wonder: How many cameras were lost during the war? How many were discarded or broken since the war (50 years since people seriously were collecting)? How many are still sitting around in attics and basements? How many in Russian and other collections where the collector has no interest in communicating data or experiences (I know there are many collectors like this)? Probably there is no way to estimate any of these hard questions, but in some way they play a part in our extrapolations of the data. Think about the story of how so many SPORT cameras were dumped in the river during the war so that the wood crates could be burned for heat and fire! If the story is true, that made a fairly common camera much more rare! And so many stories have not been told, like the exact way and which Zeiss parts were moved to Soviet Ukraine!

I would also like to know how the estimates of production numbers of certain cameras were obtained by Jean Loup Princelle and if he still believes them to be correct. I don't know him but if someone does, maybe they can ask him? It might help just to know, for example, if the 2,000 or less FED-S was just an estimate or from someone who actually knew this and told Princelle.

Regards, Bill

Niko80 Posted - Sep 17 2013 : 3:15:46 PM
Truly, actual historical data would be extremely welcome!

Sorry for all my long posts, I just want to finish something I came up with in the past days that might be of interest.
About the number of cameras we find today vs. the total number we think were produced:

I was very surprised to come up with an estimated number of 10.000-14.000 FED-S cameras and a ratio of 10:1 for FED-S within FED'd', and even about 6-7:1 within FED'c'. Surely not every 6th FED'c' was an 'S'?

So far we have the serials of 115 FED-S cameras in the wiki.
If we assume a total number of FED-S cameras somewhere around 13.000 this would be a sample size 0,9% - meaning we'd have about 1% of all FED-S in the wiki.
For an estimate of 2.000 FED-S we'd have more than 17% of all cameras in the wiki which I think is unrealistic.

By type:
FED-S'c' - max. 46.000 cameras from total serial range, estimated 6.000 FED-S'c' from current statistics
38 entries in the wiki or about 0.6%

FED-S'd'- max.78.500 cameras from total serial range, estimated 7.500 FED-S'd' from current statistics
62 entries in the wiki or about 0.8%

FED-S'e' - max. 10.500 cameras from total serial range, no estimation but if we take the 'd' model, about 1000 FED-S'e'
15 entries in the wiki or about 1,5% - very rough estimate, more a guess!

What if we compare the wiki entries to other cameras we have serials of?

FED1'a' - max. 6.000 cameras from total serial range
45 entries in the wiki or at least 0.75%

FED1'e' incl 'S' - max. 10.500 cameras from total serial range
75 entries or at least 0,7%

FED NKAP - 1.800 estimated total cameras (based on what?)
11 entries or 0,6%

FED Zorki - max. 5.700 cameras from total serial range
37 entries or at least 0,6%

Fed1 Anniversary1654-1954 - 1.000 estimated total cameras (based on what?)
9 entries or 0,9%

Unfortunately all are rather special cameras and we do not know how many really were produced. But no matter what, surprisingly the sample size varies between 0,6% and 0,9% in all these cases.

Note that this neither tells us about possible gaps in serials nor about the total number of cameras produced. However what it does tell us is that based of the number of cameras found today, the numbering scheme of all these camera types seems to work similarly. If by far less cameras than serials actually were produced this should apply to all cameras.

Again, I am not trying to prove anything here, all I'm doing is extracting information that may be overlooked otherwise. Hope it helps.

Jacques M. Posted - Sep 17 2013 : 3:11:04 PM
I think we all agree... The history of a country cannot be reduced to some numbers collected 75 years after...

So, it would be good we could have some more details about the Plans during this period. Were they reached? What about the cameras? Certainly that time was not a period of lucidity about the production of goods: morale had to be absolutely preserved. At some periods, the lie was a doctrine, not only in the East...

I think like Bill that Zoom would be precious, if he can. Are there always real datas in the actual factory? It would be interesting to know...

We must not jump too easily to a conclusion. OK. My conclusion, for the moment, would be that the number of Princelle (2000 Fed S) is highly improbable. It's all I can do!

Amitiés. Jacques.
PS: Congrats for your 100 posts, Christian!

Niko80 Posted - Sep 17 2013 : 2:11:03 PM
Again I totally agree with you, Bill.
The statistical model is only as good as the historical information it is built upon.
In fact the only truly scientific approach would be to research the history of the FED Factory. It would be great if anyone russian-speaking could try to contact the FED factory or search the city archives of Kharkov and Berdsk to see if anything comes up. Surely most documents were destroyed during the war but I am sure at least some fundamental production data will have survived. But this is something I cannot help with, neither do I live there nor do I speak the language.

Unfortunately, the idea that some sort of trickery was used to meet unrealistic production goals is quite likely.
However, no matter how clever the FED staff disguised their never-produced "ghost cameras", I am pretty sure they were not able to circumvent fundamental mathematical principles, so with enough data any large-scale oddities should become visible. However if only single or a few serials were skipped, but this quite often, this would be very hard to detect. In this case we'd have to work our way around from the number of cameras found today.

By the way - finally over 100 posts!
nightphoto Posted - Sep 17 2013 : 12:37:08 PM
Hi Christian and Jacques and all,

I think the graphs are very important and collecting more and more data will make the picture clearer. My only concern is that the actual culture and circumstances of the manufacturing history of the Soviet Union during the Stalinist era, with the Five Year Plans and other pressures, restraints, and limitations, may not be the way we picture it. I believe that sometimes things like serial numbers were used to make actual production numbers look bigger, and other things like that. There were possibly serious consequences for not meeting quotas or production schedules during this time in Soviet history. And, serial numbers may have not been totally sequential, as can be seen in FED-1S. Even without political pressure and consequences, serial numbers have been meant more for internal use than for tracing history by collectors. In some societies and countries, and in some periods they are strictly adhered to and recorded by the factories, but I think in the USSR at this time things were not so simple and organized.

So my point is not to disregard any of the theories put forth here, especially with great work like the graphs by Christian and ideas by my friend Jacques! It is only not to jump to solid conclusions and decide they are fact without supporting evidence or knowledge. Unfortunately, the factory histories and direct knowledge is hard to come by after so much time. I can only hope that more collectors and knowledgeable people who are living in Russia may be able help shed light on these issues. (I am always interested in what Zoom can add to these questions of history of production!).

Regards, Bill

PS: You may notice that the image I use on my posts of Rasputin holding a camera has a FED-1S in his hands! (photo-shopped by me, of course)!

Niko80 Posted - Sep 17 2013 : 12:09:47 PM
Bill does have a valid and important point here, thanks for your post!
Mine are usually a lot longer...

Our theory - or rather hypothesis - relies on many variables we simply have to guess as we do not know. The estimated number of total FED-S of course implies that there are no gaps in serials and all 50mm f/2 lenses were fitted to a camera. However the 10.000-12.000 cameras are already a very careful lower estimate I made with the following points in mind:

.)Are there any gaps in camera- or lens serials? - we don't know but very large gaps are unlikely on the data we have. See the graphs in my next post for more.

.)Were all 50mm f/2 lenses sold with cameras?

If you look at the graphs, I believe that the majority of cameras, about 3/4, were matched with lenses at the factory. There is absolutely no way to explain the grouping along the regression line if people bought lenses separately and fitted them to their cameras at a later time.
Still that leaves 1/4 - 1/3 of cameras which I believe do not have their original lenses - whether they received new ones or were sold without a original one we do not know.

I've been considering the crazy idea of collecting all FED1 serials for quite some time now - and I think we should do it!
It will be a lot of work but I think it should be worth it as this should help us to get a better idea about the relation between FED1 and FED-S, possible gaps and about the way numbering was done in general. We already have started this for FED'e', so let's extend this for 'c' and 'd' as well. I'll be very interested about number ratio of cameras we see for sale compared to FED-S.

More about the likeliness of about 10.000 FED-S in my next post.

Jacques M. Posted - Sep 17 2013 : 07:13:26 AM

You are a breaker of theory, Bill! But you might be right either...

I have just had a look at eBay. For the moment, there are 22 NKVD (1c to 1e) and only one S for sale. In june, they were 31 NKVD against 3 S. All that is of course too punctual to prove anything.

About my feeling, I don't know exactly. I think I have the tendancy to globalize the number of Fed 1 up to the model 1g. In that case, the ratio Fed 1/Fed S is not 1 to 10, of course... I wonder if all of us don't do the same.

I bought my first Fed exactly 8 years ago. But I don't remember having seen 2/50mm lenses sold alone in great numbers. 2 or 3 a year, perhaps... It's just the same for the S bodies equipped with an Industar 10. But 8 years ago, it seems to me that the S for sale were in much greater number than now.

The theory lies upon the number of 2/50mm lenses. I always have read and heard that this lens was exclusively made for the S (and the B!). So, number of 2/50mm = number of S (at 10 or 20% more or less). Now we know that certainly c. 13000 2/50 were made, the conclusion is evident. It's not the same for the other stuff made from 1938 which was prepared for all the cameras, not only the S.

The S were not made by regular batches (I have two consecutive bodies: S and NKVD). So, how were they "distributed" and regulated in the NKVD range? It's the mystery we must solve to prove anything...

That was my opinion.

Amitiés. Jacques.

nightphoto Posted - Sep 17 2013 : 01:19:13 AM
I am wondering ... if there were approximately 120,000 FED-1 cameras produced during this period of FED-S production and there were approximately 12,000 FED-S examples produced, that would make a ratio of nine regular FED-1 cameras to every one FED-S. To me, this does not seem to be the ratio that I see as a collector and from looking at FED-1 cameras on Ebay over the past ten years. It seems like there would be more FED-S cameras seen for sale than are seen from this serial number range.

What do other members think about their feeling of what has been seen of FED-S amounts compared to FED-1 amounts from that serial number range?

I have not kept records of all serial numbers of the FED-1 cameras that I have seen from this period (Serial No. 60,000 to 180,000) so I can not say for certain, but I am pretty sure that I have seen many more than nine FED-1 cameras for every one FED-S.

I'm not trying to make trouble with your theory Jacques ... you may be right, but the graphs and lens serial numbers (although helpful) may not accurately portray the story, or the whole story, as it really is. For example, sometimes serial numbers are made as 'codes' not just starting at a certain number and progressing evenly. To know for sure, the factory information concerning how to read the serial numbers of a specific production must be identified and confirmed. Many serial numbers may start with a year, or a batch number, or even skip large amounts of numbers that were never made or were destroyed, etc.

Also, in this case, I believe it was a time at the FED Zavod where many accessories were being made for the first time and the FED-S was part of a sort of more sophisticated system. There was a panoramic head, exposure meter, telephoto lens, wide angle lens, sports finder, and right angle finder. All had serial numbers and it might be that some F.2.0 50mm lenses were also made to be used even without the FED-S camera. I have seen many being sold without a FED-S, especially in the earlier days of collecting before the FED-S became so valuable and they were being matched to FED-S bodies by sellers because they would sell for much more together (the graphs probably show these matches very well). It is always wise to look at the whole picture even when it may make it harder to figure out some of the answers. Personally I doubt that there were 12,000 FED-S cameras made, but it is just my feeling from looking, not fact or knowledge.

But I like the graphs very much and think they do represent an easy way to look at the data that has been collected so far! Sorry for the long post!

Regards, Bill

Niko80 Posted - Sep 16 2013 : 6:48:17 PM
Yes, that seems like a good option.
But that would mean that old graphs would have to be removed from the Wiki which only Vlad can do.
Jacques M. Posted - Sep 16 2013 : 4:34:33 PM

Just concerning the old graphs: if you cancel them, you will cancel the discussion too. A pity.
I think preferable to insert the last modified graph in the wiki in the Fed S chapter, revised from time to time...
If it is possible...

Niko80 Posted - Sep 15 2013 : 7:55:35 PM
Does anybody have an idea how and why the camera/lens serial relation could have changed between Type'c' and 'd' ?

Jacques, I remember you mentioned the 50mm f/2 lenses were maybe produced in 2 batches, the first being about 5000 lenses. This would match with the batch of the 5-6000 FED-S 'c'.

One more thing:
Do you think it would be better to put the current statistics graphs in the 1st post of this topic and remove the old ones, or leave it as it is?
Currently we have quite a lot of outdated graphs that don't really make sense or even give inaccurate information.

Jacques M. Posted - Sep 14 2013 : 08:34:46 AM

The S entry is far better now...
And very happy that my idea of 12/13000 Fed S produced, rather than 2000, is gaining ground!

To complete all that, we should add too the Fed-KMZ and the Fed-Zorki with the 1/1000th, now we are sure they come from Kharkov, thanks to David Tomlinson. That was my other guess concerning the S.
So, c. 15000 S mechanisms could have been originally made. Impossible to be more precise: we don't know the number of Fed-Zorki with the 1/1000th... Only made in 1948, as it seems.

All that makes sense. Thanks, Christian.

Niko80 Posted - Sep 13 2013 : 7:28:28 PM
Ok, I've deleted the authenticity-data, I think the wiki-entry looks better now.

Here's some better graph to explain the current situation:
As said we seem to have a different lens-camera relation in FED1'c' and FED1'd' cameras.

Note that the scale for lens and camera serials is different, in each square of the graph the camera serial rises per 10.000 while the lens serial rises only per 1.000 or 1/10.

Here each square represents 1000 camera serials and 1000 lens serials.

FED1'c':for about 6.000 camera serials the lens serials rise by 1.000 -> every 6th - 7th camera is fitted with a lens
Serial range 55.000-95.000 -> about 6000 FED-S

Note that this model estimates the earliest FED-S to be around 53.500 (where the red line reaches the bottom of the graph, the lowest possible lens serial of 20.000) which is too low. So the line should actually be a bit steeper. Hopefully this gets better when we have more late 'c' serials.

FED1'd': for about 10.000 camera serials the lens serials rise by 1.000 -> every 10th - 11th camera is fitted with a lens
Serial range 95.000-173500 -> about 7500 FED-S
However a significant part of cameras (about 1/4) seems to have earlier lenses (points far below the red line) and doesn't fall into this model so there might be more. Anyway, most points seem to group very close to the line which makes this a pretty good model. Not much should change with additional serials.

FED1'e': we don't have enough cameras to estimate a model here, but a lot of cameras also seems to have earlier lenses.
Serial range 173.500-184.000 -> very likely only a few hundred FED-S

If we sum this up we get about 13.500 FED-S cameras, which matches the range of lenses produced -> 20.000-34.000. This model probably overestimates the total number of FED-S'c' cameras and underestimates 'type'd' as we know very little about possible gaps in production and what's going on in late 'c' and the total of 'e' models.

Anyway it's a nice indication that we should not be on a totally wrong track here.

.)It seems highly likely that far more than 2.000 FED-S were produced, more likely 10.000-13.000 depending on gaps.

.)Production procedure of cameras and/or lenses was changed dramatically between 'c' and 'd' model.
Lens-serial relation became much smoother in type'd', we see the datapoints are very close to the red regression line. In type'c' the datapoints are more clumped above or below the line. This may indicate that in the beginning larger batches of lenses and/or cameras were produced before assembly while in 'd' only small batches were produced and quickly assembled leaving less possibilities to scramble older lenses with newer cameras or vice versa.

.)I believe the datapoints far above or below the regression line indicate that these cameras had their lenses fitted at a later time or something else unusual happened here.
Note that you will never see two of these points close together. This makes sense as it would be very unlikely to create similar camera-lens pairs by freely combining the spare parts you find available, while it is more than likely if you have batches of cameras and lenses assembled in the factory.

Interestingly it is more common for cameras to have earlier lenses than having later lenses. This may indicate that a significant amount of lenses were "recycled" by matching them with cameras later produced. Either the original cameras had some defects and were replaced, or some lenses were sold singly without cameras so they could be used as spare parts. It would be highly interesting to know if it was possible to buy standalone lenses or cameras.

Please keep searching and submitting serials, our model will get better with every datapoint!

Jacques M. Posted - Sep 13 2013 : 08:46:53 AM

Nobody has answered. So, we can think that all are OK!
So, please, Christian...

Jacques M. Posted - Sep 08 2013 : 3:40:31 PM
OK, Geoff, I had not understand it was the tube of the infinity button you were speaking of... I will ask my friend as soon as he is back.

About the + and ++, they were supposed to be signs of credibility, at least at the beginning... The ++ was for the "authentic" cameras = the ones we owned or those we had had in our hands. The + for those which had been seen on the net and which seemed genuine.

With the inflation of s/n for some cameras and for other reasons, it means nothing now. So, I agree with you. But perhaps it would be preferable to have first the opinion of some other members? Vlad first, of course...

Amitiés. Jacques.
Niko80 Posted - Sep 06 2013 : 5:35:55 PM
Thanks, Geoff,
I've added the serial to the wiki.

I will come up with some more interesting details from the statistics in the next days. As usual there are more questions than answers.

Two more things:
.)I've marked all serials up to the 55.xxx entry as "unusual" as they do not represent 1b but 1c cameras.
.)I think we should remove the category of authenticity, as it is not defined what + or ++ is supposed to mean.
What do you think?


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