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Jacques M.
France
2209 Posts
Posted - Jul 11 2018 :  11:24:39 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello,

I have received yesterday a strange Fed S, s/n 25726. Its features are from the NKVD 1d type, but the number comes from the 1b series. It puts once more a question which has not been solved: why these serial numbers? I own several of these strange NKVD-s (I am not alone!) and perhaps we could discuss together about mine and yours...

First some photos of this Fed S s/n 25726: the cover and the front.


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/1172018_IMG_0110.JPG



http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/1172018_IMG_0114.JPG

Nothing extraordinary, except the s/n. The vulcanite is typical of the early 1d-s (I would say up to c.110000).


Edited by - Jacques M. on Jul 11 2018 11:29:35 AM
Jacques M.
France
2209 Posts
Posted - Jul 11 2018 :  11:39:53 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
But this camera is surprising.
The frame counter is magnetic. It's probably the first time I see that on a Fed. And the position of the pins is correct, so, this disc doesn't belong to other well known cameras, such as Leicas or Zorkis.


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/1172018_IMG_0113.JPG

Something else. The bottom cover contains a special warning plaque like some Leicas, but in Russian and with the "CCCP" mark. A sort of 1d identity card... I had never seen that before.


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/1172018_IMG_0119.JPG


Edited by - Jacques M. on Jul 12 2018 07:04:32 AM
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Jacques M.
France
2209 Posts
Posted - Jul 11 2018 :  2:25:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Last picture concerning this camera: the back part of the shutter box, foot removed.

http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/1172018_IMG_0117.JPG

Of course, interesting. Impossible to say where the grey colour comes from.
The camera was delivered with a Fed 3,5/50mm lens, not original for a Fed S.

In our previous threads concerning these cameras, we had listed the different possibilities:
- s/n kept when warranty (like Leicas),
- special s/n reserved for administration (police, army, etc),
- error when engraving: 1st cipher missing (or other),
- any possible fakes.

What do you think about this one?

Amitiés. Jacques.

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Vladislav Kern
Vlad
USA
4045 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Jul 11 2018 :  7:47:58 PM  Show Profile  Visit Vlad's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi Jacques,

The little plaque inside the bottom cover is quite surprising, I've never seen one as well! How interesting! I am still of the opinion that the early serial numbers of later cameras are a result of a factory warranty repair where number was moved to another plate so the passport stays the same. Very nice and curious addition to your collection! Congratulations!

Best regards,
Vlad
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Jacques M.
France
2209 Posts
Posted - Jul 12 2018 :  06:35:56 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Thanks, Vlad.
The factory warrantee repair can be an explanation for some of these cameras we already know. But not for this specific one, I think.

This s/n 25726 belongs to the early 1d: CCCP engraving, non magnetic shutter cage (cages become magnetic from c. 110/115xxx), vulcanite, etc. So, a theorical serial number between 95xxx/115xxx. These cameras were made in the mid of 1939; the original 25726 1b in the end of 1936 (Princelle). It's too long for a simple warrantee.

I even think that the misengraving (omission of the first cipher, a "1") is probably not the explanation. 125726 would be too late for a 1d with a brass shutter cage. And more: the magnetic counter frame and the special warning plaque are completely unusual.

So, a special series? Or rather bodies, taken from the running production, to be re-numbered before delivery? But to whom? Only a supposition...

Amitiés. Jacques.
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Jacques M.
France
2209 Posts
Posted - Jul 12 2018 :  07:02:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

http://ussrphoto.com/Wiki/default.asp?WikiCatID=98&ParentID=1&ContentID=1035&Item=FED+1b+%2D+Unusual+Serial+Numbers

Here is the listing of our wiki:

220 - AVITO 2012 /att. 10/I/1937/ lens #35071
280 - DVD Tech
377 - A.Nikitin
417 - Bill Parkinson
420 - S.Pseunok
568 - internet
852 - A.Nikitin
1032 - Aidas Pikiotas
1126 - Jacques M. (1b between c. 11500-21000)
1151 - Molotok
1653 - seen on Molotok
1705 - DVD Tech
2013 - PYC (Fed-S 1c)
2532 - photohistory
2969 - Halsey, Nikitin (Lens #34959) /zinc/
3504 - Collector in Kharkov (passport 20/VIII/1936 see photo / Lens #44236)
3631 - Bill Parkinson, Jacques M.
3909 - DVD Tech (FED-S 1c)
4573 - ebay. Narrow engraving.
4580 - Jacques M. (1b brown vulcanite, large engraving)
4586 - DVD Tech (FED-S & B ? 1d)
4875 - James McGee
5298 - Alexander K. (Lens #5977)
5378 - A.Nikitin ( Fed S)
5664 - DVD Tech
5957 - web (lens 1\2 #6823)
25726 - Jacques M. (Fed S 1d)
25949 - DVD Tech (Fed-S 1c)
32580 - Mike Haley (napchop)
27839 - Avto Metreveli

Two groups in this list, by the s/n: cameras which belong to the 1a series (202 to 5957) and four with a 1b serial number. The idea that many 1a-s were not correctly working, so repaired or changed under warrantee, is clear. But the wiki does not give enough information about the conversion of these cameras. If the owners could share... I will do my best with my other three cameras.

Jacques.
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Vladislav Kern
Vlad
USA
4045 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Jul 12 2018 :  07:40:23 AM  Show Profile  Visit Vlad's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Jacques, it still can be a warranty replacement, the original body was beyond repair and they just engraved old serial number from passport and gave it to the customer
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Jacques M.
France
2209 Posts
Posted - Jul 12 2018 :  07:54:13 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Between the s/n 25726 (original camera) and a s/n between 95/110000 (replacement camera), there are 2 years and a half. It's probably too long for a warranty period, I think?

Amitiés. Jacques.

Edited by - Jacques M. on Jul 12 2018 11:26:37 AM
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Vladislav Kern
Vlad
USA
4045 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Jul 12 2018 :  08:03:54 AM  Show Profile  Visit Vlad's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I am not sure how long warranty was on a FED, it's possible it may have been 3 years. Does anyone know?
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Alfa2
Poland
312 Posts
Posted - Jul 12 2018 :  09:35:23 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Vlad

I am not sure how long warranty was on a FED, it's possible it may have been 3 years. Does anyone know?


Do you expect it is still valid ?
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Vladislav Kern
Vlad
USA
4045 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Jul 12 2018 :  09:54:18 AM  Show Profile  Visit Vlad's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Haha, you never know! Maybe if you insist they can replace a camera with an IL-72 fuel pump or whatever they manufacture right now
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Jacques M.
France
2209 Posts
Posted - Jul 12 2018 :  11:26:10 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ha, ha!
A word more: I just see the s/n of the Industar 10: 107717.
The camera was bought by a French in the 1940s and stayed in the same family till now. The actual seller does not remember having seen a 2/50 Fed lens.
If this Industar is original, which is not impossible, that would confirm the s/n between 100xxx/110xxx for the body.

But the question remains: warranty engraving or special order?

Edited by - Jacques M. on Jul 12 2018 11:28:05 AM
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xya
France
85 Posts
Posted - Jul 12 2018 :  4:35:08 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
as these cameras were expensive, they may have been unsold for a year or two. if this one was sold a year or two later than its date of production, it would have been under warranty by the time of the newer body. so it could well be a warranty repair engraving.

www.a7camera.com www.120folder.com www.instantphoto.eu

Edited by - xya on Jul 12 2018 4:36:26 PM
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Jacques M.
France
2209 Posts
Posted - Jul 13 2018 :  01:11:05 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by xya

as these cameras were expensive, they may have been unsold for a year or two. if this one was sold a year or two later than its date of production, it would have been under warranty by the time of the newer body. so it could well be a warranty repair engraving.



Certainly you can be right: I thought to something like that. Vlad, Alfa, would it be coherent?
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Alfa2
Poland
312 Posts
Posted - Jul 13 2018 :  04:27:03 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I really doubt this is proper scenario.

The question is: Where the camera was bought ?

If the camera was bought in France so it would be possible the camera stayed on a shelf in a shop for long time. But I really doubt FEDs NKVD were sold officialy in France before WWII. Before WWII Poland was capitalistic country and there was no import of FEDs. You could buy only Leica. I assume it was not official import of FEDs to France too.

If the camera was bought in USSR it would not stay long time on a shelf in a shop. In capitalistic countries there are overproduction. There are a lot of goods on shelfs in shops and these things can stay there for a long time. In communistic countries we had underproduction. Very often shelfs in shops were empty. Consumers had to wait until goods are produced. Good example is a car. My father wanted to buy a car Fiat 125p. So he had to pay 100% of amount 5 years earlier and than wait this 5 years until a car was produced. So I really doubt this FED was waiting in a shop to be bought in USSR.
It was not matter the cheepest car costed 35 medium monthly salaries. There was always queue and you had to wait a few years for the car.
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Alfa2
Poland
312 Posts
Posted - Jul 13 2018 :  05:51:13 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My idea is completely other but we van only guess of course.

I think the camera was done "after knowing" i.e. by special request. This was very popular way in communistic countries. I will give you an example:
I want to buy a camera but I cannot buy it officially in a shop because it was not there. But my brother knows a guy who works in a factory. So I ask my brother to ask his friend about a camera. The factory worker tells my brother he will prepare special camera for my brother.

This was a very popular way of getting some thing that you could not buy in a shop. In capitalistic countries it is treated as theft. In communistic countries it was absolutely acceptable because this arise from living in completely other reality.

So the camera was done by a worker from parts they had those time period in the factory. There was no 2/50 so 3.5/50 lens was used.
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Jacques M.
France
2209 Posts
Posted - Jul 13 2018 :  08:51:15 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Thanks, Alfa.
The camera was bought in the years 1940s, but the actual seller doesn't know where. Certainly not in France, anyway. About import, I just remember having seen used Feds for sale in Paris in 1954 (I was just 10). Probably NKVDs, as I could not decipher all these words in cyrillics...

About your guess, I have some doubts. A skilled worker would have had access to all the necessary parts, including the special ones for Fed S, and would have engraved a special s/n with the right tools? Why a special number? But, as you say, we are here to suppose.

Amitiés. Jacques.
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Jacques M.
France
2209 Posts
Posted - Jul 13 2018 :  09:25:50 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

On the other hand, your guess would explain these odd parts we find in this Fed: the plaque inside the back cover (a prototype?); the magnetic frame counter (trial of the factory), etc.
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Jacques M.
France
2209 Posts
Posted - Jul 13 2018 :  10:36:08 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Second camera: the s/n 1126.
A normal 1b, except the number.


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/1372018_IMG_0128.JPG


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/1372018_IMG_0130.JPG

The vulcanite takes place after the brown patterned one; narrow inscription, fine milling for the buttons, no hole on the back.

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Jacques M.
France
2209 Posts
Posted - Jul 13 2018 :  10:48:37 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Base plate removed:

http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/1372018_IMG_0135.JPG

The center screw is present. There is "25078" written with a pencil on the cage (perhaps the s/n of the original 3,5/50 Fed lens? I bought the camera with the 4,5/28).

All in all, a classical 1b which should have a s/n between 15xxx/21xxx, if we add the shape of the left side of the cover (much more curved after) and other details. This camera seems an excellent candidate for the 1st cipher missing: "21126" would be normal for this body.

Any comments are welcome! Thanks!

Jacques.
(3 other of these Feds to come)


Edited by - Jacques M. on Jul 13 2018 11:05:38 AM
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Alfa2
Poland
312 Posts
Posted - Jul 13 2018 :  3:30:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Jacques M.

About your guess, I have some doubts.

Jacques, let me answer your doubts.
quote:
Originally posted by Jacques M.

A skilled worker would have had access to all the necessary parts, including the special ones for Fed S

A skilled worker would have had access to all parts, which were available in the factory. In communism factories produced goods from this what they had currently on stock. Some materials were rationed (limited) even in factories. Especially for civilian production. There were other rules related to military production because it was prio 1. So they had all necessary materials.
quote:
Originally posted by Jacques M.

and would have engraved a special s/n with the right tools? Why a special number?

Here I have an explanation too. He in had to go out of the factory with this camera in one piece or part by part. Factories had guards. They controlled everybody who go out of the factory area. So he wanted to go out with the plate with s/n which pretended part for old FED not for one from current production.

Of course we can only guess what happened with the FED in the factory.

But I remember communistic reality in factories. When I was a student a was working in car factory as a part of my study. I remember the guard in front of factory gate and ways people were trying to put parts out of the factory. They were doing it because they were not able to buy car parts in a shop. I can write much more about this if you want.

Edited by - Alfa2 on Jul 13 2018 4:35:12 PM
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Jacques M.
France
2209 Posts
Posted - Jul 14 2018 :  04:57:01 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Sure I did not live in a FSU country, so I just can imagine.
For the moment, we have 30 of these Feds in our listing. If you are right, that would certainly mean that hundreds of Feds were made in fraud during this prewar period, as they are rather difficult to spot...

Before leaving this s/n 1126, two pictures more, with the s/n 21225, a regular one which could be its twin. Absolutely no difference.


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/1472018_IMG_0140.JPG


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/1472018_IMG_0144.JPG

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Alfa2
Poland
312 Posts
Posted - Jul 14 2018 :  06:07:56 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I did not live in a FSU country too.
But some rules in all communistic countries were the same.

Regarding FED 1126 there are almost no doubts this is "error" when engraving. The question is: why ?
Really hard to guess after 80 years. This could have been made by mistake or intentionally.

Maybe a worker had papers for FED 1126. So he has taken a camera from current production and gave number 1126 to it. He could say this is my camera I have papers for that.
In communistic countries papers were very important. Based on a paper you could have a car faster then others, you could buy a flat without waiting 20 years, you could buy even better radio which were not available in a shop.

Mentality of people were complitelly different.
Now if you work in e.d. Renault company you understand you cannot put a car part out ot the factory because it does not belong to you.
Communistic propaganda was telling that everything was common. So everybody was an owner of all factories and everything what was inside. So from formal piont of view I was owner of busses on a street, trains all industry and so on. Propaganda was telling: in capitalistic countries you don't owe all these goods. Here you have this all.
People in Poland realises we are governed by thiefs and they will officialy take for themselves almost all which was produced. So if you took a part from a factory it was not treated as thief.


Edited by - Alfa2 on Jul 14 2018 06:11:56 AM
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Jacques M.
France
2209 Posts
Posted - Jul 14 2018 :  07:23:31 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

If we accept to consider that these two cameras are twins, the most simple explanation is probably the best.
The 1a s/n 1126 was made in mid 1934. It was taken in charge by the warranty later, and its s/n engraved on a 1b, in mid 1936 (approximate date of making for the s/n 21126.

So, the actual s/n 21126 is wanted!
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Jacques M.
France
2209 Posts
Posted - Jul 14 2018 :  07:39:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Third camera: the Fed S s/n 2092, which is a 1c.


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/1472018_IMG_0145.JPG


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/1472018_IMG_0147.JPG

No real problem to identify the camera. The vulcanite is a last 1b/early 1c one, the central screw above the lens is half hidden, and the pin to lock the bottom plate is 3mm. So, a real serial number between 54xxx (beginning of 1c-s) and 61xxx.

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Jacques M.
France
2209 Posts
Posted - Jul 14 2018 :  07:57:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Of course, no more inside screw, which is specific to the 1a-s and 1b-s.

http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/1472018_IMG_0150.JPG

That time, the reason of the s/n is perhaps more difficult to explain.
First, it seems that this sort of vulcanite does not appear after s/61000 (but we are not so far with 62092 if we add the "6" which could miss). And there is more time between january 1935 (making of the s/n 2092) and early 1938 (for the s/n 62092). Perhaps 3 years are a bit too long...

Just to say: I bought the camera with a 2/50mm Fed lens s/n 33428, so which belongs to the end of the batch. It should have been mounted on a Fed 1e.

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xya
France
85 Posts
Posted - Jul 14 2018 :  2:57:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Alfa2

I did not live in a FSU country too.
But some rules in all communistic countries were the same.

Regarding FED 1126 there are almost no doubts this is "error" when engraving. The question is: why ?
Really hard to guess after 80 years. This could have been made by mistake or intentionally.

Maybe a worker had papers for FED 1126. So he has taken a camera from current production and gave number 1126 to it. He could say this is my camera I have papers for that.
In communistic countries papers were very important. Based on a paper you could have a car faster then others, you could buy a flat without waiting 20 years, you could buy even better radio which were not available in a shop.

Mentality of people were complitelly different.
Now if you work in e.d. Renault company you understand you cannot put a car part out ot the factory because it does not belong to you.
Communistic propaganda was telling that everything was common. So everybody was an owner of all factories and everything what was inside. So from formal piont of view I was owner of busses on a street, trains all industry and so on. Propaganda was telling: in capitalistic countries you don't owe all these goods. Here you have this all.
People in Poland realises we are governed by thiefs and they will officialy take for themselves almost all which was produced. So if you took a part from a factory it was not treated as thief.



alfa2, the picture that you are drawing of communist countries in many of our threads, doesn't match with my impressions. a part of my family lived in eastern germany and a part in former czechosloakia. we visited them quite often from the late 50s onwards and as it was family, we had quite some insight. we met in bulgaria each summer and I have been to russia several times with them in the 60s and 70s. my mother was a teacher in occupied poland in the 40s, she kept in touch with her pupils and we visited poland regularly as well.

there were well expensive products on display in stores, like cameras, that sat on the shelf because they were too expensive for ordinary people. it was not the case with cars, there you are right.

there was well a notion of theft. they were proud of owning the land and the industry in common, but your car was your car, your camera was your camera and common goods were common. there were strict controls at the factories and taking parts was regarded as theft and heavily fined. and don't forget: there were always spies around you that would report wrongdoing. I doubt your theory of whole cameras being brought out of the production line in numbers.

if you owned foreign currency, a lot of things were possible, but then again, it had its rules. you would get official papers, but these would be within the ordinary production and the ordinary numbering.

if you knew high officials, as I did, you would be able to get products out of the official production, but these had their own numbering, which was recognizable in itself. it would not be similar to old numbers, there were letters added to the numbers or no number at all.

www.a7camera.com www.120folder.com www.instantphoto.eu
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Jacques M.
France
2209 Posts
Posted - Jul 15 2018 :  08:20:56 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Many thanks for these enlightments, xya!

I have found something about the delay between date of passport and sale. In my records, I have the 1b s/n 13748, lens 14280, controlled the 8 and 9 X 1935 and put to sale only the 26/4/1936. We don't know when it was really sold... So, a total period of 2 1/2 or 3 years between original passport and "new" camera does not seem impossible...

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Jacques M.
France
2209 Posts
Posted - Jul 15 2018 :  09:12:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Two last pictures to finish up with this Fed s/n 2092.
They show a comparison between the Fed S s/n 59549 and the 2092, possibly 62549. I have no other camera closer, but there is no modification in the original series between these two ones.


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/1572018_DSC00450.JPG


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/1572018_DSC00451.JPG

No difference in the features, except the varnishing of the vulcanite and the inscriptions in black, of course made by the seller. They are twins too. Very probably this s/n 2092 is in fact a s/n 62092.

I don't want to tire anybody, but the s/n 3631 will soon arrive! All comments are welcome, once more...

Jacques.


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Juhani Halmeenmaki
cedricfan
Finland
921 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Jul 15 2018 :  10:33:59 AM  Show Profile  Visit cedricfan's Homepage  Reply with Quote
You are not making me tired, I want more :)

Best regards,
Juhani
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Jacques M.
France
2209 Posts
Posted - Jul 16 2018 :  08:33:59 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

I will do what I can, Yuhani!

So, the s/n 3631 shows the same vulcanite we have already seen with the 2092 and which is common from the middle of the 1b series to the beginning of 1c: a grey/green one, depending on the use. The chrome is satin finished and takes dust and dirtiness.


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/1672018_DSC00452.JPG


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/1672018_DSC00454.JPG

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Jacques M.
France
2209 Posts
Posted - Jul 16 2018 :  08:54:22 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

The speed dial is a small one; the buttons have a semi-coarse milling (compared to the postwar Feds, for example). The internal screw is of course there.


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/1672018_DSC00453.JPG


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/1672018_DSC00460.JPG

If we add the s/n of the lens (34350), this Fed should very probably be the s/n 33631.

This camera was given to me by Bill Parkinson. Thanks, Bill.

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Jacques M.
France
2209 Posts
Posted - Jul 16 2018 :  09:02:41 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

A comparison between the (3)3631 (above on the pics) and the 34270:


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/1672018_DSC00462.JPG


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/1672018_DSC00464.JPG

No real difference, except, perhaps the diameter of the release button... The rest is the same. From these numbers, the 1b series will remain steady, without modification, up to the 5000 last numbers towards the 1c.

Jacques.

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Jacques M.
France
2209 Posts
Posted - Jul 16 2018 :  09:26:48 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

We had already spoken of the (my) last camera with odd s/n here: http://ussrphoto.com/Forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2963

Two pictures, concerning this s/n 4580:


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/1672018_DSC00466.JPG


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/1672018_DSC00467.JPG

An interesting camera, easy to spot with the particular patterned vulcanite, the main buttons with two sorts of milling, the shape of the left side of the cover and the broad engraving. I have in my records the s/n 25617, 25840, 25922 and the 26327 which exactly look like the 4580. So, this camera should probably be the 24580.


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Jacques M.
France
2209 Posts
Posted - Jul 16 2018 :  09:44:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Two more photos to compare it to my s/n 25617:


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/1672018_DSC00475.JPG


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/1672018_DSC00477.JPG

Two interesting differences are well visible on the photos: the diameter of the speed dial is 13,5mm on the s/n 25616, while the (2)4580 has still the big 15mm one... And the 25617 already has the fine milling on its two buttons. Changings are gradual!


Edited by - Jacques M. on Jul 16 2018 10:31:53 AM
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Jacques M.
France
2209 Posts
Posted - Jul 16 2018 :  10:31:28 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

A conclusion?

It seems there is no real doubt for most of the cameras. Every time or almost, we can find without many researches the missing cipher, by comparison with other cameras, with a good certitude. These cameras would have been picked up from the assembly line to take the place of a non working 1a, the s/n being the one of the 1a.

But things are perhaps too simple.

Suppose that I am responsible of the assembly line. I am told that I must prepare a camera to replace the 1a s/n 1126. The line is producing cameras in the s/n 25xxx/26xxx, well recognizable (brown pattern). I will engrave 1126 on one of them. But there is no 11126, or 21126, 31126, 41126... with these features. In that case, there is no relation between the features and the number.

And the first camera (S type 1c s/n 25726)is even more troublesome, with its magnetic questions and its plaque inside the bottom plate.

What do you think?

Amitiés. Jacques.

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Jacques M.
France
2209 Posts
Posted - Jul 17 2018 :  03:21:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

So, to be clear, our main hypothesis -s/n of a non-working camera engraved on the replacing one- is probably non valid. To say that in other words: there should be no relation between the features and the number. The fact that there is obviously a relation should lead us towards other hypothesis: missing cipher, or special series.

I am very suprised by that conclusion... I will examine more closely the s/n to see if there are interesting differences in the engraving (position of ciphers, etc.).

But I can be wrong or I can have missed something... So, what do you think?

Amitiés. Jacques.
PS: all the pictures marked "DSC" were made with my prewar macro Fed lens on A7.
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Bill Parkinson
nightphoto
USA
1022 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Jul 19 2018 :  10:57:16 AM  Show Profile  Visit nightphoto's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hello Jacques, Vlad and Everyone,

I hope you are all well! I will give some thoughts I have had over the years about the unusual numbers.

I can't see why the FED factory would go to the trouble to engrave an early number on a newer camera so that the original passport would remain valid for the owner. In the case that a camera was replaced for some reason, the owner would have likely just be given a new one, in the box, with its passport and manual. Did FEDs actually have a lifetime warranty where they could be returned to the factory if they were very badly damaged, and were then replaced? What does the warranty state? Has anyone ever seen an actual written warranty? Probably most repairs were done by the owner, someone he knew who could do it, or at some type of photo supply or repair shop.

On the other hand, when looking at the Wiki list for these cameras, there seems to be (in this small sample) a larger proportion of FED S models than are found in the general population of FEDs that have been collected. To me this makes sense because I have always suspected that the FEDs with unusual numbers were engraved that way because they were official cameras, used by government or official agencies, or by the military. And possibly the FED-S cameras were also made for special use.

I think that Jacques' newest camera, No.25726, with the instructional plate or plaque on the body cover, may be a good proof of official use. The plaque looks like the type found on many Soviet aerial and military cameras, both still and cine. No reason for a plaque like that on civilian models as they would have an instruction book or manual with the individual camera, but often official equipment is used by members of the government or military who do not have much experience using it, and the manual is not easily available when on the job or when the equipment is requisitioned from storage.

Possibly the unusual numbers represent a way of numbering the cameras that were taken from the factory for official or military use. Anomalies in the group of unusual numbers cameras, as far as exact model features, specific attributes, and where their numbers place them in relation to the features of higher or lower numbers, may very well have to do with replacement of parts, repairs during official use, as well as alterations made once the cameras left official or military use. That would seem to be usual and similar to the civilian cameras we see.

Maybe I'm wrong about it, but Jacques camera with the military - governmental style plate on the bottom is a big clue, in my opinion (and not seen before to my knowledge). The 'magnetic' or iron metal frame counter could have something to do with the camera being used in some larger device where the winding knob was moved remotely and a magnet helped to keep the winding knob up tight to the larger mechanism?

The 'missing number or cypher' by accident theory does not make much sense to me and I don't think these cameras belong to a specific series, they just have a different numbering system for official use. Passports may not have been needed if they were used by government facilities (or may have been lost in government files over the years).

I also remember that at one time, years ago, there was a theory that these cameras were assembled, or at least numbered in a separate FED facility at Lesopark. I was in contact with a Russian collector who had heard that was the case and even sent me photos of what the FED building there looked like when he took photos of it. But, unfortunately, I can't find my records or e-mails about it any more.

Best to you all, Bill



Regards, Bill

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Jacques M.
France
2209 Posts
Posted - Jul 23 2018 :  05:53:02 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Many thanks, Bill! Really nice of you...
I am puzzled too by my last camera and its special features. Really, the plaque and the iron film counter are astonishing.

I had forgotten a last explanation we had already evoked in a previous post. Guido just reminds me: it's the improvement by the factory. Leica had done the same: I own for example a Leica III (slow speeds) with a Leica II serial number. And a Leica II 1932 with 1936 features. In both cases, Leitz had changed the totality of the camera without changing the serial number.

It's another hypothesis. Perhaps it is the best: it explains why we find twins.

Amitiés. Jacques.

Edited by - Jacques M. on Jul 23 2018 06:49:39 AM
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Vladislav Kern
Vlad
USA
4045 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Jul 25 2018 :  3:44:35 PM  Show Profile  Visit Vlad's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hello again everyone, and Bill great to see you here! Sorry for my prolonged absense, I've been travelling..

Regarding the original camera posted: all great points (especially Alfa's depiction of Soviet workplace is spot-on), a few thoughts from my end though. I am very puzzled by the warning plaque on the bottom plate, although I doubt a military connection, but may be techincal use by an organization.. it's probably the most interesting discovery I've seen in recent times with these pre-war FEDs..

I do have to argue a bit about the fact that they wouldn't engrave the numbers to match the passport. From the materials I've been reading in Soviet Photo and other pre-war articles, it seems like the FEDs before the war were almost an item of extreme luxury, a privilege to have in your possession, as these cameras very hard to find and it high deficit, and passports for those would prove your ownership as well and be on record at FED for warranty. Having multiple of these would possibly raise questions of impropriety in USSR (even consider you bourgeois). It's like having a deed to a house or a title to a car. So I can totally see them reengraving the number of the camera if it's beyond repair to match your passport...

Best regards,
Vlad
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Jacques M.
France
2209 Posts
Posted - Jul 26 2018 :  08:16:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

I have no problem to accept the idea to reingrave an old s/n on a new cover. Leica had done the same when improving cameras.

But I always lean upon the same obstacle. The reingraving should be made on a camera taken on the assembly line. For example, if the line works on the s/n 28xxx, and the original camera has the s/n 2500, we will find "brothers" (= same features) for the new s/n 2500 in the 28xxx. But there won't be any relation in the s/n.: nothing in the 125xx, 225xx, 325xx, etc.

Here we have a double relation in almost all my examples: features and numbers. Except for the 25726. Probably it's too much to be normal. But I don't know if my doubts are quite understandable!

It would be interesting that other owners can post pictures of their cameras... Perhaps there are several explanations?

Amitiés. Jacques.

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Bill Parkinson
nightphoto
USA
1022 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Jul 27 2018 :  2:44:38 PM  Show Profile  Visit nightphoto's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I agree with Vlad that this camera of Jacques is an interesting discovery because of the instructional plate.
The instructional plate looks authentic to me, and the way it is attached indicates that it was added to a factory base-plate. Very possibly a special-order for a small number of cameras, since we have not seen it before.

It is hard for me to believe that this camera was a replacement for a damaged camera and that the instructional plate was added for no reason!

This is why I am thinking that during this Soviet pre-WWII period, when an official agency or branch / department of the military requisitioned cameras from FED, the order was numbered differently than those cameras that were meant for civilian use.

So, maybe an official agency ordered a small number of cameras with the instructional plate, for their specific needs, and they were numbered in this different manner.

Regards, Bill

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Vladislav Kern
Vlad
USA
4045 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Jul 27 2018 :  3:01:48 PM  Show Profile  Visit Vlad's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi Bill,

I do have to admit that your theory of special order with its own numbering is plausible but why start in 25xxx that's a mystery..
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Bill Parkinson
nightphoto
USA
1022 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Jul 27 2018 :  11:17:18 PM  Show Profile  Visit nightphoto's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi Vlad,
It is a mystery all right. When I look at the list we have, I can see some patterns, but no doubt there are and were many more of these unusual numbered cameras. If the list was larger and the actual details of the cameras noted, then maybe we could get a better idea, of any reasons for it. It could be a reason or reasons we have not thought of, something weird such as ... when a camera was found and an owner could not be found (lost, recovered stolen property, turned in by an agency, etc.) a new one was engraved with the old number. Or, when production was reviewed and some numbers, or the records of numbers, were missing, a new production camera was given the number.

It would be interesting to see if any of the unusual number examples exist as well as the original number .. so two cameras with the same number, one older and one newer!

Regards, Bill

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Bill Parkinson
nightphoto
USA
1022 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Jul 27 2018 :  11:36:56 PM  Show Profile  Visit nightphoto's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Also, I still have some photos of some of these cameras:

280
417
1653
1705
3504 ( and photos of the passport )
3631
3909
4586
4875
5664

And, I have an e-mail correspondence with a collector in Kharkov who had some information about a different location in Kharkov where FED had a building. He told me of a passport that had a different location on it. Probably too much stuff to put on the forum, but I can send it by e-mail.

Regards, Bill

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Jacques M.
France
2209 Posts
Posted - Jul 28 2018 :  05:34:48 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

The same plate on a 1937 Leica III:


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/2872018_DSC00479.JPG

Perhaps it would be interesting you post your photos, Bill, so that we look for a relation between numbers, as I did?

Amitiés. Jacques;

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Bill Parkinson
nightphoto
USA
1022 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Jul 28 2018 :  11:07:30 AM  Show Profile  Visit nightphoto's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi Jacques,
I will post what I have. Here is the most interesting thing.

FED No. 3505 and it's passport from 1936. I can't remember where I got this. I did not own the camera and passport. Maybe this has been seen by members before.


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/2872018_passport2.jpg


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/2872018_Kharkov3.jpg



http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/2872018_FED3504-1.jpg


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/2872018_FED3504-2.jpg



Regards, Bill

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Bill Parkinson
nightphoto
USA
1022 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Jul 28 2018 :  11:10:09 AM  Show Profile  Visit nightphoto's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Actually it is FED 3504.

Regards, Bill

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Bill Parkinson
nightphoto
USA
1022 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Jul 28 2018 :  11:38:29 AM  Show Profile  Visit nightphoto's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The rest of the photos are all I have in my files. Some may be helpful.

Here is FED No. 417
http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/2872018_FED417.jpg

Here is FED No.1653 (4 photos)

http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/2872018_FED1653-1.jpeg


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/2872018_FED1653-2.jpeg


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/2872018_FED1653-3.jpeg


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/2872018_FED1653-4.jpeg



Regards, Bill

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Bill Parkinson
nightphoto
USA
1022 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Jul 28 2018 :  11:44:04 AM  Show Profile  Visit nightphoto's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Here is FED No. 3631 and No. 417

http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/2872018_FED3631-417.jpg

Here is FED No. 3631

http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/2872018_FED3631.jpg

Here is FED No. 3909


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/2872018_FED3909.jpg

Here is 4586



http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/2872018_FED4586.jpg

Here is FED No. 4875


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/2872018_FED4875-1.jpg


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent/2872018_Fed4875-2.jpg



Regards, Bill

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Bill Parkinson
nightphoto
USA
1022 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Jul 28 2018 :  12:17:33 PM  Show Profile  Visit nightphoto's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Here is more information in the form of e-mails between me and a man named Igor who had an unusual numbers camera for sale. It was a long time ago, but I don't have the date (before 2008). Originally I told him I thought the camera was a fake, and then we had the following exchange. He did send me photos of a building, as he promised, where he said FED worked, but I no longer have them.

Here is the exchange - sorry for the length, but maybe of some help.

Dear Bill,Thank you very much for reply.I understand you. But please don`t say
more that this camera ia a replica.I asked again about
this camera in my friend He is collector. He have camera
like this passport.Camera was made in Aug 1936, but not
on FED territory. I`ll make pics for you. I`ll show you
FED and some building where was made this camera. In
passport I found: "Made in Kharkov Lesopark (WoodPark)"
In passport usual FED address: "Kharkov, Sumskaya Str.
(I don`t remember number, I think 134)" Ask you know
like FED Berdsk was made also not of FED factory. But
this is not a replica.I don`t know why was
use incorect serial number. But this camera not a
replica.On Sunday spatial for you I`ll make pics were was
made this camera. And I`ll make pics of passport and
camera which have my friend. I`ll make new description on
this FED and will try sell it.

Dear Igor, Thanks for the photos and information
about your friend's camera. Also, please let me
apologize and say I am sorry to have called your camera a
fake.Now I can see that this is not the case. Now the mystery is ... Why does a
1936 FED have such an unusual seria lnumber? I don't
see anything unusual about the camera except for
the seria lnumber and the passport of your friends
camera. The passport if different from ones I
have seen before, as you say, because it has that
address of "Kharkov 27 - Lesopark". I have a photo
in a book (Princelle's new edition, page 90) of
a passport from a FED in February 1936. It looks
different and what I noticed is that the address is
"Kharkov 54". So this is a different part of Kharkov
than the one on your friends passport, probably. A
FED that I have from 1936 (serial # 19469) also has a
blue rangefinder,so that is probably not unusual.
The serial number for the lens you have on your camera
and the one of your friends camera does not seem to be
much different from any FED of 1936 and my camera has
a similar number. I know that FED was going
through many changes during this time and in 1936 it
was reported in Sovetsko Foto that aside from the
750 members of the FED commune, and additional 400
workers were hired from outside to work on camera
production. 1935 & 1936 is exactly when the production of
FEDs went from about 4000 per year up to about 15-20,000
a year. This period is also when the original
director, Makarenko, was directed to leave FED and
shortly after the NKVD took charge of the factory.
So, I am guessing that maybe these two cameras of you
and your friend were made at another factory at Lesnopark
(maybe a temporary factory) where the newly hired workers
were located. (And maybe they were not instructed about
the correct serial numbers to use?). In any case,
it is just a guess on my part and I don't really
know what the story is, but the cameras do look
authentic.


I have just returned and have seen your newauction.
It is an interesting camera but I still am not sure
why it has the low number. It is a FED-1b from 1936 for
sure... only the number is unusual!
Maybe it was made with that number to go with a set of
accessories, also with that number. Just at this time,
many accessories such as a lightmeter, wide & amp; telephoto
lens, and right angle viewers were being madefor the
first time for FED.


I and my friends don`t know
why was use this seria lnumbers. Friend in Kiev
also collector have FED 1 with serial 3***. I don`t know
more ppl how have or had this unusual FED. Yes, I know
usual FED`s was made in other factory (on FED). But
this camera was made in other place. If you want I can
make photo of FED and "Komunnar" (In 1936 "Komunnar"
asked "TrudovayaKomunna") I know that in Lesopark
was killed a lot soldier and traitors after war and before. In forestpark there was a military staff. And between FED and DrudKomunna there was a
small railway communication. This is all informaton in
this time which I let you know.

(Note: these e-mails may not be in order. I have lost the original e-mails and only have this text copy .. hope it helps in some way!)


Regards, Bill

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