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Ulrich W.
uwittehh

Germany
828 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Apr 03 2024 :  4:24:36 PM  Show Profile  Visit uwittehh's Homepage  Reply with Quote
While looking for an early FED 2, I found this strange old FED in a bag in the cupboard, sanded down and half dismantled. I can't even remember when I bought it, it doesn't appear in my list.
And since we are currently looking for date engravings, the first thing I noticed was the engraving on the shutter housing: II - 16 - XII and a B or a 5 together with a D. There are also engravings inside the upper part of the rewind crank: D5 and 11 or 14 | XII.
But the strangest engraving is under the cover: Someone has engraved K. St. 7. II. 48. So it looks as if this FED was ground off as early as 1948, for whatever reason. Maybe someone wanted to turn it into a Leica back then, or maybe it belonged to a spy who would have attracted attention with the FED engraving? Who knows?
It is also interesting that the eyepiece of the Rangefinder contains yellow glass. The holes for the eyepieces also look hand-sawed, as out of round as they are.
I compared it with my FED number 30691, and it fits quite well in terms of the type of chrome and the leathering. In this camera II - 18 - XI is engraved on the shutter housing at the same position.

Take a look at the pictures:


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent2/342024_IMGL6930.jpg


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent2/342024_IMGL6931.jpg


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent2/342024_IMGL6932.jpg


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent2/342024_IMGL6934.jpg


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent2/342024_IMGL6938.jpg


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent2/342024_IMGL6939.jpg


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent2/342024_IMGL6940.jpg


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent2/342024_IMGL6941.jpg

Ulrich

http://fotos.cconin.de

Edited by - uwittehh on Apr 03 2024 4:30:05 PM

Vladislav Kern
Vlad
USA
4248 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Apr 03 2024 :  4:29:13 PM  Show Profile  Visit Vlad's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Interesting! Also a wild guess just for fun : if you bought it locally in Germany, someone in Germany may have had a FED as a war trophy and had it "refurbished" not to have the Soviet writing on it..

Cheers,
Vlad
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Ulrich W.
uwittehh
Germany
828 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Apr 03 2024 :  4:35:05 PM  Show Profile  Visit uwittehh's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Vlad,

that would also be a possibility :-) By the way, many of the FEDs I have actually came from the former GDR. You can also get many from Austria.

Ulrich

http://fotos.cconin.de
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Juhani Halmeenmaki
cedricfan
Finland
1014 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Apr 03 2024 :  11:30:22 PM  Show Profile  Visit cedricfan's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Vlads theory could be correct. Happens also today. Just yesterday my Estonian friends (so old they were born in SU) told that nowadays they can't speak Russian in Poland, where they travel frequently. Russian is absolutely no-go, even if a lot of people do speak and understand it. In Estonia it is not that clear, you can still hear Russian, but between people, not in shops etc.

Best regards,
Juhani
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Jacques M.
France
2589 Posts
Posted - Apr 04 2024 :  05:51:41 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Your Fed is really very talkative, Ulrich!

About the date, I read II-/6-XII rather than II-I6-XII. That would mean that the shutter was checked the 6 december (1936). That seems correct, if compared with other cameras:
- my 26251 (I-23-III)
- my 29840 (II-4-XI)
- your 30691 (II-18-XI)
- this Fed (II-6--XII)
- my 34270 (II-29-XII)

We have a prefix each time (I or II): I don't know exactly what it means: assembly line? checker? We have vey often too some other numbers which are still more obscure...

Vlad's guessing seems possible. It's possible too that the date engraved inside the cover is the date of erasion. Or of a repair...

I suppose that the tip of the rangefinder is of the 1a/1b type (massive), the vulcanite of the 1b/1c type (green to grey) and the center front screw half hidden?

Amitiés. Jacques.

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Ulrich W.
uwittehh
Germany
828 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Apr 04 2024 :  12:03:28 PM  Show Profile  Visit uwittehh's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Yes, Vlad's option also seems to make the most sense to me now. Especially because it was only sanded down and nothing else was done.
And Jacques, you're right. It has that gray-greenish fine vulcanite, the thick rangefinder pickup and the hidden screw.

When I'm done with this one (I've taken it completely apart now because the cloths are broken and some parts are missing) I'll look at 2 more similar ones to see what markings there are.
I still have a chrome-plated one with the number 36240 and another one without a number with a nickel-plated cover (it could be from the 50000 to 80000 range). These two were also not fully converted to a Leica.

I also have a 115117 on which the engravings on the lid and the lens have been ground out, see http://ritzelkiste.de/kameras/fed1.htm#fed1c

Ulrich

http://fotos.cconin.de
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Jacques M.
France
2589 Posts
Posted - Apr 04 2024 :  3:46:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

A word more...
About the yellow filter for the finder, a friend of mine bought years ago now a Fed 1 with such a filter, but in orange (like the Leitz ORAKO or OKARO). Was it made by Fed, a conversion of a Leitz part, or home made? Impossible to tell.

And concerning your other Feds non completely converted to Leicas, don't hesitate to share!

Amitiés. Jacques.
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Ulrich W.
uwittehh
Germany
828 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Apr 05 2024 :  4:14:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit uwittehh's Homepage  Reply with Quote
To me, the yellow glass looks factory-made. And the ring looks like an ordinary one. When I've reassembled this one, I'll take a look under the hood of the others :-) (Note the dirt on the bottom right that I brushed out of the gears...)


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent2/542024_IMGL6943s.jpg

Ulrich

http://fotos.cconin.de
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Ulrich W.
uwittehh
Germany
828 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Apr 07 2024 :  4:16:04 PM  Show Profile  Visit uwittehh's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Ok, now I have reassembled the unknown, wow, it runs really smoothly. Unfortunately, it didn't come with a lens, and reassembling it was difficult. The housing doesn't fit the camera, it was really hard to get the screws back in because the holes and threads didn't match. But I managed it.
This is what it looks like now:


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent2/742024_IMGL6944.jpg


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent2/742024_IMGL6945.jpg


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent2/742024_IMGL6946.jpg

As you can see only the top part was sanded down, no effort was made to round off the edges.

Ulrich


http://fotos.cconin.de
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Ulrich W.
uwittehh
Germany
828 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Apr 07 2024 :  4:24:01 PM  Show Profile  Visit uwittehh's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Here is the chrome-plated one with the serial number 36240. Top, upper side and underside are mirror-chrome-plated, it has a really absurd shine. Here the case matches the serial number. The following is engraved on the shutter housing: II 16 III and a 29 (highlighted in yellow by me).
See pictures:


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent2/742024_IMGL6948.jpg


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent2/742024_IMGL6949.jpg


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent2/742024_IMGL6950.jpg


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent2/742024_IMGL6953-2.jpg

Ulrich

http://fotos.cconin.de
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Ulrich W.
uwittehh
Germany
828 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Apr 07 2024 :  4:34:06 PM  Show Profile  Visit uwittehh's Homepage  Reply with Quote
And here is the one with the nickel-plated top, again without a serial number. The camera was tinkered with a lot, many wrong screws were used and the threads were changed. The camera came with a lens with the number 79933, which matches the camera, the type of vulcanite and other details. Only the rounded top cover does not match.
There is something engraved on the shutter box, but it is difficult to decipher, see pictures:


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent2/742024_IMGL6951.jpg


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent2/742024_IMGL6952.jpg


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent2/742024_IMGL6955-2.jpg

On the last picture you can see that the hobbyist even lost the screws at the bottom of the tension springs and then had to make do by soldering them...


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent2/742024_IMGL6956-2.jpg

Ulrich

http://fotos.cconin.de

Edited by - uwittehh on Apr 07 2024 5:17:49 PM
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Ulrich W.
uwittehh
Germany
828 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Apr 07 2024 :  4:39:56 PM  Show Profile  Visit uwittehh's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Finally, the 115117, which has been most elegantly polished on the top, the chrome is still completely intact.
I remember that the cloths were no longer light-proof and I then coated them with liquid rubber. In hindsight, this was unfortunately a bad idea, because the liquid rubber stuck to the cloth and now they are completely ruined...
Here, too, a date has been scratched into the lock case, to me it looks like 18 VII, but it's difficult to make out:


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent2/742024_IMGL6983.jpg


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent2/742024_IMGL6985-2.jpg

Ulrich


http://fotos.cconin.de
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Jacques M.
France
2589 Posts
Posted - Apr 09 2024 :  10:48:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Thanks for the photos of your odd Feds, Ulrich. For Leica fans, that would certainly remember the insect which has not achieved its metamorphosis...

All are very interesting, at least by the purpose of their owners. I own three unfinished "Fed-Leicas", but yours only lack an engraving. I am surprised by the good quality of the work...

For the moment, I am collecting all the scratched numbers I can see from the outside to compare with the official serial number. At first sight, there is a noticeable continuity, except during the stressed periods of the factory, just before and after WW2. So, the last Fed 1e (ex-Berdsk), the Red Flags and the very first 1f. I will tell more if I find something interesting.

Amitiés. Jacques.
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Ulrich W.
uwittehh
Germany
828 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Apr 09 2024 :  4:26:33 PM  Show Profile  Visit uwittehh's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Jacques,

yes, the chrome-plated one and the 115117 are really only missing the engravings to make them a Leica.
But the one with the nickel-plated top is a real "Frankenstein" camera. I have now dismantled it and removed the solder from the shutter nuts. The whole camera is totally tinkered with, I really wondered how one can proceed so bunglingly...
The shutter springs, for example, were totally overstretched, I've never seen such broken springs before.


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent2/942024_IMGL6986.jpg

The broken spring compared to a healthy spring:


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent2/942024_IMGL6987.jpg

Luckily I still have 2 good springs left, let's see if I can get them working again with them.

Ulrich

http://fotos.cconin.de
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Jacques M.
France
2589 Posts
Posted - Apr 10 2024 :  03:31:30 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote

Astonishing!
A question: were there noticeable changes in the mechanics, or can you always change the worn parts against new ones, regardless the dates they were made?
I suppose there were some evolutions, even if they are not visible? I remember I had problems to mount a connecting rod (from the release button to the release spring): I had to add several washers...
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Ulrich W.
uwittehh
Germany
828 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Apr 10 2024 :  12:28:45 PM  Show Profile  Visit uwittehh's Homepage  Reply with Quote
That's a good question, I don't know if you can replace the springs with newer ones. So far I haven't had to replace any of these springs. I'll be surprised :-)
Apart from that, there's so much else wrong with the camera, I've never seen it like this before, let's see if I can fix it.

Ulrich

http://fotos.cconin.de
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Ulrich W.
uwittehh
Germany
828 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Apr 21 2024 :  1:13:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit uwittehh's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Replacing the springs worked, they fit exactly, although they are from a much later FED 1F or 1G. Unfortunately, the camera has been tinkered with so much that it doesn't really run 100% satisfactorily. But never mind.
Now the 115117 is lying disassembled on the table, the curtains practically crumbled towards me. Some of the screws were so tight that I had to soak them in oil for a day before I could loosen them.
When I've finished it, I'll take a nice group photo of the 4 ladies ;-)

Ulrich

http://fotos.cconin.de
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Ulrich W.
uwittehh
Germany
828 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Apr 24 2024 :  2:58:40 PM  Show Profile  Visit uwittehh's Homepage  Reply with Quote
So, now I have finished the 115117. After fitting the new curtains, cleaning and re-lubricating, it runs perfectly. It now cocks so easily that you can wind it up on the table without holding it :-) And it releases very quietly, one of the best FEDs.
And as promised, here are a few pictures of the 4 ladies:


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent2/2442024_IMGL7014.jpg


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent2/2442024_IMGL7015.jpg


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent2/2442024_IMGL7016.jpg


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent2/2442024_IMGL7019.jpg


http://www.ussrphoto.com/UserContent2/2442024_IMGL7020.jpg

Ulrich


http://fotos.cconin.de
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Ulrich W.
uwittehh
Germany
828 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Apr 24 2024 :  3:27:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit uwittehh's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Oh, by the way, I almost forgot that the 115117 had a timer dial under the hood that was designed for 1/1000 sec. However, the 1/1000 sec. is missing on the knob for selecting the time. Perhaps it was once intended as a FED-S, but there were no knobs engraved with 1/1000 sec? Or the other way round, there were still time dials with 1/1000 sec. left.
In any case, I had a selector (the part to pull up under the timer wheel) left, with which the 1/1000 sec. can be set, and it works well.

Ulrich

http://fotos.cconin.de
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Jacques M.
France
2589 Posts
Posted - Apr 25 2024 :  03:05:12 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What a work! Do you take to pieces all the cameras you receive?

About the internal features of the Fed S, I am doubtful. Of course, 9 holes are necessary on the speed disk to obtain the 1/1000th. But sometimes, these 9 holes are there, and one of them is stopped by a screw. And the leg can have at least three shapes: slim, massive and intermediate. The combination of all that makes that the 1/1000th can be obtained or not. But no question when there are only 8 holes!

All that is a bit uncertain: I am far from having dismantled all my Fed 1; and most of times, I don't get photos.

Amitiés. Jacques.

Edited by - Jacques M. on Apr 25 2024 03:23:07 AM
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Ulrich W.
uwittehh
Germany
828 Posts
My Collection

Posted - Apr 25 2024 :  3:16:03 PM  Show Profile  Visit uwittehh's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I actually partially dismantle most of the cameras I get, at least to clean them and get them working again. In 95% of cases, an overhaul is also necessary.
But only if the curtains are broken do I completely disassemble them and install new ones (but not with all cameras, with a Zenit E, for example, it's usually not worth it).
But, exceptions prove the rule, of course I didn't replace the green cloths on the FED 7xxx, and I left the original ones in even on the older ones.
And about the times: Once I had a FED with 1/1000 sec. marked on the timing wheel, but the 9th hole was missing. I drilled one into the disk with a Dremel and it worked perfectly. If I had known that there was a disk with 9 holes in the 115117, I could have saved myself the work :-)

Ulrich

http://fotos.cconin.de
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Jacques M.
France
2589 Posts
Posted - Apr 26 2024 :  05:30:27 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Finally, there are very few differences between an S and an ordinary NKVD. The lens, of course. And the engraving of the speed dial up to 1/1000th. Perhaps (but not sure) a more careful setting and a more precise checking. Anyway, it's easy to convert a NKVD into an S...

Edited by - Jacques M. on Apr 26 2024 05:31:46 AM
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