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Vlad Posted - Dec 27 2007 : 10:11:35 PM
Based on the serial # in the picture, could anyone confirm the authenticity of this camera?

18   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Vlad Posted - Dec 23 2009 : 8:03:40 PM

I'm gonna reply in this topic to your question in another thread about what it says in Viktor's book about it. I finally got my copy today. All it says that it's 1956 release that is decided to World Youth and Student Festival in 1957. Number of made is undetermined. It is in fact the same exact camera as you have. No other info is provided.

nightphoto Posted - Feb 09 2008 : 5:39:24 PM

I was thinking that maybe both FED and KMZ had to show a sample and then the party picked which factory to give the job to ... but of course this is just a vague theory with no proof or even precident that this is how it worked in that time.
As to why it would just surface now in the 21st century ... that is no mystery to me. I am an antiques and art dealer and on a daily basis I see things surface that are very rare and unique. Last year I bought a 3000 year old Egyptian bronze and stone dagger at a local flea market for $200.00. It surfaced from an old collection and was sold at the estate sale of the collector. Was it fake ? I think not as it sold in December at Christie's auction house in New York for $32,000. So, with everything it is possible to get lost or stored away and then surface again.
I bought one of 3 or 4 examples of the Zorki 35-M prototype in 2003 and it has been authenticated. So, things do surface. I think the way to tell about the engravings would take comparisons from photos of the engravings made with a microscope. I am quite sure that the tools that engravers use to make fakes may be a bit different than the ones used in the 1930s - 1970s. But even the old engraving pencils would be possible to get and still use. But probably comparisons of micro-photographs would do the trick.
As you know by now, I love the game of detective on these cameras, so maybe I will try some microscopic examination and hopefully some collectors in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine will get into the old Factory records and tell us what is real or not!

Regards, Bill

fedka Posted - Feb 09 2008 : 4:57:04 PM
There is another question about commemorative cameras. Everything in the USSR was very political, and commemorative engravings would certainly have to be approved from the above. It is possible, that someone made a sample or two to show a party boss in 1957, but why they surfaced only now (in 2000's I mean)?
If the FED-2 festival was approved, they would have made many of them.

Interestingly, there must be easy ways to tell if the engraving is from 1957 or 2000's. Crime scene investigators would crack it in a minute:-)

Zorki-S festival must be authentic, since there are many of them, and I also have one in its original box, which has a festival motifs. If you are interested, I can dig it out and take a picture of box.
nightphoto Posted - Feb 09 2008 : 4:21:33 PM

Hi Yuri,

Yes, you have a strong point that without actual documentation, factory records, or eyewitness testimony about a specific camera, you can not be sure if it is a fake or made by the factory. In fact, it seems that all Festival'nyi cameras can be fakes and almost all other commemoratives too, if we only authenticate them when they appear in official documents, manuals, or books of the period when they were made.
On the other hand, since the documentation, etc. is usually not available, it is good, in my opinion, to take a close look at each different camera to see what the probabilities are with each example and each type of commemorative. It is too easy just to say it is fake because someone saw a space and so then filled it. Even with factory commemoratives this is usually what happens ... once they decide to make a special commemorative... they look for a space and then fill it with the special engraving.
I have never seen another FED-2 Festival like this one, so maybe you are right it is fake, or maybe it is one of three, made to show some manager what it would look like, sort of a prototype commemorative ... etc. ... there can be many theories and only one will be correct. Sometimes, close examination of the details helps to eliminate one theory or make another seem more probable. In fact, sometimes analyzing details leads to the actual origin or status of authenticity.
As far as the FED-1 300th Moscow-Ukraine commemorative camera goes, there are certainly quite a few fakes of this camera. Whether the original examples are fake or not would be a good thing to investigate. I have an example of it that looks to be authentic when the details are examined .... screws never touched ... original dirt and "green stuff" everywhere, chrome has not been changed ... everything looks to be original and untouched and the commemorative engraving has the correct details that the fakes do not (has to do with exact shapes of the lines of engraving). So, without documentation it can still be theorized as a possible fake. But one must be careful when trying to decide about this camera because there are so many later fake examples and to examine them would be misleading.
It would be a wonderful thing if the factory records of commemorative cameras could be seen and verified from FED, KMZ, Arsenal, GOMZ-LOMO, and MMZ-BeLOMO! And even better would be original close-up photos and production numbers.;-)

Regards, Bill

fedka Posted - Feb 09 2008 : 3:31:27 PM
You are analyzing this too much. Whoever made this fake did not have a fraction of your expertise on Russian cameras. He saw an empty space on a FED-2, then say a nice Festival'nyi engraving on a Zorki-S, and a Festival'nyi FEd-2 was born.
As a side note, I never believed in that "300th Anniversary of Friendship between Moscow and Ukraine", I think it was a fake too.
nightphoto Posted - Feb 09 2008 : 1:20:27 PM

I have several observations about this commemorative "Youth Festival" FED-2.

1. The engraving is in a different style than the KMZ cameras. It is more stylized and less script-like. It would seem that a forger would copy the KMZ style of lettering, almost exactly, as can be seen on the other fake "Festival of Youth" examples that show up on FED-2 (and other cameras. This points to possible authenticity, in my opinion.

2. The engraving is filled with red paint. This can be a FED Zavod style, as can be seen with one of the factory's few commemoratives the "300th Anniversary of Friendship between Moscow and Ukraine" which was made in 1954. This also points to authenticity, in my opinion.

3. To me, the engraving looks to be of good quality ... a quality similar to other FED engravings of the time.

4. When looking at the photographs of the camera, the red commemorative engraving looks somewhat "fresher" than the other engravings visible. No "green stuff" or dirt in the commemorative engraving, but the other engravings do have dirt and "green stuff". This may point to the possibility of a fake, in my opinion, however I have seen other cameras where one part was dirty and the other parts clean.

So, none of these points are conclusive. But, it seems that most FED-2 fakes of this commemorative have the engraving on the back, like the KMZ versions, so it is worth thinking about why a forger, trying to make an acceptable fake would make the lettering style, placement, and coloring of the engraving, all so much different from the KMZ authentic commemorative. To me, this may point to possible authenticity.

Regards, Bill

AidasCams Posted - Feb 08 2008 : 3:02:08 PM

If I know correctly, KMZ was the only soviet plant to issue commemorative cameras, dedicated to Youth Festival 1957. Although Zorki-C and Zorki-2C are quite common even nowadays, Zorki-3C and Zorki-4 are ultra rare to find one. Zenit-C is less rare while appearing in eBay time after time (I saw at least 2 of them in 2007 at the price of $100). As you all know, Festival cameras are not a big rarity and goes at very reasonable prices.

That's why we do not see a lot of exotic "Festival" cameras for sale, although I was happened to find at least 4 or 5 Fed-2 Festival cameras for sale. They all had Festival engravings on the rear, so were different from the sample we are discussing about.

In my opinion, all these Fed-2 Festival are fakes ...


Jacques M. Posted - Feb 08 2008 : 1:50:00 PM

I think too that this camera should not be a true one.
But I must add that with those Russian people, one never knows...
It's why I collect Feds and not Canons or Nikons!

Amitiés. Jacques;

Bull Halsey Posted - Feb 08 2008 : 12:39:03 PM
It's left up to conjecture. I'm basing my opinion on the model, time, and engraving. There is nothing I can find anywhere to disprove its authenticity. I know that most everything today can be faked. I find it odd that this , so far, is the only one with the Festival engraving, especially after all these years. I've never seen only one of such an item. Too much work to produce only one. It just doesn't make sense.

fedka Posted - Feb 08 2008 : 11:18:16 AM
I think someone simply copied the engraving from a Zorki-S and placed it on the FED-2.
It is very unlikely to find an unknown camera at this point, especially a commemorative edition, which, if real, were made in substantial quantities.
We have a lot of collective experience on this forum. I guess someone should have seen it before.
I do not have any references with me now, but I think this one was made after 1957.

Bull Halsey Posted - Feb 08 2008 : 10:16:10 AM
I bought this piece way back to the time of the original Russian Camera Forum (2002?). on Yahoo. I took a few shots of it and posted them for opinions as to originality. Please keep in mind that at the time Nathan Dayton and Yuri (Fedka) were the only two real authorities available to question. At times Marc James Small would also offer his insight.

After a lot of going back and fourth and after taking a close look, Nathan Dayton agreed to its authenticity, as well as asking to purchase it from me.

Please note, since the time of purchase this has been the only example seen.

It is the correct model Fed for the time, as well as having the correct engraving.

Sorry guys, but I respectfuly disagree with the opinions offered as to its autheticity.

Vlad Posted - Dec 28 2007 : 11:03:15 AM
Allrighty, off to the modified it goes!
nightphoto Posted - Dec 28 2007 : 10:44:13 AM

I agree with Aidas now (since I see it is FED-2b)!

Regards, Bill

mermoz37 Posted - Dec 28 2007 : 06:11:30 AM
so, i add one more ....different hé hé hé...
AidasCams Posted - Dec 28 2007 : 04:34:51 AM
Hello friends,

I really don't think this camera is genuine one. First of all, it's Fed-2(b) (not 2(a) as Bill said) while having synchro on the frontplate, so no "Zavod of F.E.Dzerjinski" engravings anymore. And the red "Festival" engravings are quite poor ...

Vlad Posted - Dec 27 2007 : 10:42:50 PM
By the way any typos or mistakes any of the members see in any entries, just go ahead and click edit and correct them, no need to be hesitant! That's what Wiki's for! Collaboration!
Vlad Posted - Dec 27 2007 : 10:41:43 PM
Thanks Bill!

Yes the year is my mistake, I've corrected it! According to Steve it seems to be an authentic piece.

nightphoto Posted - Dec 27 2007 : 10:35:09 PM
I have not seen this commemorative before, but the serial number and model (FED-2a) of the camera seem to fall into the 1957 date range, which is when the "Festival" cameras were made. The WIKI entry mistakenly gives the date as 1967... Festival of Youth was 1957.
Also, this camera does not have the usual engraving on the top "Zavod of F.E.Dzerjinski" and so it must have been left off so that the commemorative engraving could be put there.
If authentic, which in my opinion it is, it must be quite rare, and I would like to have one!

Regards, Bill

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