FED-Arsenal (most examples made from pre-war FED parts / #000020 from Zorki-1b)
Type: 35mm film / coupled rangefinder
Lens: INDUSTAR-22 "MOCKBA" 50mm f3.5
Production: unknown, few examples known
There were rumors and stories that this camera was made at the famous Arsenal factory in Kiev from original FED parts. The time was just after the end of World War II. Thanks to our members Altix and Alzo who searched for documents and proved what really happened back in those years. This camera was intended to fill the need for the military at a time when the FED and KMZ factories were not yet in production. Later cameras were sold as civil production or made as presentations to Arsenal workers.
There are two series - first the Arsenal logo with hammer & sickle and later without.
The quality of the engraving on the rangefinder housing is poor and looks like the camera was engraved (after polishing off the original chrome and factory engravings) and then thinly chrome-plated, rather than the traditional factory technique of a heavy chrome plating that was then engraved into.
It is an interesting and historical camera with an interesting story and an authentic rare lens of the period, as well as a hard to find camera.
Vladislav Kern: UPDATE: This is sufficient evidence in the following thread to validate this camera as factory: http://ussrphoto.com/Forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2884
(please add known technical or provenance details below each camera entry and photos of cameras)
00004 __ Y.Davidenko
Hammer and sickle logo. Hollow for rewind clutch.
00010 __ ?
Hammer and sickle logo. Hollow for rewind clutch. Industar 22 "Moskva" in the right position. Fed original lensplate on body.
00020 __ Bill Parkinson
The rangefinder cam at the top of the inside of the lens mount, the shutter release button style, the "cross-shaped" shutter curtain bolts, the shape of the release spring, and other internal parts all identify this camera as a 1950-51 Zorki.
00022 __ ?
Probably early 1c body. Hollow for rewind clutch. Industar 22 "Moskva" s/n 12901 in reversed position. Fed original lensplate on body.
00043 __ ?
Cited by "Photo Lubitel". Published in print.
00050 __ ?
1/1000th of the second. Sonnar 2/5cm lens s/n 2687545 (bayo adapted to fed rear crown). Cited by "Photo Lubitel".
00067 __ Jacques Morin
Camera bought on eBay without lens. Comes from a late Fed 1d/1e with some other parts (speed dial, frame counter) which might be made from Arsenal. With hammer and sickle logo. With hollow for the rewind clutch. Non working condition. Lens Fed 2/50mm s/n 31110.
00070 __ private
Mentioned in correspondence from Yuriy Davidenko, April 2006. This camera owned by Davidenko’s friend was supposedly presented to the employee of the factory Arsenal for good work.
00127 __ ?
Without hammer and sickle. Early 1 turn Fed lens s/n 4384.
00216 __ private in Ukraine
Without hammer and sickle. Without hollow for rewind clutch. Early 1 turn Fed lens s/n 5810.
00222 __ ebay March 2010, German seller
Without hammer and sickle. Industar-22 Mockba lens adapted on a rear Fed crown.
00226 __ cover only shown by alzo (document of the 4th Plant). Without hammer and sickle.
To know more about Fed-Arsenal, please see photolubitel.com.