A little bit of history
The forerunner of the FED-2 was, as you might have guessed, the FED-1. (However, it only had
FED written on it, without the 1.) The FED-1 in turn was created after the Leica II d.
According to György Török, a Hungarian photographer, who also wrote magazine articles on
classic cameras, the Russians did purchase the license for manufacturing these cameras in
1932. In addition to the camera body, the license included the f3.5 50 mm Elmar lens and
the re-loadable Leica film cassette.
The FED-1 was manufactured from 1934 to 1955. In the last three years the lens received an
The story of the first manufacturing plant and the FED mnemonic is hugely interesting - check
my links page.
The FED-2 first appeared in 1955 and lasted until 1970, or thereabouts. It went through a few
variations, improvements, such as the addition of a self-timer in 1957. However, the most
prominent new feature, that also set it apart from the Leica, was there right from the start.
Namely, the combined view- and rangefinder with a large (67 mm) base distance. (This got
shorter again in later models.) In addition, the Russian engineers replaced the removable
bottom with a removable camera back making the loading of the film a lot easier.
Unlike the earlier FED-s, the FED-2 can be successfully used with lenses other than the one
it was sold with. This is due to the now standard 28.8 mm body depth. (The lenses of very
early FED-s had to be specifically adjusted to the body they were put on.)
From 1957 the collapsible lens was replaced by a larger and faster f2.8 standard lens of
Tessar type marked Industar 26M. (This is the most common lens FED-2s are found with