FED 3 Camera – Preview and History – updated 20.11

The FED 3 Camera – originating from a Soviet pre-war orphanage.

FED 3 Camera in case

FED 3 Camera in case

Picked up a FED 3 at a car boot sale a few months ago, and what a fascinating camera!

The FED factory in Kharkov, Ukraine was originally an orphanage, but was turned into a labour commune for youths around 1920. It was named after F.E. Dzerzhinsky, founder of the NKVD (a secret Soviet police organisation).

In 1932 Soviet leaders stopped imports of photographic equipment, tasking the FED factory (by then a factory) to create a camera similar to the Leica; following the introduction on the Leica II in 1932. Sources however dispute this, some say that the then managing director of the factory, A.S. Bronevoy; came up with the idea.

The Fed 3 - head on

The Fed 3 – head on

German forces destroyed the factory in 1941, but production continued around 5 years later; and the FED cameras were mass-produced until around 1996. The FED 3 was produced between 1964 – 1980.

We’ve tasked our good friend Adam (Adam Lynch Photography) to use and review this camera, so we’ll upload his guest blog over the coming days.

20.11.17 – UPDATE

Adam took the FED camera to a local camera shop in Manchester, and unfortunately the shutter is broken. They didn’t give much feedback (we should have pushed this – hindsight is a wonderful thing), but apparently a fix isn’t really financially worth doing. I’ll have a look for another working FED camera!


  • http://www.sovietcams.com/index.php?-2115735495
  • http://mattsclassiccameras.com/rangefinders-compacts/fed-3b/
  • http://community.fortunecity.ws/marina/marine/569/rusrngfdrs/fed3.html
  • http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/FED-3


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