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A FED 5c - a doubtful classic.

Discussion in 'Classic Models & Marques' started by John Farrell, Jul 14, 2021.

  1. John Farrell

    John Farrell Well-Known Member

    I paid $40 for this, on a local online auction. The seller described it as "looks unused", and it does. This could be because the rangefinder doesn't work, and occasionally something locks the wind lever - probably a loose part from the rangefinder...
    The lens looks clean, but the focus threads are dry. The camera also came with a reloadable film cassette, branded "FED", which looks like a cheap clone of the "Kalt" cassette.
    The manual has a warranty page, which gives the camera's serial number, and production date - 1996 - the last year of production.

  2. John Farrell

    John Farrell Well-Known Member

    The broken part - the arm from inside the rangefinder, which transmits the lens movement. The end piece was loose inside the camera top.

    I'll have to see if I can glue it together, and reinforce it.
  3. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member


    John Farrell likes this.
  4. zx9r

    zx9r Well-Known Member

    The broken part, is it plastic or cast metal? I am just wondering how you are thinking of glueing it or would you be better raiding a scrap camera for parts?
  5. John Farrell

    John Farrell Well-Known Member

    It's metal - of a sort. It's been suggested I use JB Weld to glue it. I will also add a couple of thin brass splints on the arm.
  6. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    You could make a new one out of brass. As it has an adjusting screw not much about it is critical.
  7. zx9r

    zx9r Well-Known Member

    ^^^^^^^^ perhaps drill and pin it before attempting to glue it.
    ^^^^^ Probably a better idea.
  8. John Farrell

    John Farrell Well-Known Member

    Today, I made up a "splint" of brass sheet, to attempt to glue the rangefinder arm together.

    The brass sheet set up, so I can turn the edge 90 degrees.

    The "splint", and the rangefinder arm parts, sanded and degreased.

    I used JB Weld, an epoxy glue - the arm clamped up, waiting for the epoxy to cure.

    This splint is fitted on the top side, and front edge of the arm. If todays effort has been satisfactory, I will glue another strip of brass on the bottom side.
    peterba, zx9r and steveandthedogs like this.
  9. John Farrell

    John Farrell Well-Known Member

    I now have a working FED, after a little engineering. I didn't get the 2 pieces of the rangefinder arm pushed fully together, when I glued them - there was a 0.5mm gap. This meant that the screw on the end of the arm didn't bear correctly on the operating cam. I hunted through my supply of assorted parts, and found a top hat shaped bush, which fit the end of the screw perfectly - you can see this just above the red screw head in the picture.
    zx9r and steveandthedogs like this.
  10. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    Very neat! I must admit, I'd no idea they lasted until 1996 - I can't imagine many were being sold by then. If they'd made it another 20 years, they could have flogged them to all the hipsters...
    zx9r and John Farrell like this.
  11. John Farrell

    John Farrell Well-Known Member

    There are still sellers online with what are claimed to be new and unused FED 5c cameras.
  12. John Farrell

    John Farrell Well-Known Member

    Between the pages of the manual which cme with the FED, were 2 short lengths of negative, presumably to show what could be done with the camera. I've scanned them...
    steveandthedogs likes this.
  13. zx9r

    zx9r Well-Known Member

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  14. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    Intriguing - the first three could be almost anytime, but the last one has a Skoda Favorit estate in it, produced 1987-1995, which would fit nicely with the date you reckon it was manufactured.
    John Farrell likes this.

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