Hooray, my first rangefinder camera with interchangeable lenses and Leica L39 mount! Unfortunately my budget only supports the complimentary INDUSTAR lens for the moment, but then again it's an extendable system ... ;) My unit has spent, according to the seller, some time in a celler, but luckily the shutter hasn't suffered. Only the case smells a bit ...
The FED cameras are copies of pre-war Leica cameras. They are, as far as I'm aware of, manufactured to this day, in any case you could still order a new FED-5 in 2003... The FED-2 was (as far as I know, I'm really not an expert) manufactured up till the 1970's, it doesn't have an exposure meter.
Idiosyncrasies and advantages:
I was surprised that the lens performs really well, even if it isn't very fast. However, the differences in quality are said to be severe, since quality control in the Soviet Union was somehow lacking. Aluminum barrel with coated elements. 10(!) Aperture blades.
The advantage over the screwmount Leicas: one window for viewfinder and rangefinder.
Mechanics: metal body. Shutter fully mechanical. Contrary to Leica you don't have the impression of a watchmaker's precision, but rather of somewhat crude technology. But it works. And you can certainly deploy it to ballistic ends without it taking damage.
Diopter correction in the viewfinder ca. plus/minus 2 diopter. The lever is rather loose on my unit, so that you first need to focus the viewfinder practically every time you want to take a picture. But in principle of course a very good thing...
Film loading: here the FED is ahead of Leica again! The back is completely detachable, which in comparison makes loading the film a real joy.
- No light meter.
- Longest exposure time 1/30.