Fed 3a Type 2

One of the famous range of cameras from the USSR. Its slightly quirky looks make this an interesting camera. It is quite usable too as it has shutter speeds from 1 second through to 1/500th of a second. The viewfinder features the coupled range finder which is okay but not always easy to see. The viewfinder itself is perhaps rather small and dim especially when compared to the one on the Zorki 4/4k. There is an adjustment of the viewfinder dioptre setting provided by rotating the eyepiece surround. This is a useful feature and tends not to go out of adjustment as much as the lever operated systems fitted to the Fed 2 and Zorki 4/4k. Another of its eccentricities is its standard 52mm f2.8 polished alloy Industar 22 lens. Undoubtedly, it is a sharp lens which complements the camera body well, but I often have some difficulty with the engraving of the distance scale on the lens barrel. The designer has thoughtfully used mostly the same numbers for the focus scale as the aperture settings; hence the distance scale in metres goes 1 – 1.4 – 2 – 2.8 – 4 – 5.6 – 8 – 11 – 22. At first glance it is easy to confuse which is the diaphragm setting ring and which is the focus. I expect that this would not be a problem if one were only using a single camera with which the photographer was very familiar however, quite normally I use a range of cameras and don’t get enough practice with one type. In any event I usually choose my 1966 Zorki 4 in preference to the Fed 3a as it is much nicer to use.

This particular example is a Fed 3a type 2 with the name inscribed in both Cyrillic and Latin and with the later type of shutter speed setting dial on top of the camera.


I gave the camera a good clean and then dismantled the top to clean, lube and adjust the shutter speed control mechanism and to clean the viewfinder / range finder. There was a good deal of ingrained dirt in some of the parts so I cleaned them using an ultrasonic cleaning bath, containing a little detergent and warm water, which worked well apart from the very poor chrome plating falling off the frame counter disk. This was consequently polished to a nice bright bronze finish.



FED 3a Type 2, Made in USSR

Camera Type

35mm rangefinder focusing camera with a cloth focal plane shutter. Interchangeable lenses with 39mm Leica type screw fitting.

Film Format



Industar 22, 52mm f/2.8

Filter Size


Focusing Range

1 m to infinity

Shutter Speeds

1 second to 1/500th second Plus B.

Exposure Meter Type


Film Speed Range


Viewfinder Information

Small, tinted, viewfinder with rangefinder spot

Focusing System

Rangefinder visible in viewfinder

Synchronization & Flash

"X" synchronization

Loading Film

Standard 35mm 135 loading

Advance Film

Knob wind, Built-in double exposure prevention

Self Timer 





140 X 80 (inc. lens) X 90 mm


700 g (inc. lens)


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