Early experiment with manual camera

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Matt McGrattan, May 26, 2004.

  1. I posted this is another thread, but this is from my 2nd roll of film
    through a Fed 4 [basically my 1st all-manual camera].

    I think it turned out pretty OK.

    Comments (even negative ones :) ) welcome.

    Matt McGrattan, May 26, 2004
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  2. Matt McGrattan

    Minolta Man Guest

    Minolta Man, May 26, 2004
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  3. Industar 61 - the standard lens that comes with these cameras.

    However, I'm not sure if it's an Industar-61 or a 61 L/D

    [It's not marked with the L/D but it has the other features -
    click-stop on the aperture setting and a yellowish tint to the lens
    coating - which I gather [from web-sites] are marks of the L/D)

    Matt McGrattan, May 26, 2004
  4. Matt McGrattan

    Minolta Man Guest

    You need to hang onto that lens. I've been through around 40 Russian
    lens over the last several years and have yet to find one with that
    kind of sharpness and contrast..

    Colyn Goodson


    Camera manuals and mercury battery fix

    Weston Ranger 9 battery fix
    Minolta Man, May 26, 2004
  5. Actually, about 75% of the Sov./Postsov lenses I've used & tested have
    excellent sharpness & contrast (and I wouldn't call looking good in a
    800x507 pixel JPG anything special at all).

    Check your rangefinder and/or body calibration.

    Chris Loffredo, May 26, 2004
  6. Indeed.

    The first roll of film I had back from that camera was pretty decent
    but not quite 'right' - I checked the rangefinder and it was off at

    After adjusting it, the pictures are coming back pretty sharp. That
    image looks good at a much higher res than the small .jpg I posted....
    but it's still not absolutely crystal sharp if you blow it right up.

    However, it was shot hand-held so the camera probably wasn't steady
    enough to give a "perfect" image.

    Either way, I'm pleased with the results from something that cost so

    Matt McGrattan, May 26, 2004
  7. You should also check your minimum distance RF adjustment (1 meter): You
    do that by adjusting the eccentric on the RF arm (as opposed to the
    screw used for adjusting infinity).
    You'll probably have to readjust infinity adjustment if you change the
    minimum adjustment, then recheck minimum and so on...
    After about 3 cycles of this, you'll have a well-calibrated rangefinder!
    : )

    A drop of glue or shellack on the RF arm eccentric will HELP hold it in
    place, but it should be checked regularly as it moves out of adjustment
    quite easily (and hence, all those "lousy Russian lenses" all over the

    Another hint: Zorkis & Kievs (the Contax clone/descendent in this case),
    tend to be better built than the Feds and have a smoother feel to them.
    Also, the Kiev/Contax has a wider based RF which is famous for staying
    in adjustment (so fewer "lousy" lenses). You might not like its
    ergonomics though.

    Chris Loffredo, May 26, 2004
  8. Correcting my own post, I previously explained how to adjust, but not
    how to check minimum RF adjustment.

    Camera on tripod (or tabletop).
    Lens set at 1 meter.
    Easy to focus on object exactly 1 meter away from FILM PLANE.

    Even tiny differences at that distance (i.e. 1.05 meters instead of
    1.00) will result in out focus pictures at full aperture.

    If your shots are still not up to (high) expectations, check the body
    collimation (you'll need an SLR camera), just ask again or do a search
    on it.

    Chris Loffredo, May 26, 2004

  9. I checked the close-up calibration too and it seems OK.

    I did the usual thing - draw a cross on a bit of paper, mount camera
    on tripod at 1 meter, check what the lens is set at when its in focus.

    I'll probably do it again soon, double check the measurements, etc and
    make sure it's dead on.
    I'm quite happy with the Fed for now. But yeah, will explore other
    options if I come across a Kiev in nice condition. The lack of lens
    compatibility would be an issue though.

    If I had more than one Sov. rangefinder it'd be nice if they could all
    mount the same lenses.

    Matt McGrattan, May 26, 2004
  10. Chris Loffredo wrote:

    Interesting. I've never done much close-up work so I've not had occasion to
    explore this: I always thought that focus distance was from the lens node,
    not the film plane. At least that's how it made sense to me.

    OTOH, it is common to see the film plane marked on the exterior of the body,
    which I infer must be useful for something. I can't think of anything else
    that would utilize an external mark like that, so it sounds like you're
    probably right here.

    If so, I've learned something new and valuable. Thanks!!
    I've set the focus of rangefinders at infinity by putting them on a tripod
    with the back open, the lens on T and set at infinity, and a piece of
    scotch tape across the film rails. Then I look through a calibrated SLR,
    set at infinity, and through the rangefinder lens. If the striations on
    the tape are sharp, that probably means the focus is correct. It would
    seem this can be expanded to checking collimation by putting a piece of
    tape across the rails at each edge of the frame window, and checking to see
    that these are both sharp from one end to the other.

    Is this in the ball park?


    Bill Tallman
    William D. Tallman, May 27, 2004
  11. : )

    There are some exceptions; for example some older Killfit macros (or so
    I read) have the distance scales set from the front of the lens.
    What you first described is what I understand as being "collimation",
    i.e. the correct body depth/infinity setting of the lens. Whether tape
    across the film rails is flat enough and whether the measurement is best
    made at the center or 1/3 of the way out is a whole other can of worms...
    : )

    The second procedure you describe is a check that the mount/lens is
    parallel with the film plane.
    When I've tried it though, at least with most lens combinations, I've
    not been able to "see" the corners.
    In practice I do that kind of check on film (targets at center and in
    the 4 corners), which might also catch some lens defects.

    Typical example of such a test and the quality of Soviet lenses:
    I had 4 Jupiter 12 (35mm f/2.8) lenses, 3 gave good and very similar
    results to each other, one was much sharper on one side and much softer
    on the other compared with the rest. Centering error?

    Chris Loffredo, May 27, 2004
  12. Chris Loffredo wrote:


    Thanks, Chris.

    Bill Tallman
    William D. Tallman, May 28, 2004
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