Do you have questions?
Write us! We will be happy to answer your questions within 12 hours!
Your question
Have a good day!
Helios lens

FED-macro lens 3.5 / 50 review

Today we will consider a lens that seems to be not very rare, but with a rather vague history. It will be a post-war full-turn FED macro-objects.

I have already written several times that in the USSR there were only two serial specialized macro lenses. These are the later Volna-9 2.8 / 50, and the earlier (pre-war) FED-19 3.5 / 50.

However, there was also a third lens besides them, which is not clear, whether to isolate, or not.

There is a lot of confusion with him, but little information. Even on the website of Georgy Abramov, the lens is mentioned in one article with the pre-war FED-19.

In other sources, these lenses are almost always confused or identified.

But at the same time, the design of the frame is completely different and different scaling possibilities!

In short, the situation is as follows:

Before the Great Patriotic War, the Kharkov plant FED produced a specialized macro lens FED-19 3.5 / 50. In the photo he is on the left. I have a review of it.

During the Second World War, all production in Kharkov ceased. The city was captured by the Germans.

After the Second World War in 1948, the restored factory began to produce cameras again. The factory also produced lenses under its own brand FED, but these were only standard folding FED 3.5 / 50.

The release of interchangeable optics has been discontinued.

There is, however, one exception. For some time (the years are unknown to me, but probably this is literally 1948-49), versions of FED 3.5 / 50 lenses were produced, similar to the standard ones in everything, except for one detail - they had a continuation of the standard distance scale from 1 or less, up to 0 ,5 meters.

The general scale occupied almost the entire shoulder strap, to go through it all, the helicoid makes almost a full revolution. Therefore, the lens is called full turn.

However, this lens should not be confused with the very early full-turn standard FED lenses of 1934-35. These - early lenses had the usual MDF = 1 meter, but the shawl was stretched full circle.

The lens we are talking about has an extended distance scale from 0.5 meters.

The point of expanding the scale is to give the lens a macro function. However, the lens should not be confused with the pre-war FED-19 macro lens.

Ours is foldable and was produced exactly after the Second World War.

Most likely, the lens does not have an independent name and it is still incorrect to call it "FED-19", although it is widely practiced. I don’t even know what to call it ... Conditionally I will write FED-macro.

For the purpose of this article only!

With regard to macro, you also need to understand that the pre-war FED-19 gave a larger scale for macro photography.

The maximum scale that can be obtained from the FED-19 is 1: 2. In this case, the shooting distance should be = 15 cm. True, it was necessary to measure the distance from a special risk on the lens. From the plane of the film, this will be about 22 cm.

The FED-macro, which we are talking about, with the same FR has an MDF of 50 cm. This means that the maximum scale will be significantly smaller than that of the FED-19. The exact figure is unknown to me.

I don't think the lenses were sold separately as macro. Still, in this specialization their properties are not the highest.

Most likely (although I have no confirmation) such lenses were installed as standard on some FED devices at the end of the forties.

FED-macro lens 3.5 / 50

  • Focal length: 50mm
  • Field of view: 46 °
  • Frame size: 24 × 36 mm
  • Number of lenses / groups: 4/3
  • Working distance - ~ 28.8 mm
  • Aperture ratio: 1: 3.5
  • Aperture scale limits: 1: 3.5-1: 18
  • Aperture blades - 10
  • Aperture adjustment - stepless
  • Aperture preset - none
  • Near focusing limit - 50 cm


  • lens with camera - M39 × 1
  • Filter Mount Location: Front
  • TU resolution (center / edge): unknown
  • Weight - 100 grams.

Externally, the lens is almost indistinguishable from the staff. Same foldable design. There is no additional marking on the front end. Everything is typical of early post-war models.

This instance is not enlightened. Variants with enlightenment and modern aperture pitch are less common.

The diaphragm is driven by a leash on the front cut.

Aperture blades 10 pieces. The petals are black and rather dull.

To focus, you need to move the leash, which can be parked in a special fork at infinity. To remove the leash from the parking lot, you need to press on the top.

The depth of field scale is marked on the tapered part of the base.

On a flat pursuit, a standard distance scale is applied at the beginning. If you move the leash in the direction of decreasing distances, then reaching the end of the standard scale, the helicoid will no longer rotate.

This is because on the opposite side the leash will rest against this pin-stopper.

In order to use the lens in macro mode, this pin must be unscrewed with a screwdriver.

After that, the helicoid can move further on an additional scale. On it, the distances are plotted already in centimeters.

It is only necessary to take into account that the stopper is no longer there, and nothing keeps the helicoid from simply unscrewing and falling out of the thread, if the risk of the distance is taken out of the scale.

Be careful.

I tested the lens's capabilities with a specific example of a reproduction of postage stamps. Cosmonautics Day was recently celebrated, so the theme will be appropriate.

I was shooting with a D800 DSLR, so the scale is, of course, wrong. With the original device, the magnification would have been less.

As for the quality, the drop in contrast is, of course, obvious, but in general, for photographic materials and photo processes of that time, the optical properties of the lens are more than sufficient, with a margin.

Made on