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Helios lens

Lens FED-35 4.5 / 28 review and instructions

Today we will look at an absolutely wonderful pre-war lens FED-35 4.5 / 28. This is a wide angle lens. In the literature, it is described as a six-lens asymmetric Gauss-type anastigmat.

FED-35 was included in the set of optics produced in Kharkov for the first model FED rangefinder camera of the same name.
Recently we examined a long-focus lens from this set - FED-36 6,3 / 100, and now the turn has come to a wide angle.

You know, I have a weakness for wide-angle optics, but even without this it is clear that there were not so many Soviet wide-angle lenses. Systems for mirror thread M39, as far as I know, did not have anything wider than Mir-1 at all. I don't know at least no examples.

And the FR of 28 mm, meanwhile, is a very convenient focal length. This FR, on the one hand, allows you to shoot very widely, and on the other hand, it still does not create that bunch of specific problems that arise at even wider angles.

And it is all the more great that a lens with this FR was available (relatively accessible) to Soviet photographers even before the Great Patriotic War.

FED-35 4.5 / 28

There is very little information about FED lenses. I know neither the years of production of the FED-35, nor the volumes.

Those copies of the instructions for the lens that came across to my eyes were entitled with the name of the enterprise: “Kharkov NKVD Combine named after Dzerzhinsky "

As far as I know, the enterprise was called a combine in the period from late 1938 to early 1941.

I will assume that such lenses were produced in this interval. Although, perhaps, there are trdkommunovskie instructions, but they are simply radically less common. If you have more accurate information, please share.

During and after the Second World War, FED optics were definitely not produced.

As for the quantity, according to my subjective feelings, the wide-angle FED-35 is somewhat less common than the long-focus FED-36.

In the review, a copy is in excellent condition, on which there are two numbers - 42001 and 76.

Optical design:

  • Focal length: 28mm
  • Field of view: 76 °
  • Frame size: 24 × 36 mm
  • Number of lenses / groups: 6/4
  • Working distance - ~ 28.8 mm
  • Aperture ratio: 1: 4.5
  • Aperture scale limits: 1: 4.5–1: 18
  • Aperture blades - 6
  • Aperture adjustment - stepless
  • Aperture preset - none

  • Near focusing limit - 1 m

  • lens with camera - M39 × 1
  • for slip-on attachments - ∅ ~ 37 mm
  • Filter Mount Location: Front
  • Resolution according to TU (center / edge): 45/15 lines / mm (source
  • Weight - 111 grams

FED-36 is a very compact lens. It protrudes from the apparatus only by about 1.2 centimeters.

Visually, the FED-36 is similar to a folded tube standard fifty kopeck piece, but unlike it, the FED-36 does not need to be folded out, it is always so short.

The assembled lens is excellent. The body, as far as I know, is brass, but chrome-plated and therefore light.

The ring-pusher of the rangefinder foot looks interesting. It has a spiral shape.

It is also noteworthy that the FED-35 delivery set included devices for adjusting the lens for the rangefinder of a particular device. This kit looked like this. My kit is not complete.

The left device needed to loosen the nut on the back of the lens, and the right one needed to hook and turn the pusher ring a little.

The hook, I think, took place behind this hole.

The alignment algorithm is described in the instructions for the lens. The instructions are given below.

Although, the wide angle allowed, of course, not to bother with the adjustment. Even at the most open f4.5, when focusing on the HFR, the near border of the depth of field, according to the scale on the lens, was approximately 2.5 meters.

Now, of course, the standards are stricter, but for the quality of photographic materials and photographic processes of those years, this is normal.

The numbers and marks of the scales are marked as grooves in the surface of the case. I don’t know if it’s engraving or something else the technology is called.

The distance scale is marked on a flat shoulder strap around the lens. The depth of field scale is on the conical part under the knurled ring and is poorly visible.

The prominent knurled ring is used for focusing and for screwing on the lens when the helicoid is parked. You can also focus using a bump leash.

If you press the leash, then it can be inserted into a special fork on the chase. The focus ring will be locked in this case.

The aperture is controlled by a ring on the front section of the lens. The ring is equipped with a rectangular leash and it is convenient.

Aperture scale with old standard: f4.5, f6.3, f9, f12.5, f18.

The lens is dark, but for an f4.5 wide-angle it is quite enough.

FED-35 optics are not coated. There are 6 aperture blades, they are very small and the quality of the coating is difficult to see clearly. They don't seem to shine.
The front and rear lens caps are metal.
FED-35 is stored in a classic cylindrical case made of hard leather with an embossed FED emblem.
Universal frame viewfinder FED

And now pachalka.

Of course, an interchangeable lens rangefinder needs an interchangeable viewfinder. And of course, the Kharkiv people have not forgotten about him.

The FED-35 was supposed to be used together with a folding frame viewfinder, which has an incredibly impressive appearance.

But for some reason it turned out that the number of viewfinders released is much smaller than lenses, and they are now very rare, but they are very expensive.

I don’t have that, and I think there’s little chance of getting it.

Considering that it is unlikely that I can make a separate view of the FED viewfinder, I will briefly describe it here.

Illustrations from Bunimovich's book:

The viewfinder is universal. In addition to a 28 mm lens, it allows you to work with 100 and 50 mm lenses.

The viewfinder consists of two folding frames. The front can be moved forward and backward, this is how the lens FR is adjusted.

The back frame moves up and down to compensate for parallax. for different shooting distances.

Something like that.

I will not argue, but I heard that the original Leica frame viewfinder can be found much easier and cheaper. Despite the fact that mechanically it is more varied.

Leica seems to have this in mind. Photo from ebay. I can’t guarantee that it’s exactly like that. It did not remain in my memory, although I somehow held both viewfinders in my hands at the same time. There are also light ones, but note that the German viewfinder is designed for other focal lengths.

Of course, I could not help but test the lens in practice. The figure would allow to reveal the potential of the lens more fully, but, firstly, I do not have a mirrorless, and secondly, all this will not be indicative at all. Therefore, I went with a film.

Aperture f6.3, focus on HFR.

The KMZ universal revolving viewfinder is perfect for framing. For metering - Sverdlovsk-4.

I give the photo below. Consider the fact of scanning which spoils the quality. I have the most common scanner in the MFP.

Quite decent photos are obtained. Very pronounced vignetting is also visible. By modern standards, it is weak, of course, but for its time it was just a miracle how great it was to shoot through the FED-35.

That's all for me, good luck!
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