I love the Olympus Trip, I love old Russian cameras. So what would be more perfect than a Russian Olympus Trip. Viola, the Fed 50. It was based on the trip, but started it’s production 2 years after the trip was discontinued according to this great website. This is not a junk find, I looked for it after reading about it on a website that gave a list of cool cameras to look out for (which I can’t find now). This was on it, and on eBay at the same time…sold!
It looked pretty clean and the light seals seemed ok.
So, how was the camera? It felt great, a nice weight. It has a selenium meter so doesn’t need batteries. This one seemed to work fine as I tried it in a few situations without the film and the shutter worked and the speed or size of the aperture changed. It has a 38mm lens that goes from f2.8 to f16. The shutter speeds are 1/30 to 1/650 on automatic.
The interesting part is the focusing. It has a range finder, but doesn’t click between the distances. That means you can be a little more precise when guessing the distances as you can move smoothly between the usual settings. Though it did take a little getting use to for me. In the end I set it either to infinity or close and then moved the distance in or out depending on my subject. That helped when trying some street photography.
So did it work? The main issue I had was thinking I had forgotten to take off the lens cap on some of these shots, so I was very pleased to see them actually on the film.
Here is my first roll from it and my first roll of Oriental Seagull 100.
Well, the first few shots were taken as soon as I got the camera, then I caught a terrific cold and didn’t go out shooting. Then two weeks later, from the bridge picture onwards, I used the camera all in 24 hours. Oh and by the way, the shrine is Sengakuji and those are the 47 Ronin graves.
I love the camera, I love the film. I hate the slow light leaks and the fact I have to change the seals.
It has a really nice quality to it and at infinity is really sharp. But there seems to be something inside or on my scanner. I am not sure which. Some of the shots had a furry blob at the top. You can see it in this shot, but I digitally removed it from other places it occurred.
The fact it was only on a few shots makes me think it was the scanner plate. I have since cleaned that carefully.
I recommend this camera not only for the novelty value, but the utter coolness of it and the shots.