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International Commie Camera Day 2011!

The first mass produced 35mm camera from the Former Soviet Union (FSU) was the FED from 1934, a Leica II clone.

Zorki 1d + Industar 22 + FED 3a + Jupiter  8

 FED article by Oscar Fricke

JEL Special Edition
Zorki 6 + Jupiter 8 and FED 2 + Industar 61LD

As part of WWII reparations, the Soviets gained access to blueprints, tools and other materials to manufacture Zeiss designed optics well into the the 90s with minor updates.

Zorki 1d + Jupiter 8

When properly adjusted and serviced, FED and Zorki cameras + Industar and Jupiter lenses are capable of producing high quality images. 

Zorki 1d + Industar 22
Millions were manufactured but the main issue was lack of quality control. 

FED 3a + Jupiter 8
Foma 100/Rodinal
 Being a tinkerer at heart cheap FEDs and Zorkis became my guinea pigs from which I gained enough confidence to buy unloved Leica IIs in need of TLC

Zorki 1d + Industar 22
It is interesting to note that just about every industrialized nation in the 20th century attempted to manufacture a Leica clone.

FED 2 + Industar 61LD
Fuji 200
Notable copies include Kardon, USA and Reid, UK which are now highly collectible and command prices greater than a genuine Leica.

FED 2 + Industar 61LD
Fuji 200
The post WWII camera and optical industry of Japan was also founded on Leica copies from Canon, Nicca/Tower (later Yashica), Leotax, Minolta (Chiyoko) and etc. 

Fed 3a + Jupiter 8
Foma 100/Rodinal
 Eventually the Japanese beat the Germans in their own game and ultimately became the largest manufacturer of cameras and lenses in the world.

Zorki 6 + Jupiter 8
A testament to Japanese tradition of discipline, industry and ability to innovate!

Zorki 1d + Jupiter 8

China also made Leica copies - a souvenir from my visit to Shanghai last year. 

Shanghai 58-II + 50/3.5 lens
My original plan for today was to take pictures with this camera, unfortunately it became too hot and muggy ;o(


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