The FED 3 is a Ukrainian rangefinder camera inspired by classic Leicas. Over two million were produced between 1961-79. It takes 35mm film. The FED 3 is an evolution of the FED 2 and the dimensions of the two bodies are identical. The top deck is modified because the FED 3 has to have a shorter rangefinder base to make room for the slow-speed mechanism. Shutter speeds are 1 sec, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500s and “B”. In common with many Soviet-era cameras, the shutter must be cocked before the speed is altered.
There are four definable models in the FED 3 series.
- FED 3a was introduced in 1961. It retained most of the FED 2 features, including the mushroom-shaped advance knob. The rewind knob is larger. The diopter is no longer adjusted by a lever but is adjusted by the ring over the viewfinder.
- FED 3b was introduced in 1963. It has a film advance lever and a flat top deck. It had no strap lugs, but an ever-ready case was originally available. The FED 3b is usually fitted with an Industar 26M or Industar 61 lens. These are interchangeable with other lenses with an M39 mount, but are not 100% compatible with the Leica standard.
- FED 3L was introduced along with the 3b in 1963, and has a body like the 3a but a different shutter speed knob. The knob on a 3L resembles the ones on the FED 3b; the speeds are engraved on a plate beneath the knob instead of on the knob itself. The shutter speed plate is clipped where the top deck steps down. Usually fitted with an Industar 61 lens.
- FED 3L/D is a FED 3L with a multi-coated Industar 61 L/D containing Lanthane.