History. Fed made rangefinders from the 1930s through the 1990s. The original Fed is a straight copy of the Leica II. There were several subsequent models, and within each there were submodels with incremental improvements. (Occasionally cameras will be referred to by submodel such as Fed 2b. This lettering system comes from Princelle's Authentic Guide to Russian and Soviet Cameras.) The Fed 5 was the end of the line. Soviet cameras such as Feds and Zorkis are very inexpensive compared to Leicas of the same era and they’re a cheap way into the rangefinder world.
I bought a Fed 5 on eBay because the price was good and it was shipping from the US. I can't remember why I thought this was a good idea.
History. Zeiss, now known for lenses, made cameras until the 1970s. Their medium format folding cameras were mostly sold under the name Ikonta starting before World War II. There were many different formats and lens options over the years. Certo6, who restores folding cameras, has an excellent introduction to the different models.
The Super Ikonta III and IV were the last models produced, from the mid-50s until around 1960. The IV is a III with a built-in light meter.
I found an Agfa Isolette at a local vintage store which I restored and used. I like the size and the quality of the pictures. I didn't like the "guess the distance" zone focusing. I sold the Isolette and bought a restored Super Ikonta III. I've been using it for five years, and like it so much I bought a second two years ago.
I'll talk about my particular camera - with a a 3-element Novar lens, and Synchro-Compur shutter - in this review. Because there were many variations over the years individual models may have different features or specs.
After several years out of photography, and a couple of years using a DSLR I was ready for a change.
My local camera store has a used equipment case strategically placed so you can browse while the staff is in the back fetching whatever it is you came in for.
There was a Mamiya C330 that looked almost new that reminded me of the TLR I used in the 80s. During the next week I kept thinking about it, and I went back to the store to take another look. Too late, sold. They did have one other medium format camera, though...
That's how I ended up with a Hasselblad 500C/M in 2008.
I began shooting the series Descent on medium format using a Hasselblad and the Fuji GF670. My father became more impatient and impulsive and these cameras could not keep up with him. I purchased an F5 because it had fast focus and film advance. I've been using it for about 4 years.