35 mm Leica Thread Mount Rangefinder
is another example of an original Soviet design. The Zaria, which means Dawn
in English, is the only 39 mm screwmount FED without a rangefinder. The camera
was manufactured by the FED plant from 1959 to 1961. It is basically a FED-2
of the same vintage without a RF and a self timer. Its Galilee viewfinder is
bright and clear and has a magnification of .75x.
It comes with a standard lens Industar-26M, 50/2.8, and accepts any 39 mm Leica mount lens.
Shutter speeds are B, 1/30 - 1/500.
The Zaria is very simple to use and to service. It has a bare minimum of controls on the uncluttered top plate, it is relatively light, and the finish is very good. This camera was made for domestic market, and according to J-L. Princelle, was "subjected to severe criticism by the specialist Soviet press". I've never seen or heard of this camera until I read his book "Made in USSR". McKeown's catalog has a picture of the Zaria (it is listed in the FED section). I find the Zaria very attractive, with it solid feel and nice handling. Guess focusing is the only drawback, but that's what made the Zaria original.
Zarya was the second camera in my (now large) collection (Kiev-4a started it). For some reason the Zarya is especially dear to me. It is a serious camera with a "toy" look.