Sociedad Ibero-Americana de la Historia de la Fotografia Museo Fotográfico y Archivo Historico "Adolfo Alexander"
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TSVVS

 

 

  

 

TSVVS for me is one of more fascinating camera of whole Soviet production. Body directly Leica derived and Contax lens bayonet: the best formula to keep agreement for both Leica and Contax fans. 

Nicknamed as the “General’s FED”, the TSVVS really was a special production high quality overall camera destined to be presented to the W.W.II Soviet military heroes. 

TSVVS was made in 1949-50. Until now it is not clear WHERE (hypothesis is Kharkhov, Ukraine, where was FED factory), it is instead sure FOR WHO: Soviet Military Aviation's officials. A camera more fine, well made, with good lens and of course very expensive was not made for the common people: less-expensive FED 1 and then ZORKI 1 (with a little interval of FED-ZORKI production, maybe with higher projects, but suddenly abandoned) was made in large quantity for this function.

Most probable reason of this camera is work tool of Military Topographic Aerial Service (in Russian TSVVS, TCBBC in Cyrillic).

It is supposed less 2000 units were produced; so it is rare.

At :http://www.dvdtechcameras.com/collect/fed/1/18.htm  you will see the Yuriy Davidenko article about the factory Almaz which probably  built this camera.

At first sight it seems identical to FED 1 (for this reason maybe somebody said TSVVS made in the same FED factory) Instead it is very different from FED 1 (materials, weight, body in brass, etc), not like FED 1 and ZORKI 1, practically the same camera. Examining these characteristics could help to avoid buying a fake (there are a lot, some very rough to can recognize only by photo...)                  

This particular model is n° #552. Year of fabrication is 1950 (really well-sight!), the second  production year for these models. As said, production will be stopped in this same year. Until now there are not listed 1951 models. On top there is a five-tip star with inside the famous "hammer and sickle" and letters TCBBC (TSVVS in Latin).

Viewfinder window is smaller than FED 1 and ZORKI 1, a particular not easy fakeable. Round rangefinder oculars are larger.

The other (yellow) rangefinder ocular, which create the "ghost image" in the rangefinder. In TSVVS this image is yellow-coloured, an unique feature

As front oculars, rear oculars are larger than FED 1 and ZORKI 1.

Shutter speed selector has strangely "B" instead of "Z". Z means "ZEIT", in German means "TIME"; "B" means, in Russian, "V" for "VECHNOST = ETERNITY*. Both terms describe the position of shutter selector in which the curtains remain open all the time during shutter release button is pressed. On German cameras (and derived Russian FED and ZORKI) there is "Z", on TSVVS instead we found "B".  

 

 

 



 

 



 

 

 



 

 



 

 

 



 

 



 

Various views of the high quality leather case.

 



 

 



 

There are eyelets for shoulder belt.

 



 

 



 

 

 



 

 


The rangefinder cam is absolutely original,

different from any other Leica copy.

 

 

                                   

 

There is a little circular hole on the film press plate. Like the FED 1 (from a to c models), the reason is adjustment of lens focus, anyway there is not the correspondent hole (with cover) on the back of the body like FED 1a.



 

 

 



 

There is a number stamped on the internal of bottom cover that is matching with another number stamped on the shutter box bottom. In this model we can see N° 3.

 


Another difference with FED and ZORKI is particular position of bottom cover unlock key, 90° rotated. The bottom cover is made of brass, so it is heavier than FED and Zorki.

 

 

 



 

 



 

 

 



 

 

                  

 

Lens is Sonnar 50mm f:2 Carl Zeiss Jena, serial number 3090384, in a poor aluminum mount. It would be a part of "spoil of war" took by Soviet from Germany (such as happened for Contax, re-birthed as KIEV in USSR).

 

 



 

 



 

 

  

 



 

 



 

 

   

 



 

 

A much more intriguing and unknown, and even rarer camera is that now based on

 FED 2 design, using Contax mount  Sonnar 50mm f:2 Carl Zeiss Jena, or Jupiter 8 lens.

This is supposed to be a TSVVS-2.  Production Year 1954

From the collection of Dr. Milos Mladek

 

 

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