Yashica Lynx-14 Camera

Yashica Lynx-14: The Camera that Came Home

In an unforgivable moment of weakness, I once tried to sell this lovely Yashica Lynx-14 on “the ‘Bay.” Don’t know what came over me. I’ve always loved low-light pictures and the gear that makes them. And in her day, she boasted a big, fixed, industry-fastest, 45mm f/1.4 lens. Still might hold that title.

She Came Back

But the sale failed. Oh, I sold her all right. And on departure, she was perfect. But when she reached her destination, her rangefinder was out-of-sorts. I refunded the buyer’s payment (no questions asked), and he sent her limping back.

A close exam revealed the problem. Something in her eyes had slipped loose in transit. Searching the “Oracle of YouTube,” I found this help. It seemed doable. And while it profiled a different gal, the Lynx-14 procedure was similar.

Carefully lifting her top deck (while not breaking attached wires), I saw the problem. Her finder’s delicate beam-splitter had come unglued. I tacked it back in place with tiny toothpick dots of strong E-6000. And after they dried, I cleaned the viewfinder– taking care (per the video) to NOT touch the splitter’s delicate coating. I then reattached the top deck and took the Lynx out for a recuperative drive around Westford.

Cracker of a Lens

I shot Kodak T-Max 100 and only developed it once I could trust myself with Caffenol. Everything worked beautifully… and here are some results:

Yashica Lynx-14 photo of autumn leaves

Yashica Lynx-14 photo of old schoolhouse

Yashica Lynx-14 photo of farmhouse

Yashica Lynx-14 photo of river

Yashica Lynx-14 photo of condo garage

Yashica Lynx-14 photo of condo front yard in snow

Yashica Lynx-14 photo of condo back yard in snow

Next Time, Less Light

This isn’t a full review. You can find a cool one right here on 35mmc. I’ll only add that her lens exhibits a correctable amount of barrel distortion.

My Lynx-14 ain’t pocketable, but she’s got a wow low-light lens. When the weather warms up, I think I’ll slip her stepless aperture to 1.4 or 2, slow her down to a casual 1/30, take her out into the “Blue Hour”… and then ease us on into night.

I lost a sale, but am glad that the “Gods of Old Dried Glue” returned this gal safely home to me!

NOTE: I digitized these negs using the quick, convenient method described here. The whole process took less than a minute.

–Dave Powell is a Westford, Mass., writer and avid amateur photographer.

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10 thoughts on “Yashica Lynx-14: The Camera that Came Home”

  1. Great comments! I have a 14E, which was bequeathed with a jammed shutter. That was relatively easy to fix, and it has turned out to be a fine shooter, indeed! I have also discovered that the ones I fix are the hardest to part with.
    Dean Robinson, MD

  2. Fun article, I really enjoyed the photos too. That lens sends plenty sharp!
    I tried to click the link to see what process you used to digitize the negative, but unfortunately the link doesn’t work.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it Lance! And yes… sorry about the broken link to my scanning article. I think it’s fixed now (but let me know if it isn’t)!

  3. Thanks Dave for a intriguing article about the big little Lynx. Congratulations on a successful repair!
    I note also with interest your Note about a quick and easy scanning method, but you’ve linked that to a /draft/ article, to which we don’t have access….

    1. You’re welcome, David… and thank you and others for pointing out the link issue! It may have happened because I used link text acquired by opening the posted article through my 35mmc Dashboard. But when I instead acquired and opened it through an ordinary Google search, the link worked. So I think it’s fixed! (But let me know if you still have problems.)

        1. You are welcome Dave… and thanks for alerting me to it! I’d made the easy mistake applying the URL of my Dashboard’s “Preview” page… rather than the actual posted article page. OOOPS!

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