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:
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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