Yashica Lynx 14 E Review

I have an opportunity to trade my Agfa Isolette for a Yashica Lynx 14E ( I call it the poor man’s Summilux ).  To commence the trade, we both sent each other our cameras so that the other could try it out and see if we thought it was fair.  This is the test roll from the Yashica Lynx 14 E.  Let me give you a run down of the camera from what I can see.

Yashica Lynx 14 E (IC)

  • 35mm Range finder
  • Yashinon-DX 45mm; 7 Elements in 5 Groups.
  • f1.4 – f16; 5 Blades, No Clicks.
  • Copal SVE Shutter B – 1/500 X / M Sync at all speed via plug, Mechanical.
  • 2x LR52 Battery powers the off the lens meter via a switch.
  • Over and Under Exposure Lights inside the view finder at the top.
  • ISO Range 10-800
  • RF is Parallax Corrected
  • That pretty much covers the camera.


Tri X @ 800 with Xtol 1+2 Rotary

Observations:

  • Metering lights inside the RF are very easy to read.  They light up with the words Under or Over, with arrows. (But, who really needs the meter anyway?)
  • This camera likes to be shot towards f1.4, it does not like f16 that much. Just like most fast lens. (Photo Quality)
  • The lens itself is huge, with a 58mm thread.  However, its a lot easier to find a 58mm filter vs. the 43.5mm for my Olympus 35RC.
  • RF is dimmer than I imagined it should be, but that doesn’t say much, so it really is average.  I imagine in order to take advantage of the f1.4 lens, the RF would have to be brighter than usual.
  • Camera is quite big overall, however, it fits comfortably in my hands.
  • Shutter release is very soft, less chance for hand-shake.

Click here for more photos with the Lynx 14E

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9 thoughts on “Yashica Lynx 14 E Review

  1. Do you have any experience working on this camera? I have a 14 and a 14E, both with stuck shutters. I want the 14 to be the working camera because I think the batteries are easier to come by than the ones for the 14E. But for the life of me I can’t get the front lens element off the 14 to get at the blades to loosen them with probably lighter fluid. I managed to gouge that front element glass pretty good trying to get it off. The one came off the 14E with no fuss so if I can just swap those front elements I should be good.

    • I do have spare front element for a 14E. Don’t think its the same for the 14. How bad is it scratched and how can I help you? Yeah I worked on them. There’s one in the box waiting to go back to calibre right there.

      • I just can’t get the black “Yashinon-DX” ring off the front of the 14, try as I might. Stuck tight. If I could, I’d get the front element out, try to free those blades, and try swapping out my scratched element. The scratch is 1″ long and very obvious, so I have to assume it would affect photos. Any advice for getting that stupid ring off? Is there a tool that’s good for it? I just was using a small screwdriver — which obviously wasn’t the best idea, given that when it slipped out of the little groove was when I gouged the lens.

        • If the scratch is on the outer edge you might not have to worry about it. To take the ring off properly you will need a spanner wrench for photo equipment. Preferably one with interchangeable tips ($$$). Alternatively you can try making one with a spring loaded dial caliper and grind it down to points. In extreme cases you may brush (not spray!) with your choice of anti seize lubricant on the threads and let it sit overnight give or take. In very rare cases, drill two new holes on the ring with a dremel and very small drill bits and use the spanner, its better than the notches especially when you destroyed the notches. For bigger rings you need something similar to a spanner, for smaller rings people have success with a automotive snap ring pliers.

          Just remember I wouldn’t recommend changing elements from a Non E to a E lynx. I tried that with a 1000 and 1000E it wouldn’t work. If you must, check it with a piece of semi transparent scotch tape with a loupe at the film gate, especially at infinity.

          Good Luck.

          • If I can clean those blades and get the shutter unstuck I could find out if that scratch is material or not. But thanks for the tip on the right tools and about how to loosen those threads. I’ll see about getting one of those wrenches.

            What was the difference between the elements in the 1000 and 1000E? On my two Lynxes, everything looks identical. But maybe looks aren’t enough?

            • I know that when I swap the front cells on those aforementioned cameras. They don’t focus correctly. Your infinity is off, and the rf is off too naturally. I haven’t inspect and compare the elements carefully. It could be different optical formular . Or simply different spacings.

  2. I have my grandfather’s 14E with me right now and it hasn’t been used for more than 30 years. Can I use the 14E without using any batteries and would a 35mm Kodak Gold be good with it??

    • The batteries for the 14E is only for the light meter. The rest of the camera is completely mechanical. So yes, you can use the camera without any battery. If there’s battery still in the battery chamber I recommend you taking them out so it wouldn’t leak or corrode any further. I’ll check the operation/movement of the focusing ring, film advance, shutter, and the aperture before you load it. Remind you, you will have to focus, and set the shutter speed and aperture manually. Look up “Sunny 16 rule” if you need help on exposure, its pretty easy to understand. Lastly, Kodak gold will work just fine. Let me know if you have anymore questions, Cheers.

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