|Yashica Lynx 14E image by Alper Turhan (Image rights)|
Ambient Light Superstar! Edit
In 1968, the Lynx 14E added IC-controlled electronic manual exposure functionality to the earlier Lynx 14 (1965) as key members of an elite club of leaf-shuttered rangefinders sporting fast f1.4 lenses. The massive 7-element, 5-group, 45mm Yashinon-DX lens adds outstanding resolution power and contrast for available-light photography.
The camera sports a red "IC" badge to herald the arrival of integrated circuitry used in its electronic manual exposure control to couple the CdS metering cell on its face with a momentary button to illuminate "UNDER" or "OVER" exposure indicators in the viewfinder. The chrome button switches the meter on; hence it is cleverly fitted with a label announcing, "SWITCH". A pure mechanical camera, the Lynx 14E employs batteries solely to power the meter. The lack of automatic exposure slows you down somewhat, but the results justify the journey.
The Copal SVE leaf shutter is triggered by a short, light and smooth shutter release that complements the all-metal camera's brick-like heft to enable vibration-free hand-held exposures down to 1/15th of a second. Using 400 ASA film; you would be challenged to uncover a situation that required a flash.
The Lynx 14E features a fully coupled rangefinder with corrected framelines that move as you focus to automatically compensate for the amount of parallax. The focus patch is a small, yellow square that can be difficult to see in low light situations where the other virtues of the camera would ordinarily permit it to shine.
The massive lens coupled with all metal construction conspire to make the Lynx 14E one of the largest and heaviest (850 grams or 30 ounces) rangefinders ever made; (however it can be employed to drive nails in a pinch). Outstanding results justify the commitment as hallmarks of a superb classic camera essential to the rangefinder experience. A bargain in its day is even more so today especially if you compare it to alternatives with similar lens capabilities. There simply aren't any current production equivalent cameras available for ANY price.
- Superb and fast f1.4, 45mm lens
- IC-controlled electronic manual exposure
- Fully coupled rangefinder
- Automatic parallax compensation
- Fully manual operation
- Quiet, vibration-free Copal shutter
- Durable, all-metal construction to last a lifetime
- Superstar of available light photography
- A perennial favorite among camera aficionados.
- Prone to lens-flare as it was built before advanced lens coatings. Use of a 60mm lens hood is recommended
- Heavy and bulky but well balanced and handles well.
- Lack of automatic exposure modes slows you down
- Non-ratching film advance lever requires a long 120 degree stroke
- Focus patch is small and dim
- Used outlawed mercury cells (PC640A equivalent alkaline batteries are still available)
- Prone to acid damage from leak-prone batteries. The entire body of the Lynx is an electrical conductor that facilitates battery acid migration to any part of the camera. A vent hole in the battery cap designed to allow the escape of destructive gases can be compromised permitting caustic fumes to find their way throughout the chassis with disastrous results. It can be a challenge to find this camera with a distinct focus patch that hasn't been compromised by acid fumes.
- Maker: Yashica Company Ltd., Lens by Tomioka Optical Co.Ltd.
- Dates: Lynx 14E introduced in 1968
- Camera Type: 35mm rangefinder camera
- Focusing: manual helical focusing, with coupled rangefinder (Minimum distance = 0.8 m/ 2.6 ft.)
- Lens: Fixed-mount f1.4, 45mm, Yashinon DX (7-elements in 5-groups) (58mm filter thread)
- Shutter: Copal SVE leaf shutter from 1 sec to 1/500 including B
- Apertures: f1.4 - f16 (stepless)
- Exposure meter: CdS cell on camera body
- Exposure modes: Electronic manual switch exposure control with "OVER" or "UNDER" light in viewfinder
- ASA/ISO range: 10–800
- External cold shoe w/PC connection
- Synchronized: X-M Switch
- X sync speed: All speeds
- Self-timer: Yes (approximately 12 seconds)
- Battery: Two EVEREADY - E640, 1.4V Mercury-oxide cells (discontinued): PC640A Alkaline available
- Dimensions and weight: 160.4W x 139H x 85.7D mm; 850g (30 oz.)
- Retail price: $160.00 in 1968: approximately $1110.00 in 2015 dollars
- Manual available on the Favorite Classics section of .kyphoto.com, (Lynx 14 only, not Lynx 14E)
- Article by Mick Feuerbacher
- a Yashica rangefinder chronology, including the Lynx 14 by Yashica guy.
- On www.collection-appareils.fr by Sylvain Halgand :
- Yashica Lynx 14 on Karen Nakamura's Photoethnography
- Yashica Lynx 14 on Cameraquest