Sunday, July 14, 2013

Yashica Lynx-14 First Pictures

Yashica Lynx 14e With Kodak Gold 200 Film

A few days ago, I reported my purchase of the Lynx-14e from the Salvation Army Thrift Store. It was a bargain at $30.00, but I had to wait months for them to finally reduce the price, and I'm glad that someone else didn't spot it before I did.

I had mentioned a couple of potential problems with the camera -1) the light seals around the film door have deteriorated to a gooey mess, and 2) the battery chamber is corroded, but not heavily. I cleaned it out with vinegar, and no further damage has crept through the camera. Neither of these issues proved to be a problem in us, as 1) the camera came with it's lovely black leather case, and the botttom half completely covers the film door, blocking any stray light, and 2) this camera works without batteries - they're only used to power the light meter, for which I use the BeeCam App on my Android Phone.

However, in use I found a more serious issue - 3) the silver on the Rangefinder Mirror has deteriorated, making the yellow RF Patch in the middle of the viewfinder image to be very faint - unusable even in moderately low light. After consulting a Rangefinder Forum, (one of many give the following same suggestion) - If you can put a black dot on the outside of the view finder, over the centre where the yellow shows, it will help improve visibility.

 I used a dark green Magic Marker to make this dot on the VF Lens, and it worked "magically"! Here are two perfectly focussed cat pictures, taken hand held at f1.4 (wide open lens) and a 1/15 shutter speed to prove that I could now focus the camera, even in very low light:



Here's a link to most of my first roll (a few were badly focussed before I fixed the RF issue, so I left them out). No masterpieces here, with the exception of the indoor scene at the top, which I took inside The Black Duck Cafe on Bridge St.

This is a fantastic camera! It's been called a "cult classic" and I can see why. It is amazingly precise, the light capture is lovely, that huge lens is wonderful in it's colour rendering and sharpness, the shutter is almost silent - it's hard to find fault. It provides another reason to say "film isn't dead" - every film camera you can pick up for $40 or less gives yet another quality to the pictures you take. No two are alike. If you want "consistent" results, then film isn't for you - go with digital if your pictures have to be the same as everyone else's. But if you need adventure in your photo hobby, there's really never been a better time to be shooting film, and building a camera collection at the same time. I think enough people are realizing this - more and more in fact, to make film production continuously viable.Also, the price of old cameras is now at rock bottom, and may be set to rise, as more people get more frustrated with the ho-hum samey-ness of their digital cameras.

Don't forget to look at my Print Catalogue. You can reach me by email at

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