Friday, November 26, 2010


My friend Tom asked me to stop by his shop. "I have something for you," he said. Imagine my surprise when he handed me a camera case with this rangefinder inside. "I tried to sell it at a yard sale," Tom said, "but no one wanted it!"

This is a Yashica Lynx 14, what would be merely another rangefinder camera from the mid 60s except for that ginormous lens. It's a 45mm f1.4, with 7 elements in 3 groups. If this performs like the f1.7 lens in the Electro, I'll be very, very pleased.

Apparently there are two versions of the Lynx 14. This is the early model. The later one had an integrated circuit that earned it the IC designation. And in one of those moments of incredible coincidence, I purchased a Lynx 14 IC earlier this month. It should arrive soon.

This is one heavy beast! The lens is massive, and when my daughter was handling it, it looked almost ludicrously big. I'll need a stout shoulder strap, not a small wrist strap for this one.

Here's a size comparison. That other old rangefinder is a Canonet, a camera I routinely carry on a wrist strap.

Overall, the camera is in excellent condition. But like any other from that time period, it needs new seals. The rangefinder is cloudy. Perhaps the biggest problem is the shutter doesn't work. It shows what appears to be some oil on the shutter blades. The fix involves removing the front lens element and cleaning the blades with lighter fluid, a task best left until tomorrow when I can open some windows to let the fumes escape.

This camera is built like the proverbial brick XXXX house! I can't wait to run some film through it.



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