Yashica Lynx 14

Another amazing junk camera find, a Lynx 14 with a whopping f1.4 lens. It was released in 1965, you can find all the technical details you might need at this great website.

IMG_1709

When I first picked it up, the fungus on the lens was clearly visible, though not in the photo above. However, it was cheap so I thought I would try a few experiments. Curiosity might have killed the cat, but would it kill the camera?

Ok, firstly remove the lens. That turned out to be pretty easy, it came off so smoothly.

Then I tried soaking it in IPA and using a soft cloth, nothing changed. Hmmph. Then I remembered reading an article about toothpaste hacks, one of the hacks was about cleaning glass. Well, that’s stupid, dumb, it would ruin the lens…but I wondered what would really happen?? Maybe I could show what would happen with this lens??

So in for a penny in for $5 and I took out my toothpaste and rubbed the lens very carefully. Here are the results.

Holy moly, that looks clean and sparkly…like a fresh set of gnashers, smells quite nice too. But would it still work? Have I cause irreversible damage, removed the coating or changed the curvature? The internet gods were shocked and stunned and a few lectures ensued. Now, let’s be clear, there is no way I am endorsing this approach. I certainly would not attempt it on one of my favourite cameras or lenses. But I got this for $5 and ultimately it is mine to do with as I please. So in I shoved some Fuji 100 asa film and set off to Hitachi Taga on a dull and cloudy day.

The camera’s light meter did not work, so I had to use it in manual only. Also, the second image was incredibly light and at times hard to see at all. That made focusing very difficult at times. I seem to have slightly overexposed everything, I think my phone lightmeter was fooled by the dappled or cloudy light. Anyway, all shots were taken at one location with apertures between f1.4 and f2.8, with speeds of 1/60th or 1/125th.

It is still usable šŸ™‚ I did not break it. Though as I did not test it before cleaning I do not really have a fair comparison. Either way…YAHHHHOOOOO!! I’ve got a shiny, slightly minty Lynx 14.

Keep or sell: Working ones are quite expensive according to this website, but I think I will keep it a while.

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6 thoughts on “Yashica Lynx 14

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  1. I’ve owned both a 14 and a 14e. The two are different only in their metering systems and the battery needed to run them. Both of mine were nonworking for various and different reasons, so I got the bright idea to make one working camera out of two. I don’t remember why now, but it involved removing the lens from one of them. Let me tell you, my lens did *not* come apart easily as yours did. Trying to get the front bezel off one of the cameras I cut a deep gouge into the lens front element. Very upsetting! A buddy of mine with camera-repair skills combined the two cameras into one working one for me. The meter is a stop off — it was the best he could make it — but after you compensate for that it performs like a champ. Check out the photos I get from mine! I shoot b/w in mine.

    https://blog.jimgrey.net/2014/10/10/yashica-lynx-14e/
    https://blog.jimgrey.net/2014/11/03/bespoke-in-black-and-white/

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    1. Those shots are great. I will try this camera again soon and in monochrome. I think I was extremely lucky in many ways with this camera and am very reluctant to part with it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. WooHoo, you! Now for the million dollar question – what brand of toothpaste did you use and were you running it under water when you cleaned it? It looks like you hit on a good system and I’m guessing that only the front element(s) had the fungus?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes the back of the front element. I made the toothpaste quite wet, but not running…ora stain clear, a cheap Japanese brand šŸ™‚ not sure I will try it again. I have bought a lens hood and will try it again soon as I do see some lens flare, but I read it was common with this camera.

      Liked by 1 person

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