Yashica Lynx 14 - stellar low-light rangefinder

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Classic Fixed Lens Rangefinders:

Yashica RF history: Lynx 1000 - 5000 - 14 - 14e; Electro 35 - G - GS/GT - GSN/GTN; Electro GL - GX - MG1

Yashica Lynx 14
by Karen Nakamura


Overview and Personal Comments

The Yashica Lynx 14 is a coupled-rangefinder, leaf-shuttered 35mm camera with a built-in coupled lightmeter for full-manual exposure and an astonishingly bright 50mm f1/.4 lens. The Lynx 14 was designed as an available light, high-end version of the Lynx 5000, which had a more mundane 45mm f/1.8 lens. Using the text or images on this website without permission on an ebay auction or any other site is a violation of federal law.

The Lynx was released in 1965 by Yashica. The serial number of my body is #LIII 7121155 and it was made in Japan. The lens is a huge Yashinon DX 1:1.4 f=45mm lens made in Japan. It retailed in 1965 for ¥24,000. The exchange rate was fixed at ¥360/US$1 so that comes out to US$66. Taking inflation into account with the AIER calculator, that's $377 in 2002 dollars. So it was on the expensive side, perhaps a "prosumer" model, but certainly not out of the reach of the average person.



Interesting quirks

The Lynx 14 features a huge 50mm f/1.4 lens. Even now, that aperture lens is rare for a rangefinder, especially a fixed lens rangefinder. Furthermore, Yashica spared no expense, the lens is a 7 element, 5 group high quality design that is optimized for available light shooting. Because the lens is so large, the camera takes 58mm filters and weighs a ton (850g).

The Copal SVE shutter ranges from 1/500 to 1 seconds. It's not through-the-lens TTL metering, the metering cell is located by the rangefinder, right by the "Yashica" logo plate. Unlike the Electro series, the Lynx 14 shutter is fully mechanical and fully manual. Metering is match-needle with an analog needle (see photo below). The Lynx 14e ("IC" for Integrated Circuitry) which followed the Lynx 14 featured match-LED metering in much the same physical format.

The Lynx 14 takes the now discontinued PX 625 mercury batteries. I'm not sure if it is alkaline 1.5v compatible as I have my own stash of mercury batteries. My guess is that you'll most probably have to use an adaptor or adjust the ISO. See my battery page for more details.

The rangefinder is not only fully coupled (i.e., focusing the rangefinder focuses the lens) but it also has built-in parallax compensation. The common problem with rangefinders is that they aren't fully What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get because of the small amount of parallax difference between the rangefinder window and the taking lens. With the Yashica, as you focus closer, the viewfinder gridlines actually move to compensate for the amount of parallax. This is important when taking headshots or pictures of found objects.




Technical Details

Camera Name
Lynx 14
Place of Manufacture

Body: Japan

Lens: Japan

Date of Manufacture
1965.4 ~ ?
Focusing System

Fully coupled rangefinder with built-in parallax compensation

Lens use helical focusing

Fixed Lens

45mm, f/1.4, Yashinon DX lens (7 elements in 5 groups)

Minimum focusing distance = 0.8 meters (~2.6 feet)

Right focusing (infinity on right side)

58mm screw-in filter; 60mm push-on lens cap


Copal SVE leaf shutter 1 secs - 1/500 (1 stop steps)

X-flash sync at all speeds

B setting

Metering System

CdS cell mounted on rangefinder
Coupled exposure meter (match-needle)

EV ? - ? (at ISO 100)


f/1.7 - f/16 stepless
Right stopping down (f/16 on right side)


External cold-shoe only

PC cable connection

X-M switch

Film type / speeds

Type 135 film (35mm standard)

ASA 10 to 800

Battery type
1.35v PX625 mercury-oxide (discontinued)
Retail price
¥24,000 (1965)
Dimensions and weight
5 1/2" x 3 3/8  x 6 5/16"; 30 oz.
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About Yashica

The Yashica Corporation began making cameras in 1957, releasing its first model in 1958 (the Yashica 35). Yashica became a subsidiary of the Kyocera Corporation in October of 1983.



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