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11-04-2018, 07:45 PM   #1
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I want a Rangefinder... Ricoh 500 or Yashica Lynx 14(E)

So I was down to the local camera store the other day, and grew some interest in a Ricoh 500 that had been sitting there forever... The particular copy was the 1958 version 2 with a Tomioka 5 elements in 3 groups, 40mm f2.8 lens, according to my research. It still has the original Seiko leaf shutter and the shutter speed seems to be accurate. The rangefinder is also clean. However, I never shot a camera without a meter before, and because of it's age I am not sure whether the lens is coated or not.

Someone also suggested me to look into the Yashica Lynx 14(E), with a unique Tomioka 45mm f1.4 lens. However, I realized that this camera uses mercury batteries (PX640), and am not sure if a modern zinc-air alternative exists. The camera also looks bad, and seriously I think I'd prefer to just have the lens, modified into Sony E mount and to be used on my Sony body, as I see it balance better.

I would like some input on which to choose, including meter options, battery options, and overall experiences or recommendations.

Sincerely

11-04-2018, 08:27 PM - 2 Likes   #2
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You will pay a premium price for the Lynx 14(E) due to its cult status, particularly if the meter is operational and the rangefinder in good condition. I own three copies of the Lynx 5000, which is basically the f/1.7 version of the same camera. Only one has a functional rangefinder and none has a functioning meter. I may eventually try to cobble together full functionality with parts from the three. I love the Lynx cameras, but durability is not their strong suit. As you are aware, batteries may be an issue. Yashica Guy is one of the better reference sites for Yashica rangefinders. He has articles regarding battery solutions.

Yashica Electro 35 & Rangefinder camera user Homepage
http://www.yashica-guy.com/document/chrono2.html
http://www.yashica-guy.com/document/lynxfix.html

Fotostevia on Flickr | Search: Yashica Lynx Photos of and by my Lynx cameras.

I don't own a Ricoh 500, but have handled one in a local shop. I was impressed with the apparent build quality, but aside from that, have no idea what issues are common. Assignment of the lens origin to Tomioka is something I have not heard (Karen Nakamura says as much, though). Riken was a lens maker before it was a camera maker. That being said, the Ricoh 519 has an f/1.9 lens that is reportedly much better than the f/2.8 on the 500.

http://www.photoethnography.com/ClassicCameras/index-frameset.html?Ricoh500.html~mainFrame


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 11-04-2018 at 08:34 PM.
11-05-2018, 03:38 AM   #3
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I don't know anything about the Lynx, but I don't think a lack of a light meter should cause too much of a problem. I had to learn the sunny 16 rule when I got my rangefinder, and I honestly had better results using rangefinder and the sunny 16 than from the first two rolls shooting rb67 with a spot meter... Rb67 has a slow lens (4.5) and that creates problems.

These cameras are designed to make your average daytime shooting experience almost worry free. Fast lens means that you don't really have to use slow shutter speeds, and slow top shutter speed (1000?) means that you are not likely to shoot wide open, so depth of field. Unless you are shooting in challenging light, in which case I think it makes sense to use digital so you can see if you got the shot, using sunny 16 for daylight shooting with these cameras is very easy. It really sounds much more scary than it is. From the first roll I shot using sunny 16 the only shot I slightly messed up was an indoor shot with a lot of backlight...
11-05-2018, 07:05 AM - 1 Like   #4
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I use a phone app as a meter when I use my meterless cameras. Works a treat in the shade, when sunny 16 fails...

I worry a little using 60-year-old rangefinders with fast lenses wide open... though my experience has been pretty good on the three I have (Petri 1.9, Minolta 1.8, and Yashica 1.7)

I havenít noticed any real benefit from the faster lenses in terms of image quality, outside of a little bokeh. I usually shoot stopped down a bit anyway.

There are so many fun rangefinders out there, youíre more likely to have mechanical issues than Ďmodel X is lousyí issues...

Iíve had good images from Petri, Minolta, Yashica, Kodak Retina, Olympus, Ricoh, Graflex, and even a hilarious half-frame Canon. That said, Iíve also had to donate a number of broken ones to the local shopís Ďfree biní.

-Eric

11-05-2018, 08:49 AM   #5
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For the combination of price, usability and size, it is hard to better a Canonet QL17 in the fixed-lens-rangefinder-category (as long as you don't mind shutter priority or full manual). Internal meter only works in auto-mode, though, which can be annoying. It's my go-to 35mm travel camera.

Don't worry about going meterless. A small handheld meter is better than any built-in meter, and once you get the hang of it you can often judge exposure by eye. I think learning to go meterless helps make one better at using any camera, as you start to think about what the camera is automatically doing and can therefore make judgements about if you like what it is doing or not better :-)
11-05-2018, 02:54 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by TwoUptons Quote
I use a phone app as a meter when I use my meterless cameras. Works a treat in the shade, when sunny 16 fails...

I worry a little using 60-year-old rangefinders with fast lenses wide open... though my experience has been pretty good on the three I have (Petri 1.9, Minolta 1.8, and Yashica 1.7)

I havenít noticed any real benefit from the faster lenses in terms of image quality, outside of a little bokeh. I usually shoot stopped down a bit anyway.

There are so many fun rangefinders out there, youíre more likely to have mechanical issues than Ďmodel X is lousyí issues...

Iíve had good images from Petri, Minolta, Yashica, Kodak Retina, Olympus, Ricoh, Graflex, and even a hilarious half-frame Canon. That said, Iíve also had to donate a number of broken ones to the local shopís Ďfree biní.

-Eric
Grabbed it today. The only issue that stood out while I was in the shop was a stuck frame counter. I can live with that.

Will look for a Ricoh 519/Jet though.

通过我的 moto x4 上的 Tapatalk发言

---------- Post added 11-05-18 at 02:56 PM ----------

P.S. any suggestions on a clip-on meter? The Cosina Voigtlander VC is just way out of my budget. I can buy a MX or LX for the price of that.

通过我的 moto x4 上的 Tapatalk发言
11-05-2018, 03:53 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by butangmucat Quote
P.S. any suggestions on a clip-on meter? The Cosina Voigtlander VC is just way out of my budget. I can buy a MX or LX for the price of that.
The Sekonic Twinmate L-208 has a detachable foot, but my experience is that it is just as easy to have the meter in a pocket or on its lanyard as on the camera.

I had a Vivitar Model 24 clip-on meter that I was quite attached to before it quit If you can find one, buy it.

Here is the Vivitar mounted on my Yashica Lynx 1000...



Fingers added to provide scale...



More at: Hin's Photo Corner: Newest, Most Favorite Gadget: Compact Exposure Meters


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 11-05-2018 at 04:00 PM.
11-05-2018, 03:56 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The Sekonic Twinmate L-208 has a detachable foot, but my experience is that it is just as easy to have the meter in a pocket or on its lanyard as on the camera.

I had a Vivitar Model 24 clip-on meter that I was quite attached to before it quit If you can find one, buy it.

Mounted on my Yashica Lynx 1000...



Fingers added to provide scale...



More at: Hin's Photo Corner: Newest, Most Favorite Gadget: Compact Exposure Meters


Steve
So I don't have to stick to zinc-air batteries for this meter?

通过我的 moto x4 上的 Tapatalk发言

11-05-2018, 04:05 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by butangmucat Quote
So I don't have to stick to zinc-air batteries for this meter?
The one I had was accurate with a silver cell.


Steve
11-05-2018, 04:20 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The Sekonic Twinmate L-208 has a detachable foot, but my experience is that it is just as easy to have the meter in a pocket or on its lanyard as on the camera.

I had a Vivitar Model 24 clip-on meter that I was quite attached to before it quit If you can find one, buy it.

Here is the Vivitar mounted on my Yashica Lynx 1000...



Fingers added to provide scale...



More at: Hin's Photo Corner: Newest, Most Favorite Gadget: Compact Exposure Meters


Steve
Just to make sure, is the L-208 still a current product?

通过我的 moto x4 上的 Tapatalk发言
11-05-2018, 04:37 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by butangmucat Quote
Just to make sure, is the L-208 still a current product?

通过我的 moto x4 上的 Tapatalk发言
Yep...

Sekonic L-208 Twin Mate Meter 401-208 B&H Photo Video


Steve
11-05-2018, 05:13 PM   #12
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Wow. I think I paid $5 for my iPhone light meter app...

And Iíve had no complaints over accuracy...

-Eric
11-05-2018, 09:12 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by TwoUptons Quote
Wow. I think I paid $5 for my iPhone light meter app...

And Iíve had no complaints over accuracy...

-Eric
Sadly my phone's camera is not as good as that of an iPhone, as my phone is one of those "slightly beyond entry" level Android phones. I'd trust a true CdS or silicon meter in this aspect...
11-06-2018, 12:15 AM - 1 Like   #14
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I have both the Lynx 1.4 and Lynx 5000 (x3). They all have superb lenses, all highly recommended.
11-06-2018, 12:51 AM   #15
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I have no problem using cameras without meters, or with meters but lacking batteries. In the vast majority of cases the sunny 16 rule will be fine if you're shooting negative film. I have a separate meter (which I paid a lot for) but rarely use because I find that it's just not necessary unless I'm indoors.

I've never tried the Ricoh but I have never liked the small rangefinders with relatively slow (f/2.8) lenses as the ones I've tried have lacked a lot of manual control. I do have a Lynx 14E, though it's not been used yet as I still have some fine-tuning to do on the rangefinder mechanism. I got it cheap because the rangefinder didn't work well (it stopped responding when focusing below a couple of meters) and when I opened it up I found that it had sand in it - it had clearly had an accident or been used carelessly on a beach. A bit of cleaning and some lube and I got it moving, but calibrating it to be spot-on is tough.

I'm tempted to get another one and transplant a healthy rangefinder mechanism into mine if need be. From what I've seen in the listings locally the Lynx very expensive ONLY if the sellers knows what they're selling. I see a lot of them advertised as "Yashica IC" or "Yashica 1C" due to the "IC" (integrated circuit) marking below the manufacturer name, and they thus go for less money because the seller doesn't know the real value.

The Yashica is a beautiful camera, very solid and with a legendary lens. I really need to get mine working as I suspect I'll enjoy it a lot.

Have a look to see if you can find one in good condition and not too costly.
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