The Yashica Lynx 14 & 14e are sister cameras to the Lynx 5000 & 5000e. In both cases, the 'e' designates a shift to an onboard integrated circuit (proudly displayed as "IC" on the 14e) involved in the light metering. Otherwise, the 'e' cameras are functionally equivalent to their non-e brethren.
The 14 & 14e have achieved distinction in that they have a huge, fast, f/1.4 lens (45mm focal length). For a fixed-lens rangefinder, this is pretty unusual. In fact, the only other fixed-lens rangefinder I know of is the very rare Mamiya/Sekor Super Deluxe (50mm f/1.5). The Lynx 14e is a huge camera, pictures can be seen here:
Fixed-lens rangefinder, Yashinon-DX multi-coated 45mm f/1.4 lens (7 elements in 5 groups, said to be 'optimized for available-light shooting', and I think the lens design is a planar style). F-stops: 1.4, 2, 2.8, 4, 5.6, 8, 11, 16 (no click stops). Manual shutter speeds only (Copal leaf shutter): B, 1, 2, 4, 8, 15, 30, 60, 125, 250, 500. Cold shoe, PC socket, X or M synch at all shutter speeds. Like most leaf-shutter rangefinders, speed and aperture controls are on the lens barrel. Fortunately, no crazy LVS nonsense. Metering OTL on right side of camera, ASA 10 to 800. Uses two PX640 batteries (replacements available). Silver body, lower half covered in black leatherette. Meter actived by momentary-press switch on lower right front of camera body. Viewfinder is parallax-corrected and framelines are self-adjusting as you focus.
This lens is prone to flare. I noticed it in both my Lynx 14's, and this 14e has it as well, but not to the same extreme. Lens hood required under most circumstances. However, keep in mind that the rangefinder window is directly over the lens - so most rubber 'toilet plunger' hoods won't work unless you cut a hole in them where the rangefinder window looks out. I have ordered a vintage metal hood of the appropriate size (58mm) and I will let you know if that blocks the window or not.
It has also been my experience that the shutter for this model is often frozen or sticky. I have three of these boogers, two (the 14's) had frozen shutters, one (this 14e) was perfect.
Also, the Lynx series has, to my mind, an excellent viewfinder, but one prone to internal build up of what appears to be outgassing plastics. They get dim and they flare crazily, and if you look through them from the front, they look like they are streaked with oil or something like that.
The camera is also no lightweight. Very heavy, something like two pounds.
First and foremost, the lens. I can't tell you how great this lens is. I put it right next to my Canon FD primes, not as good as my Pentax SMC primes, but not that far off, either. Better than any other fixed-lens rangefinder I have, excepting perhaps the Minolta Hi-Matic 9. Beats the Canonet like a drum, and enough better than the Yashica Electro GSN that you can see it in good scans. I'll attempt to show you with a couple of scans.
Second, the shutter - when it works, that is. Reasonably quiet. Flash sync at all speeds, for those who want it. Leaf shutters are like that. This one is in the middle of the pack for me - not the quietest, but really not bad. No "Yashica clunk" on wind-on, either.
The viewfinder and the rangefinder are top-notch. Very clear, easily the best of my 'old' fixed-lens rangefinders, excepting perhaps the Minolta Hi-Matic 9.
The shutter and viewfinder problems are fortunately not that bad, either. My latest camera came not needing any work, but both the previous cameras did. The front element removes easily by removing the beauty ring on the front of the lens, and the shutter can usually be freed up with the old lighter-fluid and q-tip method (outdoors please, observing all safety precautions). G-man told me how to remove the top of the camera, and that's good, because the viewfinder cleans right up easily - so easily that it is easy to overclean - don't touch the little diagonal mirrors, folks. Bad mojo. Just clean clear glass that faces the front or back of the camera. Takes but a moment and then you put the top on again. One caveat is the wires for the PC sync terminal are delicate and not long enough, so you could break them when removing the top if you're not careful. G-man has the details, this is just from memory - but he saved my bacon. He's the dude.
ANYWAY...I like this camera. You can probably tell. It's a solid hunkahunka burnin' love, no lightweight, but sweet, man. And if you hadda, you could clunk some serious heads with this thing in a never-ready case and swung by the strap. Much heavier than the Electro GSN. And these things, though somewhat rare, seem to go for next to nothing on eBoy. I didn't even mean to buy this latest one - I'm broke! But it was sitting there with NO BIDS with a minute to go - I could not stand it. I tossed in the minimum - it wasn't much, I assure you. Cost more to mail it.
I'm going to post a series of photos I took today with this:
Wilson Reservoir: 1/250, f16. Exhibits lens flare - you should be able to see this in the center of the photo. Otherwise very sharp and color saturated - this was that $1 a roll Walgreens C41 they had on sale recently (Agfa).
Park Bench: 1/500 f2. I could not find anything in deep enough shade to use f1.4, but this is close. Bench was about 6 feet away, I focused on the bolt heads nearest the camera on the bench back - so focus is dead on. Sharp on focus, reasonable bokeh (I like it, anyway) and not much light falloff towards the edges of the frame - but some, no doubt. Remember, no lens hood on this, so no vignetting either. This would be normal light falloff on an open aperture with a planar type design. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong about that.
Paul Bunyon giving Nazi Salute: Weird. Anyway, 1/125 f8. You can again see some flar right in the center of his chest, but not too bad. I guess a lens hood would take care of that. Hope so, anyway.
Paul Bunyon's hand and telephone wire: This is a full-size crop of the hand. Note sharp detail - and this would be DOF effect, I was not focused on hand.
Anyway, that's my report. Hope you enjoy it - it was fun to do, and I like this Lynx 14e a lot. I may go out one night and give it a night-time workout with some Delta 3200 or something, see how it does with that.
One thing I'd love to do to this camera - paint it black. All this chrome - not very stealthy!