Hipstamatic’s new Tintype lens/film test

With the release of Hipstamatic’s new Tintype lens and two accompanying film cartridges earlier this week, there has been a very positive response throughout the social network system. I myself immediately downloaded the new SnapPak and after just two exposures, felt it was necessary to do an extensive lens/film test, since the results obtained were intriguing.

It was Hipstamatic creative director Aravind taking the lead on how to bring the old traditional look of old daguerreotypes into the digital world of mobile photography. The process proved to be a technical challenge for the team and from my view point, I think they certainly pulled it off with many added benefits as you will see in the following test.

A problem that has been reported by a number of users is it’s ‘sluggishness’ and though it is true, from what I have experiences it is so when using Tinto 1848 lens with either the D or C-Type Plate film, but not so much when using either film with another lens combination. Hipstamatic co-founder Ryan Dorshorst says “The technology and design behind this SnapPak is by far our most complex to-date. Therefore, it takes a bit longer to process these prints than when using our other lenses and films.” 

The greatest surprise came when using C-Type film with other lenses. Many of the test images offered beautiful subtle colors and tones, making C-Type film cartridge one that can be applied mostly across the board for beautiful results. 

On the other hand, D-Type film does not have such a wide variety of changes and this is understandable and should not be considered as a negative. I found several images had beautiful rich tones, making this also a useful film for different types of subject matter.

          The lens/film test

Just taken a few ‘random hand-held’ exposures cannot constitute a lens/film test since it is not undertaken in a controlled environment. Certain conditions have to be met to have results that are consistent This means the primary light illuminating the scene should to be the same from one frame to the next, and the camera and subject matter must be the same from image to image so that the all the results can be compared with each other.

Though SnapPak Tintype was designed for use in portraiture, due to its central focus point and overall shallow depth of field, this lens/film test is based upon a still-life set, as many of you, including myself will be using Tintype for subject other matter then just portraiture.

Gathering numerous items, a still-life is build on the dinning room which is parallel to a large window, exposed to the North for that perfect indirect light favored by portrait photographs like Irving Penn. With the iPhone 4S secured within a DiffCase, that is mounted to a tripod, the set is fine tuned and fill cards and gobos are added to either bounce light into the set or block any light.

My Hipstamatic camera, version 261 is outfitted with 26 different lenses, allowing for a nice variation of results and covering most combinations that might be on your own Hipstamatic camera.

Note: All photographs are straight from the iPhone 4S. There was no manipulation of any kind other than to resize and insert final image into a template that was resized and saved for the web.

          C-Type Plate film test results

Tinto 1848 w C-Type Plate film

C-Type Plate film

C-Type Plate film

C-Type Plate film

C-Type Plate film

C-Type Plate film

C-Type Plate film

C-Type Plate film

         D-Type Plate film test results

Tinto 1848 w D-Type Plate film

D-Type Plate film

D-Type Plate film

D-Type Plate film

D-Type Plate film

D-Type Plate film

D-Type Plate film

D-Type Plate film

          Possible lens combinations with Tintype films

I found the following combination based on the C-Type Plate film producing exceptional results with the following lens combinations:

          John S, a rich moody tone
          Jimmy, a soft pale green tinge faded appearance. Excellent to simulate
                a faded photograph
          Melodie, pale colors with a slight green over all tone
          Watts, contrasty, little color intensity but holds detail in the highlights 
          James M, simply beautiful for a retro, aged and color faded photograph
          Americana, with center focus and soft sides
          Jane, giving a true representation of the scene with a faint creme tone
          Roboto Glitter, hot center with faded highlights
          Wonder, holds highlights wonderful while being more contrasty
          Loftus, faded tones with highlights are slightly washed out
          Foxy, giving a true representation of the scene with a faint creme tone

The results with the following lens and C-Type Plate combinations were good and would work for many photographers:

          Lucifier VI, more contrasty, but similar to John S, only warmer, 
               with a touch of rose color
          Tejas, beautiful even gradation and natural soft colors with a hint of rose
          Matty ALN, light green monochrome
          GSquad, contrasty with some detail loss in highlights
          Tinto 1848, contrasty with limited focus area

The list for D-Type Plate film is shorter, only because it lacks the subtle color shifts and overtones found in C-Type Plate film, since the C-Type Plate film was developed to replicate hand-colored prints. Yet the D-Type Plate film does stand on its own very well, even though the number of different lens combinations is less then with C-Type Plate film, it is still a winner.

Preferring to shoot in black and white, I like my prints to have rich darks, pure whites and a full range between the two with no detail loss on either end of the spectrum.

Using the John S lens  with D-Type Plate film does not disappoint, this includes Lucifier VI. For a more even range but still rich blacks, you might want to try Tejas, Watts, Americana or Jane and while Roboto Glitter is similar to Jane, it doe have a warm tone to the overall photograph.

The Wonder and Foxy lens are also very similar in their results and either of the lenses lend themselves very well for all subject matter were retaining detail in either range is important. Between Tinto 1848, GSquad and Lucifier VI, they all share a shorter range and so are more contrasty in their final results.

My favorite D-Type Plate film combinations are especially with Foxy, followed by Tejas, and Americana. For a deeper range I just might go for my old standby John S lens, but also Wonder or if a little more evenness is desires, my other favorite,lens Jane.

Lenses not mentioned should not be dismissed but, in my opinion, have less appeal for serious fine art photography, yet could be applied well for multi-layered collage photographs.

          Final thoughts

There are two criticisms I have with the TinType SnapPak. I feel Hipstamatic missed a good opportunity by not including a camera case designed especially for the Tintype set. A nice wooden camera case with antique brass fittings that are little shop worn, would have added to the beauty of the Tinto 1848 lens, because now I have no a case to do justice for this wonderful package.

My other concern is C-Type film harsh triangle corners. If anything, I wish they were softer and not so distinctive, as I find it very distracting from the over all image. If anything, I wish it were more like multiple water stains, easing into the image from the corners.

In the end, I am very pleased by Tintype SnapPak. It is going to be very hard for me to decide which combination of C-Type and lens to select for a good portion of my photography, especially since my favorite color combination has been Jane lens with a DC (Domenica Catelli) film cartridge and John S lens with Claunch 72 Monochrome film. Now I will be creating a couple new saved favorites.

For my initial response of Hipstamatic release SnapPak Tintype, click here


Hipstamatic’s new Tintype SnapPak

Today Hipstamatic released a new SnapPak Tintype. The Tintype was designed to emulate the beauty of the old daguerreotypes and also the tradition of hand-painted photos that was common before color photography was more prevalent and economical.

Hipstamatic certainly has succeeded in doing so with the Tinto 1848 lens and the two film cartridges, D-Type Palate and C-Type Plate film. Unfortunately they missed a wonderful opportunity by elected not to include a nicely wooden camera case with this SnapPak, one which could have reflected cameras from the time period the lens and film represents.

Because of the technology and design behind this SnapPak is by far Hipstamatic’s most complex lens film combination to-date. Therefore, it takes longer to process the image than when using our other lenses and films. But from the film and lens test I conducted this afternoon, with results that are remarkable, I think you will find a little extra wait time acceptable.

It should also be noted that the TinType SnapPak also requires Hipstamatics latest update, 261 before installing the SnapPak. However there have been reports and I too have experienced crashes after installing the TinType SnapPak, even though I already had the Hipstamatic 261 version. This was resolved by powering down the iPhone and after a minute or two re-powered, resulting in the application and the TinType SnapPak working fine.

The following are two examples are of Hipstamatic’s new TinType SnapPak. This coming Saturday, I shall post the complete D-Type Palate and C-Type Plate film test. The series consists of running D-Type Palate and C-Type Plate film and applying 26 different lenses.

Tinto 1848 lens with D-Type Palate Film

Tinto 1848 lens with C-Type Plate Film


Instagram’s TOC announcement a death sentence?

In the last twenty-our hours, Instagram has found itself not only in hot water with it’s subscribers, but it has started a wildfire that is out of control, as many Instagram account holders are removing their images and deleting the gallery. 

Even co-founder of Instagram, Kevin Systrom posted on Instagram’s blog, announcing “We are listening,” while trying to clarify and rest the concerns that many of the Instagram community are having, but there is still great confusion with the greater majority of news media believe that the new ‘Terms of Service’ will permit Instagram to sell your images.

I do not wish to add to the confusion that all ready exist, other than to suggest that calmer heads will prevail, while also offering a few suggestions on what you might do before completely deleting your Instagram account.

What ever your position, we must not forget FaceBook and Instagram is a business, which need to find ways to make money because of the shareholders to which they are responsible to. The position I personally take is that their new TOS language was meant to clarify and not further confuse the issue, but unfortunately there is conflict within the TOS language suggesting Instagram/FaceBook can use your images to promote Instagram and FaceBook advertising affiliates with which it does business selling advertising to.

Since you have till January 16, 2013, before the new ‘Terms of Service’ go into effect, it is suggested you change your account to private. This offers you some protection regarding your images but not your personal and meta data.

Because of the TOS uproar you may wish to hang around a few more days before taking any drastic actions with your gallery, especially since Instagram is already making some adjustments to their ‘Terms of Service’ and may completely re-write the portions that has started this wildfire before too long. 

If you wish to remove your images and close the gallery, I suggest reading Wired Magazines latest post, advising how best to go about it.

I would also recommend that after deleting your images you keep your Instagram gallery and upload one image or text image, because in the next several weeks you are going to have to rebuild your new gallery elsewhere. With your last post, you inform your former followers where you have migrated to. This should help you and your followers in establishing your new gallery as well as theirs.

Because Instagram is owned by FaceBook, I would suggest not linking your new account with FaceBook and unchecking the social network sharing of your new galleries images with FaceBook. You can still use your new sites feature that allows you to sign up for a new account by using your FaceBook account information. Remember, once you have that new account with either EyeEm, Flickr, Starmatic, or other social sharing service, simply not to allow sharing uploads with FaceBook when setting up your preferences. 

Personally I feel this continued problem with FaceBook and now Instagram’s ‘Terms of Service’ has severely damaged any trust one might have had with FaceBook. While I am not rushing to delete my Instagram images, I will not be uploading any photographs, while keeping the gallery up.

We must not forget that many other companies are heavily invested in Instagram like Blurb Books, InstaCanvas, just to mention a few, this mass migration from Instagram is affecting them as well. So we may see pressure placed on Instagram and FaceBook to resolve the TOS issue to everyones satisfaction. Only time will tell.

Here are some links of interest regarding the TOS uproar.

     Kevin Systrom, co-founder of Instagram; We are listening
     Wired Magazine; How to delete your account

     Gizmodo; Stop Whining . . .

     Digital Photography Review Connect; What you need to know

     Thomas Hawk’s Digital Connection; Photographer’s upset by Instagram

     To backup or transfer your IG photographs; use Instaport


The Third Wave exhibit

Mobile photography continues to evolve at an unbelievable rate, changing from a novelty back in its infancy to a serious new art form whose description of “What mobile photography is,” is still being determined. The new genre shares much of its success not only to technology of hardware or that of applications to manipulate ones image, but also how the end-users are applying it to their daily lives in conjunction with social media.

There is more to today’s mobile photography then snapping a quick picture of your meal or that of ones feet, even the infamous reflective self-portrait in the mirror, because of a few visionaries who dared to thread uncharted ground and explore alternative ways to express their visual creativity. 

As camera and post production applications become more sophisticated, mobile artists are slowly given the tools to refine their techniques and develop further their creative vision, despite still numerous short comings in these areas. So when coming face to face with photographic prints that elevate one vision of mobile photography to another level, it’s future becomes more secure. I am referring to The Third Wave exhibit held at the Giorgi Gallery in Berkeley, California, also known as Garden Gate Creativity Center, where I recently attended the artist’s reception.

The Third Wave poster
Image: The Philadelphia Experiment by James Clarke

The Third Wave exhibit is all about images captured on and manipulated with an iPhone. The exhibit is curated by Knox Bronson, who also runs the website P1xles, dedicated to the understanding and advancement of mobile photography, including the promotion of it’s artists.

For the most part, The Third Wave exhibit reflects work looking less photographic or that taken with a mobile device, as the images have more in common with illustrations or a watercolor by very accomplished artists. This sets The Third Wave show apart from Mobile Photographic Awards or Los Angeles-Mobile Arts Festival, both covered earlier this year here at The iPhone Arts. 

Barbara duBois - USA

The exhibit was juried by Glyn Evans, founder of the iPhoneography website and the person who coined the word “iPhoneography to describe this new art form. Other judges are John Seed, professor of art and art history at Mt. San Jacinto College in Southern California, including writer at the Huffington Post column Huffpost Art & Cultor; Rolling Stones photographer Baron Wolman; Dan Marcolina, author of the very popular eBooks iPhone Obsessed and AppAlchemy; long time supporter and contributor Maia Panos, also took part in the judging. 

Between these five jurists they reviewed more than 1200 images from 150 entrants coming from more than 17 foreign countries as far aways as Russia, Turkey and Australia. In the end 58 winners were selected and displayed, with the runner-ups taking part in a slideshow which is viewed concurrently. All submissions underwent an extensive voting process and Knox tells me “The judges were quite tough." 

Fertile Ground
Brandy Eiger - USA

My Own Microcosm 
Natali Prosvetova - Russia

The exhibits features a wide range of artistic expression, from the etherial haunting portrait of Dea by Butow Maler to Cat Morris’ Swiftly Awesome Pachyderm abstract. Even Glenn Homann’s romantic pastoral landscape, Sheep, with deep rich antique tones resembles more an eighteenth-century landscape then a photograph, while Kristina Ernst’s Fence, appears like a very fine pencil drawing in a sketchbook. Even Chinatown, LA photograph by Barbara duBois comes across as a photo-realism illustration used to illustrate an article or even a book cover. 

The World of Broken Promises
Jamie Stewart - United Kingdom

Fountain Square Alley
Rad Drew - USA

Kristina Ernst - USA

Glenn Homann - Australia 

Butow Maler - Germany 

Miss Scarlet and Mr Mustard
Richard Gray - United Kingdom


Knox Bronson

The Third Wave runs from November 29 thru January 30, 2013 at
  Giorgi Gallery, Garden Gate Creativity Center
  2911 Claremont Avenue, at Ashby
  Berkeley, CA 

Garden Gate Creativity Center: 510.848.1228
P1xels: 510.612.6124

November 29—December 14, 2012
Soho Gallery for Digital Art
138 Sullivan Street, New York City

December 21—February 22, 2013
Galerie OutOfMyMind
Goethestrasse 36, Bremen, Germany

Photo of Knox Bronson by Egmont van Dyck


First TiPA-Bay Area Group meeting

Last Sunday a number of The iPhone Arts-Bay Area Group members gathered for our first official meeting. Of the dozen participants, seven were able to meet at the Oakland Museum in Oakland to attend the Ken and Melanie Light: Valley of Shadows and Dreams, which is a photographic exploration of California's Central Valley, a region known for both its agricultural plenty and the marginalization of its people. 

We were also treated to a bonus permanent exhibit of Dorothea Lange photographs, the Pictorialist show and Ansel Adams F-64 Group. Of course there was also plenty of paintings and other art, which only added to the wonderful experience we were all savored.

Paulette trying to hide, as Catherine shares something on her iPad with Julie

We stopped of at the museum’s cafe for refreshments and engaged in conversation, sharing our art, experiences and just in general getting to know each other.

(left photo) Petyr, Julie and Steven checking their phones
(right photo) Petyr, Julie, Steven and Stan who decided to take a picture 

We stayed in the cafe longer then anticipated, as the employees began shutting down and we were the last ones left. While two needed to leave us, we still went for a walk in the neighborhood to see what might be photographed before any light totally disappeared.



Our day ended all to soon. We parted looking forward to our next meeting some time in mid-January 2013.

All photos by Egmont using an iPHone 4S

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