Friday

Silver Lake Film and Lens Test


This last Tuesday, Hipstamatic received their long awaited approval from Apple Computers to release their upgrade 262 and thereby also offer it’s users a new HipstaPak, known as Silver Lake.


Here is a little trivia. Just as it was released, Hipstamatic notice that they failed to change the lenses name, from Abbie to Mabel, as Abbie was the lenses beta version name. So those of you who have already purchased Silver Lake the day it was released, will have the privilege of having a faux pas residing on your iPhone, that is until you restore your purchases.



In with the new and 



Out with the old


By the way, Mabel and Dixie (after Abbie changed her name) sound so much like Thelma and Louise, the blockbuster movie featuring two women with mischief on their mind. As for Silver Lake, there is such a lake east of Hollywood and northwest of Downtown Los Angeles. Could there be a correlation here.


When I first tried Silver Lake combo, the light was not the best, for it had started to set behind the layer of clouds that lay above us, but like a child with a new toy, I just had to try it. My first initial response was lukewarm, yet I remained excited and began to gather the props for the next day’s film and lens test. For not only will we be looking at the results of Silver Lake combination, but also pairing the Abbie/Mabel lens with all other Hipstamatic films, including Dixie film with all other lenses.



Silver Lake HipstaPak - Dixie film and Mabel, AKA: Abbie lens


With 28 lenses and 30 different films, we have the possibility of 840 different combinations, certainly that would keep me busy for several days, if I were to try each one. But we are only focusing only on 58 different results.


When I was setting up for the film and lens test, I took a few exposures and noticed that the Dixie and Mabel combination generated random light leaks from different sides, from almost none existent to very sever. This can be seen in the example below of six exposures captured in sequence.




Trying a few more times throughout the Dixie/Mabel test, I randomly took six exposures at various intervals in the hope of seeing if there were a way to possible predict in advance the outcome. Unfortunately, no such luck, as it remained totally random.




          Dixie film test results



Mabel with Dixie film




Dixie film with alternative lens combination



Dixie film with alternative lens combination



Dixie film with alternative lens combination



Dixie film with alternative lens combination



Dixie film with alternative lens combination



Dixie film with alternative lens combination



Dixie film with alternative lens combination



There are a number of wonderful pairings with Dixie film and alternative lenses, more so then with the Mabel lens with other films.


With John S, the scene is rendered in a rich deep tones with plenty of mystery by darkening the shadows, whereas Jimmy appears more like a faded photograph. Even the Helga Viking lens casts a reddish tone over the entire image, while Salvador 84 gives the photograph a rich painterly effect with a layer of varnish. If it were not for double exposure Salvador 84, this combination would be very useful if one desired the image to be like an old Flemish master’s painting.


Based on this small test, I found Dixie film worked well if paired with:
          John S
          Helga Viking
          Tejas
          Libatique 73
          Watts
          James M
          Americana
          Jane
          Roboto Glitter
          Wonder
          GSquad
          Loftus
          Foxy
          Tinto 1884
          Hornbecker

Yet one needs to remember that each of the lenses mentioned, have their own anomalies, as for example with Hornbecker not maintaining details in the highlights.


I personally look forward to testing Dixie further, especially when the results are not so interfered with strong light leaks. Especially with the following lenses:
          John S
          Tejas
          Libatique 73
          Watts

Especially with the Wonder, lens to achieve a color version of ‘Film Noir’. Of particular interest is also Americana and Roboto Glitter, two lenses with similar results to Wonder.




          Mabel Lens test results



Mabel lens with alternative film combination



Mabel lens with alternative film combination



Mabel lens with alternative film combination



Mabel lens with alternative film combination



Mabel lens with alternative film combination



Mabel lens with alternative film combination



Mabel lens with alternative film combination



Mabel lens with alternative film combination



When I first viewed the results for the Mabel lens paired with other film combinations, I wondered if I had made an error. For Blanko,  Ina’s1969, Kodot XGrizzled and Ina’s 1935 all had similar results as if taken with one film. Yet as I reviewed all the results, I noticed that Mabel produces an old yellow varnish tint,  including varying a small degree of color saturation between the various color films. While of the 30 films, only two were unaffected by Mabel, Alfred Infrared and the very popular C-Type Plate film, which has rendered the still-life in a particular fine way by keeping the C-Type Plate film’s personality in-tact.


Regarding Mabel’s influence on black and white films, her effect is the variation in the due-tones and contrast of that film, while with both Nike films, AO DLX/AO BW, were rendered both considerable weaker, as if having been undeveloped.




          Final Thoughts

It is a decent addition to Hipstamatic's arsenal but falls very short of the previous and very popular TinType. It was also very disappointing not to have either an additional film with the Dixi, or at least a new camera case to go with the Silver Lake HipstaPak.


The films edge is what I like very much. It is just the right degree of imperfection and it also adds a wonderful touch to the photograph. When Dixi is paired with certain lenses, we see a lovely saturation of warm colors, as if the photograph was a Cibachrome dye destruction positive- to-positive photographic print process used for the reproduction of film transparencies in the 70s.


The programs algorithms for the Dixi film undoubtedly has overtones of a reddish nature and so in most examples we see the photograph rendered with a layer from anywhere from orange to red, all of which is emphasised when light leaks are predominant.


The Mabel lens mostly uses her strength to mute and desaturate the colors, while also applying a varying degree layer of diluted yellow-coffee tones to the image. This is pretty much true with most other Mabel’s combinations, as only a small degree of color saturation between them differs. 


This does not mean any of the other lenses or films cannot or should not be used, as much depends on light, the subject matter and ones own personal preferences. Besides, only after using Dixie film over the next several months will one be able to truly access its usefulness in relationship to ones saved combo preferences. Yet if you are after faded, muted colors, random light leaks, a combo that resembles the 1960s, then Silver Lake is the combination to select. 


At some point I hope that Hipstamatic will come to understand that much of these effects are achieved not only in post production, but most importantly, the public will grow tired and want something more useful.


Hipstamatic has many advantages and it needs to focus on those and build on it’s strengths. Especially provide more functions, like being able to move and change the order of ones favorite settings, including better view finder accuracy.  Above all, begin to set their sights on offering the professional photographer and journalists films and lens combinations that can be taken seriously for serious fine art and documentary photography.



All photographs taken with an iPhone 4S by
©2013 Egmont van Dyck - All Rights Reserved









Post a Comment
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...