First Friday of the Month - Jalisco HipstaPak

Every month we go through an array of emotions, in in anticipation of a new lens and film(s) combination released from Hipstamatic. This month was no different and with the release of Jalisco HipstaPak, containing Chivas lens and one film, Estrada 83.

My initial impressions was mixed, especially since a number of new releases this year, fell short and offered little for the consumer and I wondered if Jalisco was going to disappoint us? Since daylight was still a couple of hours away, I checked FaceBook to see what the scuttlebutt was, as it is making its way through the grapevine. Excitement was soft and there was also a fair amount of disappointments, especially since a good number of photographers were hoping for a new black and white HipstaPak. 

While waiting for daylight, I checked Oggl and tested a few older images I had taken in San Francisco Chinatown with Jalisco, knowing that such a preliminary test would not be fully valid, since the Hipstamatic sample image was now a by-product of two lenses and two films.

Finally the moment came, the light was just right for testing the Jalisco HipstaPak combination. Earlier I had saved Chivas lens and Estrada 83 film to ‘Favorites,’ along with several other combinations in which one element was always part of Jalisco HipstaPak. I choose to include the John S lens, because of it’s strong cast of alternative color, including Lowy for it’s straightforwardness of rendering the scene with no side-effects. My other two choices in lenses was Wonder for overall even tonality and the recent release of Sergio with its golden tint and over all softness with only a focused center. 

I certainly could have also selected a good number of films to test the Chivas lens against, other than just Blanko 일, which has recently been one of my favorite films, despite the very soft texture of Japanese rice paper, that accompanies every photograph.

Chivas/Estrada 83 combination, no flash or any post processing

Choosing the pink Hydrangeas as subject matter, we need to be aware that the color spectrum is limited, since it does not include any blues or yellow, all of which would have an effect on the results of the Jalisco combination. Still we would have a good idea as to the capabilities of this HipstaPak.

One thing we quickly notice is the frame that encompasses the image. A frame made to look like pealing paint from a wooden window frame. In general, the consensus among my colleagues, is that most would prefer all films and lenses not generate a frame of any kind. That frames should be part of the post process as not to interfere with the master photograph.   

Chivas/Blanko combination, no flash or any post processing

Upon closer observations we see that around the photographs edges and intruding into the image at different percentages, are emulations of water stains. These water stains vary with each exposure and along with the lenses circular edge softness that is actually part of the film, all of which makes this a pleasant effect, unfortunately it is being over powered by the dominance of the frame.

John S/Estrada 83 combination, no flash or any post processing

I really love this combination of a John S lens with Estrada 83 film. All of a sudden my excitement has taken an upward spike, as colors are richer and deeper, unlike the washed out colours, along with a color shift to the blues as we see with Chivas/Estrada 83 combination. However the frame is a distraction, even though I will admit, due to the photographs subject matter, does have an appeal in the over all final presentation of the photograph.

Lowy/Estrada 83 combination, no flash or any post processing

Using the Lowy lens, I am assured not to have any anomalies intruding on the image and I would see what the Estrada 83 film is responsible for producing. THe results clearly reveal it is only the frame.

Upon closer examination of the frame and the various alternatives, I have noticed that there is one section with little variance from image to image other then its location or the occasional horizontal flip. 

You will notice in the above image that the bottom portion of the frame has a distinctive pattern and when we look at the previous image, the John S/Estrada 83 version, we see the left vertical portion of the frame having the same pattern. This insignificant variance in the pattern almost renders this film useless when dealing with a project in which one’s work is a series, unless manually altered in a post production program.

Sergio/Estrada 83 combination, no flash or any post processing

Like the John S/Estrada 83 combination, the pairing of Sergio with Estrada 83, has a great appeal, especially when applied to a subject matter of flowers. The very shallow depth due to the Sergio’s circular softness, helps the eye to focus one the element the photographer wishes the viewer to focus upon. It seems obvious I must really like this combination as the next sample is also the Sergio/Estrada 83 combination.

Sergio/Estrada 83 combination, no flash or any post processing

Wonder/Estrada 83 combination, no flash or any post processing

The Wonder lens has an even tonal quality, rendering soft blacks in color and whites more like subdued egg shell white, that the over all image has less snap, especially when the Wonder lens is paired with the Hipstamatic film Claunch 72 Monochrome. The results with the Wonder lens, we achieve a more subdued color spectrum and a photograph that appears in the mid-stages of color fading.

While there are now 40 possible different lens combinations with the pairing of Estrada 83, there is plenty of room for experimentation and with another 43 films, there are 1,720 possibilities. 

Shot with 6x6, no flash or any post processing

If you are also an Oggl and you would like to see how a film/lens combination reacts, it is important to introduce a none-Hipstamatic image into the equation. By using 6x6, PureShot or even the iPhone’s native camera, your photograph will be absent of the LowFi and special effects and so the results of various different combinations within Oggl will be a closer representation to a particular pairing when used in real-time.

While this is not a complete film/lens test in which all lenses and films have been applied to either the Chivas lens or the Estrada 83 film, we do have an impression as to the Jalisco HipstaPak potential and one can make an assessment as to the over all value of this HipstaPak.

In the end, the Jalisco HipstaPak adds marginally to the overall Hipstamatic film/lens collection. The Chivas lens with its soft edges is a good replacement for the Tinto 1884 when applied to either the D-Type or C-Type Plate film. This also applies if one does not want the strength or tint of the Sergio lens.

The random water stains are a very nice addition, even though clashing with the dominating white frame and it’s pealing paint and when we take out the frame from the assessment, Chivas and Estrada 83 would make a nice portrait combination. Even as a combo for emulating the early days of photography, the Jalisco HipstaPak would be useful, but then once again we are faced with the issues of the frame.

I grant you, Hipstamatic was founded on the principle of toy cameras and LowFi results, but when one develops only variations of what is already available in the Hipstamatic tool box, one can only be disappointed. Yet we remain hopeful that future releases would provide the excitement we once felt for Brighton, Buenos Aires HipstaPak or  the Tinto SnapPak. For there are so many potential lenses and films to draw upon, even looking at paintings to entice one’s inspiration, that we just have take a different direction then the one Hipstamatic is currently traveling.

All photographs taken with an iPhone 4S by
©2014 Egmont van Dyck - All Rights Reserved

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