The Monti HipstaPak Revisited - Part 1

This last Thursday I had the opportunity to test Hipstamatic’s Monti HipstaPak, which I was not a fan of when it was first released because of the Sergio’s lens overly drab-yellow tint and the soft circular appearance with a focus center, along with the packs film, Maximus LXIX border. Yet the examples Hipstamatic features for the Monti HipstaPak I have not been able to reproduce and felt the combination of the lens and film is subject to specific light conditions and the scenes general colorations and these I have yet to encounter.

So when spontaneity urged me to make a u-turn and pull in the only empty parking space in front of a church I had often passed but never entered, I did so now. Upon entering the unimpressive structure, other than for its architectural golden onion topped shaped steeple towers, I was overwhelmed by the interiors beauty and sumptuous richness. I felt I had been transported not only into another culture and foreign country, but time as well.

Before taking a photograph, it is important not only to pre-visualise ones end results but also the message which one desirers to convey. I felt these surroundings in which I now find myself, provided a good opportunity to revisit the Monti HipstaPak, which I originally did not care much for.

Original Hipstamatic Classic Sergio/Sussex Combination

Since I am not a huge fan of having a border imposed upon my images, I elected to use my currant favorite film, Sussex from the Brighton HipstaPak in combination with the Sergio lens. I also choose to capture a few images using the Sussex film with Hipstamatic’s sharpest lens, the Lowy.

Once back home and having uploaded the images to my laptop, I saw that indeed, that in order for the Sergio lens to properly shine, specific colors in the scene, as well as specific lighting conditions needed to be present, to replicate the intent of the Monti HipstaPak. On the other hand, the film Maximus LXIX has little effect upon the over all outcome of the image, other than providing an image with a border.

Though I am very pleased with the results that were captured at the Holy Virgin Joy of All Who Sorrow, Russian Orthodox Cathedral, Western American Diocese, I viewed the photographs being more period specific, due to the timelessness of the subject matter.

We may find dislike with some of Hipstamatic’s monthly offerings, yet there may come a time when a very special effect is desired and knowing what you have in your camera’s toolbox becomes important. 

One of the advantages to the Sergio lens is when paired with a proper film. The Tinype SnapPak with the Tinto 1884 lens is limited to a certain type of photography, but the two films, the D and C-Type Plate film have unique features that provide one with a look of photography’s very early days.

Akira lens and D-Type Plate Film for rich blacks

Florence lens with D-Type Plate Film for a more visual focused center

The use of either of these two films would be one way to build my visual intent upon and to do so, I would have to make use of Hipstamatic’s there program, Oggl. While the Hipstamatic Classic camera should have provided the ability to uploading an image form ones camera roll, Oggl now does so and this advantage eliminates having to take multiple exposures with different film/lens settings when starting a new series.

Lowy lens and D-Type Plate Film for over all sharpness and tonal evenness

Currently there are 43 films and 40 lenses to choose from and as a second layer to my Sergio/Sussex combination, I am focusing on using Akira lens for saturation, the Florence and it’s lightening darker areas of the image, reveling more detail, and Lowy for having super sharpness and overall tonal evenness when using it with the Black & White D-Type Plate film. 

With the C-Type Plate color film I am applying also the Akira lens for it’s warm color saturation and Americana lens, as it produced various color tints, reflecting instability and the early attempts to make color film. The other example with the Wonder lens for that vignetted look caused by the lenses lack of spread when used with a larger sheet of film then what it was attended for when using a view camera. 

Akira lens and C-Type Plate film

Americana lens and C-Type Plate film

Wonder lens and C-Type Plate film

This coming Wednesday will be part two, the conclusion of this demonstration and tutorial by featuring two more film variations and the very different looks that are achieved, while retaining the old world charm of the early days of photography.

A note about the images featured

The original images from this photo shoot have had any post work applied to it, so that they remain truthful to what result Hipstamatic produces. All images featuring examples of lens and film combinations, were screen captures using an iPad with Retina display.

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

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