Saturday

First Friday of the Month - The District HipstaPak, Pt-II


Last week I reviewed the HipstaPak The District, noting that, “. . . rather limited in its range of usefulness, other then replicating very well the first one hundred years of photography.” So this week I set out using The District’s T. Roosevelt 26 film with a handful of other lenses.


Of the 41 lenses Hipstamatic makes available, I already tried Americana and Tinto 1884, featuring their results in my previous post. The selection included Lincoln lens for comparison to Akira, Hornbecker, James M, Libatique 73, and Lowy. It was also decided to show the scene in color and for this I paired the Lowy lens with Sussex film.



Lowy Lens + Sussex Film


On location at Briones Reservoir, I can upon a scene in which the light was very even, with highlights retaining their detail and there was also enough shadows, to see how much detail they retain. The first image taken of the scene is with a Lowy lens, combined with Sussex film, simply to show what the scene looks like in color. 



Lincoln Lens + T. Roosevelt 26 Film


When there are no changes to the combination, you have excellent light, The District does well and appears more like a duo-tone, having the appearance of a printed photograph in a book from the 30s, 40s or even 50s.  


The lens Akira provides a little punch, by saturating colors and is for that reason I selected Akira to be paired with T.Roosevelt 26 film and we clearly see that now the blacks are richer and deeper.



Akira Lens + T. Roosevelt 26 Film


On the other hand, when paired with Hornblower, the over all scene is portrayed much brighter, which also brings out more detail in the darks and at the same time any lighter areas lose al their details. So this is a lens that would not good with T.Roosevelt 26 film, unless the scene overall is gloomy.



Hornblower Lens + T. Roosevelt 26 Film


Yet when paired with the James M lens, the scene is still rendered lighter but unlike with the Hornblower lens, we retain detail not only in the highlights but also in the shadows, as you can clearly see the trees textures. Also the over all image is less contrasty then the previous one.



James M Lens + T. Roosevelt 26 Film


Because T. Roosevelt 26 film was original paired with a lens design from 1865, I felt it only appropriate to test the film using Libatique 73 lens. While the results have similarities to the James M lens, there are distinct differences. 


The Libatique 73 lens has a hot center and the James M is the opposite. Also the Libatique 73 has strong vignetting in order to give it that antique feel and once again it is the opposite with the James M, whose edges are hotter then its center.



Libatique 73 Lens + T. Roosevelt 26 Film


The last lens in this test is the Lowy, which is not only the sharpest lens from all of the Hipstamatic lenses, it also has none of the special effects, thereby helping me judge an image more accurately and see what a film is truly capable. 


Concerning this scene, we have highlights with detail, including the dark areas. The key difference between the James M rendition and that of the Lowy, is that with the Lowy, the photograph has a greater transition range between the whites and blacks.



Lowy Lens + T. Roosevelt 26 Film


Obviously it is necessary to repeat this test at another location, so I was off to Crockett by the Carquines Straight, because there is the C&H Sugar refining plant. After setting up my tripod and attaching the ShoudPod grip, I slide in the iPhone 4S and begin composing my image and as before I start out using Lowy lens with Sussex film in order to have a color rendition to which the B/W photographs can be compared to.



Lowy Lens + Sussex Film


Here we have a wider range between the white and blacks, including a different color palette. I just wish I had arrived 2-3 hours earlier so that the sun would have been behind me and the light rendering more detail in this interesting brick building.



Lincoln Lens + T. Roosevelt 26 Film


Because of the strong light, The District combination works well, while the tonal range is less, because there are no real whites and blacks are mostly a variety of blue greys. The two silos and one tower maintain some detail.



Akira Lens + T. Roosevelt 26 Film


We now see that the Akira lens has a soft special effect that is now noticeable when we look at the sky. This effect gives the illusion that there is a cloud mist behind the factory and just about this mist, the sky becomes darker, as if having applied a gradation filter. This was certainly not visible at the previous location.



Hornblower Lens + T. Roosevelt 26 Film


The Hornblower over-exposes the scene, providing details in the dark areas and one looses all detail in the lighter areas.



James M Lens + T. Roosevelt 26 Film


It would appear that using the James M lens reveals details in the dark area, while mostly holding details in the highlights, yet the blue black are still soft.



Libatique 73 Lens + T. Roosevelt 26 Film


The only reason I do not care much for this lens is that the circular vignetting that is occurring is simply to pronounced, yet it does realistically illustrate who a lens from 1873 might have behaved.



Lowy Lens + T. Roosevelt 26 Film


We conclude this Test with the T. Roosevelt 26 film with the Lowy. We see detail in the dark areas as well as in the highlights and because this film as a blue tint to it, there are no true whites or blacks.


I went to another part of Crockett and repeated today’s film test another two more times with no real changes in the current results. I do hope that when lighting conditions are dramatically different, with a more gloomy sky where clouds appear to boil and a moody scene of a graveyard or dark mysterious structures, to see what The District is able to achieve when the tables are turned from conditions like today.






Lincoln Lens + T. Roosevelt 26 Film


Even though there are still another 33 lenses left to test the T. Roosevelt 26 film with, and though I shall try some of these, for now I prefer the Lowy with this film as I do with most Hipstamatic’s films.


You will have to establish your own tests and depending on your style and creative vision, will arrive at a combination that fits your needs. For now, this film still remains limited and dated, due to the way a scene is rendered. I am pleased that at least the film is borderless and is without special effects that come with most other Hipstamatic films and lenses.


The District HipstaPak certainly will benefit from post production and even being reintroduced in Hipstamatic’s other program, Oggl. Use you imagination and skills, to find new ways in which The District will become a valuable asset. 


          Notes
No post production edits or enhancements were applied to the test images. Photographs were resized using Photoshop. 


Part I of The District




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