Saturday

First Friday of the Month - Södermalm HipstaPak




How quickly a month passes and here we are once more taking a closer look at the latest from Hipstamatic and August’s First Friday of the Month, Swedish inspired Södermalm HipstaPak.


At first you will notice that the Södermalm HipstaPak comes not only with a lens and film, but also this time a new flash is being introduced, the Triple Crown — Hipstamatic’s first bulb flash. As for the other items, the Södermalm HipstaPak film, Gotland is described as giving ones prints a little ‘rough texture,’ and the Bruno lens being finally crafted.






Film: Gotland - Lens: Bruno


Apart from capturing numerous images with the Gotland and Bruno combination, I also selected 10 different Hipstamatic films and lenses to be tested with Gotland and Bruno. While 10 different lens/film combinations is about 20% of the arsenal that is available to the photographer, it does at least offer a glimpse of the Södermalm HipstaPak potential.


After reviewing the first few casual captured, the Södermalm HipstaPak gives one the impression of faded color prints from the 70s or Ektachrome slide film of the 80s that were over exposed. Yet when the Södermalm HipstaPak Gotland and Bruno combination is paired with  other film/lens from the Hipstamatic collection, we are in for a pleasant surprise.



Film: Sussex - Lens: Lowy


The above two photographs represent what the test scene looks like under normal condition, using one of Hipstamatic’s most neutral film and lens, Thereby establishing a guide for the viewer to judge the Södermalm HipstaPak. It should also be noted that there has been no post process of any kind applied to any of the images in this review.



Film: Gotland - Lens: Americana


Much depends on the various colors of a scene as to how any of the Hipstamatic’s film or lenses will react and render the image. While this months evaluation contains no reds or strong yellows, when Södermalm’s lens and films are paired with other Hipstamatic’s lenses and films, we still can make a fair assessment as to Södermalm capabilities.


As for the photographs above with the Americana lens, Gotland film appears not as faded or over exposed and actually very pleasant, especially in the way the building was rendered. You will notice that a green-blue tint layer influences the image.



Film: Gotland - Lens: Diego


The Diego lens captures the scene and brightens the overall image and brings out more detail in the dark areas because of it. The tonality is a slight beige shift in the light grays, as we see evident in the concrete and a desaturation of the green eucalyptus trees.



Film: Gotland - Lens: GSquad


With the GSquad lens both scenes are given an extra punch of color, rendering the image more saturated and reversing the desaturation the Södermalm HipstaPak will be known for. Please note the tonal appearrance being more yellow-brown.



Film: Gotland - Lens: James M


In this combination the James M also reverses most of the desaturation, color fade or over exposure of the Södermalm original combination and represents the scene most accurately, with just a slight tonal layering of pale blue. 



Film: Gotland - Lens: John S


The John S lens is a favorite of many, including myself, especially when paired with Claunch 72 Monochrome or other Black & White film, however when used with the Gotland film, there are some very dramatic alterations of the image occurring, making it less likely to be used with Gotland.



Film: Gotland - Lens: Lowy


By now yo should know that I personally favor the Lowy lens over all others for accuracy and sharpness, and we see why when viewing the results of these two photographs.


Colors are just about rendered with 100 percent accuracy and there are no exaggerations of any kind. We should note that due to the Gotland film rendering darks lighter, that there is just a small portion of this occurring here too, in revealing a touch more detail in the dark and shadow areas of the image.



Film: Gotland - Lens: Sergio


Sergio is noted for its strong blurriness and especially yellow ochre tint dominating the over all appearance of the photograph and these qualities are certainly still very evident when paired with Gotland film.



Film: Gotland - Lens: Tinto 1884


I have to confess that I was very pleased with the test results when Gotland was paired with Tinto 1884 lens. The blue cast in both images is just wonderful, with the greens being more saturated and giving the Art Deco building a cool and lovely appearance. This combination just might be perfect for portraiture and especially for a fashion layout. 



Film: Gotland - Lens: Wonder


This was also another combination that pleased me in the way the two interacted with each other. While the blue tones are not as subtle and delicate as with Tinto 1884, they are still evident in the over all results, rendering the photograph a little more dark grey and thereby toning down the over all colors.



Film: Gotland - Lens: YUЯI 61


Depending on your personal tastes and what you are trying to achieve, this pairing left me wanting more. The YUЯI 61 blue-violet casts did little for the image, other then to adjust the overall colors.


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Lens: Bruno - Film: AO DLX


Now we come to the part where we pair Södermalm Bruno lens with other films. I was most eager to try AO DLX from the Nike HipstPak, as it is one of my favorite Black & White films when paired with the GSquad lens for street photography.


While the results were not similar, I was also not disappointed, especially since it appears that when paired with Gotland, there is a little more retention of detail in the highlight areas and that is always good.



Lens: Bruno - Film: Blanko


For me the film Blanko will always be an art film due to the very soft fiber textures that remind me of high quality rice paper. So when using Blanko film, I feel I am making a mono-print. If you decide to use this film with the Bruno lens, note that there will be also a color shift and in this case towards warmer yellow tones.



Lens: Bruno - Film: Claunch 72 Monochrome


I mentioned earlier that when this film is paired with the John S lens, it is one of my favorite combinations. When it is combined Bruno the results are not as dramatic as with John S and the Södermalm trademark of rendering scenes lighter and colors faded, we see this to be the case here. The typical color cast of Claunch 72 Monochrome is lighter but does retain its greenish tones.



Lens: Bruno - Film: C-type Plate


For many of us, either the D-Type or C-Type Plate film is one of our favorite, in which you can include me and we are not disappointed in the way Bruno renders the scene.



Lens: Bruno - Film: Ina’s 1935


I like all three Ina films, so I just selected randomly the Ina’s 1935 to see how it would react with Bruno. As you see, the colors are slightly punched and given a warm yellow cast. 



Lens: Bruno - Film: Pistil


I normally have more color saturation to the point of being unrealistic  when using Pistil film, but as you can see, this certainly is not the case here. We do see the Södermalm trademark of rendering the scene lighter and so effecting the colors.



Lens: Bruno - Film: Robusta


Here was another pleasant surprise when using Robusta with Bruno. THe increase in saturation with a slight shift in tones towards red, giving the eucalyptus trees nice definitions and making them appear more full of life.



Lens: Bruno - Film: Rock BW-11


I have to admit that so far the Södermalm HipstaPak when paired with other lenses and films reveals a greater benefit then just by itself. For here with my favorite all-around Black & White film Rock BW-11, I am once more pleased with the results and in this case the Södermalm trademark of lighting the scene and bringing out detail in the dark area are a benefit since Rock BW-11 tens to really provide rich and deep blacks. 


Because of the films richness, the pairing with Bruno does not compromise the richness, making this combination perfect for that greater 16 Zone range between whites and blacks. For those of you too young, I am referring to Ansel Adams Zone System for achieving a greater range in negative and print when working in Black & White.



Lens: Bruno - Film: Sussex


Sussex is currently my favorite Hipstamatic color film, having dethroned DC. While I prefer a borderless film, there is a certain beauty with Sussex border as well as the films overall ochre warm qualities. While we are not disappointed, once again Södermalm qualities of brightening the colors or as one might say desaturating them, this is evident here too but to a much lesser amount, making this also a nice pairing when faced with a scene with increased shadows and darks.



Lens: Bruno - Film: W40


We now come to the last film tested with the Bruno lens. While I am not a fan of vignetting, which many of the early Hipstamatic films and lenses are, this is one combination I personal pass on. Yet for those of you who like vignetting may just like this combination, as W40 blue tones are evident in the sky and a little int  he greens, it is less so with the other photographs.



          Final Verdict

While I felt the previous month’s HipstaPak, The District was “rather limited in its range of usefulness,” the Södermalm HipstaPak when paired with other lenses and film in the Hipstamatic collection is a nice addition to have. Yet the Södermalm HipstaPak by itself is limited. It just goes to show, one should not judge a book by its cover and I am glad I went beyond my initial reaction and tried the Södermalm in conjunction with other combinations. For I certainly have a few favorites in which Gotland and Bruno will be beneficial with other films and lenses.




Film: Gotland - Lens: Bruno




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All photographs taken with an iPhone 4S by
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