First Friday of the Month - Jordaan HipstaPak

Lens: Vincent - Film: Rijks, no flash

Before you know it, another month has passed and we are once again confronted with anticipation and the wonder if this month’s offering from Hipstamatic will have us being excited or disappointed, considering the scoreboard has not looked that great these passed many months., but let’s take a look and see what the Jordaan HipstaPak, with a Vincent lens and Rijks film is all about.

In case you are wondering why this Hipstpak is named Jordaan, it is because the Jordaan District in Amsterdam, which is noted for some of the best art galleries and it is also remembered for the painter Rembrandt van Rijn, who in his lesser successful period, also came to live in Jordaan, as many other creative souls have also called it home.

Upon first glance I see that the film is borderless, something that many of my colleagues prefer, including myself.  Now Hipstamatic states that the Vincent lens is “Inspired by the great artists of Amsterdam” and that the lens “adds a cool contrast,” while the film “Adds some circular texture and focus.”

While it is a relief to find that this combination of Vincent and Rijks to be without any special effect anomalies, one needs to see how either of these two will react when paired with another lens or film in the Hipstamatic collection will react.

After spending more than four hours on Friday riding around and exploring Rodeo, Crockett, and Martinez and obtaining my images, I have decided that for the October HipstaPak release, I shall return to Rodeo and explore this quirky but quaint town. However let us now have a look at the Jordaan HipstaPak.

Lens: Vincent - Film: Rijks, no flash

Allow me to first focus on the Vincent lens. At first glance appears to have striking similarities to Lowy, which I have always said was the sharpest lens in the Hipstamatic tool box and Vincent looks like it is coming in a close second.

When we look at the following two images, I just realized I should have taken both with the Rijks film and not the Lowy lens with Sussex film, in order to discuss the sharpness of the lens. Yet because I used Sussex film, I am able to assess any color shifts in how Vincent and Rijks renders the scene.

While Vincent is not as sharp as the Lowy lens, there are no apparent differences between the two other than that the Vincent has a gentle violet color cast, which we can see in the following examples when it is combined with other films. Yet when Vincent is paired with Rijks, that shift is greatly increased.

LEFT Lens: Lowy - Film: Sussex — RIGHT Lens: Vincent - Film: Rijks

One can see that the Sussex film renders the colors clean and very accurate, while there is definitely an over-all violet color cast effecting all the colors in the Rijks film. One just needs to look at the blue sky, the dried yellow grasses and the whites. This violet cast takes away the natural colors purity and even dampens the highlights, which is clearly visible under the freeway’s overpasses underside.

Lens: Vincent - Film: Rijks, no flash

When we look at these two samples above, we see that Rijks film has a difficulty maintaining the colors depth in bright light and again we can see the films violet over-cast effecting all the colors.

Now let’s look at Jordaan HipstaPak when paired with other lenses and film.

It should be pointed out that all images represented in this lens and film test have not been manipulated in post production and the selection of alternative lenses and film selection was done randomly. After the selection process, the same set would be applied for all scenes, also the iPhone was mounted to a tripod using a ShoulderPod.

Lens: Vincent - Film: Ina’s 1935, no flash

As the day’s photo shoot continued, I noticed the direction and quality of light has a large bearing on the outcome with the results of the Jordaan collection and  though this is also true with any combination of lens and film or photography for that matter, it was rather noticeable with the Jordaan HipstaPak. Judging from these four examples, Ina’s 1935 is a good combination.

Lens: Vincent - Film: Robusta, no flash

Robusta’s film base has a reddish undercurrent and this is visible upon closer examination. This also helps to increase the over all intensity of the colors, yet in the interior shots where there is no direct light, the red under tones appear more pronounced in the ivory wall of the last image. 

Lens: Vincent - Film: Uchitel 20, no flash

Though Uchitel 20 film is originally a light beige toned film, the violet inherent Vincent lens shifts the beige coloration by making the beige tones darker and adjusting their hue a little towards the reddish spectrum.

Lens: Vincent - Film: W40, no flash

This combination truly intensifies the scenes colors beautifully, unfortunately, I personally do not care for the vignetting as it makes the photograph appear being an ancient spy glass, that is very noticeable on the two exterior shots. 

Lens: Florence - Film: Rijks, no flash

This combination peaked my interests when we are looking at the two exterior photographs. Primarily as it renders the moment being a very hot one, for one cannot help but feel heat and it has me contemplating how the pairing of these two would capture the Sonora Desert or Joshua Tree State Park in the height of summer.

Of course interior settings will not  have this rendering, rather colors will just be lighter or a little faded, depending on the scene.

Lens: Mabel - Film: Rijks, no flash

If one is after a feel of a photographic print having lost specific color dyes and the over all appearance of the print has shifted, as it is represented here with Mable’s greenish dominance, then this is a combination to be considered.

Lens: Wonder - Film: Rijks, no flash

When Vincent was shared with the W40 fashion film, we had really saturated colors, yet when W40’s original companion lens, the Wonder lens is paired with Rijks film, the results are almost as saturated. However, because of the Wonder lens blueish hue, lighter colors are more influenced and effected.

Lens: Vincent - Film: Rijks, no flash

Of course there are many more possible combinations possible and I have only touched the surface. If you feel drawn to either the Vincent lens of Rijks film of the Jodaan HipstaPak, you have have to experiment and obtain your own results. All I have done here is to provide you with a small guide and hopefully an incentive to see what other possibilities there are.

Lens: Vincent - Film: Rijks, no flash

So what are my final thoughts about the Jordaan HipstaPak.

Though the Jordaan set is generally a decent set, I cannot help but feel a little cheated. The Vincent lens is a light modification of the Lowy lens, the Rijks film by itself offers little  to truly enhance the Hipstamatic collection.

We can take a number current Hipstamatic films , all of which have a large percentage of similarities to Rijks film, with only minor differences.

I have always been a supporter of Hipstamatic, but I also have been its critic. I would like Hipstamatic to succeed, but right now they appear adrift on a big ocean with no wind for their sails and a large Albatross around their neck. 

Since we are no longer provided with two films and a lens as in previous years, we have had a price increase, even though we still pay only $.99 per update. Yet outside of the USA, they have had to endure a double whammy, as they are actually paying a third more then we are.

But let us return to the core issue at hand. The creative team at Hipstamatic has entered a cycle of redundancy and while I would not wish for Hipstamatic to to bring back the anomalies of errors and special effects. I would suggest they look at the history of photography for inspiration, but also at art, for there is a wealth of ideas for a creative mind to explore and adopt ones findings to a set of films and lenses.

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

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