First Friday of the Month - Toronto HipstaPak

After uploading the Toronto Hipstapak to the Hipstamatic Classic camera and shooting my first handful of images, I reacted to the results of what I was seeing, no different then The Kingston Trio 1958 lyrics Tom Dooley; “Hang down your head Tom Dooley, Hang down your head and cry.” But judging a book by its cover without further investigating it’s content, will mean that we will never discover a treasure that is hidden within. 

Toronto combo: Le Allan lens with Queen West

While we certainly were given more with the Toronto Hipstapak then just a lens and film, with an additional three new flashes with geometric patterns, it was the Queen West film I was disappointed in when combined with the lens it was paired with. Many of the Hipstamatic community mobile photographers were waiting very long for a Black & White film, I cannot help but wonder if this is what they wished, a washed out Black & White film that has too many similarities to another HipstaPak, The District combo. The similarity to The District combo is a washed-out Black & White but the difference is that The District has a blueish duotone and the Toronto does not, but this is where my disappointment ends.

All image above are Le Allan lens with Queen West

I also discovered that the Le Allan lens with Queen West film produces a special effect that is subtle but still noticeable. I’m referring to the double exposure effect that acts like the Tinto 1884 or Sergio lens, by being only evident in the outer circumference of the area that remains unaffected, as you can see in the following images.

See upper left, lower left and right where it more noticeable 

Upper left store window and shadow of car, including rear bumper

Telephone pole and roof of building

When the Queen West film is paired with other lenses, like Lowy or Helga Viking, we have a beautiful Black & White image with no side effects. Matter-a-fact, most lenses combined with Queen West are a good combination with moderate style differences between them, which we expect.

Non-Hipstamatic image converted in Oggl to show
Queen West paired with Lowy lens

It is the Le Allan lens that produces the faded tones and when combined with other films in the Hipstamatic collection, we are in for a pleasant surprise. With the Rasputin film the lens produces a nice faded warm tone, representing an old photograph. The Le Allan lens is also very good when paired with the C-Type film, Blanko BL4, or Uchitel 20, as with about 30 other films of the 50 that are currently available.

Non-Hipstamatic image converted in Oggl to show
C-Type Color film paired with Le Allan lens

The three flashes, Spiro Gel; Cubic Gel; and Triad Gel create geometric patterns when used to capture the image. Of the three, two, the Cubic and Triad Gel randomly rotate when applied. 

Le Allan lens with Queen West without flash

Le Allan lens with Queen West with Cubic Gel flash

Le Allan lens with Queen West with Spiro Gel flash

Le Allan lens with Queen West with Triad Gel flash

These three flashes with their geometric treatment will work for those into special effects, as for me personally, they are no more then a gimmick. 

          Final thoughts

Both the lens and film from the Toronto Hipstapak are worth considering, when paired with other lenses and films. As to the three geometric flashes that are included in the HipstaPak, I can only say that some will like them and others not.

Bottom line, if you desire a lens that produces washed-out tones and a film with good Black & White contrast, then the Toronto combo is a good investment.



Le Allan lens with Queen West


All photographs were taken with the Classic Hipstamatic Camera and there was NO post processing was applied to any of the images featured in this review.

All photographs taken with an iPhone 5S by
©2015 Egmont van Dyck - All Rights Reserved

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