Kirk Mastin and Mastin Labs are the creators of some of the better known (and more highly regarded) sets of develop presets for digital images to emulate the look of film. Kirk has been working on a mobile app to achieve similar results on the go for a while now, and that app has finally been released. Meet Filmborn.
For those of you not familiar with Mastin presets, they were developed specifically for hybrid shooters to match their film scans and digital files as closely as possible. Unlike other preset packages such as VSCO or Replichrome, Mastin Labs recreates a very small number of films, but does them very well. Specifically, the desktop presets offer Fuji 160 NS, 400 H, and 400 H-Blue; Kodak Portra 160, 400, and 800; and Ilford HP5, PanF, and Delta 3200. They don't offer ultra-faded, expired looking presets, just as-close-as-possible matches with original film stocks.
Kirstin Mckee | filmborn.com
Filmborn is available now for free for iOS devices only, though Kirk has said he has plans to release an Android version down the road if possible. The app comes with almost all of the same film stocks as the desktop presets, the only exception being the app has Fuji 800 Z instead of 400 H-Blue. All nine film styles are available free with the base app, with more styles to be added down the road, presumably as in-app purchases. Future updates will also allow Filmborn to take advantage of the iPhone 7 Plus' 56mm and Portrait Mode depth of field effect.
Filmborn really is a beautiful app and extremely well designed, but we'll get into that more with a full review in the next week or two. You can take photos with the in-app camera, or edit photos directly from your iPhone camera roll. The app does not require you to import the images into it like the VSCO app, and therefore, you aren't doubling up your files, and you're able to delete images from your camera roll and not just from the app library. The built-in camera allows you to preview you the film effects in real-time, as well as manually set your focus, exposure, white balance, and see where you might be blowing out highlights.
The controls for the camera piece are extremely simple: tap to focus, swipe left/right to set white balance manually, and swipe up/down to set exposure. You can also quickly select from a variety of crop ratios (4:3, 3:2, 1:1, and 6:7), as well as three different focal length crops (32mm, 35mm, and 50mm). You can save specific setups as "kits" within the app so you can quickly jump to a given set of settings whenever you want.
Filmborn has several paid additions you can purchase from within the app, the Rangefinder Mode simulates the frame lines of your old-school rangefinder camera. The Camera Kits upgrade lets you save three different kits instead of just the one allowed in the base app, and the Curves Tool allows you to apply a custom tone curve to your photos beyond the presets.
Here are some examples from the Filmborn website of photos shot on iPhones and edited with the app.
Jeremy Chou | filmborn.com
Chad Syme | filmborn.com
Kirstin Mckee | filmborn.com
Kirk Mastin | filmborn.com
I've had the app for less than a day, but I have to admit that I am extremely impressed and am looking forward to doing a full review in the coming weeks. Filmborn is available for download now from the App Store.