Samuel Zeller

X-Pert 53 Interview

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Samuel Zeller Is A Fujifilm X-Photographer who hails From Switzerland and the is founder of the hugely popular Instagram feed Fujifeed. With a following of over 17,000, it seeks to celebrate and promote Fujifilm's outstanding aesthetic prowess in the world of photography. A true advocate of the Fuji 53mm FOV, he admits to the XF35mm f/1.4 lens to be his favourite lens, a man after my own heart. He is also a graphic designer and this vocation greatly assists in his strive for visual perfection, something I think he is most definitely adept at already.

I became a huge admirer and follower of Samuel's work when I first saw his Botanical series appear in a publication here in the UK. What he produced blew me away and, being new to the Fuji-X System cameras, immediately afforded me with a role model photographer to observe and see how he 'did' photography. I wasn't disappointed at all. His methods of capturing his vision as well as his post editing skills and processes are a delight to see and to watch how he turns a shot from out of camera into a finish piece is a work of art in itself. Those of you who are interested in this MUST visit his Youtube channel and see for yourself what can be done to improve your photos through his tutorials. I am so honoured to have the curator and editor of one of my favourite Instagram feeds take on the X-pert 53 Interview and take it as a huge compliment that Samuel has been keeping a close eye on the _53mm_ feed too. His insights are fantastic and I particularly like his answer to the last question. A sentiment I truly share in.

Here is Samuel's X-pert 53.

1. What Genre Of Photography Do You Specialise In?

From what I’ve heard from people I’ve met is that my photography is mostly about finding beauty in uncommon places, buildings, industrial sites. Not the things that you’d think of as beautiful in the first place. I try to extract a sense of aesthetics out of everything. Based on my recent projects I would say that I specialise more into editorial, architecture and industrial photography.

2. Why Do You Like Using The XF35mm Lenses?

I think it’s the best focal length for me. It’s not too wide so I get what I want in the frame, and it’s not too zoomed in so I don’t have to be ten meters away from my subject. I’ve used the 23mm of the X100 before but it was a tad too wide angle for my taste (but ideal for shooting images on vacation). 

3. What Do You Like Photographing The Best With Your XF35mm Lens/Lenses? Why Your Choice?

Architecture, any kind of buildings. Specially when I keep my camera straight related to the ground (I like having perfect verticals and horizontals). But actually I photography anything with it, it’s so versatile and sharp.

Why Your Choice?

It’s fixed, I like that. And I didn’t wanted to buy a camera with a kit lens.

4. Do You Shoot Professionally With The XF35mm Lenses?

Yes, it’s my lens of choice. I also have the XF16mm and that’s all. I’m planning to acquire the 50-140mm in the near future to complete my tiny but effective arsenal.

5. Fuji XF35mm F/1.4 Or Fuji XF35 F/2? Why Your Choice?

I got the first version F1.4. If I should buy a new one (mine is going to be broken soon) I’d pick the F2. The reason is that I almost always shoot at F2 anyway. I think F1.4 has a bit too much chroma aberrations.

Why Your Choice?

The F2 version wasn’t available before, so I didn’t really have a choice.

6. How Often Do You Reach For Your XF35mm Lens/Lenses?

All the time, it is permanently fixed to my X-Pro2. If I need another lens I used my X-T1.

7. Could You Live With Just An XF35mm Lens In Your Photography Bag?

Totally! But some of my clients wouldn’t be that happy, I sometimes rent a telephoto lens and I often have to use my 16mm when shooting interiors.

8. Do You Like To Use Available Light Or Studio Light With Your XF35mm Lens/Lenses?

I never shoot studio light, I find it too artificial for the type of work that I do.

9. What Fuji-X Camera Body Do You Prefer To Use The XF35mm Lenses On? Why Your Choice?

X-T1 but it’s currently on my X-Pro2.

Why Your Choice?

I prefer the viewfinder of the X-T1 but I need the increased resolution of the X-Pro2. I’m waiting to have enough money to get a pair of X-T2.

10.Do You Have Any Favourite Photographs Using The XF35mm Lenses?

Yes, plenty. It would be too difficult to pick only one. You’ll see several in this interview.

11.Finish This Line: The Fuji XF35mm Lenses Are… 

... the greatest piece of glass I have ever used.

Iain Palmer

Abundant Magazine