Knut Koivisto

X-Pert 53 Interview


Knut Koivisto is a portrait and Fujifilm X-Photographer from sweden.

Knut is one of Sweden's best and most highly respected portrait photographers. He even has his own permanent and well deserved exhibition of shots at the Fotograsfiska in Stockholm. Here, adorning their coveted walls, is a fine example of the people Knut has had the privilege of meeting and capturing photographically. Some of his most pretigious encounters include: Martin Parr, Elliott Erwitt, Bruce Gilden and his hero Anton Corbijn. His keen eye and style for recording the essence of a person is unparalleled and one could learn so much from the careful study of his portraiture portfolio. He also has a particular fondness for the XF35mm lenses and isn't too far away from one of the two versions that have a semi-permanent residency on one of his camera bodies. It would be true to observe that Knut is an unfeigned ambassador of the 53mm FOV, being one of the few choices of X-Photographers chosen by Fujifilm to help endorse and promote the legendary XF35mm f/1.4 lens for the X-Mount lens campaign. I am so excited to have Knut take on the X-pert 53 Interview as he is a particular hero of mine in the genre of portraiture. The images he has submitted for us are spectacular and I hope you enjoy them as well as be inspired by his words as much as I have.

Here is Knut's X-pert 53.

1. What Genre Of Photography Do You Specialise In?

I mainly shoot people. Portraits in and out of my studio in all kinds. A mix of corporate and artists and actors. I’ve also worked as a still photographer on almost forty major movies and TV dramas. I still shoot a lot of publicity stills for our major Swedish TV channels. Besides that I’ve been a professional instagrammer and I regularly teach at workshops, mostly in portrait photography but also mobile photography and social media


2. Why Do You Like Using The XF35mm Lenses?

For me the XF35mm F1.4 has been my main portrait lens to go. It’s so versatile! You see, I like to be very close to the person I’m photographing. It's important for me to get a very close contact with the person I’m photographing. I need to be able to reach out and touch them physically. Only then can I get that intimate contact I want to share through my images. I do use other lenses but the 35mm rules my world


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

Well I guess by now you’ve got that I’m a persons photographer. I love people and photography is my way of getting closer to them. The XF35mm is perfect in so many ways and today that goes both for the XF35 F1.4 and XF35 F2. They are small and not intruding. Optically outstanding, if you ask me. Plus the possibility to get up close to the person. Both in a philosophical way but also because the short minimum focusing distance.

But I shoot other pictures also, if you go to my instagram feed you’ll see a lot of other stuff (@__knut__). That’s because I always photograph. I call my instagram my diary. There I mix my daily observations with a couple of portraits. I always carry a camera, often a couple. That´s why I love my Fujis! As good for work as for my private pictures. If you could say there’s anything private left.


4. Do You Shoot Professionally With The XF35mm Lenses?

Yes I do! Having a large number of lenses for my Fujifilm X-cameras, I still like to pick up the XF35 F1.4 or the XF35 F2 when I’m shooting a portrait. I’ve found that I use the zoom lenses a lot in the studio and the primes when I’m on a location. Still, I use a lot of LED lights and that’s the time for the XF35 to shine


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

The XF35mm F1.4 used to be my main lens from day one. I love the sharpness, the nice out of focus blurriness and the short focus distance. But then the XF35 F2 became a big rival when it was released. It’s smaller, quieter and perhaps sharper. A stealth lens. And it goes neatly down my pocket when I want to use another lens. Tuff game. But I’m nostalgic and like to pick the XF35 F1.4 for certain portraits. I just can’t live with only one of them


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

Every time it’s one of those special portraits.


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

I almost never have them both in my camera bag at the same time. I use the XF35 F2 for my daily images. Mostly for it’s pocketable size. When I know I’m gonna do a special portrait I bring the XF35 F1.4 and that’s because the shallow depth of field and the low light handling. But honestly the difference isn’t that big


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

It’s in available light or LED light situations. That could be both in the studio or on location. With my flashes I tend to use a zoom


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

I use my X-Pro2 for my private or travel or street images, but sometimes also for work. I use my X-T2 almost exclusively for my work images. The XF35mm sits on both cameras.

However the combo of the X-Pro2 and the XF35 F2 is just perfect. They are designed by the same designer as a pair and you can feel how they are perfect together. That also goes for the XF23 F2.

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

I guess I can pick a couple


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

…all you need, no less than amazing and my first choice.