Mindy Tan

X-Pert 53 Interview



Mindy is A Fujifilm X-Photographer From Singapore who specialises in both Documentary and street photography. She is also a well sought after wedding photographer too.

Mindy specialises in capturing the human condition and spirit and most prominently in the large cities of South East Asia. Here, she fervently attempts to document the harsh realities that exist for the people there and the perils they face in their daily lives. This interest in recording people and life stems from a period of her life where she was a news reporter. The skills she has subsequently sharpened from this vocation has had a considerable impact on her street and document photography. This unique eye has led to her travelling throughout the world recording moments, emotions and telling stories of the people and places she has had the privilege of visiting. She calls her camera the second tool to her body and one will be able to see why from the stellar images she has submitted culminating in the sharing of her distinct take on the 53mm FOV. 

53mm is honoured to have her agree to share her answers and inspired insights into using the XF35mm lenses.

Here is Mindy's X-pert 53.

1. What Genre Of Photography Do You Specialise In?

I shoot documentary and street photography, my work involves telling the story of people and their lives, it has a strong humanistic inkling, usually involving nostalgia, our memories and the old world. 


2. Why Do You Like Using The XF35mm Lenses?

Did we mention this little object shoots in F2? The lens is lightweight and fits easily into non-camera bags which means I have the luxury of carrying around not just the 35mm, but the trinity of 23mm and 50mm and still have ease of traveling light. This is especially important for long-trips where I need stamina and want to go the distance. I don’t want to tire myself out with heavy gear. I want to stay refreshed and energetic and enjoy the shooting process everyday. I'm in Bangkok for a workshop at the moment and these are the 3 lenses I have in my bag, ‘nuff said :)


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

Human faces. Being really a 53mm, the lens co-relates closely to our natural way of seeing, it is the way our eyes and brains react and focus. There are many ways to push the lens, simply by moving forwards to get close-ups (with no worries at all about any distortion) or backwards to include more visual content. You can also layer subjects in crowded scenarios and still retain a lot of information about the environment. 

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Why Your Choice?

Simply as stated above


4. Do You Shoot Professionally With The XF35mm Lenses?

Yes, I’ve done portraits and weddings with it. I know some photographers who worry about showing up with such a tiny lens that might seem to change the definition of professionalism from a paying clients’ perspective. I felt this way the first time but quickly got over it. It’s not the size of the equipment that should gain you and your clients confidence over your pictures really. It’s how you choose to conduct yourself and handle situations. The work will show for itself. 


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

For ballroom evenings at weddings where guests may be dancing and light is particularly dim, for example chandelier or candlelight, I use the 1.4mm. For day-time especially on travel trips, without wanting to get too intrusive, I take the F2. 

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

It’s right about in my bag 99% of the time.


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

Yes and no - depending on how hardcore I wanna be.
If I could just take one lens out, I’d choose the 23mm or 35mm, depending on the style of photography I envision and what I want to achieve for the day. 

Photographed this in Beijing. The image was part of the exhibition at the X-photographers gallery at Photokina 2016

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

Available light, and rarely a flash

A family I lived with in a village in Guizhou China. The XF35mm is an easy lens in this low-light, relaxed, casual setting.

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

Oh… you are asking very difficult questions here.
I’d say the Fujifilm XT2, its my baby where I’m unafraid to use it at ISO12800. Also I’ve gotten so used to the way the buttons and dials work, the body is second nature to me now.

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

Yes sure, I've included some with this interview

Photographed this in Beijing. The image was part of the exhibition at the X-photographers gallery at Photokina 2016

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