Neill Soden

X-Pert 53 Interview


Neill soden is a Fujifilm X-Photographer from south africa.

Neill is a self taught photographer and to me, this gives such a confidence boost to those of us who have been or who are in that same boat, floating whilst teaching oneself how to master the camera we own. It would be true to say that he also stands, like the other X-Photographers who grace this particular section of the 53mm website, as a role model to aspire to, pushing ones knowledge and understanding of our craft to a level that reaches personal fulfilment and achievement. Starting at an entry level and working your way up to professional status can take as long or as short a journey as one would like but Neill's strategy in getting there is a simple one and one that has been proven by himself. I'm sure it's also a methodology that a lot of us already commit to. That being, in Neill's own words,

"carrying my camera with me almost every day and everywhere."

It's pleasure to share in his XF35mm insights.  

Here is Neill's X-pert 53.

1. What Genre Of Photography Do You Specialise In?

I lean a lot toward documentary photography. I would do more street photography, which I really enjoy doing. But the safety limitation in my country does not allow for it as much as I would like. I dabble in a lot of other genres, though the documenting of moments and events are close to my heart. 

2. Why Do You Like Using The XF35mm Lenses?

I find it has a nice balance between isolating a subject if you want to, or otherwise include some more of the environment to help tell your story.

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

I love photographing people, with just a taste of the environment they are in. 

Why Your Choice?

People are fascinating, and every person has his own story to tell. To be able to connect with strangers and be privy to just a glimpse of this story is amazing.  

4. Do You Shoot Professionally With The XF35mm Lenses?

Yes, I have shot many events, some weddings. 

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

The 1.4 

Why Your Choice?

Mostly because that is the one I own. I have used the f/2 version and it’s a lovely lens, with a much better AF, but I have a soft spot for my Xf35mm1.4 

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

If I am not using my X100T, it is pretty much the go-to lens for me. 

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

Absolutely. I usually adapt to any limitations and this little lens is extremely versatile. 

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

I have shot a few things here and there with studio/speed-lights, but my love and preference is available light.

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

I would say the X-Pro1, or in the near future hopefully the X-Pro2. 

Why Your Choice?

I am a bit of a sucker for the rangefinder type camera. There is a certain romance about it. I also feel it somehow makes me feel hidden when using it, like I am in the background and not in people’s faces with regards to documenting the moment. 

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

Yes, sure.

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

... the starting focal length for any Fujifilm shooter.