Ib Thordal

X-Pert 53 Interview


Ib is the Key Account Manager at Fujifilm Denmark and in charge of sales for Fujifilm Nordic.

This gives him first hand experience AT ALL TIMES of all that the Fuji-X Series System has to offer. This also puts him at a great advantage of knowing the ins and outs, the intricate details as well as having an invaluable knowledge of how the system works as a whole. In particular, his wealth of experience extends to the lenses and luckily for 53mm, this includes the XF35mm lenses. Ib is a huge fan of the XF35mm lenses and this interview will no doubt prove that. It is such a privilege to have his insight into the 53mm FOV, for as well as having the intuition of the X-Photographers, whom are the faces of Fujifilm, we also have the perception of these lenses from one who is highly respected by them and works very hard in background, supporting them. I couldn't be happier to have Ib share his photography and agree to take on the interview.

Here is Ib's X-pert 53.

1. What Genre Of Photography Do You Specialise In?

I seldom have time to take photos, due to my selling job at Fujifilm Nordic, so 90% of the time it is pictures taken in between jobs, and it is often Street – Documentary – Shapes and preferably Black and White pictures 80% of the time.

2. Why Do You Like Using The XF35mm Lenses?

They are small – sharp – crispy – magically and have a stunning bokeh – It is a demanding focal length that demand that you concentrate and look and see framings, it suits me visual thinking and the story I want to tell so well.

I simply love the focal length it suits me somehow better than all other focal lengths –  I especially love the framing of XF35mm, it makes me think more of my picture, how I compose and how I squeeze it into the magic spot of the 35mm – it makes me look for and compress the story into the framing of the 35mm to make the story more powerful and intense somehow – and a specialty I sometimes do – low angle shoots, simply love the 35mm for that! and finally it is fantastic for portraits.

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

I prefer Documentary – and especially Black and white pictures that makes me think of light and shapes in the surroundings to create the picture for me that tells me the story of the moment, moments that for me in my daily work are so limited and short.

Why Your Choice?

It suits the 35mm so well – and tells my story as I see it and want to document it – compressed and strong in its look.

4. Do You Shoot Professionally With The XF35mm Lenses?

No – I always say to people “ I am not a photographer” I 'just' sell the cameras and lenses. I love to see how enthusiasts, pro photographers and new comers to the system use and explore the Fujifilm Cameras – so I leave the photography to the professional. 

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

I prefer the F1.4 – not as fast as the 35mm F2 and not as silent and weather resistant but still my choice.

Why Your Choice?

It gives me the right look – and it is somehow magical – it is very difficult to explain, it constantly surprises me with its look – and makes me smile and love to take more and even more pictures. I often try to explain to others how good it is, and end up saying it is magical, and when the person comes back – they reply “ I can´t explain what this lens does to me– but it is truly magical some how”
A bit of a strange explanation but never the less the right word for it - magical!

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

I must admit 80% of the time when I take my pictures and I only uses other lenses because I need to know how they perform to be able to sell them. For me the framing and photographically the world is 35mm. Before I started shooting with Fuji I shot with zoom lenses and kept on changing lenses all the time – then I “discovered” prime lenses and the first lens I tried on a Fuji camera was the XF35mm F1.4 – and it hasn’t left my camera bag since, just perfect focal length for me.

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


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

100% Natural light

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

I prefer to use the lenses with 2 cameras.

Why Your Choice?

Firstly, I use the sublime but slow – very slow X-Pro1 for when I want to relax and work more in the depth of the picture and because of the soft look the 1st generation sensor gives portraits and shapes. When using the XF35mm F1.4 lens for colour pictures I use the X-T2. It amazes me with its performance – stunning tool – crisp clean in its look – and superb for B&W pictures – so sharp – and it is just like a Swiss army knife. I trust it so much and feel that there is no photo task that I can’t handle – a great feeling.

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

Yes of my photographs is the reflection / double exposure looking picture like the picture I took in the subway in Barcelona on a convention. I call it “Who can find Holger” the person in the striped shirt –

- Another picture is the one of my son – looking up at me – simply love it. Another is the Broken glass window – with the “WHY” drawn in the window – an abandoned train Station in my City- old charismatic train station that just lies there and with so much history behind – but just left there. ( The Graffiti picture is what is inside the building looking through the broken window

- The shirts hanging in the window is what makes me think of summer in the old town – The kite and the oil rig that has tilted – The lonely Chair at the addict – The texture of the metal – and the Window – The lamp and wall, a picture taken at Gaudi House inside the apartment in Barcelona – as you see mostly B&W picture. Portraits – and the Portrait of the Nordic X-Photographers. 

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

... magic eyes!