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Behind the X-gear: A talk with X-shooters around the World… and about the X-series SOUL [Ep.1 Milandro]


image courtesy: milandro

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I once asked myself: “Why do I like vintage so much?” My answer was: “Because I like things that have a history!”

And that’s what I like on the X-series. Fujifilm put all his photographic culture and history into a modern spec’d yet classic looking camera: the manual controls, the vintage design, features like the film simulation that resemble Fuji’s famous film lineup and more bring the X-series soul into being.

But despite that, you’ll always need the vision, the creativity and the emotions of the X-shooter behind the camera to make that soul soar free.

Therefore, with the series we introduce here on FujiRumors today, I’d like to focus on the real heart of the X-system, which is you, the X-shooter reading these lines. From time to time I’ll ask a Fuji X Forum member if he/she would like to answer to a bunch of questions and I’ll feature the interview on FujiRumors.

FXF member milandro makes the start. Join the forum, share your pics & thoughts, and you could be the next one… if you want ;) .



Tell us something about you

Professional Photographer or Amateur or something in between?

I have been a student of the Istituto Europeo di Design of Milan, then I was a professional photographer for over 25 years, first in Naples then Milan, Italy, then in the Netherlands and then, briefly, in Milan again.

I have been involved in many and different type of photography: Studio still life, product and food photography, portraits, but also, later on, the digitization of many important “ illuminations” in medieval manuscripts when I was associated to the department of photography of the Dutch Royal Library.

I was also co-owner of a company which worked for the Italian branch of the Condé-Nast publishing company and which provided some photographic services and database administration for their sites and some of their printed publications. I have taught Studio and Portrait photography at the Academie voor Fotografie Amsterdam.

I no longer practice photography as a profession at present.

What is your kind of photography? (Motives, Approach …)

I always liked still life photography but also loved portraiture. I worked for the most part of my photographic life with large format cameras from 4” x 5” to 8” x 10 so, I guess, my approach is not the one which a “ street” photographer or the photojournalist would have. I guess I am an old-fashioned studio photographer, I don’t really qualify as a person who follows trends and fashions and pretty much shoot as I’ve always done the only difference is that the camera is a digital one.

My first ever exhibition was about “ urban landscape”, a genre which still fascinates me but I don’t take much of it at this point in time, maybe I should dedicate more attention to it.

Where can people find you on the web?

milandro – Fuji X Forum Profile & Photo Album

What’s your favorite image taken with a Fuji?

If you mean a picture that I’ve taken myself, then it must be the portrait of my good friend Peter Krausz that you find in my gallery here

Your Move to Fuji

What’s the main reason for you to own a Fuji?

Well, when I closed my company some 5 years ago, I was very disenchanted with the photographic profession and for a few years I didn’t want to do any serious photography anymore. Sold all my equipment and only shot the occasional family and holiday shots with a compact camera. One day I went for a walkabout with a friend who still is in de active profession, although he is mainly a teacher, and he had a Fujifilm X100S. The camera intrigued me although I knew that I don’t particularly enjoy viewfinder cameras (I had had in the past a Leica CL with two lenses and a Konica Hexar), so once I was home I took a look on the internet to see what else was out there. I saw an X-E1 and 35mm f1.4, new, in a shop near me and decided that I wanted to have a go and see how I liked it. I did buy it, liked it and after a few days I got myself a 10-24mm f4, a 60mm f2.4, and then I decided to add a cheap longer lens because historically I know that long lenses are not my thing, so I bought the humble ( but great) 50-230mm.

So, I started shooting away, the camera was exactly what I wanted. Most of it was operating old-fashioned dials and that appealed to me because all the cameras that I had ever had in my life had dials to turn and buttons to press. Unfortunately the X-E1 developed a problem with some oil and dust on the sensor and was sent to the Fuji lab, in Germany, came back after 8 weeks.

In the meantime the shop lent me a X-M1, a camera that would have never got me into the system if it would have been my first Fuji. When the X-E1 came back it had another problem with a hair trapped onto the sensor (it arrived that way from the repair lab!), so I was facing  another long wait and the shop offered me a discount on another camera, so I took the chance and bought an X-T1.

Is there something you miss from your previous system?


Favourite Equipment

What’s your favorite lens?

Tough call! I have sold some of the lenses that I had and bought some other lenses. Currently my favorite are the Samyang 12mm and the 60mm macro.

What’s your favorite camera bag?

The one I have a Jill.E Jack messenger extra-large

What’s in your bag?

Samyang fish-eye 8mm f 2.8, Samyang 12mm f2, Fuji 18-55 f2.8-4Fuji 60mm f2.4Fuji 50-230mm 4.5-6.7, a metal L grip to fit the arca system, monopod, gorillapod, camera manual, 3 batteries, magnifier, lens-pen, air blower, X-T1 flash (just in case!), [shoplink 38498 ebay]Sinar chinagraph pencil kit[/shoplink].

I also have a Kipon tilt adapter with a Pentax takumar 28mm, Helios 58mm, [shoplink 38499 ebay]Pentax takumar 100mm macro[/shoplink] and a Tokina 135

Your Advice to Fuji

Which lens, that is not yet in the roadmap, would you like Fuji to make?

I am happy as things are.

Tell Fujifilm what’s the main thing they should still improve in the X-series system via Firmware and/or Hardware

Autofocus in low light and poor contrast with longer lenses, make using any lens as stealth as possible.

Decisive Questions

OVF, EVF or Display?


Rangefinder style or DSLR shape?

Rangefinder but no OVF.