Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R Review

5.0
March 11, 2014 | Mark Goldstein |

Introduction

The Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R is a very fast short telephoto prime lens for Fujifilm X-series compact system cameras. Offering a classic focal range of 84mm in 35mm terms, is the Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R lens worth considering? Read our Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R review to find out...

The Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R is a very fast short telephoto prime lens in Fujifilm’s XF line-up. The Fujifilm 56mm F1.2 lens offers an angle-of-view similar to that of a 84mm lens in a 35mm system, well-suited to head-and-shoulder portraits, and a very bright f/1.2 maximum aperture for low-light shooting and throwing the background completely out-of-focus. Other highlights include an iris diaphragm with seven rounded blades, an aperture ring on the metal lens barrel, Super EBC coating for improved optical performance, and an optical formula that comprises 11 elements in 8 groups, including 1 aspherical and 2 extra low dispersion elements. The Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R lens is available now for £899.99 / $999.99 in the UK and the US, respectively.

Ease of Use

The Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R is one of the biggest prime lenses in the X-system line-up, weighing 405g and measuring just over 7cms in length, understandable given the amount of glass used in its construction. As you can see in the pictures below, it complements the top-of-the-range Fujifilm X-T1 very well, not feeling at all front-heavy and more than matching the body in terms of its build quality.

Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 RThe Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R lens attached to the Fujifilm X-T1 camera

Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 RThe Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R lens attached to the Fujifilm X-T1 camera

Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 RThe Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R lens attached to the Fujifilm X-T1 camera

Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 RThe Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R lens alongside the Fujifilm X-T1 camera

The Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R lens boasts a metal mount, high-grade metal barrel and non-rotating 62mm filter thread. The focus ring is generously wide, smooth and beautifullay well-damped in action without being loose, and has a ridged, rubberised grip band. There are no “hard stops” at either end of the 70cm-infinity focus range though.

Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 RSide of the Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R lens

Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 RFront of the Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R lens

Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 RRear of the Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R lens

The Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R lens has a traditional aperture ring on the lens barrel, which allows you to set the aperture in 1/3 steps, complete with full aperture markings on the lens barrel. The aperture is also shown in the viewfinder or on the LCD screen. The rather thin aperture ring is nicely damped and makes a distinctive click as you change the setting, although it's a little too easily moved when stored in a pocket or bag. The aperture ring toggles between auto aperture control (the ring is set to A) or manual aperture control (the switch is set to one of the aperture values).

Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 RFront of the Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R lens

Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 RRear of the Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R lens

Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 RThe Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R lens in-hand

Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 RThe Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R lens with the supplied lens hood attached

In terms of accessories, the lens ships with a rather cheap-feeling plastic round-shaped lens hood and a lens wrapping cloth, rather than a case.

Focal Range

The Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R lens has an angle of view of 28.5 degrees.

Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R

Distortion

The Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R doesn't exhibit any barrel or pin-cushion distortion, as you can see in the photo below, and vignetting is very well-controlled too even at f/1.2.

Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R

Focusing

The Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R lens has an internal focusing (IF) system. In practice, we found the auto-focus to be fairly quick and mostly reliable, although not quite up there with the fastest X-series lenses in this regard. Note that this lens does have quite an audible auto-focusing noise, again something that has been addressed on other quieter XF lenses. The front of the lens does not rotate on focus, which is good news for anyone looking to use the lens in conjunction with a polariser or neutral density filter, something that is almost compulsory if you want to use the faster apertures outside in bright sunlight.

Chromatic Aberrations

Chromatic aberrations, typically seen as purple, blue or green fringes along contrasty edges, are exhibited by the Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R lens only in very high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R

Macro

The Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R is not a macro lens, with the close-focus point at 70cm from the sensor plane and a maximum magnification of 0.09x. The following example illustrates how close you can get to the subject, in this case a CompactFlash card.

Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 RClose-up Performance

Bokeh

Bokeh is a word used for the out-of-focus areas of a photograph, and is usually described in qualitative terms, such as smooth / creamy / harsh etc. Fujifilm have paid attention to this aspect of lens use, employing a 7-segment diaphragm with rounded blades for pleasing bokeh. In our view, their efforts have been very successful for a short telephoto prime lens - see the examples below.

Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R
   
Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R

Sharpness

In order to show you how sharp this lens is, we are providing 100% crops on the following page.

Entry Tags

review, samples, lens, test, sample images, fujifilm, fuji, prime, portrait, xf, portraits, portraiture, x-series, f1.2, Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R, 56, 56mm

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