Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 APD R Review

February 3, 2015 | Mark Goldstein |

Conclusion

The Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R APD is another excellent addition to the X-series range, offering smoother out-of-focus areas than the standard 56mm optic. The inclusion of the APD filter does mean that there is a slight loss of light at the faster apertures, no Phase Detection auto-focusing, and a significantly higher price-tag than the standard 56mm lens, but if you shoot a lot of portraits under controlled lighting, the Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R APD is worth the extra investment.

Other than the APD filter and the inclusion of an ND filter in the box, this new lens is otherwise identical to the original 56mm optic. It offers a classic portraiture focal length and an ultra-fast aperture that produces simply beautiful background bokeh with a minimum of fuss. Optically it's an almost perfect lens, only suffering a little wide-open at the edges. Although the auto-focusing isn't the quickest (even on the flagship X-T1) and the supplied lens hood is disappointingly made from plastic, we still think the price is very reasonable for the stellar image and build quality that you get in return.

The Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R APD lens is remarkably sharp in the image centre virtually throughout the entire aperture range, and the edges are very good from f/2.8 onwards. The fast maximum aperture of f/1.2 makes it incredibly easy to creatively throw the background out of focus, with the seven-blade iris diaphragm achieving some lovely bokeh effects. Vignetting is practically a non-issue and chromatic aberrations are very well-controlled.

The auto-focus system in the Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R APD is accurate most of the time with little hunting, but it is a little slower than some of the faster XF lenses, and louder too. On the plus side it offers a generously wide focusing ring and a very welcome aperture ring which makes it quick, easy and precise to set this key element of exposure. The lens mount is made of metal and, thanks to an internal focusing (IF) system, the front element and filter thread do not rotate on focus, which is very good news for those using polarisers and ND grads on a regular basis.

Priced at £1119.99 / $1499.99, the Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R APD is something of a niche purchase, but if you spend a lot of time shooting portraits in the studio, this lens can definitely give you a creative edge.

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 5
Image quality 5
Value for money 4