Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R WR Review

November 3, 2022 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The new Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R WR offers an ultra-fast f/1.2 aperture with 11 rounded aperture blades for fantastic bokeh, excellent sharpness throughout the aperture range, fast and precise autofocusing, and built-in weather-resistance.

Fuji have lavished their attention on this second-generation version and upgraded the original in lots of ways, most notably improving its bokeh performance, auto-focusing speed, weatherproofing, close-focusing abilities and perhaps most importantly its overall image quality.

The Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R WR lens is remarkably sharp in the image centre and almost as sharp at the edges, virtually throughout the entire aperture range.

The very fast maximum aperture of f/1.2 makes it incredibly easy to creatively throw the background out of focus, with the 11-blade iris diaphragm capable of achieving some truly lovely bokeh effects.

There is very little optical distortion worth mentioning, vignetting, chromatic aberrations and flare are all well controlled, and the closer focus point of 50cm makes this version of the 56mm lens even more versatile than its predecessor.

As is the norm for a premium Fuji lens, the build quality is excellent. The lens mount and barrel are made of metal and, thanks to an internal focusing (IF) system, the front element and filter thread do not rotate on focus.

The DC motor quickly and reliably autofocuses even in low-light situations, although the mechanism itself is plainly audible in a quiet room. It also offers a generously wide manual focusing ring and a very welcome aperture ring which makes it quick, easy and precise to set this key element of exposure.

It is slightly bigger and heavier than its predecessor, but we'd happily accept that slight compromise in return for the weather-proofing and better image quality any day of the week.

Perhaps the only real fly in the ointment is the price - at £999 / $999 this isn't exactly a cheap lens, although it is commendably only £$100 more than the launch price was of the original version back in the altogether different financial world of 2014.

Compared to its main "rival", the even faster XF 50mm F1.0 R WR, the new XF 56mm is almost half the weight and 2.5cms shorter as well as being £$500 cheaper, so fans of smaller lenses would be better off choosing this new 56mm.

There's also the XF 50mm f/2 R WR to consider, which is even lighter and more compact and half the price, but is crucially much slower so it can’t match the shallow depth of field and lovely bokeh produced by the 56mm f/1.2 lens.

Overall, Fujifilm have hit another home run with the 2022 update of their classic 56mm prime, simply making it better in almost every regard than the already excellent original version and continuing to be an Essential lens for Fuji X fans.

5 stars

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