Introduction

Medium telephoto is a focal length Fujifilm has very well covered. Depending on your compression preferences, you can choose anywhere from 75mm to 135mm in 35mm equivalence, and have a bunch of options in between. The XF 56mm F1.2 (APD) sits between the XF 50mm F2 WR and XF 60mm F2.4 Macro at perhaps the most the most traditional focal length for portraiture, 85mm. It’s an important one to get right, and it’s not at all hard to argue Fuji succeeded.

XT2S0048-Edit.jpg

Specifications

Lens Construction 11 elements in 8 groups
(1 aspherical and 2 extra low dispersion elements)
Focal Length (35mm format equivalent) 56mm (85mm)
Aperture Range f/1.2 – f/16 in ⅓ stop increments
Aperture Type 7 blades (rounded diaphragm opening)
Focus Range Approximately 70cm - ∞ (infinity)
Maximum Magnification 0.09×
External Dimensions 73.2mm diameter × 69.7mm long
Weight 397g
449g with caps and hood
Filter Size ø62mm

Features

Weather Sealing (WR) No
Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) None
Focus Motor DC Coreless
Push/Pull Clutch Manual Focus Ring No
Nano GI Coating No
Fluorine Coating No

Handling

Build Quality

In my early impressions of a pre-production copy of the XF 56mm F1.2, I may have gushed a bit too profusely about the build. It is excellent, but Fuji weren’t quite finishing refining.

Size and Weight

Compared to lenses before it, the XF 56mm F1.2 is a serious hunk of glass. As primes go, it still has the most impressive front element. It’s a bit chunky, and feels substantial. While not exceptionally heavy, I’d still at least consider my body with the XF 56mm F1.2.

Aperture and Focus Rings

Once again comparing to lenses released before it, the aperture ring feels better, and great. The aperture ring on my early copy is comparatively looser than any of the newer F2WR lenses, but much tighter than Fuji’s earliest-released lenses.

Hood

It’s plastic and light, and just about doubles the length of the lens. It’s nowhere near as elegant or premium feeling as the metal hood that ships with the XF 60mm F2.4 Macro, but it actually cuts flare, which is more important. I only deploy the hood in studio settings, personally, and work with the flare otherwise.

Lens Cap

It’s one of the old domed Fujifilm caps. They’re not bad, but they aren’t great either. I swapped mine out for a Nikon cap, which is almost as good as the new Fuji caps.

Autofocus

With a high-torque DC coreless motor, the autofocus on the XF 56mm F1.2 is quick, but jumpy, and not ideally-suited for video. On recent cameras you can expect pretty snappy focus, but less snappy than either of the Red Badge zooms that hit this focal length, or the smaller XF 50mm F2 WR.

Manual Focus

This is one area I wasn’t too effusive. The manual focus ring is buttery smooth, and pleasant to turn. No push/pull clutch focus like on the XF 23mm F1.4 here, sadly.

Engraved Depth of Field Markings

None, sadly. I can sort of understand excluding these when lenses get much beyond 50mm equivalence, but it would have been a nice point of differentiation and consistency for Fuji’s larger aperture lenses to also feature depth of field markings along with a push/pull clutch focus mechanism for manual focus.

Image Quality

The XF 56mm F1.2 leaves little to be desired in the image quality department. Only one of the standard measures can really be complained about.

Sharpness

No issues here. For around 85mm, the XF 56mm F1.2 is without question the sharpest way to get there in Fujis lineup; no matter the aperture. And it reaches apertures no other lens can.

Bokeh

Bokeh is exceptional both in front and behind. Some rings around highlights is possible, but nothing extreme, and I find they are reduced even by stopping down to just F/1.4.

My tests of the APD found that the extra filter reduced this slightly in the background, and significantly in the foreground. If you like to “shoot through“ stuff for visual interest, the APD is worth considering.

Distortion

Virtually non-existant, and nothing to be concerned about.

Vignetting

The only potential complaint. Vignetting is heavy on the widest apertures. More often than not I don’t have an issue with this, and in situations when I want falloff to be minimal, I’ve stopped down to where it is minimal.

Flare

With a lens element this large—one of the most impressive of all X-mount lenses— can expect some flare without the hood attached. As with other lenses like the XF 35mm F1.4, I love the flare this lens can produce. As mentioned above, the supplied hood does an excellent job of eliminating this.

Aberrations

Some longitudinal aberrations are present a wide apertures. This is to be expected with larger aperture lenses. I’ve seen much worse however. If this lens has chromatic aberrations, I have yet to find them.

I Simply must start the sample images off with a portrait

I Simply must start the sample images off with a portrait

85mm can be an excellent focal length for landscapes – 7.0 sec at F/16 (chosen to slow shutter speed down)

85mm can be an excellent focal length for landscapes – 7.0 sec at F/16 (chosen to slow shutter speed down)

While not as “intimate” as your typical focal lengths, 85mm can work great in the street too – 1/220 sec. at F/4

While not as “intimate” as your typical focal lengths, 85mm can work great in the street too – 1/220 sec. at F/4

Not just A shameless cat photo, check out the bokeh on the speaker. It looks cool, but it’s a distraction from the subject – F/1.2

Not just A shameless cat photo, check out the bokeh on the speaker. It looks cool, but it’s a distraction from the subject – F/1.2

Now that’s some sweet bokeh – 1/2000 sec. at F/1.2

Now that’s some sweet bokeh – 1/2000 sec. at F/1.2

How I wish I was a few steps to the left so the CN Tower was a little further left in the composition – 1/180 sec. at F/5.6

How I wish I was a few steps to the left so the CN Tower was a little further left in the composition – 1/180 sec. at F/5.6

With a front element this large, you can expect some lovely flare at the right (wrong?) angle. The hood helps a lot – 1/1250 sec. at F/1.2

With a front element this large, you can expect some lovely flare at the right (wrong?) angle. The hood helps a lot – 1/1250 sec. at F/1.2

Distortion is effectively zero so straight lines will be straight – 1/1500 sec. at F/1.2

Distortion is effectively zero so straight lines will be straight – 1/1500 sec. at F/1.2

Up close, the bokeh gets as creamy as the depth of field gets shallow – 1/1100 sec. at F//1.2

Up close, the bokeh gets as creamy as the depth of field gets shallow – 1/1100 sec. at F//1.2

Even at a distance, you can get some nice out of focus rendering on the foreground and background – 1/2200 sec. at F/1.6

Even at a distance, you can get some nice out of focus rendering on the foreground and background – 1/2200 sec. at F/1.6

Nice and sharp where you want, even wide open – 1/2500 sec. at F/1.2

Nice and sharp where you want, even wide open – 1/2500 sec. at F/1.2

The wide aperture can really help keep your ISO down in lowlight situations – 1/125 sec. at F/1.2

The wide aperture can really help keep your ISO down in lowlight situations – 1/125 sec. at F/1.2

I learned in one of my comparisons that F/1.4 is actually the Bokek sweet spot for this lens – 1/125 sec. at F/1.4

I learned in one of my comparisons that F/1.4 is actually the Bokek sweet spot for this lens – 1/125 sec. at F/1.4

You can expect some longitudinal aberrations at wider apertures, but nothing too extreme in practice – 1/125 sec. at F/1.4

You can expect some longitudinal aberrations at wider apertures, but nothing too extreme in practice – 1/125 sec. at F/1.4

The sharpness of Moe’s eye in this picture is incredible – 1/160 sec. at F/1.2

The sharpness of Moe’s eye in this picture is incredible – 1/160 sec. at F/1.2

With an Electronic shutter, you can shoot wide open, even at high shutter speeds – 1/6000 sec. at F/1.2

With an Electronic shutter, you can shoot wide open, even at high shutter speeds – 1/6000 sec. at F/1.2

Expect heavy vignetting wide open. In this case, I made it heavier – 1/1700 sec. at F/1.2

Expect heavy vignetting wide open. In this case, I made it heavier – 1/1700 sec. at F/1.2

1/350 sec. at F/5.6

1/350 sec. at F/5.6

1/105 sec. at F/1.2

1/105 sec. at F/1.2

1/1600 sec. at F/1.2

1/1600 sec. at F/1.2

1/125 sec. at F/1.2

1/125 sec. at F/1.2

30 sec. at F/11

30 sec. at F/11