Fuji vs. Fuji’s FUJINON XF 56mm F1.2 (APD) Review
Originally published: September, 2019
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.
|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)|
|External Dimensions||73.2mm diameter × 69.7mm long|
449g with caps and hood
|Weather Sealing (WR)||No|
|Optical Image Stabilization (OIS)||None|
|Focus Motor||DC Coreless|
|Push/Pull Clutch Manual Focus Ring||No|
|Nano GI Coating||No|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Virtually non-existant, and nothing to be concerned about.
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.
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.
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.