Fuji 56mm f/1.2
Fuji Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 for X-mount cameras (metal 62mm filter thread, 14.0 oz./398g, 2.3'/0.7m close focus, about $999). enlarge. I got mine at Adorama. You also can get them at this link to them at Amazon.
This free website's biggest source of support is when you use those or these links to approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live — but I receive nothing for my efforts if you take the chance of buying elsewhere. Thanks! Ken.
Sample Image Files (more throughout the review)
Palm Fronds, 02 May 2014, 4:51PM. (Fuji X-T1 at Auto ISO 200, standard color mode, +2 color saturation, XF 56mm f/1.2, f/4.5 at 1/1,000, Perfectly Clear.) Full-resolution file from camera-original JPG.
This Fuji XF 56mm f/1.2 is an extraordinary aspherical 85mm-equivalant short tele lens that only works on Fuji X-mount cameras. As the world's newest ultra-speed tele, this lens has superior optical performance.
This Fuji tele has no visible distortion, is super-sharp right out to the edges at f/1.2, has no lateral color fringes and has no visible light falloff even at f/1.2 as shot on the Fuji X-T1.
Not only is it ultra-sharp, it focuses ultra-accurately and has outstanding bokeh and sunstars. I've never used a better 85mm-equivalant lens, and on the Fuji system, this lens is only about 2/3 the size of the mostly plastic Nikon 85/1.4G ($1,600 and 20.8 oz./591g) or Canon 85mm f/1.2 L II ($2,000 and 34.2 oz./971g.). This Fuji lens is half the weight of the Canon and Nikon lenses.
The only gotcha with this Fuji lens is that there is no instant manual-focus override. You have to move a switch on the camera to get to or from manual focus mode.
The Fuji X-Mount Lenses are all extraordinary. What most photographers don't realize is that Fuji has for many decades, just like Canon and Nikon, also made far more advanced optics, like binoculars for the military and for use in space, as well as lenses for motion pictures and television with six-figure price tags at discount. Unlike mud brands like Sigma and Tamron (or even LEICA), Fujinon has loads of experience actually supplying optics that cost more than some people's houses, and puts that same know-how into these lenses.
Fuji X-mount XF 56mm f/1.2.
Fuji 56 f/1.2 at f/1.2.
Fuji calls this the Fujinon Aspherical Lens Super EBC XF 56mm f/1.2 R, or XF56mmF1.2 R.
Fujinon is Fuji's brand name for their lenses.
Aspherical means specially shaped lens elements for better sharpness.
Super EBC is Electron Beam Coating, also known as multicoating or HT-EBC coating.
XF is Fuji's line of lenses for their X-mount cameras.
R means approved by Rockwell.
Fuji 56/1.2 internal diagram.
11 elements in 8 groups.
1 element with 2 aspheric surfaces and 2 extra low dispersion elements.
7 rounded blades.
Stops down to f/16 in 1/3-stop clicks.
When used on the X-mount cameras with their 1.52x sensors, it sees the same angle of view as a 85mm lens sees when used on a 35mm camera.
When used on the X-mount cameras in their 1:1 square crop mode, it sees the same angle of view as a 200mm portrait lens sees when used on a 6x6cm (2¼"square) medium-format camera. This is about the same as a 105mm lens sees when used on a 35mm camera.
See also Crop Factor.
Angle of view
DC coreless AF motor.
No external movement as focussed, so little to no air or dust is sucked in.
2.3 feet (0.7 meters) in normal or in Macro modes.
Maximum Reproduction Ratio
Metal 62mm filter thread.
Fuji 56mm f/1.2 with included hood.
Plastic bayonet-mount hood included.
2.88" diameter x 2.74" long.
73.2 mm diameter x 69.7 mm long.
14.050 oz. (398.25g), measured, lens only.
Fuji specifies 14.3 oz. (405g).
06 January 2014.
Front and rear caps.
"Lens wrapping cloth."
Box, Fuji XF 56mm f/1.2.
Inside the micro-corrugated cardboard box are pulp-formed cardboard holders for the plastic-wrapped lens and hood. A small folded tray of microcorrugated cardboard lies on top to hold the manual and lens wrapping cloth.
$999, Jan - May 2014.
When I get as fantastic a lens as this to review, it makes my life much easier since there's much less to say other than to try to find new superlatives.
Autofocus is fast, and it's also perfectly accurate, especially at f/1.2.
Fuji's focus system is closed-loop, read directly from the image sensor, so it automatically compensates for any mechanical errors.
Open-loop systems of DSLRs and LEICAs can't compensate for these errors and sometimes have focus errors (offsets) which we don't have in the Fuji system. Bravo!
Crop at 100% from above. If this is 6" (15cm) wide on your screen, the complete print would be 35 x 24" (1 x 0.7m) at this same high magnification. Complete full-resolution image.
Bokeh is exquisite. I've never seen better soft, smooth backgrounds that just melt away — while the subject pops out in ultra sharpness:
See also the full-resolution file of the image I shared under Focus.
Distortion, as shot on the X-T1 which may be correcting it automatically, is completely invisible, whoo hoo!
For critical scientific use, plug these figures into Photoshop's lens distortion filter. These aren't facts or specifications, they are the results of my research that requires hours of photography and calculations on the resulting data.
© 2014 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.
Fuji XF 56mm f/1.2 for X-mount cameras.
Ergonomics are great! It feels great to have a real metal lens in my hands. The only other real metal lenses made today are almost exclusively from LEICA; Nikon and Canon have been churning out mostly plastic since the 1980s.
The dedicated aperture ring is also mandatory for real photography, but absent on most other brands of lenses.
A petty whine about the great aperture ring is that it needs a deeper detent or an easily-released lock at A, otherwise it's easy to knock it to f/16 by accident.
Light falloff is completely invisible, even at f/1.2, as shot on the X-T1 which is probably correcting it automatically.
Even shooting white walls wide-open at f/1.2 to exaggerate it, it's still insignificant.
Fuji 56mm f/1.2 shot at f/1.2 on Fuji XT1.
There's no problem with vignetting, even with several stacked filters!
The filter ring doesn't move.
The all-metal filter ring is a pleasant surprise compared to the plastic rubbish from other brands.
There's no problem with ghosts.
Even under the most devious conditions I could devise, all I got was one dim blob, and this is with a Nikon 52mm L37c filter.
No problems here.
There are no lateral color fringes as shot on the X-T1.
Clean enough? Note the absence of any lateral or axial color fringes. 03 May 2014. (X-T1 at ISO 100, standard color mode, +2 color saturation, XF 56mm f/1.2, f/2.5 at 1/4,000, Perfectly Clear.) Unprocessed Camera-Original © file.
it doesn't get very close:
Crop from above image in 35 x 24" (1 x 0.7m) print (100% pixel-to-pixel).
But it sure is sharp. This sample above is shot at f/1.2!
Rear, Fuji X-mount XF 56mm f/1.2. enlarge.
The Fuji XF 56 1.2 is built much better than anything from Nikon or Canon today. It's built as well as LEICA lenses, with much newer technology to boot.
It's all anodized aluminum, not cheesy plastic.
All parts are anodized aluminum.
None; in-finder only.
None; in-finder only.
Front ring, laser-engraved.
Laser engraved on rear of lens barrel.
Rain seal at mount
Noises When Shaken
With those caveats, the Fuji XF 56/1.2 is among the sharpest lenses I've ever tested. This lens is super-sharp out to the edges even at f/1.2 as shot on the 16MP X-T1, and Fuji's claimed diffraction compensation (lens optimization) really does keep it just as sharp at f/16!
If you can't make a sharp photo with this lens, you're doing something wrong.
I only rarely saw the slightest hint of any spherochromatism (called color bokeh by hobbyists). This means that out-of-focus highlights remain neutral and don't take on any slight color fringes.
The 7-blade diaphragm makes exquisite sunstars.
There's even a star on a reflection on the frond! This is superb.
I've not used any modern lens with better sunstars!
The Fuji XF 56mm f/1.2 is an extraordinary lens. When a lens is just about optically and mechanically perfect, there isn't much to say, other than to get one.
This is an extraordinary short, fast tele. Its smooth background bokeh makes it magnificent for any sort of portrait work, and its extreme sharpness and freedom from optical imperfection render it wonderful for any kind of photography.
There are no better lenses to use on the Fuji system at any price. Forget slumming with LEICA or other off-brand lenses; you can't get anything sharper and any other lens won't autofocus or autoexpose or log data or be optimized by the camera's DSP, and no other lens will have a diaphragm that opens and closes automatically as needed for focus and shooting.
If you've found my research here helpful, my support to run this free website comes from when you use these links to it at Adorama or at Amazon when you get yours, or any or these links to approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live.
Please always use these links when getting any of your gear so I can continue to share what I know; it's what supports me. If you take the chance of buying elsewhere (or especially at retail), remember that Fuji doesn't seal its boxes. Unlike a bottle of milk, a $12 CD, DVD or Blu-Ray which is sealed, buy your 56mm lens elsewhere or at retail and you'll not only cheat me out of the work I've done here to help you, you run the risk of getting a lens that's a customer return or been used for store demos.
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12 May 2014