Review: Fujifilm XF 56mm
18 April 2017 | Category: Stills
Portrait & Boudoir photographer, Tigz Rice, takes a closer look at Fujifilm's XF 56mm lens.
I’m planning to upgrade my equipment in the near future and I’ve been thinking of switching to Fujifilm for a while now. Now, I’ve read all the rave reviews the Fujifilm XF lenses have been getting but I needed to know who they would perform in my working environment - seeing is believing as they say. With that in mind, I hired all of the XF lenses that most closely fitted my current favourites on the Canon system. First up is the XF 56mm f1.2.
The 56mm f1.2 lens is a direct comparison for my favourite Canon lens, the 85mm f1.2, so I was really looking forward to seeing what it was capable of producing. Advertised on its ability to deliver beautiful background bokeh, it also features two extra-low dispersion elements and one double-sided aspherical element to control spherical and chromatic aberration.
Measuring up at approximately 73mm in diameter and 70mm in length, whilst weighing in at 405g without lens cap and hood (which also both come supplied with lens), this lens is all-metal and completely solid, making it feel like one of those lenses you know you can always rely on. It may not be the lightest lens in the world, but at less than half the weight of my Canon 85mm, the difference was definitely noticeable.
Offering a maximum aperture of f1.2, the XF 56mm is a seriously fast lens. With a minimum focusing distance of 0.7m, I was excited to see what the lens would be capable of on a location shoot. It certainly delivered. With images so sharp at f2.8 you can pick out individual eyelashes in a close-up, with minimal vignetting and almost no chromatic aberration thanks to the lens’ low dispersion elements - although any issues that did arise would be dealt with by the built-in lens profile available in the Fujifilm X-series camera bodies.
Shooting on the X-Pro2, the autofocus was quick and accurate, essential for capturing the fleeting moments and expressions I look for in my photography. Manual focusing is, of course, available on the lens, and combined with the focus-peaking feature on the X-Pro2, getting that critical focus when focussing manually at f1.2 was a breeze. It's also worth mentioning that there were a lot of light sources on location and the lens dealt with them fantastically with no light reflections.
In summary, the XF 56mm lens is brilliant. It is super sharp, quick to focus and performed very well in difficult lighting conditions. If you’re serious about your portraiture, the Fujifilm XF 56mm f1.2 R definitely sets the standard.
Model: Trixie Hell