56 WITH THE 56 | FUJIFILM XF 56MM F1.2 FIRST IMPRESSIONS

 FUJIFILM XF 56MM

Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 – I have been flirting with this lens for about 5 months now but I don’t own a copy yet which is a bit of a surprise considering the fact that I have always had a thing for fast-medium-telephoto lenses; an 85mm f/1.4 has always been part of my professional kit – I have owed a Carl Zeiss Planar and a Nikkor 85mm in the past. The inclusion of this lens in my kitbag should be a no-brainer, heck this use to be my favourite focal length, however it hasn’t worked out that way.

I have spent the past 2 years documenting 99% of my work with just the XF 35mm f/1.4 and the X100S with its native 23mm lens. As a result, the FOV of 50mm and 35mm have become natural to me. I can pre-visualise images at these field of views even before I take them – “this will look good at 35mm and that will look better at 50mm.” I wouldn’t say I have mastered seeing everything through these perspectives yet, but I have a rough idea of how an image is going to look even before I raise a camera to my eye. I feel “at home” shooting at 35mm &  50mm.

I contemplated on switching things up and going with 35mm + 85mm combination this season – a popular choice amongst many wedding photographers, but…

General Reportage:

I like to get in closer to the action and my clients gives me the freedom to move around as I wish so I hardly need anything beyond a 50mm ; The 85mm seems a bit too long – isolated headshots are really not my thing, I like to tell stories in context. For this reason, I have decided to stick with the 35mm & 50mm perspectives that has served me so well over the past 2 years for general reportage.

Portraits:

Currently, I am not crazy for the shallowest depth of field / creamiest bokeh. My focus at the moment when creating portraits are lighting, framing, composition, and my subjects personalities. The XF 35mm f/1.4 is a brilliant portrait lens and it allows me to do things just how I like it, if I could have only one lens out of the current Fujifilm range it will be that.

Final Thoughts:

The 56mm f/1.2 is an amazing lens no doubt! But I am struggling to see how it will fit into the way I currently like to do things. If I am to buy a copy now, I can see it been restricted to the role of coming out of my bag for a few frames during portrait sessions, in that case will I be better of with the APD version as my specialist portraits lens? Also the X-Pro 2, when is it coming out? it make more sense to shoot with the 56mm in EVF mode as to the OVF mode – I don’t have the luxury of the awesome viewfinder found in the X-T1.

I will eventually get one (hopefully there will be an optional metal hood for it by then), I just happen to be in no rush to do so despite the fact that this is a stunning piece of glass. If you are a Wedding / Portrait photographer either using the Fujifilm X-Series or considering the system and 85mm is naturally part of the way you see things, then you won’t be disappointed with this beauty. It is flipping brilliant and makes a lovely combination with the X-T1. When I do buy a copy and put it through its paces, I will write up a full review in which I will discuss Build Quality, Image Quality, Focus Speed etc as well as a comparison with the XF 35MM 1.4, however don’t bank on it to be anytime soon though.

Until then, here are 56 frames created with the Fujinon XF 56mm 1.2. All images were taken at either f/1.2 or f/1.4 with an X-Pro 1.

Drop me a line of there is anything you will like to discuss.

V.

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Comments

comments

  • Philipp Winter said:

    Wow! Beautiful pictures! Regarding the colors: VSCO or custom?

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  • Casie Shimansky said:

    Stunning images, as always! When I made the switch to Fuji X-Series...I picked up a 56 instinctively for portraits and have YET to use it (Crazy, I know!) I have an engagement session tomorrow though that I am SUPER excited about and I can see this lens making an appearance.

  • Hamish Harrison said:

    Awesome post! I feel ya, not sure if I would use the 56mm as much as I hope so i'll probably just stick with the 35mm and the 18mm for now. Now I just have to make the jump to Fuji!!!!!

  • Robin et les Super Héros / Photographe + Vidéaste / Lyon et ailleurs said:

    You know Vincent, I bought the 56mm.. And sold it.
    Feel exactly the same than you.
    Such a great and expensive glass... Could not stay most of the time in my bag ;-)

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  • Cameron Mead said:

    Very nice enjoyed seeing your take on it & photos are amazing as usual! Using a rokkor 58 1.4 at the moment for those odd creative times i use that length & love it. The 56 1.2 is a win win though if you have the money :)