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Fujifilm Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R Lens Review

Gary Wolstenholme reviews this bright 56mm f/1.2 prime lens for Fujifilm X series cameras.

|  Fujifilm Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R in Interchangeable Lenses
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Handling and Features

Fujifilm Fujinon Aspherical Lens 56mm F1 2 R XF (8)

This telephoto lens for the Fujifilm X-series interchangeable lens cameras provides a field of view equivalent to an 84mm lens on a 35mm camera, sports a very bright f/1.2 maximum aperture and costs around £890. 

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R Handling and Features

Fujifilm Fujinon Aspherical Lens 56mm F1 2 R XF (5)

The lens barrel is constructed from a combination of metal and high quality plastics, which has resulted in robust build. It is very lightweight, weighing 405g, especially given that it sports a fast f/1.2 maximum aperture. As a result it complements the Fujifilm X-Pro1 used for testing perfectly.

Focusing is performed internally, so the lens does not extend. As a result, the 62mm filter thread does not rotate, making it perfect for use with polarising and graduated filters. A deep circular hood attaches to the bayonet around the front of the lens. The manual focusing ring is well damped, making fine adjustments a pleasure to apply.

Fujifilm Fujinon Aspherical Lens 56mm F1 2 R XF (18)

To complement the retro styling of Fuji's X-series cameras, this 56mm lens has a manual aperture ring for selecting your desired setting in a more traditional way. This aperture ring has each full stop marked, but has click stops for each intermediate 1/3 stop setting, and an 'A' setting for automatic operation. The aperture ring only requires a light touch to move through the aperture range, which is great for making quick adjustments, but care is required when changing lenses, as the aperture ring is easily moved.

Auto focus hunts a little in all conditions, but not as much as some other X-series lenses. The lens focuses accurately at wide apertures, so long as enough time is given for it to lock onto a subject.

Fujifilm Fujinon Aspherical Lens 56mm F1 2 R XF (16)

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R Performance

At maximum aperture, sharpness in the centre of the frame is very good, but the clarity towards the edges only reaches fairly good levels. This won't pose too much of an issue for portraiture, or for other photographic disciplines that require high sharpness in the centre of the frame.

As the lens is stopped down, sharpness levels increase across the frame, with outstanding sharpness being achieved from edge to edge between f/2.8 and f/11.

MTF @ 56mm
MTF @ 56mm

How to read our charts

The blue column represents readings from the centre of the picture frame at the various apertures and the green is from the edges. Averaging them out gives the red weighted column.

The scale on the left side is an indication of actual image resolution. The taller the column, the better the lens performance. Simple.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Fujifilm X-Pro1 using Imatest.

Chromatic aberrations are well controlled, with fringing only just exceeding half a pixel width at f/1.4 towards the edges of the frame. This low level of CA should be very difficult to spot, even in harsh crops from the edges of the frame, or in large reproductions.

CA @ 56mm
CA @ 56mm

How to read our charts

Chromatic aberration is the lens' inability to focus on the sensor or film all colours of visible light at the same point. Severe chromatic aberration gives a noticeable fringing or a halo effect around sharp edges within the picture. It can be cured in software.

Apochromatic lenses have special lens elements (aspheric, extra-low dispersion etc) to minimize the problem, hence they usually cost more.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Fujifilm X-Pro1 using Imatest.

Falloff of illumination towards the edges of the frame is typical for a wide aperture lens, with the corners being 1.7 stops darker than the image centre at f/1.2. Visually uniform illumination is achieved with the lens stopped down to f/4 or beyond.

Imatest was only able to detect a level of 0.0216% barrel distortion. For all intents and purposes this extremely low level of distortion can be considered negligible.

With, or without, the deep circular hood attached, this lens is very resistant to flare, even in harsh backlit situations. Contrast levels remain good when shooting into the light also.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R Sample Photos

Value For Money

This 56mm lens from Fuji costs around £890, which is quite good value for an 85mm equivalent lens with a maximum aperture of f/1.2.

There are currently no comparable lenses available for Fuji X-series cameras. Canon's 85mm f/1.2 is probably the best known medium telephoto with a maximum aperture of f/1.2 and that costs around £1700!

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R Verdict

This lens is a fine addition to the X-series lens line up. It is incredibly sharp when stopped down, and performs well wide open too. The build and handling are also of the same high standard we've come to expect from Fujifilm.

The price of £890 seems quite reasonable when compared to alternatives produced for other camera systems too.

  The Fujifilm Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R is incredibly sharp with a high quality build.

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R Pros

Very good sharpness in the centre at maximum aperture
Outstanding sharpness across the frame when stopped down
Traditional design
Excellent build

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R Cons

Out of focus backgrounds can look a little 'busy' in images taken at close focusing distances


Fujifilm Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R Specifications

Lens Mounts
  • Fujifilm X Mount
Focal Length56mm
Angle of View28.5
Max Aperturef/1.2
Min Aperturef/16
Filter Size62mm
35mm equivalent85mm
Internal focusingYes
Maximum magnificationNo Data
Min Focus70cm
Box Contents
Box ContentsNo Data
HeightNo Data

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dannyr 13 46 United Kingdom
31 Mar 2014 5:14PM
It's amazing to watch Fuji go from strength to strength, they really have been on fire recently.

I think Canikon ignoring the mirrorless market has really been a good thing, otherwise Fuji might never have made enough of a dent to succeed.
sasan 9 36 England
31 Mar 2014 6:54PM
Oh my!Tongue I'd die to see a fullframe sensor on a fuji camera & a superzoom lens
peterjones 20 5.2k 1 United Kingdom
2 Apr 2014 6:11PM
It won't be long before the two ugly sisters will want to wet their beak and produce a mirrorless DSLR; in the meantime Fuji have a clear run with their X-T1 and their fabulous lenses.
Have you ever used 56mm wide open at a focus distance more than 10m? I'd really like to know if it can focus accurately at such a distance and how it renders the foreground blur.

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