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Fujinon XF 56mm f1.2 R Gordon Laing, March 2014
 

Fujifilm XF 56mm f1.2 R quality

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To evaluate the real-life performance of the Fujinon XF 56mm f1.2 lens, I shot this interior scene at every aperture setting using a Fujifilm XT1 mounted on a tripod.

The XT1 was set to its base sensitivity of 200 ISO and the lens focused on the center of the composition using magnified Live View assistance. The corner and center crops shown below were taken from the areas marked with the red squares, right, and presented at 100%.

I also shot this scene moments later using the Fujinon XF 18-55mm f2.8-4 kit zoom for a direct comparison and you can find this in the contents, above right. I also have separate pages comparing the depth of field and bokeh of these lenses.

  Fujifilm XF 56mm f1.2 R results
1 Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 sharpness
2 Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 vs 18-55mm
3 Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 bokeh
4 Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 bokeh comparison
5 Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 coma
6 Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 Sample images


For my lens tests I normally shoot in RAW and process the files with corrections disabled to see what's happening behind the scenes. But the more I shoot with the Fuji X system, the more I appreciate the out-of-camera JPEG performance, especially when using Lens Modulation Optimisation (LMO) on the XT1 with Fujinon lenses. I've also found few RAW converters which can do justice to the X-Trans sensor. So in a departure from previous tests I'm going to present crops from unaltered out-of-camera JPEGs here (with LMO enabled as default) as I believe they show the lens in the best light. I did of course also shoot the scene in RAW and if I find a workflow which delivers good results in the future I'll update this review with RAW comparisons as well.

From the crops below there's no arguing with the performance of the 56mm f1.2. Even with the aperture opened right up to f1.2 the details are impressively crisp into the far corners. As you scroll through the sequence you'll see the corners becoming brighter, indicating some vignetting at the brighter apertures, but it's easily corrected and there's really no other aberrations to note under normal use.

There is some benefit to closing the aperture, both to minimise vignetting and improve sharpness a little. I'd say the sweetspot is between f4 and f5.6, but unless you were comparing crops side-by-side, I'd say most people would be pretty happy shooting with this lens wide open. In this respect the 56mm is like the Leica Nocticron before it - a lens that's not just about light gathering power and shallow depth of field, but also very high performance across the frame even at the largest apertures. It's a very liberating thing to have a lens which is so usable at very bright apertures.

So a great start for the Fuji lens, but how does it compare to other options? On the next page I've compared it against the surprisingly good 18-55mm kit zoom, and beyond there you'll see how the bokeh and coma performance measures-up. You'll find it in my 56mm vs 18-55mm, 56mm bokeh and 56mm coma pages, or if you've seen enough, skip straight to my 56mm sample images or verdict!



Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 corner sharpness
Out of camera JPEG with LMO
 
Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 center sharpness
Out of camera JPEG with LMO
Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 corner crop at f1.2
Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 center crop at f1.2
     
Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 corner crop at f1.4
Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 center crop at f1.4
     
Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 corner crop at f2
Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 center crop at f2
     
Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 corner crop at f2.8
Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 center crop at f2.8
     
Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 corner crop at f4
Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 center crop at f4
     
Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 corner crop at f5.6
Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 center crop at f5.6
     
Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 corner crop at f8
Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 center crop at f8
     
Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 corner crop at f11
Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 center crop at f11
     
Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 corner crop at f16
Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 center crop at f16



Fujifilm XF 56mm f1.2 results : Sharpness / Sharpness vs 18-55mm / Bokeh / Bokeh Comparison / Coma

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