Damien Demolder tests Fujifilm’s new wide-aperture portrait lens for the X series – a lens with a focal length that emulates the legendary 85mm
Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R review – Build and handling
With a lens cap of only 62mm, the XF 56mm is a nicely compact unit that is shorter, narrower and lighter than the equivalent lens from Panasonic’s G system – even though the Lumix G cameras use a smaller sensor.
The lens is built as well as we have come to expect from Fuji’s X-series fixed focal lengths, and the metal barrel and finely ribbed focusing ring feel very nice to the touch. I am disproportionally disappointed, though, that the lens comes with a plastic hood. The 60mm f/2.4 R Macro has a very nice metal hood and retails at only half the price. Perhaps the accountants are cracking down.
I found that the lens sits quite comfortably on both the X-Pro1 and X-T1 bodies, although the more substantial grip, both back and front, of the SLR-style X-T1 allows more secure and balanced purchase for the weight. Fuji places the aperture ring closest to the mount, so fingers of the supporting hand can find it with ease and without the photographer having to shift the holding position, whichever camera is in use.
There is sometimes a degree of whirring that goes on while an X-series camera focuses, and it seems the longer (or at least bigger) the lens, the longer it takes to focus. The 56mm on test here has more glass to move than any other fixed lens in the system, and I found that neither the X-Pro1 nor the X-T1 is especially deft at shifting it. While this is a test of the lens, not those cameras, the host body’s ability to make the lens work well has a definite impact on what all end users will be able to achieve.
In common with many compact system cameras, none of the Fuji bodies has a native ISO 100 setting, so the applications for getting use out of the f/1.2 aperture in daylight hours are somewhat limited.