The Fujifilm XF56mm F1.2 II Lens First Impressions

The XF56mm F1.2 is a legendary lens for Fujifilm, almost as much as the original 35mm F1.4 for the X-mount. Take a look at my initial impressions and further.

Captured on the Fujifilm X-H2 by Gajan Balan - Man sitting down in the outdoors.

The XF56mm F1.2 is a legendary lens for Fujifilm, almost as much as the original 35mm F1.4 for the X-mount. I owned and used this lens extensively, and in a very-dated review, I talked about how I'd love an update with weather-sealing and better focusing. Well, here it is.

With an 85mm full-frame equivalent focal length, the new 56mm F1.2 looks to be the premium portrait lens for X-series photographers. Now I should mention that this is not a review. We only had the lens for a week. If you've watched this channel, you know I love to put some severe reps before I get critical with any of these products until let's study how this lens improves from the predecessor and the quality of images captured.

This 56mm is designed for higher resolution sensors, like the recently announced X-H2. They've changed the optics to include 13 elements instead of 11 and doubled the aspherical elements to... well, two. This simply comes together for a lens that resolves images with better clarity, were punching in for a tighter crop will give you good options.

While we don't have a linear motor, this 56 got an updated DCM motor and weather-sealing, which makes it noticeably faster and more reliable. I found that it locked into subjects much faster, hunted less, and tracked issues more precisely. Is it as quickly as something like the 18mm F1.4? Probably not, but you'll probably notice this gap more in the video than in a photo.

For Photographers

The images from the new XF56mm F1.2 have a cleaner look and, somehow, better sharpness and clarity where needed. The difference may not seem monumental to most people, but early on, I found that this has a similar optical response to the new XF33mm F1.4. This is also somewhat confirmed by Fujifilm, where they said that this lens isn't 100% precisely the identical reproduction as the original, but that was by design.

Images have less chromatic aberration and flare, which isn't surprising considering the visual upgrades. What did surprise me, though, was the focusing distance, which lets you get as close as 50cm to your subject. This is awesome. I love working the distance between myself and the subject, where you can juxtapose two different shots. I got a lot of respect for the engineers at Fujifilm for being able to improve this noticeably.

This lens delivers better results if you measure better in a more clinical way. I don't think it makes the old version obsolete. That lens has a unique look and will still give you kick-ass results on most sensors. The most crucial difference right now is how this new 56mm lets you shoot. There's no denying that it allows you to work faster, in more places, and with much more ease.

Moment Fujifilm 16780028 XF56mm F1 2 R WR Lens Thumbnail

Fujifilm

XF 56mmF1.2 R WR Lens

Eyeing a great standard lens for your Fuji? The XF 56mm F1.2 R WR has been precisely engineered to deliver images with clarity and detail.

Buy for $999.95

Shot with F/1.2

Shot with F/2.8

Shot with F/5.6

Shot with F/11

At 445g, it's a wildly approachable lens that doesn't significantly change how you use your camera. And when you look at the results you can reach, it makes you appreciate one of the core tenets of the Fujifilm ecosystem: beautiful results in a compact solution. Compound this with the $999 price tag, and it's something that doesn't wall off a colossal market of shoppers. When you weigh the results and value of this lens against the price, it becomes a no-brainer for those who make money capturing people and portraits.

I mean, there's a reason why I—very cautiously—said the previous version is one of those lenses that will make you a better photographer. The mix of perspective, image quality, and mechanics made almost any subject come to life. And this new one, it's something that takes that top-class lens and makes it better. If this last week indicates what life with this lens could be, I'll likely be upgrading to this portrait lens very soon.