The Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R WR replaces the old 56mm F1.2. The new lens has a new optical design and more aperture blades. It can also focus closer and it is weatherproof.
TESTRESULTS Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R WR:
The Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R WR is an excellent choice for APS-C portrait photography.
The Fujifilm Fujinon XF 56mm F1.2 R WR is the successor to the Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R. That was a fine lens. But that one dates back to spring 2014, so it is now over eight years old. 2014 was also the year the X-T1 was introduced. Fujifilm’s then top model with a whopping 16 megapixels. By now, 26 megapixels is pretty much normal at Fujifilm, and Fujifilm even has two 40-megapixel APS-C cameras with the X-H2 and X-T5. In short, what was good and good enough then is no longer so now. Fujifilm has already revamped quite a few fixed-focus lenses in 2021. For instance, there are already new or improved 18, 23 and 33mm lenses that are sharp enough for the 40 megapixel cameras. The Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R WR also fits into that list.
With its high luminosity of F1.2, the Fujifilm Fujinon XF 56mm F1.2 R WR is obviously very well suited for portraits. The focal length corresponds to that of an 85mm on 35mm, and in terms of depth of field you can expect a bokeh equivalent to that of an 85mm F1.8 lens on 35mm.
Those looking for the ultimate when it comes to bokeh could of course still opt for the XF 56mm F1.2 R APD. That’s the old 56mm with an apodizing element, for an even softer gradient blur. That one is still on sale. However, you then miss not only the better sharpness of the new 56mm, but also the weather resistance of the new lens. The Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R WR also focuses closer and has no fewer than 11 blades in the aperture for the most rounded aperture possible.
The Fujinon XF 56mm F1.2 R WR is a lens as you would expect from Fujifilm. An attractive, all-metal body with a finely ribbed focusing ring and an aperture ring behind it. The lens is wider at the front and narrows towards the back, towards the bayonet mount. It is slightly wider and slightly longer than the old 56mm, though the difference is not very big. What is a big difference is that the Fujifilm Fujinon XF 56mm F1.2 R WR is weatherproof with gaskets around all moving parts. This makes the lens more versatile, as you can now safely take it to locations that are wet and dusty.
The optical design is all-new and consists of 13 elements in 8 groups and includes 2 aspherical elements and 1 ED element. The aperture has as many as 11 blades. This keeps the aperture round even if you aperture a bit. The filter size is 67mm.
The Fujinon XF 56mm F1.2 R WR has a completely new AF system that is much heavier equipped than that of the old 56mm. As a result, its speed is a lot faster. This is always nice, of course, but it is certainly needed to keep pace with the improved AF systems of the new generation of cameras. In practice, you’ll definitely notice the difference. For studio portraits, you won’t notice so much, but if you do street photography or reportage work, then the extra speed is really useful.
The shortest focusing distance has also been improved. That was 70 cm or the old 56mm and is now 50 cm. The maximum magnification you get with this is 0.14x. That’s far from macro, but it does help to make a very close-up portrait or photograph details.
The MTF curves of the Fujinon XF 56mm F1.2 R WR look very good. The second graph, at 45 lines per mm, is much higher than the same graph of the old 56mm made at 30 lines per millimeter. The more lines per millimeter, the harder it is for the lens to render them well. So this is an excellent result.
In practice, we also see this – partially – reflected. The new 56mm performs better than the old one, although the differences are not always great. Especially at the largest apertures, sharpness in the corners is better than with the old lens. When you aperture down to F5.6 or F8, the differences between the old and new versions are barely noticeable. The XF 56mm F1.2 R WR is very good, and the fact that the old one is hardly inferior to it at the optimum apertures is a compliment to the old 56mm.
The Fujinon XF 56mm F1.2 R WR has a slightly higher contrast than the old 56mm and the lens does not suffer much from backlighting or flare. It is possible to get sun stars with the Fujinon XF 56mm F1.2 R WR, but you have to aperture considerably and they are not very sharp.
Vignetting is already very low without lens corrections, even at full aperture and with lens corrections they are practically absent. The Fujinon XF 56mm F1.2 R WR is also free of distortion and chromatic aberrations are minimal. We feel that the new Fujinon XF 56mm F1.2 R WR does not yet get the most out of the demanding 40-megapixel sensors of the X-H2 and the X-T5, and as a result, you wish this lens delivered even more sharpness. On the other hand, the lens scores so well that you can hardly find areas for improvement.
Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R WR
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|filter diameter||67 mm|
Conclusion test Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R WR
The Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R WR is an in many ways improved over its predecessor.
The Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R WR is a worthy successor to the previous 56mm F1.2 R. It is optically improved and the body is a whole lot better. The autofocus is faster, the shortest focusing distance is closer and it is also weatherproof. It is a lot more expensive than the old 56mm once was, though. That old version can now still be picked up new for a considerably lower amount. Those who just want a fine Fujifilm lens for portraits with little depth of field can take advantage of it by buying the old version. That’s a bargain right now. But if you have bought, or plan to buy, a new X-H2 or X-T5, it makes sense to buy the new lenses with it as well. Then you will make the most of the 40-megapixel sensor and improved autofocus of the newer cameras. The higher price of the Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R WR is something you have to be willing to pay for.