Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R (Fujifilm) - Review / Test Report - Analysis
Lens Reviews -
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The produced distortion of the Fujinon is marginal at just under 0.2%. This applies both to auto-corrected images as well as uncorrected RAW files.
The light falloff is a different story. In RAW mode the vignetting is heavy with a peak of ~1.8EV (f-stops) at f/1.2. The issue is already much improved at f/2 and essentially irrelevant from f/2.8 onwards. In auto-corrected JPEG mode, the camera digitally corrects the vignetting down to 0.9EV at max. aperture and 0.6EV at f/1.6. Interestingly it is fairly obvious that the camera "presses the brake" at these settings because the figures are identical with the RAW variant from f/2 onward.
Please note that vignetting compensation is lossy - it comes at cost of higher sensor noise in the image corners due to the required "amplification".
The Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R shows a very similar resolution characteristic to its in house cousin - the Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 R. At f/1.2 it is capable of delivering a very good center performance combined with good albeit not stellar borders/corners. Stopping down improves the quality slowly but steadily till reaching a peak quality around f/5.6. Interestingly the extreme corners are generally slightly better than the borders - this is unusual but not unprecedented. The center quality is excellent followed by very good to excellent borders/corners. Diffraction effects have a slight impact at f/8. As usual you should avoid smaller apertures than f/11.
The centering quality of tested sample was Okay. The field curvature is low.
Please note that the results were obtained from uncorrected RAWs.
Below is a simplified summary of the formal findings. The chart shows line widths
per picture height (LW/PH) which can be taken as a measure for sharpness.
If you want to know more about the MTF50 figures you may check out the corresponding
Chromatic Aberrations (CAs)
The lateral CAs (color shadows at hard contrast transitions) are already quite low with an average pixel width of 0.6px at the image borders at f/1.2. The issue is reduced down to around 0.2px at and beyond f/2.8 - this is negligible.
A very important aspect of an ultra-large aperture (portrait-)lens is the quality of the bokeh (rendering of the out-of-focus blur) and the Fujinon doesn't disappoint us here.
The general out-of-focus blur is smooth both in front of the focus point as well as beyond.
Out-of-focus highlights are quite evenly rendered with only a slight outlining effect at f/1.2 and, less so , at f/2. The highlight discs are circular in the image center but the shape deteriorates a bit towards the image corners. The latter is a rather normal vignetting effect that can be reduced by stopping down. A more edgy aperture shape is visible from f/2 onward - this is surprisingly "early".
Bokeh fringing is an axial color fringing effect. It can show up as purple halos in front of the focus point and greenish halos in the background. Just like most of ultra-large aperture lenses the Fujinon is also affected. As to be expected the effect is most pronounced at f/1.2 and decreases the more you stop down. You can still spot some traces at f/2.8 but this is not relevant anymore from f/4 onward.
VerdictThe Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R mimics pretty much the behaviour of the Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 R - and that's a good thing really. It combines an ultra-large aperture with high quality results. At large aperture settings the center quality is already pretty high whereas the borders/corners are at least on a good level. The resolution is much more snappy at f/2.8 and images are very sharp across the image field between f/4 and f/8. The very low amount of lateral CAs also contributes to the high sharpness perception. Image distortions are nothing to worry about whereas vignetting can be an issue in RAW images at f/1.2 and f/1.6. However, Fujifilm is relying on image auto-correction so this is usually a lesser issue from a user perspective. The rendering of the bokeh is impressive thanks to a smooth blur and good out-of-focus highlights. There is, of course, some bokeh fringing but that's true for the vast majority of lenses in this aperture class.
The build quality of the XF 56mm f/1.2 R is very high and as such in line with the other Fujinon XF lenses. It is mostly made of metal and precisely assembled although we miss a weather sealing which should be standard at this price point. The AF is pretty fast on the X-T1 although the combo is still stays a little short of what we can experience on similar DSLRs-based combos.
As already mention, the Fujinon is a bit pricey in absolute terms but high speed simply comes at a price. However, when looking at the results, it is a fair offering and simply also an obvious choice for Fujifilm users looking for an ultra-fast lens for street or portrait photography. Therefore highly recommended!