Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R APD ( Fujifilm ) - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Fujifilm X

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published June 2015


A little while ago we reviewed the Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R - a great if not even awesome lens. However, it seems as if Fujifilm saw some extra potential here. Thus they took the same design, added an apodization filter and named the whole thing Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R APD. Now on paper, this may not sound like a big deal ... a filter ... but by doing so they injected magic into the lens! An apodization filter smoothes the bokeh's outlines which is big, really big especially in difficult scenes with harsh contrasts. And lenses such as a 56mm f/1.2 are really meant to be used at fully open aperture for separating an object from the rest of the world. Unfortunately, the extra glory comes at a price - the Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R is already fairly expensive at 1000US$ and the APD adds an extra 500US$ to the bill.

Typical for most Fujinon lenses, the build quality is very good thanks to a tightly assembled metal body based on a metal mount. The focus ring operates very smoothly. Interestingly the lens does not provide the focus clutch mechanism that we have seen in the Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R and XF 23mm f/1.4 R. Fuji's strategy is a little unclear in this respect. The lens has also a dedicated aperture ring with distinctive 1/3EV steps. You may notice that the aperture ring shows white and red-colored numbers. The red numbers indicate the T-value (transmission value) and at large-aperture settings they are a little slower because of the APD filer. A barrel-shaped lens hood made of plastic is part of the package.

Ages ago Minolta (now Sony) introduced the 135mm f/2.8 STF ... the only other mainstream lens featuring an apodization filter out there (as of the time of this review). Because of the filter, the lens didn't provide auto-focusing. Well, that was at a time when the dinosaurs (DSLRs) still ruled the world but the situation is a bit different with mirrorless cameras now. The effect of apodization filter is poison for phase-detection AF systems but in the mirrorless world, contrast-detection AF is naturally available thus the Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R APD can fully take advantage of this. While there's a slight penalty in certain situations, the AF speed remains certainly fast enough (without being really fast though). The AF noise level is low albeit noticeable. Manual focusing works "by wire" thus by triggering the AF motor - this works fairly well although the ultra-large aperture makes things more delicate compared to slower lenses.

Equiv. focal length"85mm" (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperture"f/1.8" (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction11 elements in 8 groups inc. 1x aspherical, 2xED elements & 1x apodization filter
Number of aperture blades7 (circular)
min. focus distance0.7m (1:11)
Filter size62mm
Hoodsupplied, petal-shaped, bayonet mount
Other featuresApodization filter! ND8 neutral density filter

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