Fujinon 56mm f1.2 – the mighty 56

I started photography one day, 35 years ago, and it was with a Fuji. I have a sentimental relationship with this brand, certainly more than with others. In 2010, with the X100, it was a huge brainstorm in my mind to start or not with a camera with a fixed lens. Several month later, it was a obviously a good choice. Now almost five years after I’m still a passionate fan of my Fuji cameras, particularly of the X-Pro1. A couple of ago I had the chance to find some second hands lenses, a Nokton 50mm f1.1, a Rigid Summicron 50mm of 1957 in perfect conditions and a Fujinon 56mm f1.2. Retrospectively, I think this is part of my photographic evolution. I like this particular rendering we can get with old lenses and also the character they provide.

The mighty 56

X-Pro1 & XF56/1.2 @ f1.2

Part of this path, the 56mm is a game changer. It provides exactly what I’m looking for, a very narrow depth of field and this wonderful bokeh. This is a very good surprise and at the end it is part of the « falling in love » photographic process. And this exactly what I’m feeling with this lens. It’s a perfect combo with a camera that is not what I had when I first purchased it, the X-Pro1.

La mariée était en noir

X-Pro1 & XF56/1.2 @ f1.2

During the past four years I get 3 different X-Pro1 cameras. It was necessary for me to make some cash and I sold my first. The second came as bargain from the second hand market, but it dies. I get another one under warranty of the second. But obviously, with the Kai Zen principle of Fuji, this camera has beneficed of the improvement of the firmware. It is really another camera today than 4 years ago. It works better and with a better autofocus. It’s not at the level of fast DSLR and you have to set the camera properly and to know to use it, but then it’s perfectly decent in my opinion.

Way to India

X-Pro1 & XF56/1.2 @ f1.2

One of the mistakes I was doing before was to set the autofocus rectangle as small as possible to make the focus point as precise as possible. This is a an error, the focus is the slower. After a discussion with another Fuji user I changed my mind and set the autofocus with a bigger window and surprisingly it works really better. The autofocus is faster and also more accurate. I just set my X-E1 with this principle and the camera works really better with another Fuji crazy lens the XF35/1.4.

Last summer ice cream

X-Pro1 & XF56/1.2 @ f1.2

This is my way to avoid as much as possible the programmed obsolescence, I like to use some old camera. I’m a geek, for sure, but I like to use old digital cameras, I like the way they behave and the imperfect rendering. I’ll certainly chase the old X100 with it’s 12MPx sensor for that. It’s crazy, but I think they are less chirurgical than the X100s per example. I would like to find the black special edition for that. I have to be patient… I’ll certainly be able to get it for less that a quarter of the original price. But, I’m a big fan of the X-Pro1, one of the best cameras I had in my hands. It’s lightyears from the complications of some others brands. I hope Fuji is not changing everything with the X-Pro2. The X-T1 is cool, but I don’t like to leave my nose « fingerprints » on the screen. The screen is large, my nose too. The X-Pro1 definitively fits my photographic philosophy. It’s close to Leica M bodies and I like that. I have a Leica M8, produced in 2007 according to its serial number, it’s a camera with plenty of … (grmbl!), but I’m doing some of my most beautiful photographs (IMHO) with it.

All the love of a mother

X-Pro1 & XF56/1.2 @ f1.2

So to get back to the 56, this is just an incredible rendering, It’s sharp wide open, maybe not in the corners, but it’s not not the purpose of a portrait lens. I tried to also for street photography. When you are out with a child in you hands, it’s not so an non-sense. This is also what I’m calling a winter lenses. I our latitudes, winter is dark, nights are long, and usually the sun is over the low clouds. That’s why for the half of the year, that kind of lens is useful for inner photography during the day.

La grande dame

X-Pro1 & XF56/1.2 @ f1.2

What I like with this lens, is the blend of sharpness and of blurred areas. But it is not like the other Fuji lenses that are sometimes surgically sharp. It has this little thing that provides character. This is what you get when you take a Leica Summicron 50 on the Fuji X series, especially when this awesome lens has more than 30 years old. To me, this is probably one of the most interesting Fuji lens with the wonderful but criticized 35mm f1.4. I agree, at the beginning of its lifecycle it has a very slow autofocus, but today, with the firmware updates, it performs decently. With the 56, the autofocus is really performing pretty well, with as usual the limitation of the fuji system. You need to learn how to catch the focus point as it is not working as well apparently as on a Nikon beast.

Chocolate master class

X-Pro1 & XF56/1.2 @ f1.2

So, to summarize, a wonderful lens, wonderful results, perfect for portraits with a blend of sharpness and softness in the bokeh that make it awesome. I got mine from the second hand market with almost three years of remaining warranty.

Ah, yes, I forgot one more thing. I do not need help for my growing family, as I’m not sponsored by any manufacturer or reseller… : ))

Cheers

Saturday afternoon on Earth

VS 1912

The photographer

First cold

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8 réflexions sur “Fujinon 56mm f1.2 – the mighty 56

  1. Bonjour Dragan,

    Effectivement, ce 56 mm de Fuji semble faire l’unanimité.

    Et pourtant, je ne l’a pas acquis pour l’offrir à mon X-Pro1. Fameux dilemme.

    Je considère en effet que cet objectif et cet appareil photo sont « en rupture ».
    Une double rupture même en raison de :
    – d’une part, la taille de l’objectif qui obstrue le viseur optique du X-Pro1, viseur qui le rend si attachant pour moi,
    – et d’autre part, l’encombrement général dudit objectif qui nuit à la « fluidité » du X-Pro 1 et à sa « portabilité ».

    73,2 x 69,7 mm/405 g pour ce Fujinon 56…

    Et je viens de préférer à ce superbe 56 mm de Fuji, le Zeiss Planar 50 mm F2… (acheté d’occasion dans un état neuf avec garantie de 6 mois pour 495 euros).

    51,50 x 43,40/210 g pour le Planar…

    Ici, Planar et X-Pro 1 semblent manifestement fait l’un pour l’autre.
    Et oui, je sais, sans autofocus mais avec le focus peaking et la possibilité de revenir à la visée optique une fois la mise au point réalisée.
    Tout cela exactement comme le Nokton 50 mm si cher à ton coeur…

    Bien à toi.

    N.B. : ceci dit, ce 56 mm de Fuji est une sacrée bête mais sans doute faite pour le XT1 !

    1. Ben pour être franc, je trouve qu’il va bien sur le X-Pro1 avec le grip. Sans., c’est vrai que c’est gros. Maintenant la combinaison avec le planar, je pense effectivement que ça doit bien balancer. J’ai un de mes combo préféré avec le 50 Summicron de Leica année de fabrication 1983. Maintenant, je m’essaie avec le 50mm Summicron type 1 Rigid de 1957. C’est vraiment très bon.

      Le prix est on ne plus correct pour ce planar qui est lui aussi une bête digne du Fuji.

      Maintenant avec un gosse dans chaque mains et même plus… l’autofocus est asseez agréable, je dois bien avouer… ; )

      Merci pour le passage, c’est toujours un plaisir.

      Cordialement

  2. Bonjour, grand fan de ce blog, le passage en anglais me chagrine énormément! je ne peux plus rêver que sur les images ! Merci quand même pour votre passion !

    1. Je pense que je vais rester en français aussi. Mais le Français est aussi très limitatif, surtout si on veut progresser, et je ne parle pas en terme d’audience. Il y a des défis personnels, et écrire un blog en anglais en est un. Maintenant, je réfléchi aussi à la manière de faire, et aussi si je ne vais pas le faire en deux langues. Traduire mes propos en français aussi. Ecrire un second article en français sur le même sujet. Je n’ai pas encore trouver comment procéder. Mais il est clair que je ne vais pas abandonner Jean-Batispte pour William. Dans mes articles en cours, il y a les deux. Mais c’est vrai que j’aime bien les défis, c’est ce qui me fait avancer.

  3. Ken would be happy to read you’re sponsoring him 😉
    Great lens that 56, but it’s quite large (like as the 23). Will keep on using the 35 as I found out it is more homogeneous when it comes to ergonomics, at least on the little X-Es/Pros.
    Congrats on your photoblog by the way!
    See ya dude
    Marco

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