A Look at The Fujifilm XF 56mm f1.2 R APD Lens

A Look at The Fujifilm XF 56mm f1.2 R APD Lens:

I imagine some of you are getting ready for Thanksgiving, so I’m going to keep it short today.  I know I still have to do a little last minute food shopping myself but I thought I’d write up one more post before Thanksgiving.  So, last night I was working on some of the pictures for my upcoming Fuji X-E3 review (which I’ll probably post next week), and I started to look at a couple of files I took with the XF 56mm f1.2 APD.  The lens is my own copy, not a loaner but I haven’t used it in months until a couple of days ago with the X-E3.  The funny thing is it’s been so long since I’ve used the XF 56mm APD that I kind of forgot how much of an impact this lens has in terms of rendering.  The smooth bokeh is so pleasing…to be honest, it kind of surprised me in a good way.

So, I went back to some of my older images I had in my backup drives, and found a few.  I actually have quite a lot of portraits I never posted here for some reason.  I decided to rework these, and thought I’d put them up.  I think a couple of these are in a post I did a long time ago but I re-processed them in Capture One this time.  While I still have ones I have not posted here, I will one day but I wanted to post these particularly because of the bokeh.  I just love how this lens transitions from sharpness to a buttery smoothness.  In my opinion, the XF 56mm f1.2 APD is really something special.  It’s one of those lenses that isn’t necessarily all about technical perfection.  Yes, it is sharp, etc. but it has a character to it that makes it unique.  In my opinion, that’s what you’re paying for when you buy a lens like this one.

The XF 56mm f1.2 R APD lens does have its weaknesses.  For one, the price is higher than the regular version, and the autofocus isn’t as fast but quite honestly, I just don’t care because I just love what this lens produces at f1.2.  Of course, the non-APD version is excellent as well; I actually reviewed it a while back, and loved it.  It was actually a little difficult for me to decide which version to buy.  In the end, I thought of what I was really going to use this lens for most, and the answer is portraits.  So, I felt that the positives of the APD version far outweighed the negatives for me.  I did save some money with a Fuji rebate offer but truthfully, even if I didn’t get anything off, I would’ve jumped for it.  I don’t trade my lenses in often if ever, so I know I would get my money’s worth.

The funny thing is, I’ve reviewed almost all the Fuji lenses but not this one yet.  I think after the X-E3 review, I will take a closer look at the XF 56mm APD, and maybe right up a review.  I’ve owned this lens for a long time now, so I feel I know the quirks, and its strengths pretty well.  Anyway, for those who celebrate it, have a great Thanksgiving!  Thanks for stopping by!

11 comments… add one
  • I agree wholeheartedly that the APD version is something special. I originally bought the regular version but found its bokeh rather harsh in some situations, so I ended up returning it and got the APD instead. Have been happy with it ever since.

    • Patrick

      That’s great to hear, Carsten! It’s really one of the best lenses in the Fuji X Series collection. Thanks for stopping by, and leaving a comment! Nice photos on your site!

      Best,

      Patrick

  • Steve

    Hi Patrick,
    I also had the ‘regular’ 56mm and when my professional career ended I sold it. Shortly thereafter I wanted something longer than my 35mm f2 (Fujicron) so I bought the 50mm f2 and now have Fuji 14mm, 23mm f2, 35mm f2, 35mm Mitakon, 50mm f2 and Canon 135 FD f2.8 with a Vello adapter. So, I’d say I have all the bases covered at nice prices.
    Cheers,
    Steve

    • Patrick

      Hi Steve,

      It definitely sounds like you have everything covered! I think one day I may add the Mitakon 35mm in my collection :). I loved that lens when I reviewed it.

      Best,

      Patrick

  • Mahesh

    Hi Patrick… The 56 apd! What a lens. That is the lens one might want to buy a Fuji camera. I didn’t like the non apd version at all, seems more hollow and felt as if it couldn’t cope with highlights. The APD however brings out pictures that look sharp and processed straight out with lovely fall off. That is on my list to buy next. I have at the moment new xe3 and 27/2.8.

    • Patrick

      Hi Mahesh!

      This is my favorite lens for the Fuji system. It has such a special look to it, and yes, you should definitely look into getting one soon :). You bought the X-E3? Nice! How do you like it? The 27mm is one of my favorite lenses. It’s perfect in terms of size, and IQ. It’s definitely on my list of lenses to purchase one day.

      Best,

      Patrick

      • Mahesh

        Hi Patrick, I was first very annoyed with evf as I thought it was too small to look through. Then I adjusted the diopter and it looked much better! still I wish it was as big as leica CL has. I love the camera body, just feels right. The focus is Fuji-quick and ooc images are great.
        I bought 27mm when I was playing with xa3 for the last 3 months. This sort of combination, now with xe3 is my version of x100f. -giving flexibility and compactness. The mitakon is on order from b & h sale yesterday. Unfortunately the black version wasn’t on sale so had to do with silver body, looks a bit cheap on the website pictures, fingers crossed. My nephew from Seattle is bringing it when we all meet in India next month.. as I live in the UK. can’t wait 🙂

  • Mahesh

    Oh yes and I’m thinking of mitakon.

    • Patrick

      Hi Mahesh,

      The Mitakon is one of the best lenses for the X Series system if you ask me. I found it surprisingly easy to focus too :).

      Best,

      Patrick

  • Mahesh

    Hi Patrick, I was first very annoyed with evf as I thought it was too small to look through. Then I adjusted the diopter and it looked much better! still I wish it was as big as leica CL has. I love the camera body, just feels right. The focus is Fuji-quick and ooc images are great.
    I bought 27mm when I was playing with xa3 for the last 3 months. This sort of combination, now with xe3 is my version of x100f. -giving flexibility and compactness. The mitakon is on order from b & h sale yesterday. Unfortunately the black version wasn’t on sale so had to do with silver body, looks a bit cheap on the website pictures, fingers crossed. My nephew from Seattle is bringing it when we all meet in India next month.. as I live in the UK. can’t wait 🙂

    • Patrick

      Hi Mahesh!

      I love the body but I felt the X-E1 was a little more comfortable in my hands. However, I love that they removed the direction buttons. I hope they do the same with other future Fuji bodies :).

      The 27mm is one of my favorite lenses for the Fuji system. I don’t know why I never bought one but in my opinion, it is sorely underrated. It produces great images, and it’s ultra compact. I particularly love the focal length too. I’m not a huge fan of the 35mm focal length. I prefer a 50mm but sometimes you do need something wider. The 27mm is perfect for my needs.

      Good to hear you ordered the Mitakon. It’ll be a nice lens to add to your collection. I didn’t review the silver version but the black version looked better in person, so maybe it is the same with the silver one :). Have a great trip to India, and let me know what you think of the Mitakon!

      Best,

      Patrick

Leave a Comment