There is no questioning the quality of the Fujinon lenses. Each lens has its own quality and personality delivering stunning, sharp images without issue.
Everyone has a favourite, that one lens that just seems to fit with a photographer’s workflow and anyone I know trying the Fujinon 56mm for the first time falls in love with it instantly.
As you may know if I’m not hunting landscapes I’m using a shallow depth of field to create bokeh filled shots. The 56mm offers it all, pin sharp, stunning bokeh and amazing in low light conditions. (See Gallery below).
I recently had the pleasure of attending a BIPPNI event hosted by Trevor Yerbury and a common thread of conversation was the performance of the 56mm lens from photographers using the X-Pro1 and X-T1 cameras.
The 56mm is big, not DSLR lens big but bigger than the other members of the Fujinon lens family. To put it context, I moved to mirrorless to escape carrying a heavy camera around all day and the X-T1 with the 56mm lens is still extremely comfortable as an everyday and all day setup.
I took the X-T1 and 56mm on a family day out to the brilliant American Folk Park in Omagh.
The park is a great educational experience and the staff offered a remarkable insight into the history of the area. Northern Ireland museums are an exceptional source of education and always a brilliant day out.
Shooting Shallow can be a challenge and f/1.2 offers a very narrow depth of field. In terms of full frame this is approximately equivalent to 84mm at f/1.8 (explained here) which is perfect for portrait photography. A combination on the 23mm and 56mm would be a great setup for family and wedding photography.
The Nifty Fifty
Ok, the nifty fifty six to be more accurate, but the 50mm lens is favourited by many for its bokeh experience. It is interesting to look at some of the 50mm groups of Flickr to see the mix of full frame and cropped sensor images and find many of the biggest 50mm fans are actually using the lens on a cropped body. In the same way the 56mm Fujinon offers the bokehlicious experience of a 50mm on a cropped sensor with an extra stop of light and a slightly more complimentary focal length.
The 56mm is definitely a people lens, it is perfect for separating the subject of an image from the background but at the same time keeping the proportions accurate and complimentary. I think the reason photographers fall for the 56mm so quickly is the fact it is so easy to control. Shooting at large apertures isn’t easy especially when the subject is always moving yet the 56mm is extremely accurate and picks the focus point accurately with each shot.
The above image is from a piece of documentary photography for Toshinobu Takamitsu. The 56mm is excellent, easy to control and the ability to focus and capture images fast enough even with a moving subject.
If you are looking for a lens that captures sharp images and stunning bokeh the 56mm is definitely the lens to go for. The perfect partner to the 23mm it has to be one of best lenses I have used in terms of performance and image quality. The 56mm is a bokeh machine that is perfect for people photography. It is a joy to use and will be a firm favourite on my X-T1 for sometime to come. I have set up a 56mm flickr set here that will grow over time.