Fuji X series portrait lenses compared inc. 56 APD and 50-140 zoom

Jan 5, 2015 | Location, Travel | 69 comments

Click on the pictures at the bottom of this feature to see the full resolution samples

Click on any of the pictures below to see the full resolution samples

Fujifilm 56mm, 56mm APD and 60mm primes plus 50-140mm, 55-200mm and 18-55mm zooms ~ compared.

Out of curiosity I have done a mini test with six Fujifilm X series lenses to better understand the characteristics of their images and the differences between them. I wanted to see how the clarity, contrast and bokeh compares. This is not laboratory science, it is a real world A/B comparison where the results are subjective and open to interpretation. I’m not one to read MTF graphs and I believe all professional lenses made today should be reasonably sharp so my attention as always turns to how pleasing is the rendering of the scene? I want to assess both the in and out of focus bits.

So I went off to the cold, dark, woods with my friend Charlotte and set up a tripod. I used a Fuji X-T1 camera. The images were downloaded and the file names changed to represent the exif info. They were normalised for exposure but other than that there were no other tweaks. The sharpening settings were 25, 1, 25 and there was no noise reduction. I used the Pro Neg S camera profile and synchronised the white balance across the files. Note: Clicking on the picture will bring up the corresponding full res jpeg.

The 60mm f/2.4 macro
The first Fuji X lens I bought was the 60mm Macro. I’ve always loved this lens and the images it creates. It is super sharp wide open and delivers a wonderfully uncomplicated bokeh. It does however suffer from a lack of contrast caused by flare and I developed this lens hood modification to combat this. At the maximum aperture of f/2.4 the 60mm lens delivers just enough depth of field to keep both eyes of my subjects in focus for all except tight head shots. The lens is incredibly small, light, and a joy to use. The early firmware algorithms for focussing with the 60mm sent it hunting and gave the optic a bad name for focus speed. This has since been addressed and the 60mm is now as good as one would expect from any mid telephoto macro lens.  I know from experience that the focus travel of the Canon 100mm f/2.8 L and the Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 macro lenses is no faster. How quickly the lens achieves focus is very much to do with the camera body and the AF system in use.

This shot of Charlotte is the benchmark that I used to compare the newer lenses against and this shot stacks up well against all of them. Click on the picture to see the full res version.

01. This shot of Charlotte with the 60mm lens wide open is the benchmark that I used to compare the newer lenses against and this shot stacks up well against all of them. Click on the picture to see the full res version.

The 50-140mm f/2.8 zoom
This is a game changer for me. I’ve been using the 60mm for three years and the 56mm for nearly one year and although they are a joy to use I do find myself needing to use a 1/250th second shutter speed to get super sharp hand held pictures. The 50-140mm has an amazing OIS and now I am able to use 1/60th for static portraits and 1/125th for animated portraits when I’m working hand held even at the tight end of the lens. The rendering of the bokeh and the sharpness are easily on par with the primes so I’m now planning to use this lens to handle my long lens portrait work. It will feel like going back to the time I used the Nikon and Canon f/2.8 tele zooms but neither of those lenses were tack sharp wide open so I shot at f/4 to get an acceptable image quality. This new Fuji lens is in another league.

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02. The new zoom wide open at 56mm is sparkling too. As with all the shots here you can see the full res shot by clicking on the picture.

XF50-140mmF2.8-R-at-140-mm-at-f---2.8--Close-shot

03. This is the maximum background blur effect available from the 50-140mm zoom and it has a wonderful bokeh too :)

Technical tip: The depth of field in a picture like the one above remains the same whatever the focal length of lens used as long as the subject framing is similar and the aperture is the same. The perceived background blurring changes dramatically but the depth of acceptable sharpness remains the same. Use the aperture setting to get the required depth of field and then select the focal length to give you the foreground/ background separation or background blurring you require. So to recap: A 24mm lens at f/2.8 will have the same depth of field as a 200mm lens at f/2.8 because the wide lens will need to be a lot closer to the subject to achieve the same framing. The wide lens will have more of the background in it’s frame so the apparent out of focus effect will be reduced. For the shot size above, taken at f/2.8 whatever focal length of lens you use the depth of field will be about 12cm.

The 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 zoom
I bought this lens on the day it was released and on the whole I’ve been delighted with it. Out in the landscape it has been a fabulous asset and has constantly delivered outstanding pictures. The sharpness drops off very slightly at the 200mm end when wide open but stop it down a click or two and it is stellar. Julie, my wife now used this lens on her African safaris along with the 18-55mm zoom and the 10-24mm wide zoom. This trilogy of lenses and her X-E2 fit in a Think Tank Retrospective 7 bag and cover nearly all her needs. That is until the super telephoto zoom comes out later this year ;)

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04. The 55-200 at it’s widest setting is quite respectable too.

5. At it's maximum bokeh setting the 55-200 just looses a bit of clarity but is not soft by any measure

05. At it’s maximum background blur setting the 55-200 just looses a bit of clarity but is not soft by any measure.

56mm f/1.2
When the 56mm lens was eventually announced with a two stop advantage on the 60mm I was expecting a more pronounced background blur effect. However there is little between them. I personally prefer the look of the 60mm bokeh and as I regularly shoot with the 56mm at f/2 or f/2.8 to give me a smidgen of depth of field there is no light gathering advantage for me either. It’s nice to know I have the f/1.2 option when light levels drop and this has to be the lens of choice for photographers covering events or shooting in dark places. I used my 56mm almost exclusively for short telephoto shots in 2014 so that I could really get to know its characteristics.

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06. The fastest Fuji lens to date wide open at f/1.2

56mm f/1.2 APD
This is the same lens as the 56mm but with a radial gradient filter on an internal element. This filter has the effect of reducing the effective aperture of the lens at the same time as softening the edges of the out of focus elements. When I first got my regular 56mm lens I did a side by side comparison with my beloved 60mm lens and I came to the conclusion I preferred the bokeh effect on the 60mm lens. I found the out of focus areas more creamy and calmer on the pictures shot with the 60mm lens. So it came as little surprise to me when Fujifilm announced an alternative version of the 56mm in the form of the 56 APD. The differences with the APD lens are subtle and come at the cost of effective maximum aperture. In the test samples that I have posted here I shot portraits on the edge of the frame as well as on the third just in case there is some softening at the focal plane at the edge of frame as a result of the apodization. I’m sure that with pictures that include out of focus light sources like car headlights the effects of the APD filter will be more obvious but I don’t shoot those kind of pictures.

7. The APD version of the 56mm lens wide open

07. The APD version of the 56mm lens wide open. Can you spot the difference? If not take a look at the edges of the out of focus highlights. It’s subtle but there is a smidgen of edge softening.

18-55mm f/3.5-4 OIS zoom
I got my copy of the 18-55mm lens with my X-E2 that became a back up for my X-Pro1 and I wasn’t expecting much from a ‘kit’ lens. It went on sale at less than £200 when purchased with a camera body and is the best bargain in lenses to date. I tested it against my 18mm prime and it far exceeded my expectations. It was better than the 18mm in almost every respect and I soon sold the compact wide prime preferring instead the 18-55mm zoom. Note: The OIS is incredible and ever so useful on a lens of this focal length. I can’t think why the new f/2.8 version of this lens will launch without OIS. I will stick with my fast primes until a mk2 fast zoom with OIS is released.

7. The 18-55 at it's tightest setting is really rather good and is certainly sharp but it is no match for bokeh to the other lenses here

08. The 18-55 at it’s tightest setting is really rather good and is certainly sharp but it is no match for background blurring to the other lenses in this test.

The lens that is missing here is the 18-135mm. I didn’t have access to one when I did this test. I’ve heard mixed reviews about it and until I get to try one for myself I won’t add to the debate. I don’t own one because I don’t have a use for it. However if the super-telephoto lens is 120-400mm as rumored, the 18-135mm will be a perfect partner. Julie can then still have three lenses to cover the range of 10mm – 400mm when she goes off to Africa on safari later this year.

09. I shot with the 56mm and the 56mm APD with the lenses wide open and my subject close to the edge to check on any variation in edge performance between the optic design

09. I shot with the 56mm and the 56mm APD with the lenses wide open and my subject close to the edge to check on any variation in edge performance between the optic designs

10. This is the APD version. Can you spot any differences? If so which one do you prefer?

10. This is the APD version. Can you spot any differences? If so which one do you prefer?

My personal conclusions are borne out in my lens choice for the 2015 season:
14mm f/2.8 (until the 16mm f/1.4 becomes available)
23mm f/1.4
35mm f/1.4
50-140mm f/2.8 zoom

The 50-140 zoom really is that good. There will be times that I use the 56mm for low light interiors and I’ll be continuing to use the 60mm in the studio because it is great at f/16 and focusses as close as I want.

I’ll probably shoot most of my natural light work at 1/125th second and f/2.8 hand-held and adjust the ISO as required. If my subject is dynamic I’ll up the shutter speed and if I’m in the dark I’ll use a monopod and drop the shutter speed to 1/30th. When I shoot with flash on location I’ll use ND filters to allow 1/180th second, f/2.8 and ISO between 200 and 800. Having a technical strategy helps me concentrate on my subjects and composition.

Feel free to comment (at the bottom of the page) on your interpretation of my findings or discuss the lens choices we have been given by Fujifilm so far.

The f/4 comparisons:

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The 18-55 zoom at f/4 is shown in picture 08 above.

The long shot challenge. In each case I set up the tripod to give me a full length shot of Charlotte. I let the zooms be at maximum reach to achieve as much separation and background blur as possible.

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I hope this is useful to someone. I shot many more frames to compare but I don’t want to swamp readers with test shots. I was really surprised at how similar the shots were and all the lenses tested proved to be good performers. If you want maximum background blur effect in close up portraits then you have to look to the zooms, but for the long shots perhaps you prefer the look of the 56mm f/1.2 lenses or the calm 60mm. What conclusions have you made? After watching paint dry in my last blog I’ll be getting back to creative topics in my next one, I promise.

69 Comments

  1. Igor K

    Thank you for the comparison. I’m a bit of a newbie at portraits, and I currently have a 55-200 lens. I’ve noticed that faces look much more pleasant when shot from a distance vs up close with something like XF35 lens. I’ve read up on perspective distortion and looked at your 55-140 @140 shots, and the 55-200 @200 shots. To me @200 looks noticeably better then @140. I think the face is more “flat”. Question: is it possible the difference I’m noticing is simply due to the differences in the pose / face position at the time of shot? I’m looking to see if I should upgrade to 55-140 for portraiture or stay with 55-200. Thanks!!

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Igor,

      Thank you for your comment. There is more than one thing to consider when it comes to lens choice for portraiture. Flat faces caused by a long camera to subject distance often taken using telephoto lenses is not desirable and neither is the exaggerated perspective created by short camera to subject distances. What you describe is a factor of how far your subject is from you and not what lens you are using. The other big consideration is the intimacy created by a close camera to subject to distance. Being close to your sitter can produce fabulous portraits with beautiful intimacy.

      Kindest regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  2. Pancho Carpio

    Nice, I have a few of Fuji lenses and I am reducing the count in favor of XF zooms. I currently have the 8-16 and the 16-55 but I was unsure about the 50-140. Based on this review I have decided to complete the trilogy. Thanks Damien. Also, nice choice on model, she is gorgeous.

    Reply
    • Damien

      Thank you Pancho for your kind words :)

      Reply
  3. daniel hughes

    Just one question – If using the 50-140 or infact any of them lenses, would framing the subject in portrait orientation, filling the frame a little more, zoomung in / getting closer, would this result in more bokeh?

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Daniel,

      Bokeh is not something that has quantity. It describes the character of the out of focus area. When it comes to blur the longer the focal length and the closer the subject the more blur you get.

      I hope this helps.

      Reply
  4. Dewsy Sipos

    This article is a gem! Thank you for making it!

    Reply
  5. Jonas Nordlund

    I’m right in the middle of planning for a first amateur wedding photo session and with an X-T1 + 18-55, 35/1.4, 55-200. I’ve been wondering about needs for portrait photos, shoulder level as well as full length. This article was perfect to sort some thoughts out! :) Just what I’ve been looking for, with your demanding, busy backdrop and all!

    The 56/1.2 is a bit too expensive for how common these scenarios present themselves to me, so I’ve thought about the Samyang/Rokinon 50/1.2, but then the thought of manually focusing at f/1.2 even with focus peaking is a scary thought. I’m no longer sure I dare spending $400 on that gamble.

    The Fujifilm XF 50/2.0 WR is a new, interesting contender though! I wonder how much of a difference I’ll see with the background separation there. With even my 55-200mm doing better than I expected (and maybe that one will even suffice!), maybe the 50/2 will be pretty nice. It has big advantages in lighting fast focusing, light weight, and weather sealing too, besides cost. It’s unfortunate it wasn’t here for your exhaustive test. ;)

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Jonas,

      I’d stick with the 55-200 for the portraits. It is a bit wider aperture at 55mm than the standard zoom and it is a stellar optic. No need to spend more money in my opinion ;)

      Kindest regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
      • sonaten

        Thanks for the reply! Yes, I am arriving at the conclusion that I have been underestimating the importance of focal length. I will practice more with the 55-200mm — it deserves that!

        Reply
        • Damien

          Hi Sonaten,

          Back in 2013 I wrote this review of the XF 55-200mm lens and posted some portraits taken with it. It will be worth a read through.

          Kindest regards,

          Damien.

          Reply
      • Damien

        Hi again Jonas,

        Back in 2013 I wrote this review of the XF 55-200mm lens and posted some portraits taken with it. It will be worth a read through.

        Kindest regards,

        Damien.

        Reply
  6. Néstor Ojeda

    Hello good day! Do you consider that the 40-150 zoom can be used well with an X-pro2 camera? Thanks and regards

    Reply
  7. Lars

    Thank you for this comparison. Quite surprised…..the 55-200mm @55mm seems to be sharper than both the 60mm and 50-140mm at wide open apertures. At F4 the regular 56mm seems to be the sharpest followed by the 55-200mm. It could be a focusing issue (or motion blur) though. Anyway, the bokeh differences are not that significant in my opinion. I can get the 60mm + 55-200mm combo for the same price as the 56mm…..an easy choice IMO.

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Lars,

      I don’t find the 55-200 sharper than the 50-140. Over a period of time using both lenses the 50-140 definitely has the edge but at the expense of extra weight. Both lenses are great. My wife Julie has just taken the 55-200 on safari in Africa for three months and left the 50-140 at home with me. A wise choice ;) Cheers, Damien.

      Reply
  8. Bel

    Wonderful article on the different lens. They are basically all pretty good really with slight differences! I have the 56mm 1.2 and the 18-135mm lens. I’m now adding the 35mm and looking at the 16mm 1.2 later down the track. Eventually I may also get the super telephoto zoom for birds etc when it comes out next year. I wouldn’t say the 18-135mm is the best lens in the world, but it is a handy water resistant travel lens and I do love the close up flower shots I can take with it in full sunlight. Amazing bokeh. And I can take nice portraits too, but not as good as my amazing 56mm prime. i LOVE it. I has created a monster!!! I can’t put the camera down. The camera travels everywhere with me now so I can snap whenever I see a nice cloud, a cute baby etc. Fuji has basically changed my life. I have ditched the entry level Canon and will not look back.

    By the way, would have loved to have seen the 18-135mm lens in your comparison shots to help me decide whether it is up to scratch!

    Reply
    • Damien

      Thanks Bel, Everyone will now see your favourable review of the 18-135mm lens. I just have never had the chance to use one and as I’ve got the 18-55 and the 55-200 combo I don’t really need to buy yet another zoom. Thanks for your kind words and I know just how you feel when you say Fuji changed your life :) I rekindled my love of photography with the Fuji too.

      Kindest regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  9. Ian Mylam

    Thanks for a fabulous resource Damien. What a great article.

    Reply
    • Damien

      Cheers Ian :)

      Reply
  10. Brian

    Thank you for your feedback, Damien. I greatly appreciate it. I’ve been using an X-T1 kit with a 10-24, 35, 56 and 50-140 for a couple of weeks now. I have to say that I’m really enjoying it – and much more than I even anticipated. These lenses are spectacular both in output and craftsmanship, especially the 50-140. That lens is exceptional and I can honestly say it’s the best performing 70-200 equivalent I’ve used and that’s coming from someone who’s used every Canon and Nikon there is. I’ve already been able to put the electronic shutter into use at a solo violin performance where no mechanical shutter would have been allowed.

    I’m off to pick up a retrospective bag this weekend. Considering my kit and a couple of speedlights and triggers, which size do you recommend?

    Thanks again for the feedback and information!

    Reply
  11. Alex

    This is a good hint with the same lens hood of the 35 and the 60. Never use the original lens hood of the 60!!! It is so big that the torque it transfers to the lens while turning it off dissembles it by accident. I had to repair mine from Fuji because of this and heard of some others with the same problem….

    Reply
    • Damien

      Thanks Alex, I have not had any lens hood issues with the 60 and I’ve even made a mask for mine. My 56 gets far more use nowadays.

      Kind regards, Damien.

      Reply
  12. Paul Szilard

    Thanks for a brilliant and exhaustive comparison. For me the APD feature of the 56 is totally lost. I love the 60, which is the most under rated lens in my opinion. I own the 56, 60, 18-55 and 55-200. I wanted to get a WR lens, but can’t make my mind up which of the three. I usually carry the 18-55 and 60, or the 23 and 60, or 35 and 60 (same lens hood), or the 27 and 60. Notice a trend? Yep, the 60! :)

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Paul, Thanks for the compliments. Too much choice :) It’s a good problem to have.

      Cheers, Damien.

      Reply
  13. Karin Nelson

    OMG this is so difficult!!!! I have money burning in my pocket right now, and I want to purchase a f1.2 lens but I don’t know which one! Right now, the difference in price in Canada (12% tax) would be $ 728!!! That’s almost a whole 23 mm which I also lust after…

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Karin, Get yourself the 56mm f/1.2 and the 23mm f/1.4 and do a deal for both lenses. If you don’t ask you don’t get.

      Kind regards, Damien.

      Reply
  14. Thomas Berg

    Brian, I noticed the same but know this effect from my Nikon gear. I think it is partly due to ever so microscopic camera shake during exposure – the acceptable angular displacement shrinks close to Zero with increasing distance – along with hard limits in spatial sensor resolution. Bear in mind the X-Trans sensor is still two-dimensional and, in contrast to Foveon sensors, the demosaicing algorithm has a harder time creating colours and contrast from neighboring sensels than at close distance because the ‘area of interest’ is covered by a lesser number of sensels (or pixels, if you wish).

    Damien,
    thanks a lot for this comparison! The samples reflect quite well my shooting preferrences so this is (not for the first time) extremely helpful to me and reflects my own experience with the XF56 and 55-200 lenses.
    The flattering bokeh of the XF60 makes me want one but the consequence in terms of short exposure time does not excite me much, same as the XF56. So far I got away quite well with the 55-200 for portrait, the 50-140 is certainly tempting but lacks the 0.7 meter close focusing I would demand from such a lens.

    BTW, with the 50-140 being an IF design, did you notice any reduction in effective focal length similar to e.g. the current 2.8/70-200 VR Nikkor?

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Thomas,

      The new Fuji lens focusses much closer than the Nikon 70-200 VRii and it is tighter too with an effective focal length of 213mm so the close up possibilities are in a different league. I’ve not measured effective focal length of the lens at different focus distances, all I know this lens feel right. It’s probably the best tele zoom out there. It’s certainly the best I’ve used.

      Kind regards, Damien.

      Reply
  15. Paul Hodson

    Makes me happy that my kit of 18-55 plus 55-200 gives me excellent quality and flexibility at the lowest possible cost – both money and space. Plus of course my XT-1. :)

    Reply
  16. Brian

    Something I’ve noticed that I hope you can comment on –

    The full length sample images at the end of this post seem much softer to my eye than the previous, tighter samples. This is a bit concerning to me. Can you comment on whether or not this is typical resolving performance of the lenses and/or sensor, or was there some other factor involved, such as motion or focus?

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Brian,

      It’s a pixel peepers issue. When printed they look absolutely fine, super sharp right through to infinity. I was using a slowish shutter and I didn’t have the correct foot plate for the 50-140 but I was testing the ‘look’ of the lenses out of focus areas rather than a bench test for technical analysis.

      Cheers, Damien.

      Reply
  17. Brian

    I’ve been on the fence for many months now.. I’ve been a Nikon shooter for several years and own a D810 (yes, I’m a junky for the amazing IQ out of that body). Having a neck injury, It’s been a massive struggle for me to decide between the compromises of DSLR and mirrorless in consideration of weight. I don’t want to give up what my DSLR kit offers, but at the same time, it’s damn painful to use the heavier gear.

    My question for you, Damien, is.. If you were still a full time wedding photographer, would you stand by your Fuji kit or use a DSLR kit for weddings? What about other PJ style events? This question does not pertain to sports.

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Brian,

      I’d rather shoot everything except sport on my Fuji X than use any Nikon or Canon. Nikon lenses are okay but the 70-200 doesn’t focus close enough. Canon make 3 50mm primes and I can’t get on with any of them. I get far better pictures with my Fuji kit in every way. More consistently sharp, better resolution (lenses are amazing) and I have no exposure test shots like I did with SLRs. There are so many other advantages too like the couples are less stiff when I point a Fuji their way and my back doesn’t ache. High ISO performance is amazing too. I still shoot weddings and the Fuji is my choice of kit. Bear in mind I used to use a Hassy H2 with a Phase One P25 back and 4 prime lenses for weddings so I know what it is to suffer in the name of technical excellence. My pictures with the Fuji are way better because they are more fluid, more fun and I capture lighter moments. Don’t get hung up on pixel peeping, get hung up on creativity and capturing the moment. I am a much faster photographer with the Fuji. Than I was with my Nikon or Canon kits. More creative too.

      Cheers, Damien.

      Reply
      • Néstor Ojeda

        Hi, could you tell me which lenses you use for weddings? Thank you!

        Reply
  18. Lance Evingson

    Question: Am I correct in assuming the the 56mm does not have the contrast/flare issues that the 60mm suffers from?
    Thanks again,
    Lance

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Lance,

      Yes you are right. The 60 is a little flarey but uber sharp. The 56 has no flare issues and is also sharp. Both lenses have a lovely bokeh with the 60mm having the most pleasing of the two. The 56 is a whopping two stops faster but beware the shallow depth of field can catch you out with portraits/ head shots. f/2.4 is the safer setting for head shots. I hope this helps. Damien.

      Reply
      • Alex

        And cost and weights nearly halve of the 56….(and did some sort of macro)

        Reply
        • Damien

          Yes indeed Alex.

          Reply
  19. Mike Duffy

    Hi Damien, having just returned from Cambodia with my XE1 and 18-55 kit lens I was very impressed with what it could do in “street photography” mode… however I did lose a considerable amount of shots due to slow auto focus… would the 60mm 2.4 on an XT1 be a better setup for this or the 56mm 1.2 you think?…

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Mike,

      The X-T1 is much better than the X-E1 at focussing. You will find the 18-55mm lens is much faster to focus on the X-T1. However it might be worth waiting a short while for the X-Pro2 but if you like the form of the X-E1 the X-E2 is a cheaper option and offers improved AF over the X-E1. The 60mm is not fast at AF with any camera. I like it but my subjects are usually static or I can pre focus. More and more people are using the 55-200 for street as it fits in a pocket, is faster at 55mm than the 18-55 and has super image stabilisation too. The 56mm is faster to focus than the zooms and the 60mm. I hope this helps, Damien.

      Reply
      • Mike Duffy

        I just bought my second XT1 and took your advice and bought a 50 to 140 to compliment my 18mm and 18 to 55mm and XE1… trouble is deciding which to take out with me! I am now getting a similar dent in my shoulder to what Nikon gave me! lol :)

        Reply
        • Damien

          Hi Mike,

          I’d say you don’t need the 18mm. I sold mine when I got the 18-55. I can only use one camera at a time so that’s all I’d take with me. Then you have one camera and 2 lenses with no overlap :)

          Cheers, Damien.

          Reply
  20. Alex

    It would be an amazing idea to add an IBIS to the X series cameras like Sony did with the new A7 II. This will bring an IS to all Fuji primes and even solved the problem that many people have with the 16-55 2.8. Maybe that had that already in mind when they created it….Hope that Fuji can catch up too with the sensor development as they are not two generations behind the newest Sony sensors with their 16 MP Sony OEM sensor. If they catch up they should add the IBIS system too…..

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Slex, IBIS (in body image stabilisation) would be amazing. Enough said!

      Regards Damien. :)

      Reply
  21. Lance Evingson

    I’m having the same experience with the 60mm – needing about 1/180 – 1/250 to make sure I’m sharp. And this has made me wish that all Fuji primes from 50mm on up would have OIS. Here’s how well it works on the 2 zooms I use (& how to tell if it’s working properly): one should be amazed at the result – it should appear almost magical.

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Lance, I agree about the OIS. Perhaps we will get it on sensor in the next generation of cameras. ;) Cheers, Damien.

      Reply
  22. Alastair

    Hi Damien, great tests, the way you put across the technology is great. The images from Fuji are amazing, now I’m thinking should I trade in all my Canon kit for Fuji.

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Alastair,

      Thank you for your compliments. I’d say trade in if you are a) experiencing problems with focussing or softness from the Canon lenses. b) Have a bad back or tennis elbow from lugging around an SLR or c) you need a new system to rekindle the spark in your photography. Fuji does not quite offer the extensive system that SLR users are used to using but within 2015 it should all be in place. If you jump too early it might leave you frustrated. I’d say try an X-T1 for a weekend first ;)

      Cheers, Damien.

      Reply
  23. Damien

    Thanks Chris,

    I’ve never owned a camera with two card slots so I don’t miss the function on the Fuji. I must say I’ve never had a problem with lost files that wasn’t caused by me formatting the card before it was downloaded. I have always been able to recover the files that I needed. Fuji had the option of installing dual SD card slots in the X-T1 or installing one super fast slot that takes the new UHS2 type cards. These new cards start at 240mb/s rather than the puny 95mb/s limit of SD. I use these Toshiba Exceria Pro cards: http://www.wexphotographic.com/buy-toshiba-32gb-exceria-pro-240mb-s-uhs-ii-sdhc-card/p1549526 They have two rows of teeth (connectors) on the back. These make the X-T1 a super fast camera to use. I expect within 18 months or so there will be dual slot bodies, ttl flash systems and lenses galore in the Fuji line up. If you back can survive until then it will be worth the wait ;)

    Kind regards,

    Damien.

    Reply
  24. Michael

    Hi Damien,

    Once again an extremely interesting article, I am excited to hear how much you like the 50-140 zoom, can you see it being possible to alter the tripod mount to an Arca Swiss one so it remains compatible with my tripods?

    I am looking forward to any specs on the rumoured 140-400 zoom, this should be a killer lens if its Weather Resistant and fast enough (f4 would be brilliant, f5.6 would be ok) with a similar quality to Fujis latest pro lenses, I want one!
    The thoughts of bird photography with no vibration from a mirror or shutter when using long lenses is a dream.

    Thanks again

    Michael

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Michael, Thanks for the compliment. Yes, I added a standard plate to the bottom of the Fuji foot. They cost £5.99 on Ebay or you can buy a posh one made by Wimberly from Bob Rigby here: http://www.bobrigby.com/wimberley/wimberley_p5uniplate.html

      The 140-400 is on my shopping list too. It will be amazing, I’m sure. I’m guessing £1500 ish.

      Cheers,

      Damien.

      Reply
      • Nancy Goodenough

        £1500 for the 140-400mm wouldn’t be bad. Tamron 150-600mm for Canon EF mount is only about US$1000 and can even be handheld. I expect Fuji optics to be even better, besides smaller and lighter.

        Reply
  25. Vangelis

    Great article Damien and really helps if you are in the market for a portrait lens.

    If you also considered each lens’ cost, which one(s) would be your best value for money choice?

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Vangelis,

      Thanks, I think the 60mm is the bargain lens in this focal length. It delivers first class results and is small and light too. The 50-140mm may seem expensive now but if you consider it a replacement for the 56mm, 90mm and 135mm primes it suddenly looks great value. (135mm is purely speculation on my part)

      Regards, Damien.

      Reply
  26. Chris Tostevin-Hall

    Hi Damien, thanks for the comparison; most interesting! The lenses are all so good, even the zooms! But I must say I’m loving my Fuji X-T1 with the fast XF prime lenses. I love the 56mm 1.2 which is my longest lens at the moment, it’s so sharp wide open. The 14mm & 23mm are amazing too. Currently I’m still in the Canon 5D mark 3 camp for the wedding work, but I will take the Fuji to use alongside next time. Perhaps the X-T1 mark 2 will address my last couple of concerns – one being a second card slot! Anyway, the Fuji is definitely the travel camera of choice now!
    Keep up the good work!
    Chris.

    Reply
  27. Kristian Wind

    Hi Damien.
    Thank you for this… Do you have any experience with the 10-24? I was going for the primes (23, 35 and 56) for wedding shoots, but since I got the 10-24 with OIS and saw the 50-140 with OIS it seems to be the perfect match for me – although it puts me back to my Canon days in terms of weight…
    Thank you for your thoughts and response…

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Kristian,

      I do own the 10-24mm zoom and I took it with me to Cambodia for a month. I must admit I do prefer primes, but it is just personal preference. I find 10mm too wide and yet I tend to use it then regret it. The widest I normally shoot is 14mm and that is great. Julie now uses the 10-24mm lens on her trips to Africa. I think if you add up the weights you will find the Fuji kit is still a lot lighter than the Canon ;)

      Kind regards,

      Damien.

      Reply
  28. ibphotodesign

    Hi Damien Lovegrove
    Sorry my english is not so good. Thanks for the many information about the Fuji lenses. I have for two weeks and the 50-140 mm 2.8 lens. It’s just a dream, and it’s so much fun. I will do my Nikon 70-200mm sell because Fuji simply prepares more fun and joy. I have to fofografieren their way a little copied and had a great shoot with the 56mm Fuji lens. Only the camera and lens, nothing else. No big camera bags and much !! Thank you in this way for their videos and lots of information. Sorry again for my bad English. Here is a link to my photos with the Fuji T-X1 and the 56mm lens ….. http://ibphotodesign.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/teil2-shooting-mit-der-bezaubernden-jenny/

    Many greetings from Germany
    Ingo Buck

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Ingo,

      Lovely pictures :) Thank you for your compliments. I hope you enjoy your Fuji life this year. Kind regards, Damien.

      Reply
  29. Den

    Damien, I know this post isn’t about sharpness but the XF56 APD looks sharper than the XF56 by some margin, esspecially between shots 19 and 20 (almost looks like camera shake) My understanding was that the XF56 APD is not sharper, sure it offers better contrast, so some degree of perceived extra sharpness, but this difference is surprising.

    Overall, for full body shots the compression of the 50-140 at 140 gives the most distinct FOV. The XF56 at f1.2 is also sure to be popular. Coming from Full frame, it’s most obvious how much less pronounced the DOF is on the Fuji sensor, esspecially as you will never have less than F4 equivalent on their zooms.

    Do you have plans to add the upcoming F2 XF90 to your kit? What are your thoughts on that lens?

    Thanks for your time.

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Den, Thanks for your observations. I think a bit of subject or camera movement is the issue. I shot many frames with the two lenses and saw no real difference in sharpness. I didn’t select these based on sharpness but on closeness of exposure hence a weaker shot slipping through. Both lenses seem fine on the sharpness front. The 90mm is not going to replace my 50-140 zoom because I’d have to use 1/500th second to get sharp hand held pictures and I’d rather use my f/2.8 zoom at 1/60th. Even with the 1 stop advantage the 90mm looses 2 stops of effective exposure when working hand held. If it was OIS and a macro that would be another matter. The Sigma 150mm macro with OIS for SLRs is sublime and the Canon 100mm macro L with OIS is fab too so it is possible to make top quality prime lenses with OIS. I hope this helps. Cheers, Damien.

      Reply
  30. mark

    Nice review. Should have my 50-140 this week and so glad it lives up to expectations.

    Many thanks Damien

    Reply
    • Damien

      Hi Mark, Expect your expectations to be exceeded. Mine were. Cheers, Damien.

      Reply
  31. Nancy Goodenough

    Well, you’ve shown me I can stick with zooms; I’m more like your wife. Can’t wait for that ultra-long. This has helped me a lot. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Damien

      Thanks for the comment Nancy. That long zoom will be amazing :) Kind regards, Damien.

      Reply

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