So, on a paying job yesterday, along with my X100s & TCL-X100, I took out a Fujifilm X-T1 and two Fujinon X-Mount lenses, one a prime and the other a zoom.
To get the mouthful out of the way, the lenses were the Fujinon XF56mm F1.2 R and the XF16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR.*
I have written before how I love the 56mm, for its beautiful rendering and its narrow depth of field and smooth bokeh. I stand by that. I also stand by my previous observation that, in places without much room to move, like much of Japan, it can often be too long.
Tight head-shots never seem to be a problem, but pull back for shoulders or more, and you often end up out of room. Again I kept bumping into things or running the risk of falling off things.
And that’s where the 16-55mm f2.8 proved itself. The flexibility of focal length and reasonably fast and constant through the range f2.8 where a real winning combination. This lens gives a fairly wide angle right through to a classically nice portrait focal length. A very useful and practical range. I think the 56mm f1.2 gives better portraits, but only because it can squeeze that extra bit of isolation out of a scene. In terms of daily flexibility, the zoom wins.
If I where in the need of a fast X-Mount portrait lens today, I really don’t know which I would buy. My heart goes with the 56mm f1.2, but the thinking part of my brain says 16-55mm f2.8.
See, you can compare apples and oranges, or in the case, yuzu and mikan. Both photos below with the 56mm f1.2. First at f5 and second at f1.2. Don’t worry, more practical photos to come.
* 84mm equivalent and 24-82.5mm equivalent