This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.

Fuji XF 56 f/1.2 or XF 90mm For Portraits

Discussion in 'Fuji X-Mount Lens Forum' started by rollsman4, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. rollsman4

    rollsman4 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2014
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    delaware

    -Return to Top-

    Looking for some feedback as to pros and cons of each of these lenses for portraits. I Never use anything les than F2.8 so I would not need F1.2, How is the IQ on both lenses? Thanks
     
  2. minor7flat5

    minor7flat5 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    Messages:
    170
    Likes Received:
    119
    Location:
    New Jersey

    -Return to Top-

    You can't go wrong with either. Really. You will love either lens.

    With that said, when my 90mm arrived, I put the 56mm on the shelf after two years of constant use. The IQ in both is superb, so it comes down to personal preference about the focal length and the bokeh produced. I like the portraiture of the 90 just a little better.

    One drawback of the 90 vs the 56 is that it is heavy, for a mirrorless camera lens. The 56 hangs comfortably off the front of an X-T2 or XPro2, while the 90 just doesn't feel as nice. It also occupies too much space in the bag. I can easily stuff a camera with the 56 into my small bag; not so easy with the 90.
     
  3. pandoraefretum

    pandoraefretum Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2011
    Messages:
    946
    Likes Received:
    342
    Location:
    Bristol, UK

    -Return to Top-

    I have the 56 and it's undeniably brilliant ; a no brainer
    Now I'm thinking the 90 the imminent 80 or the 50-140 ?
    (why don't they make a 70?)
     
    Piktor likes this.
  4. rollsman4

    rollsman4 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2014
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    delaware

    -Return to Top-

    Thank you for the info on both. How much lighter is the 56 than the 90?
     
  5. Mdelrossi

    Mdelrossi Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2015
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Brooklyn

    -Return to Top-

    I love the 56mm. That being said, when I was shooting Nikon, my goto was the 80-200. I really like the ability to zoom. Now that I have the 50-140 I find my self splitting between that and the 56. It's heavier, but well balanced on the X-T2 and grip.

    The 56 is wonderful at 1.2, if you nail the focus where you want it(takes a bit more attention), everything else melts away, it's magical.

    One note, on people with glasses, and the 56, you've got to really pay attention that you're focusing on the eye not the glasses frame. It does call attention to itself.
     
  6. Mistik-ka

    Mistik-ka Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2014
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

    -Return to Top-

    The 56mm weighs 405gm; the 90mm weighs 540gm. Perhaps because of its length (105mm vs. 70mm) to me the 90 feels significantly heavier. That said, I don't find the X-Pro feels overweight with the 90mm attached — just reassuringly solid.

    They're both splendid lenses. For me the 90mm, like the 23mm, is one of those 'magic' focal lengths that fits my vision. For landscape photography it's thrilling. For portraiture, however, I find the 90mm demands significant camera-to-subject distance — it's not a lens that I use much indoors.
     
    PBJello likes this.
  7. F2Bthere

    F2Bthere Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Messages:
    1,964
    Likes Received:
    989
    Location:
    Austin

    -Return to Top-

    If you are looking for the actual weight, you can find that on the Fuji or B&H website :)

    Subjectively, there is a big difference on the Xpro. The 56 is not a lightweight, but it is usable enough. The 90 feels a bit front-heavy.

    As for how well the image is rendered (another subjective quality), I find the 56 APD version is better than the regular 56. Do a search and you will find plenty of discussion comparing the APD and non-APD version.

    The 56 is a far handier length. It's easy to use and get a flattering perspective from headshots to full length, including indoors. The 90 can be a bit harder to use in more confined spaces. But in a large room when taking candid images, the 90 gives you more reach.

    I think the 56 is a more practical length in use. It is also more comfortable to use and reasonable to carry.

    Both lenses are quite good. I don't think you could go wrong either way. The main issue is to figure out which will be easier for YOU to work with. We can only share which solution works better for us :).
     
  8. George Komiotis

    George Komiotis AKA Photogeo180

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Messages:
    761
    Likes Received:
    247
    Location:
    USA

    -Return to Top-

    Technically and optically both lenses are superb.

    Knowing your usual shooting conditions (indoors vs outdoors, handheld vs tripod etc etc) could also facilitate your decision by adding to the equation the purely technical differences of the two. So read specs carefully.

    The 90mm is a little more demanding steady hands wise given the focal length, size of sensor and lack of stabilization.
    Because of the above and all things being equal, the 56 can be an easier lens to shoot.

    However, these are details and you are the only one who can/should answer your question.
    Keep in mind that they have a very different FOV and ask yourself which one suits your framing, perspective and DOF preferences best.
     
    PBJello likes this.
  9. rollsman4

    rollsman4 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2014
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    delaware

    -Return to Top-

    I appreciate all the feedback. Thank you. I have learned over the years to use a Tripod or monopod when I shoot Portraits due to steadiness especially with long and heavy lens
     
  10. johndill

    johndill Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2014
    Messages:
    280
    Likes Received:
    128
    Location:
    NYC

    -Return to Top-

    Weight aside both lenses are plenty sharp. It comes down to focal length. 85mm (equivalent) is the classic FL for head and shoulders portraits. The 90mm will work just fine but it puts more distance between you and your subject. I prefer to world a little closer. Either will work great. Think what else you will use the lens for. The 56mm is good for street shoot individual people, the 90mm is a bit too tight for that. the 90mm is a much better lens for shooting action and sports and focuses quicker. Easy for me as I have both but if I had to pick it would be the 56mm
     
  11. Bud Weiser

    Bud Weiser Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2017
    Messages:
    90
    Likes Received:
    56

    -Return to Top-

    I chose the 90 mm so I could do double duty with. I use it as a portraiture lens and also as a sports action lens. So I get two for the price of one. The 56 focal length is just not my style but is also a wonderful lens. Pick the focal length that works for you.
     
    Jason Davies likes this.
  12. bacil

    bacil Premium Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2014
    Messages:
    1,309
    Likes Received:
    375
    Location:
    USA

    -Return to Top-

    To me the 56mm is more for general portrait, 90 is more specialized. For the first portrait lens, I would go with the 56mm. When extra cash is available, get the 90mm. Both are brilliant lenses.
     
  13. mugmedia

    mugmedia Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2013
    Messages:
    571
    Likes Received:
    627
    Location:
    Wisconsin

    -Return to Top-

    When in doubt, get both! That's what I did. ;)
     
  14. streetsntravel

    streetsntravel Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2011
    Messages:
    662
    Likes Received:
    327
    Location:
    USA

    -Return to Top-

    @George Komiotis boldly said what I want to emphasize. Will your "studio" accommodate the 90? It sounds like you are experienced, but I have a friend who had unfriendly encounters with his backside glued to his garage door when he mistakenly bought a lens that didn't fit his "studio".

    Sorry if I'm preaching.

    Roger
     
    F2Bthere likes this.
  15. sour_soup

    sour_soup Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2014
    Messages:
    215
    Likes Received:
    90
    Location:
    Toronto

    -Return to Top-

    The 56mm is not very good for tight headshots that require close focusing. I believe it has a longer minimum focus distance than the 90 and it will hunt more. Having said that, the field of view I find more flattering for portraits, where you can still keep the subject's main features, without flattening them out too much.

    The 90mm has better sharpness wide open than the 56, but the 56 stopped down to F1.8 or F2 evens out the difference. I think the 90 has better bokeh, but that's subjective. 90 also wins for AF in low light or for any moving subjects due to the quad-linear motor. And it's WR!
     
  16. AdrianG

    AdrianG Premium Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2016
    Messages:
    835
    Likes Received:
    564
    Location:
    CH, UK, GHA

    -Return to Top-

    The 56 has nicer bokeh, better contrast and is considerably sharper at f/1.4 than at f/1.2 and there is no worth the while difference in DOF between 1.2 and 1.4. Essentially, there is no point shooting it at f/1.2, except you absolutely need the light. It has superb IQ in every respect between f/2.8 and f/11. Judging from the few shots I took with the 90 for curiosity's sake, I think they are about equally sharp, except for the corners and edges, where the 56 has the edge IMO, particularly between f/4 and f/8. At these apertures, the 56 delivers simply incredible sharpness, corner to corner. However, corner sharpness is probably not the most important feature of a lens and the 90 is a really sharp lens as well. At f/2 I think the 90 is probably even a bit sharper and contrastier than the 56. It certainly is a lot easier to get a really sharp shot off the 56, because it requires less light for the same SS and a slower SS to prevent camera shake blur.

    I have the 56 and I don't even consider the 90 for two reasons:
    Firstly, the 56 is already at the upper size limit for beeing a practical lens for me, the 90 is plain out too long and too fat. Particularely too long. The XP2 and XT1 are quite nicely balanced with the 56, but they feel awkward with the 90. I don't have a and don't want to use a camera bag, I shove my lenses in my pockets. The 56 just barely fits the pocket of a suit coat, the 90 doesn't, which is basically a deal breaker.
    Secondly, 56mm is a more useful FL for me. I'm not used to use longer lenses than this. The 90 is a lens with a very limited shooting envelope.

    That is technically illogical, and is not the case. The 56 is not the quickest lens to focus in good light, but it does quite well in dim light. It can focus with less light than any other XF lens. At least the XP2 is not very good at AF-C with the 56 and I remember the 90 as beeing less noisy, too.
    Cheers!
     
    PBJello likes this.
  17. Narsuitus

    Narsuitus Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2015
    Messages:
    1,325
    Likes Received:
    553
    Location:
    USA

    -Return to Top-

    When I use Fuji lenses for portraits, the 50-140mm is my first choice. The 56mm is my second.

    I have never used the 90mm Fuji, but if needed, I could adapt my 85mm Nikon or my 90mm Leitz which probably perform like the Fuji.
     
  18. PBJello

    PBJello Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2016
    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    45

    -Return to Top-

    I don't have either lens, but can comment strictly in terms of focal length. 90mm puts me too far away from the subject for most portraits. But 90 is good for events photography where you may have to be far away from the subject. As a result, I think of 56 as a perfect portrait length, and 90 as more of an event photography length.
     
    nagapow likes this.
  19. F2Bthere

    F2Bthere Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2014
    Messages:
    1,964
    Likes Received:
    989
    Location:
    Austin

    -Return to Top-

    Roger is right to emphasize this point. In photo school, we had pretty big studio spaces and there was always a student who would come in with the equivalent of the Fuji 90 and would end up borrowing a shorter lens from the cabinet once they started working. For headshots, it isn't bad. But in studio as soon as you want full length or two people in the shot, you almost have to yell for your subjects to hear you. :)

    Even outdoors, if you want to include the environment, it can be challenging.

    I'm with @Narsuitus on this: if I wanted the length and didn't mind the weight, I would strongly favor the 50-140 for a number of reasons. The flexibility for full length, couples and 3/4 shots is worth a lot. The flexibility to be closer to your subject as needed is important--people who are uncomfortable in front of a camera are often less so if you are not as far away. And the stabalization is worthwhile in a longer lens. The 50-140 is a more generally useful lens.

    Not to say the 90 is a bad choice--it's a fine lens. You need to evaluate your way of working. I'm just reflecting how I deal with lenses to stimulate your evaluation of what works for you.
     
    Narsuitus likes this.
  20. mugmedia

    mugmedia Premium Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2013
    Messages:
    571
    Likes Received:
    627
    Location:
    Wisconsin

    -Return to Top-

    For what it's worth, I recently used my 90 to photograph a vinyl-record album cover from about 10 feet. Yes, you'd need a bit more distance for head-and-shoulders, but anyway....
     

Share This Page