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50 f/2 or 56 f/1.2 and why?

Discussion in 'Native X-Mount Lens Forum' started by SixstringSlinger, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. SixstringSlinger

    SixstringSlinger Active Member

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    So my exploration of XF lenses continues. I've had the 35 f/1.4 for almost 2 weeks and really like it. I find it "motivating to shoot with. On the strength of that purchase I have a 23 f/1.4 on the way, arrives Friday. I wanted to buy something in the 5omm class but a demo 23mm lens popped up at a $300 discount and in a moment of weakness and GAS I smashed the debit card for the 23.

    So now I'm back to the quest for a 50mm (approx.) lens. I thought I really wanted the 56 1.2, the non APD version. I've begun to think maybe I'd like to try the 50mm 2.0 instead and there isn't too much difference in focal length or aperture. I stomped around in the field last weekend and thought the WR lenses may have some merit with all the dust I encountered.

    What do those of you who own or have owned both think? Will I miss something if I try to spend a little less and buy a 2.0? The bodies will be the T1, P1 and E1.
     
  2. Shadowside

    Shadowside Good Glass is Forever...

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    Hi SixstringSlinger :)

    There are lots of comparisons online between those two lenses. Other than the IQ differences, if you don't need the extra almost 2 stops then I would go for the 50. I wont have the same bokeh or ability to selectively focus, but it focuses way faster than the 56, is weather rated (as you noted), although it balances nicely on the XP bodies, the 56 all but blocks the OVF defeating that feature. The 50 is smaller and less intimidating as well if you use it for street shooting.

    I would go for the 50 personally.
     
  3. BillC-PA

    BillC-PA Premium Member

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    I had the 56/1.2 and really like it for portraits, however, 80 percent of my photography is events at various venues, and the 56 was a bit too slow focusing, so I sold it and got the 50. The 50 is much smaller and faster focusing. So - I guess it depends on what you need that focal length for.
     
  4. YogiMik

    YogiMik Premium Member

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    Speed of AF mostly depends on camera processor. Those two lenses are totaly different in rendering, and output character.
    56R is very much like a 35 f1.4, and 23 f1.4.
    50 f2 suits the best documentary, and photojournalistic style of photography.
     
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  5. SixstringSlinger

    SixstringSlinger Active Member

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    Yes there are and I've read many. I think there is a much to be gained from the insight of people like yourself who use the lenses in the real world. I understand the technical differences. It nice to know what you shooters are doing with each to help me make up my mind.

    I'm inclined to buy a used 2.0 and give it a go. If I feel I'd like a better bokeh or I lack IQ, it could be sold for what I have in it. I could then upgrade to the 1.2. So many use the 2.0 and love it. I may have to try both. Although I find I do less and less portrait shooting it is a focal length I use fairly often and have been covering it with adaptive lenses (Nikkor) or my Fuji Zooms. Neither are ideal in certain situations.
     
  6. streetsntravel

    streetsntravel Premium Member

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    @YogiMik has stated the practical differences very succinctly. If you really understand the qualities present in your 50mm f/1.4, then you will have a leg up on understanding the special qualities of the 56 f/1.2.

    The 56mm f/1.2 begs to be shot at f/1.2 - if that's not your style, the IMO the 50mm f/2 is a better choice. I love Fuji's smaller lenses as that's why I invested in the X system to start. All the lenses are special in their own right, they are all sharp where they need to be, but they are not all equal. They are IMO designed to meet two different roles; formal and candid. I put the f/1.2 lens in the formal category and the 50mm f/2 lens in the candid category. I'm building some pretty loose pigeon holes here with these categories, but I'm doing it to shape your thinking on roles and also on physical size of these lenses.

    If you are a portrait shooter, then you owe it to yourself to shoot with the 56mm f/1.2 before making this decision. Start with that one (rent it?) and evaluate the size for your needs as well as the aperture. For formal portraits you will soon forget about the size when you see the image results.

    If you are an out and about shooter with street/events/candids/family, rent the 50mm f/2 and give it a go and enjoy the smaller size, the excellent AF speed. It shouldn't be too hard to force the bokeh at f/2 and then see if that meets your expectations for casual/occasional portraiture. Test your typical lighting situations with and without the lens hood as the hood doubles the size of that lens. While the hood doesn't weigh anything, it does make it a very different looking lens and maybe messes up your idea of a "discrete" factor if you are thinking that way.

    I have and shoot with my 56mm f/1.2 and I'm blown away by the results every time I put it on. However, it does not fit my shooting style the best and it doesn't alway get on the camera. I often find my self compromising in all directions by just using the 55mm end of the 18-55mm f/2.8-4 zoom and even it gives some pretty acceptable results if you are not looking for fine-art results.

    The 50/55mm lenses fit that classical portrait focal length and outside portraiture many find that focal length to be somewhat awkward. If you are wanting 50/55mm and it's really not your most favorite focal length, then I think that's another vote for the 50mm f/2. The smaller size makes it much more convenient to just have in your kit bag for when the occasion does arrive to use it. The 56mm f/1.2 takes up a lot of space and adds a lot of weight in my bag for just casual carry.

    Good Luck in your decision,
    Roger
     
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  7. bacil

    bacil Premium Member

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    If you can afford it, the rendering is stunning especially for portrait at 1.2. For landscape, you don’t really need that and the 50mm is small, af fast, wr, and sharp.
     
  8. streetsntravel

    streetsntravel Premium Member

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    I was trying to find a photography "tour" a few minutes ago and stumbled across this comparison of the 50 and 56mm lenses. I think the author and the images taken pretty much support everything that's been said in the above replies.

    Please login or register to view links

    Roger
     
  9. mnhoj

    mnhoj Premium Member

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    I've owned the 56 and currently own the 50. Both are great.
    The math could not be outlined better above.

    I would buy used.
    That way when the other choice calls to you, you can pay your price, flop it and try the other.
    56 first. Emotional over sensible.
     
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  10. gremlin75

    gremlin75 Premium Member

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    For me the 56. Why? Because f1.2

    For portraits it's a stunning lens. But for me thats all it is, a portrait lens, and even then it is used less then my 35mm f1.4.
     
  11. Shadowside

    Shadowside Good Glass is Forever...

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    ... Anybody looking for a very lightly used 56 or 90?

    No jokes... I will be listing both later this week on our classifieds section.

    PM if interested :)

    Wow, that was almost shamefully convenient lol
     
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  12. cug

    cug Premium Member

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    I've had both for quite a while, have sold the 50/2 a while ago. I like the options the 56 gives me, but the 50/2 is a very, very good lens. I might get this one again, as it is by far (in my opinion) the best of the 23/35/50 f/2 series.
     
  13. SixstringSlinger

    SixstringSlinger Active Member

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    Roger, Thanks for the time and thought you put into your reply. The link you provided was very helpful. The more I ponder this choice I think the 50 2.0 would be more appropriate for me most of the time. Yes, I see the advantage of the 1.2 for portraits however that would be the least used function of this focal length for me. I reality I need both with the 2.0 getting the most play. The 2.0 makes sense as a 1st purchase as my Nikkor can hang for a while yet.

    This Fuji glass is addictive.
     
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  14. Bud James

    Bud James Premium Member

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    I owned the 56. It is an awesome piece of glass although it was heavy, slow to focus and noisy. After purchasing the 50 f2, I sold the 56.

    For me the IQ of the 50 f2 was awesome in a lighter, smaller and weather resistant form factor. It also focuses much faster than the 56 and is quiet. Also, it cost less too!

    Regards,
    Bud James

    Please check out my fine art and travel photography at Please login or register to view links or on Instagram at Please login or register to view links.
     
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  15. Angus

    Angus Premium Member

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    I shouldn’t participate in this discussion as I have never used the 50, but I want to contribute, to say the 56 is absolute quality, it’s very sharp, the bokeh is really something else, and there’s plenty 3D shots. I use it for portraits and landscape, it excels in both. It really is worth the money.
    Even the look of the lens itself gives off a great impression, so much glass.
    The 35 f1,4 and 23 f1.4 are not too different. I use the 23 and 56 as a combo. But it’s the 56 that generally has the edge, it’s very versatile.
    Here’s a sample hand held night shot and landscape
    6E58BC26-D9E6-4E00-89DB-8BD99259564F.jpeg

    7054650D-D096-4382-BB51-B415B61CDA2A.jpeg
     
  16. rmmacalalad

    rmmacalalad Well-Known Member

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    got stuck as well on the same question. yesterday i decided to get the 56 1.2. for few reasons.
    quality,its a pro grade lens and specially my purpose (portrait photography).
    you really get the image quality that you paid for based on the reviews that i have watched and read.
    cant wait to get it later today and test it out.

    Good luck on your lens choice!
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
  17. cug

    cug Premium Member

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    Please understand that this is just my opinion, but I personally find the 56/1.2 less impressive than it's always made up to be here. It's good, but it isn't any better or produces much better results than the typical 85/1.8 lenses on the major FF systems which typically go for half the price and produce equivalent results. And that's coming from me, I own the thing. At least it's smaller than the FF lenses ...

    The 50/2 is, in my opinion, absolutely in the same image quality league when you look at f/2 and smaller apertures, the only advantages the 56 has are larger aperture for more light and the longer focal length. The 50/2 is impressively good and it also is faster focusing than the 56 in nearly all light conditions as long as it can get enough light on the sensor. It moves a lot less glass with a faster AF motor.

    If you want a special lens, the 56APD would satisfy that desire, but from an image quality perspective it's not better, just different and whether or not you like the difference is a matter of taste. I owned it for a while, but surprisingly I like the bokeh from the standard 56 a little better in many situations. I also own the 90 and that is actually "better" from an image quality perspective, but I personally prefer using it on an X-H1 as it greatly benefits from in-body stabilization.
     
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  18. rmmacalalad

    rmmacalalad Well-Known Member

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    I respect you opinion regarding on this matter. And I just share my opinion too. And please dont compare the DOF of a FF camera to a crop sensor, it is way too different. He's just asking for an "opinion" to the other users here. In the end, his decision will matter. Just help him pick and do not argue with the personal opinions of other users.
     
  19. F2Bthere

    F2Bthere Premium Member

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    I have the 56 APD and prefer it to the 56 R. Those who are going to value this lens will already have a sense about their Bokeh preferences and can pretty easily see the difference for themselves on Flickr. If you are not afflicted with this particular bias, I think it is a waste of money.

    I agree with the plan to get the 50/2, use it and decide if you are missing anything. It is quite handy and focuses very nicely.
     
  20. cug

    cug Premium Member

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    While this is not the main topic of this discussion, I disagree. Different sensor sizes need different lenses and apertures to achieve the same optical result, but in the end, as long as optical relations are equivalent, you get equivalent results. Therefore, as much as this "equivalency" discussion is unhelpful in most cases, the underlying principals aren't magic and shouldn't be discarded on either side of the discussion.

    Regarding the topic of this thread – I recommend the 50/2 over the 56/1.2 as long as minimal depth of field or the focal length is not required or desired. Especially on the bodies mentioned in the original post.
     
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