Last Saturday I went down to the river with a handful of friends and decided to bring my brand new Fujinon 56mm F1.2 R and my Fujifilm X-T20 along with me. I've never owned a lens as expensive as this one before. I bought it brand new at $999, so when I snapped it on to my camera I was praying that it would "wow" me.
We'll see if the 56mm lives up to my hopes and dreams in a bit, but lets talk about my lenses a little first.
When I purchased my X-T20 I decided to grab Fuji's 35mm F2 along with it. It was said to be a small, light weight, inexpensive, optically amazing, 50mm full frame equivalent that all first time Fuji buyers should own. I thought to myself, "50mm standard focal length! Of course I need that! It's going to be perfect!". It never occurred to me that when I owned my Nikon D800 I only used an 85mm 1.8 and a 35mm 1.4 manual focus for all my shooting needs.
I wasn't used to the 50mm focal length. The only 50mm I own is my dad's old Nikkor 50mm 1.4 that I only use on my Nikon FE. Furthermore, I've stated several times in this blog that I don't shoot film much, so in turn, I don't use a 50mm lens much.
So when I started to play around with the Fuji XF 35mm it just didn't feel right. Maybe it was the f/2.0 minimum aperture that didn't give me the kind of bokeh I really wanted. Maybe it was that feeling in my gut telling me "I just wish I was tighter in" or "I really want to be a bit wider right now". Something was off. Because of this I slowly began to realize that the 50mm focal length is just not for me.
And so I sought a new lens, one that would give me what I needed.
I did a ton of research before pulling the trigger on this lens. Hours of YouTube reviews and tons of galleries from all across the internet. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't going to be let down again. The 35mm F2 is in no way a bad lens. It's tack sharp and renders colors beautifully. But it just wasn't the lens for me. I needed something familiar. I needed an 85.
I'm excited to tell you that the 56mm F1.2 is exactly what dreamed it would be. This lens' focal length is equivalent to an 85mm, just what I was looking for. It's not without it's faults, but there are many things I can look past if it delivers the images that I see in my mind.
When shooting wide open with this lens, the world becomes a dreamlike blur of bokeh and magic. All of the photos I took at the river were shot at either f/1.2 or f/1.8 in bright sunlight. I shot these in JPEG, which was probably a mistake because the sun was blowing out a lot of things most of the time, but It wasn't a professional job so I don't really give a shit.
The Fujinon 56mm F1.2 R is an absolute pleasure to shoot with. I can't wait to bring it to Japan in December and make some killer images.
I thought I would also try and create some sequential pieces for some of the "jumping into the river" shots I got as well.