My first jaunt outside with the low light monster from Fuji. The 56mm f1.2 APD.

I know that this lens is pretty much custom made for the sole purpose of shooting portraits with extremely narrow depth of field in an APS-C camera system. An attempt to match the look of those fast 85mm f1.8s and f1.4s that people grew up with when they shot film, or now, full frame cameras. But I didn't have a handy human model today, and I've been reading about the enormous health benefits of long walks, so I decided not to have any expectations but to take a Fuji X-H1 and the 56mm f1.2 APD along with me on a two hour walk through central Austin. My one nod to curiosity about the camera's "wide open" performance was the application of a variable neutral density filter to the front of the lens. Sadly, mine did not come with the .8 ND that was originally delivered along with the lens (about 3 stops). 

That's okay because I have a drawer full of variable and single neutral density filters to use on video projects. 

I shot most of these images at f1.2, compensating for bright sun with a combination of my lowest ISO (200) and my VND. Getting the right stuff in focus can be a challenge but I must say that the manual focusing ring is wonderful, with just the right tactile feedback and not too extensive a throw. If I had trouble narrowing in with AF I could switch to MF and nail every image every time. 

I love the idea of this lens and had a blast just getting to know it. 

This one amazed me. It's wide open but the building and crane are far enough away to still provide enough depth of field to cover both subject; at least in smaller displays....

Stunned by the sharpness of this machine when shot at 1.2 with the 56mm. 

f2.0 is not shabby either. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Kirk, I look forward to more 56mm images. I'm wondering how you'll find it with people, moving people. I've rented the lens twice, not the APD but the regular one. The images are wonderful but focus is depending on the situation iffy. The XT-3 may do a better job the the HX and I wonder if you'll find that true.
Of course shooting at 1.2 is full of challenges as I know you are aware.
I'm Nikon shooter who has a few toes in Fuji. Friday I shot a job in a very dark recording studio. I had a D4S Nikon and an Xpro2 with 35 and 50 mil lenses. Each camera did a great job. The Nikon just shouldn't look as good as it does at ISO 12,800 when needed, the Fuji played along pretty well. Could it displace the Nikon? Dunno. More time in post processing will tell. As for the jpgs the Nikon wins but some of that is my settings. I had at the Fuji on Acros and the NR set to -2 as I hate smearing from NR. So between Acros adding its own grain and the noise from the -2 I didn't give the Fuji a fair shake BUT the images at 3200 have a great filmy look, the "grain" looks convincing and there is a kind of nice charcoal grit to them. If the Nikon images weren't in the shoot who knows what I'd feel. Of course once I edit the images (Photomechanic shows me the jpg in the RAW file) I'll spend time with the RAWs
So yes I look forward to your low light findings and settings.