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What a Beauty! Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 R WR First Impressions – The Phoblographer

I could never fall in love with the original Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 R lens. In fact, I sold it to someone along with my XH1 for a cheap price because I wanted to get rid of it. Yet, with this new lens, I’m finding something pretty gorgeous. Fujifilm said they revamped the optics to make it focus faster and make it sharper. Perhaps it’s the new Fujifilm XH2’s color from the 40MP sensor, but this lens delivers colors I could only dream of. To boot, the new Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 R WR is also weather resistant and not that large.
When we were briefed on the lens, I stated it’s arguably the most exciting thing about the recent announcement. We had a feeling it was coming for a while too, but we didn’t expect to like this lens as much, especially at the very affordable price point.
Editor’s Note: This coverage is thanks to Fujifilm working with the international press. Many of us were flown in from around the world and put in hotels paid for by Fujifilm. I chose not to stay in a hotel as I live in NYC. The models were all compensated by Fujifilm.
Table of Contents
These were taken from our original announcement post.
If you look at the Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 R WR from above, you’ll see it looks a whole lot like the previous lens. However, it’s a bit longer and fatter according to Fujifilm. 
You can also tell the difference by looking at the front of the lens!
Everything else pretty much seems the same. The body is made of metal and the aperture and zoom rings are very similar to the originals.
Of course, if you wish, you have the option of setting the aperture ring to the A-mode and letting the camera control it. But why bother?
The new Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 R WR has weather resistance built into it. That was a major concern of the previous lens. I’d have loved to use that lens more more, but was hesitant because the sensor on Fujifilm cameras doesn’t have the same protection as Canon, Nikon, and Sony. But now, I’d be more than likely to go shooting in the rain or snow with it. 
Aside from the weather resistance, there’s also the fact that it simply just feels good in the hand. We use it only on the XH2, so we can’t say how it would feel on the X Pro 3. However, I’m confident it would be similar to the 50mm f1, but smaller and a bit fatter. 
Folks who aren’t used to Fujifilm lenses probably won’t care much for the aperture ring. I’ve seen the it throw off a couple of photographers. A former staffer would never use it, but they weren’t as experienced as our current staff. With that said, I think folks who like retro ergonomics would like the Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 R WR. Further, if you’re using the XH2 and its more DSLR-style of ergonomics, you’ll probably set the aperture ring to A-mode and let the camera take over.
On the Fujifilm XH2, I was impressed with how responsive the Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 R WR lens is. I did a few tests where I set the camera to face detection and wide area AF. It was able to find the subject pretty easily. With the pace that I shoot at though, I ended up setting the camera to the AF-C mode, choosing a large area, setting that to around the subject’s face, and then letting the camera track the subject. Fujifilm’s autofocus system still isn’t as simple to use as other manufacturers’ but it’s effective in its own way.
Best of all, eyelash-AF didn’t seem to happen here.
Here are some sample images shot with the prototype Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 R WR that we used on the XH2.
So far, I think there is a lot to love about the new Fujifilm 56mm f1.2 R WR lens. Granted, we tested a prototype, as did the rest of the photography press. I’m really liking what this lens produces when combined with the skin softening feature. Throw in the better autofocus and I’m very happy. But we need to see what else it’s capable of in our full review.
Stay tuned for that!

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