|Photo © 2015 Tewfic El-Sawy- X-T1 & Fuji XF 16-55mm f/2.8|
These two lenses are the Fuji 56mm f/1.2 and the Fuji XF 16-55mm f/2.8. Some months ago, I acquired the former specifically for portraiture, especially for its low-light capabilities and it impressed me as an excellent lens for such a purpose.
And just a few weeks before my traveling, I added the Fuji 16-55mm to my collection of lenses. I much prefer primes to zooms, but I was attracted to this particular zoom lens because it would give me a lot of flexibility when photographing rituals, festivals and crowds.
The Fuji 16-55mm f/2.8 is the first pro-level standard zoom lens for the Fuji's X series of cameras. It maintains a maximum f/2.8 aperture throughout its zoom range, and is sealed to protect against dust and moisture. Having no short zooms during my March self-assignment in Hanoi meant that I had to constantly switch primes and or cameras whilst shooting various religious ceremonies.
This zoom gave me the flexibility I needed, and I used it almost 70% of the time in Hanoi and Bali. I was very pleased by its capabilities (low-light and otherwise), and it 'converted' my X T-1 to a go-anywhere camera when mounted with it. While it has no OIS, it performed virtually flawlessly and its sharpness is commendable. It's a tad large and heavy, so is better suited for the X T-1 with a battery grip. That said, it provides prime-like image quality over a range of focal lengths.
And this brings me to the Fuji 56mm f/1.2 prime lens. I know some Fuji photographers had to consider very carefully the merits of each lens, as these two 'competed' with each other. I have both, and I believe that the Fuji 16-55mm f/2.8 is as good as the Fuji 56mm f/1.2 in terms of optics. In the zoom, one doesn't have as wide an aperture, so the bokeh will be less pronounced, but the zoom's flexibility ought to compensate for that.
|Photo © Tewfic El-Sawy- X-T1 & Fuji XF 56mm f/1.2|
The question now that I have both lenses is whether the Fuji XF 16-55mm f/2.8 negates the usefulness of the Fuji 56mm f/1.2 . The above portraits of Ms. Nguyễn Vi are almost similar in quality., and one could argue that having the zoom lens is enough. I have yet to decide on that, but I also know that the low light capability of the prime lens is an important consideration for my type of photography.
For those who like that sort of thing:
The photograph's settings using the Fuji 16-55mm f/2.8 are: 1/320, 800 iso, f/2.8 and spot metering.
The photograph's settings using the Fuji 56mm f/1.2 are: 1/3200, 800 iso, f/1.2 and pattern metering.