Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2R APD lens review: A serious portrait prime for serious bokeh


posted Friday, January 16, 2015 at 6:52 PM EDT


Just when you though the bokeh of the original Fuji 56mm f/1.2 couldn't get any better, Fujifilm introduced a special version of their portrait prime at Photokina 2014, the Fuji 56mm f/1.2R APD. The "APD" stands for apodization, by which a filter is introduced into the optical path that features a smooth, circular gradation that darkens toward the outer edge. This essentially provides a softer edge to the lens's aperture and aims to provide smoother out of focus blur, but at the expense of some light transmission.

Other than the new APD filter, the optical design and build quality is identical to the original 56mm f/1.2R lens: the same number of aspherical and Extra Low Dispersion elements, and a solid, all-metal barrel construction. Performance of this new version is equally impressive to that of the original model -- excellent, sharp images, with very low distortion, CA and vignetting.

Does the apodization filter produce better bokeh, or background blur, than the original? It's a subtle change, and which one is "better" comes down to personal preference, we feel. For all the details, though, head over to SLRgear to read our Fuji 56mm f/1.2R APD review, complete with our in-depth report, final conclusion as well as our full range of test results and sample images, including side-by-side bokeh comparison shots between this and the non-APD 56mm lens.

The Fuji 56mm f/1.2R APD is currently available for purchase for around $1,499. Like the non-APD model, this 56mm lens ships with a lens hood, soft pouch and front/rear caps. The APD model, however, also ships with a Fujifilm ND8 (3-stop ND) filter to help shoot wide-open in bright conditions. Check out Adorama or B&H for more info on purchasing. Buying this lens, or any other item, at one of these trusted affiliates helps support this site and keeps the reviews coming!

In the meantime, check out some sample photos shot by our senior lens technician Rob Murray. You can view more sample photos, plus download the full-resolution files, over at our Flickr page.

Fuji X-E1: 56mm, f/1.2, 1/4000s, ISO 200, +2/3EV
Fuji X-T1: 56mm, f/1.2, 1/600s, ISO 200, Fuji 3-Stop ND Filter
Fuji X-E1: 56mm, f/1.2, 1/2200s, ISO 200