I've done it. The age of the 60mm is over, the time of the 56mm has begun.
Here is a short review, a few sample images and a bit about why I've decided to change from the Fuji 60mm F2.4 to the [non APD] 56mm F1.2.
I was in Birmingham recently on a trip to an SWPP mini convention, there I got the chance to have a play with all the latest Fuji gear, one thing I had my eye on was the 56mm, I've been reading reviews and comparisons for a while now and felt I really needed a hands on play to make my choice.
I love the 60mm lens, its a great performer and you can read my review of the 60mm here, but there was one thing I wanted to be different about it, and it wasn't the focus [because that's one of the most complained yet unfounded things about this lens] it was simply; light gathering capability. The F1.2 of the 56mm was calling, and I could feel it while I worked.
When shooting a wedding I usually have the 35mm lens around my neck and a bag on my shoulder, usually with a strapless body with the 60mm on it to grab for when I need a bit more reach. However I've recently found that this lens gets no use once the sun goes down favouring the much faster 35mm or [now sold] 85mm Samyang 1.4 lens, this left me in one of two places, either having to manually focus or not having enough reach.
The 56mm now allows me to keep shooting well into the night, in fact beating my 35mm for light gathering ability and also getting some great background separation with that super fast aperture. This thing eats light for breakfast, its awesome, had a small play of it in a church and didn't even max out the ISO to get a nice clean and bright exposure, can't wait to put this through its paces in some of the really dark venues!
I've of course lost one massive factor and that is macro, this was playing on my mind when making the switch but when I really thought about it only about 1 of every 1000 shots I've ever taken had required any kind of macro function, all in all I didn't need it and the trade off was worth it all.
So that's my upgrade journey, for now I'm loving the 56mm, I've just taken it with me on a press trip to Scotland where it performed fantastically, can't wait to get much more use of it. For now here's some shots I've taken with this beast.
Thanks for stopping by,
The image above is a several shot composite put together in photoshop with a little added help from the content aware fill, its surprising how much of a joy a telephoto lens can be for landscape photography. [click for full size]