XF Lens for bokeh & subject isolation. 35mm f1.4 or 56mm f1.2 ?

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Rich the Hiker
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XF Lens for bokeh & subject isolation. 35mm f1.4 or 56mm f1.2 ?
4 months ago

A question for Fuji X series shooters. I've very recently (in the last week) acquired a used X-Pro1 which is a massive move up for me coming from an advanced fixed lens compact camera background (Panasonic LX5 and Canon G1X). With my previous cameras I shot within their limitations, and primarily only took photos when on day trips, hiking or mountaineering or on holidays. Most of my photos were of scenery or landscapes and I sometimes used ND filters and a tripod at times too. I very rarely took photos of people or street type photos, portraits or close ups of flowers or plants etc due to the limited lens abilities of the compacts. Having an X-Pro1 with interchangeable lens is a big game changer for me for the first time, and I would now like to experience subject isolation, out of focus rendering and bokeh for the first time. I am using the XF18-55mm kit lens, and am awaiting delivery of a used 14mm wide prime lens for landscape photography. The 18-55mm has surprised me with how well it isolates the subject and renders out of focus areas well at f4 at the tele end! I do however still wish to purchase a faster prime lens for bokeh and better subject isolation, and I've narrowed my choice down to either the 35mm f1.4 or the 56mm f1.2 which is almost twice the price! Do any of you Fuji X shooters own the 18-55, the 35 and the 56? Could you give me an idea of comparison of bokeh and subject isolation between the 35 and the 56 lenses, and also which of these two lenses you get more use out of? I will not be doing any major portraiture photography, rather it will be a lens I use for family get togethers, photos of our cats, maybe some outdoor scenery with subject isolation. Part of me is thinking I could probably purchase both a used 35mm and a used 60mm lens for the price of the newer 56, and the 60 would give me some macro and nice bokeh too, almost as good as the 56. For my situation - [mostly travel and landscape photos, seeking subject isolation and bokeh for the first time, low light photos, I can't afford both the 35 and 56 lenses but wishes to get one fast lens to explore a new type of photography] - which lens would you recommend for my X-Pro1? Or recommend I get the 35 and 60 for same price as 56? Taking focal length out of the equation for a moment (I know they are very very different and have different dof effects), do you find the 35mm f1.4 bokeh and rendering to be as creamy, smooth and acceptable (given the shorter focal length...) as the longer faster 56mm f1.2 lens? Given that both the 35 and the 56 are effectively covered by my 18-55 kit lens, which would be the better addition to my camera bag, which would see more use, and which would make more of a difference compared to the already pleasing rendering of the kit lens at 55mm f4? Is one lens better for head and shoulder shots and the other for full length shots?Many thanks for your advice, perhaps you also struggled with this decision on which one fast prime lens (for bokeh) to purchase at one stage, or you bought both and can give an argument for one versus the other.  Rich

Fujifilm XF1 Fujifilm X-Pro1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5
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