50mm f2 vs 56mm f1.2 vs. 50-140mm f2.8 (or maybe just 35mm f1.4)

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
Colin Dutton Regular Member • Posts: 237
Re: 50mm f2 vs 56mm f1.2 vs. 50-140mm f2.8 (or maybe just 35mm f1.4)

Funnily enough I was trying out some of these lenses last week, looking for a nice combination for portraits. Here’s a quick summary of what I found…

The 56 f1,2 is lovely and has a certain magic to it when shot wide open.  Impressive sharpness at f1.2 and great for portraits. Having said that I didn’t particularly like the line it draws around specular highlights and I didn’t like the bokeh once you start stopping the lens down as the blades make their shape seen quite early on and it all gets a bit edgy for my taste.

The 60mm macro is great, focuses much closer obviously and I though it had a nicer bokeh than the 56mm when shot at the same aperture ( f2.4 / f2.5). The circles were smoother and rounder. I found autofocus comparable between the two lenses, not particularly great but good enough for me. Neither are weather sealed.

The 50mm f2 I enjoyed using..  much quicker and quieter autofocus, weather sealed, 9 blades offering a smooth bokeh, close focusing so probably good for tighter portraits if you want to separate your subject from the background. It didn’t quite have the magic of the 56mm and at f2 it’s going to struggle separating full-length portraits but it’s a tempting, versatile little lens for what it costs.

The 90mm f2 was my favourite. Snappy focus, very accurate, sharp, contrasty, nice fall off and rendering. Not much to complain about there.

I didn’t try the 50-140mm but then it's not something I'm interested in at the moment.

I have the 60mm macro already which I use mostly for food and I hadn’t really considered for portraits, but it's actually pretty good. For now I’ll probably go for a 90mm f2 and wait to see what the 50mm f1.0 turns out like.. I have a feeling it could suit me well.

Hope that helps,


 Colin Dutton's gear list:Colin Dutton's gear list
Nikon D800 Fujifilm X-Pro2 Nikon D850 Fujifilm X-H1
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