Fujifilm XF56 f/1.2 effectively an f/1.4?

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wetjosh New Member • Posts: 3
Fujifilm XF56 f/1.2 effectively an f/1.4?
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I purchased this lens on craigslist the other day. It is an impressive lens to look at. Staring down the barrel, it is easy notice the wide aperture, especially when the only other prime I have for comparison is the 23 f/1.4. It's only a half stop faster but at that f number, it correlates to a significant increase in diameter. The bokeh looks great at its 85mm equivalent focal length. But...

The largest aperture setting, f/1.2, doesn't appear to have any effect on the out of focus area of the photo and only marginal, very marginal, increase in light transmission when compared to f1.4

If I press the preview button or just hold the shutter down halfway and switch between f/1.4 and f/1.2 I can see the aperture widen all the way - there's no mechanical issue that I can tell (I was worried at first I bought a broken lens). But there is no narrowing of the focal plane; no additional blurring of the background. What I can observe is the image darkening. This happens because my shutter speed is on Auto and it lowers the shutter speed. It's as though my camera (X-T4) thinks a half stop more light is coming in, so it compensates by lowering the shutter speed, but that's not actually happening so the image is just darker. If I keep my shutter speed fixed and start at f/2, I see a standard amount of brightening for each stop until I get to f/1.2. The change in brightness is very, very tiny compared to all the previous stops.

This is why I'm suggesting this is effectively an f/1.4 lens. It appears to have the glass to be an f/1.2, but it can't take advantage of it. Or maybe the glass is exactly the problem: the glass is not wide enough to take advantage of how wide the aperture can get. I don't know I'm just throwing out ideas. I still like the lens, and it's not like there is a cheaper f/1.4 option at that focal length anyway, but I am kind of, actually very, disappointed with its widest advertised aperture performance.

Is anyone else experiencing this? Can anyone explain what is going on? Anyone have any thoughts?

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