A few toughts on the XF 16mm f/1.4 and XF 56mm f/1.2 APD

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yayatosorus Senior Member • Posts: 1,531
A few toughts on the XF 16mm f/1.4 and XF 56mm f/1.2 APD
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Recently I've had the pleasure to use the XF 16 f/1.4 and 56 APD for a few days and compare them to other primes/zooms I've shot with in the past.

The main drive behind this was to try out the very well regarded 16 and to test how usable the contrast detect only 56 APD was in practice. This is not a review, as I believe I'd have to use the lenses for quite a bit more time in order to write a balanced assessment.

The first thing I've noticed was the similar handling of both lenses. Although both have relatively compact dimensions and manageable weight you immediately notice the handling difference over the f/2 primes. The deep grip of the X-H1 allowed me to use both one handed when shooting outside with gloves on, something I would have not attempted with other X-series models that feature slimmer grips.

As far as the AF goes, I was pleasantly surprised with the snappiness of the XF 16mm f/1.4 both in AF-S and AF-C, which seemed on par with the performance of the 35 f/2.

Now, the second pleasant surprise came from the 56 APD, which performed much better than what I expected. The autofocus was generally accurate and fairly snappy in AF-S, as long as the subject was acceptably lit. As expected, the performance in AF-C wasn't the best. I'd have to run more tests in order to find out the optimal settings. The biggest issue came when the subject lacked contrast or was lit by monochromatic light, at which point the lens struggled to acquire focus.

The only real letdown I can think of is the clutch on the 16mm, for which I was very excited. Being a mechanism that works "by wire" I was expecting some latency, but what the lens exhibited was quite noticeable, which unfortunately made the clutch feel a tad gimmicky. The hard stops were definitely nice, but I'm not sure they warrant such a complex mechanism. If this sort of performance is standard among the other clutch equipped lenses, then I understand why Fuji seems to be moving away from it.

Anyways, in the end both lenses produced lovely images and I can confirm that their cult status is well deserved.

 yayatosorus's gear list:yayatosorus's gear list
Fujifilm X-H1 Fujifilm XF 35mm F2 R WR
Fujifilm XF 16mm F1.4 R WR Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R APD Fujifilm X-H1
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