Quick bokeh comparison 56mm vs 60mm

Started Feb 28, 2014 | Discussions
Chris Dodkin
Chris Dodkin Veteran Member • Posts: 9,162
Quick bokeh comparison 56mm vs 60mm
6

As it's raining in biblical amounts outside, you'll have to make do with a robot and some cameras!

X-T1 full size JPEGs - generated from RAW files in ACR 8.4 - same PP applied to all 3 files.

ISO 200 - AF box on the robot's chest plate - camera fixed on a tripod.

56mm @ f/1.2

56mm @ f/2.5 (Closest I could get to f/2.4)

60mm @ f/2.4

AF speeds - 56mm was faster - more of a progressive slide to focus, where as the 60 did a quick yoyo around focus sometimes.

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Simon Elwell Contributing Member • Posts: 526
Re: Quick bokeh comparison 56mm vs 60mm

The 56 looks a little softer at 1.2 but you'd expect that and for portraits it may even create a flattering effect!  At 2.5 it's sharp

I was impressed by how sharp the 60mm is wide open.

Not a huge difference in bokeh but enough to see that the 56mm has the edge slightly.

Can't wait to get mine...

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Phil Levy Contributing Member • Posts: 636
Re: Quick bokeh comparison 56mm vs 60mm

Thanks for this Chris - I finally succumbed and ordered an X-T1 today, and after much deliberating also got a 60mm to supplement my lens collection. I decided that with the £100 cash back offers at the moment along with the desire to keep things as compact and light as possible that the 56mm didn't make for a sensible buy at the moment. I hope  that I don't regret the decision later!

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gerard boulanger Senior Member • Posts: 2,262
60 mm is very good, even fully open n/t

No text.

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Mike in Kansas
Mike in Kansas Contributing Member • Posts: 794
Re: Quick bokeh comparison 56mm vs 60mm
1

The bokeh at f/1.2 on the 56 is beautiful.  However, at f/2.8 they look pretty darn similar.  The 60mm clearly is good for portraits, assuming you can work around the slower AF.  Thanks for posting - the 60mm may be my next lens!

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deednets Veteran Member • Posts: 8,512
Re: Quick bokeh comparison 56mm vs 60mm

Simon Elwell wrote:

The 56 looks a little softer at 1.2 but you'd expect that and for portraits it may even create a flattering effect! At 2.5 it's sharp

I was impressed by how sharp the 60mm is wide open.

Not a huge difference in bokeh but enough to see that the 56mm has the edge slightly.

Can't wait to get mine...

I am going to get the 56 as well, but must say that at 2.5/2.4 I actually like the bokeh of the 60 much better. Not sure whether this can be explained by the difference in focal length or simply because the 56 stopped down a bit. Since I take portraits in the studio and am aware that you do need at least some DOF, never really like the images were the tip of the nose was in focus and the rest was not, if you get my drift, so since bokeh starts to get nervous around 2.5 and up, maybe wait for a while to see how things pan out.

Deed

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Daniel from Bavaria Contributing Member • Posts: 873
Re: Quick bokeh comparison 56mm vs 60mm

Hi Chris,

thanks for that comparision, it is very usefull. I also have the 2.4 60 and it really is a lovely lens in terms of IQ and also bokeh. It's still my sharpest lens and I love to use it for portraits.

However, I am also waiting for a call from my dealer to get the 1.2 56. I have to admit that they are very close at 2.4, but I'll buy the 56mm lens for f1.2  

Cheers,

Daniel

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pkincy
pkincy Contributing Member • Posts: 808
Re: Quick bokeh comparison 56mm vs 60mm
1

Certainly having a very fast lens (f1.2) is very neat.  But I have had the 60 mm since it came out and it is phenomenal.   So I don't believe I will be adding the 56.

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Daniel from Bavaria Contributing Member • Posts: 873
Re: Quick bokeh comparison 56mm vs 60mm

pkincy wrote:

Certainly having a very fast lens (f1.2) is very neat. But I have had the 60 mm since it came out and it is phenomenal. So I don't believe I will be adding the 56.

I also have the 60mm since it is out, and yes and I admit it is a tough run to spend that amount of money "just" for the 1.2. The 60mm is small ans has great IQ. The AF is soso, also on the X-T1, but improved.

It is more reasonable to to just keep the 60mm, but luckily I don't have to be reasonable with my hobby . For sure I will keep my 60mm - but will sell my 1.4 85mm Sigma for my Canon , so at least I am bit reasonable.

Daniel

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BrianBrianBrian Junior Member • Posts: 40
Re: Quick bokeh comparison 56mm vs 60mm
1

Chris, this type of comparison is great. Is there any chance you (or others) could do more comparisons between these two lenses wide open? Particularly, it would be great to see some comparisons of people pictures - headshots, head & shoulders, and full body. It would also be great to see some shots that could only be done well at f/1.2 due to lack of light, where camera shake due at f/2.4 would ruin the photo.

My personal concern with the 56mm is that it is large & expensive and I'm not sure how often I'd actually shoot a *decent* picture at f/1.2 because the depth of field is so shallow. Chris's initial shots in this thread, combined with the price difference, convinced me to reconsider the XF60mm. In particular, XE-2 + XF60mm is back in contention now, whereas previously I was considering going the XT-1 + XF56mm route or waiting for the a8r.

Brian Caslis
Brian Caslis Senior Member • Posts: 2,932
Re: Quick bokeh comparison 56mm vs 60mm

Thanks for the comparison. I'm very interested in a portrait lens but I also want a macro. The 60 is only a 1:2, correct? Is it useful as a macro lens?

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Chris Dodkin
OP Chris Dodkin Veteran Member • Posts: 9,162
Re: Quick bokeh comparison 56mm vs 60mm

Brian Caslis wrote:

Thanks for the comparison. I'm very interested in a portrait lens but I also want a macro. The 60 is only a 1:2, correct? Is it useful as a macro lens?

More close up than true macro

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xt1isdabomb Senior Member • Posts: 1,509
Re: Quick bokeh comparison 56mm vs 60mm

Chris Dodkin wrote:

As it's raining in biblical amounts outside, you'll have to make do with a robot and some cameras!

X-T1 full size JPEGs - generated from RAW files in ACR 8.4 - same PP applied to all 3 files.

ISO 200 - AF box on the robot's chest plate - camera fixed on a tripod.

56mm @ f/1.2

56mm @ f/2.5 (Closest I could get to f/2.4)

60mm @ f/2.4

AF speeds - 56mm was faster - more of a progressive slide to focus, where as the 60 did a quick yoyo around focus sometimes.

Wow! They all look good. I suppose the  60 would be more useful as you can get closer.

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Group4 Contributing Member • Posts: 502
Re: Quick bokeh comparison 56mm vs 60mm

Thank you Chris for sharing these. I see that the image wide open with the 56 does effectively mute the background and therefore better isolates the subject. Overall (and I am guessing price point taken into consideration), the 60 comes out looking pretty good against the 56 at 2.4 as several people here have already stated; maybe besting the newer lens slightly.

For me the background is problematic given the intensity of the lighting. There is lots of electricity/movement in the bokeh. I love the results I get with my Summicron 50 at f2 and will be keeping that but also think that the lighting here would pose a similar problem for any lens in terms of taming the background.

Grp4

khollister Regular Member • Posts: 152
Re: Quick bokeh comparison 56mm vs 60mm

I also slightly prefer the bokeh of the 60 to the 56 @ f/2.5. The other interesting thing about the 60 (which I use) is that the bokeh (quality, not quantity of OOF) remains pretty constant as you stop the lens down. It really is a rather special lens optically for a very reasonable price.

Keith

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Phil Levy Contributing Member • Posts: 636
Re: Quick bokeh comparison 56mm vs 60mm

After the £100 cash back I paid £339 for the the 60mm which made it really hard to consider the 56.

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StevenScholten Regular Member • Posts: 314
Re: Quick bokeh comparison 56mm vs 60mm
1

Thanks fortaking the time Chris. The 56mm is the clear winner, but at f2.5 the 60mm is better imho. I hope a friend will bring me one from NY. It's a bargain at 399.

You discribed the difference in focussing on tha xt1. What about om the xpro1? I'll be using it for portraits.

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psxdadz Regular Member • Posts: 255
Re: Quick bokeh comparison 56mm vs 60mm

StevenScholten wrote:

Thanks fortaking the time Chris. The 56mm is the clear winner, but at f2.5 the 60mm is better imho. I hope a friend will bring me one from NY. It's a bargain at 399.

You discribed the difference in focussing on tha xt1. What about om the xpro1? I'll be using it for portraits.

My wife brought me one back from New York on a recent trip  worked out at £270 also had to get the 27 at $200. The 60 is my go to lens.

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marco1974 Senior Member • Posts: 1,778
But then again...

Chris Dodkin wrote:

Brian Caslis wrote:

Thanks for the comparison. I'm very interested in a portrait lens but I also want a macro. The 60 is only a 1:2, correct? Is it useful as a macro lens?

More close up than true macro

A "true" 1:1 macro lens on a "Full Frame" camera lets you fill the frame with a 36x24mm subject.

The Fuji 60mm at 1:2 lets you fill the (APS-C) frame with a 48x32mm subject.

So for all practical intents and purposes, the difference in framing between the two alternatives above is 48/36 = 1.33, or 33%.

Marco

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marco1974 Senior Member • Posts: 1,778
So, to sum up... (IMHO)
1

khollister wrote:

I also slightly prefer the bokeh of the 60 to the 56 @ f/2.5. The other interesting thing about the 60 (which I use) is that the bokeh (quality, not quantity of OOF) remains pretty constant as you stop the lens down. It really is a rather special lens optically for a very reasonable price.

Keith

Totally agreed, based on my experience also.
The 60 is really a great lens, period. And the AF is also really now OK with the latest firmware.

The super-shallow DOF you can obtain at f/1.2 is nice to have as an option, and it certainly has its uses. But in many cases f/2.4 is plenty shallow already, and any more becomes a bit of a cliché 'show trick' that can get repetitive pretty quickly, IMHO.

So that, for me, leaves the ability to keep shooting hand-held in very low light.

But, for really low light situations where camera shake is an issue, I think the 35/1.4 may be an even better option overall, since it is only 1/2 a stop 'slower' (f/1.4 vs. 1.2), but it lets you get away with a full stop slower shutter speed (e.g. 1/60s vs. 1/125s) because of the shorter FL...

Again, thank you Chris for taking the time to contribute this very nice comparison!

Marco

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