Fuji 56mm f1.2 or 16-55mm f2.8?

Started Jan 16, 2019 | Questions
charley5 Senior Member • Posts: 1,832
Fuji 56mm f1.2 or 16-55mm f2.8?

Hi Everyone:

I am new to Fuji cameras and lenses and I am having difficulty deciding between these two lenses. Mostly it will be used for travel photography. I take posed street shots. In my last photo excursion I took pictures of children at a slum in New Delhi and previous to that I took pictures of gypsy road workers in an encampment in a small Himalayan town. As I say, all were posed. I am less interested in spontaneous street shots.

My considerations:

The 16-55mm gives me a flexible focal range, is very sharp relative to other zoom lenses, and I can use it for the occasional landscape shots as well. Unfortunately it is heavy and thus less attractive as a travel lens.

The 56mm is a superb lens that is a little less heavy than the aforementioned zoom, and delivers excellent and natural quality. Downside is that in some situations I would like to have the flexibility of a zoom lens, particularly in my location relative to the subject, and in terms of the amount of background I wish to include.

Any thoughts? I am sure there are people who use these lenses and have opinions regarding the above.

Thanks!

-Charles

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Fujifilm X-H1 Zeiss Otus 55mm F1.4 Fujifilm 16-55mm F2.8R LM WR
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Vic Chapman Forum Pro • Posts: 10,694
Re: Fuji 56mm f1.2 or 16-55mm f2.8?
1

As a travel lens 16-55mm f2.8.

Which body do you use?

Vic

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markusw Senior Member • Posts: 1,705
Re: Fuji 56mm f1.2 or 16-55mm f2.8?
1

The zoom gives you more flexibility, of course. But I am wondering why you do not consider a 35 f1.4 or a 23 f1.4?

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Vic Chapman Forum Pro • Posts: 10,694
Re: Fuji 56mm f1.2 or 16-55mm f2.8?

..... Or a used 18-55mm + 56mm f1.2. When you get home, you can resell the 18-55 is necessary at little cost to you.

Vic

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Jerry-astro
MOD Jerry-astro Forum Pro • Posts: 15,015
Re: Fuji 56mm f1.2 or 16-55mm f2.8?

charley5 wrote:

Hi Everyone:

I am new to Fuji cameras and lenses and I am having difficulty deciding between these two lenses. Mostly it will be used for travel photography. I take posed street shots. In my last photo excursion I took pictures of children at a slum in New Delhi and previous to that I took pictures of gypsy road workers in an encampment in a small Himalayan town. As I say, all were posed. I am less interested in spontaneous street shots.

My considerations:

The 16-55mm gives me a flexible focal range, is very sharp relative to other zoom lenses, and I can use it for the occasional landscape shots as well. Unfortunately it is heavy and thus less attractive as a travel lens.

The 56mm is a superb lens that is a little less heavy than the aforementioned zoom, and delivers excellent and natural quality. Downside is that in some situations I would like to have the flexibility of a zoom lens, particularly in my location relative to the subject, and in terms of the amount of background I wish to include.

Any thoughts? I am sure there are people who use these lenses and have opinions regarding the above.

Thanks!

-Charles

If you are almost exclusively taking people shots in situations where subject isolation would be either helpful or a major requirement, then the 56/1.2 would be sort of a no-brainer.  However, for travel — particularly if you plan any other sorts of travel related photography as well — then the 16-55 would give you far more flexibility.  Unless all of your shots are staged, where you have control over subject distance, background, etc., travel photography often requires a range of different focal length, depending on the situation.  A fast zoom like the 16-55 is almost perfect for those situations.

Both lenses have some substance to them, with the 16-55 being about 50% heavier at 655g vs. 405g.  Having used both, I’m not sure I found the difference to be all that noticeable, but that’s an individual preference thing and something you’d have to judge for yourself by handling both lenses.  As primarily a zoom shooter, particularly for travel, the 16-55 would clearly be (and is) my choice for its versatility, but that doesn’t necessarily apply to your own preferences and needs.

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OP charley5 Senior Member • Posts: 1,832
Re: Fuji 56mm f1.2 or 16-55mm f2.8?

I just got the X-T2.

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OP charley5 Senior Member • Posts: 1,832
Re: Fuji 56mm f1.2 or 16-55mm f2.8?

I actually never thought about these. Hmm.

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OP charley5 Senior Member • Posts: 1,832
Re: Fuji 56mm f1.2 or 16-55mm f2.8?

Yes, I am beginning to lean that way. Given that its quality is a notch above the kit lens, I think that is an added draw. Perhaps I shall buy the 56mm at a later date in case I do portrait work closer to home.

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Bob Tullis
Bob Tullis Forum Pro • Posts: 38,265
As if you have a choice. . .
2

You buy one because you don't want to carry the other.

But you buy the other because sometimes it's more necessary, and you'll put up with the mass - but only if and when you have to.

It's just a matter of time until you, like the rest of us, realize that, save up, concoct a rationale that enables the indulgence, and gives in.

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OP charley5 Senior Member • Posts: 1,832
Re: As if you have a choice. . .

Yes, but the price for each is hefty, particularly for a Canadian that deals with a 33% exchange. That is why I need to give this some thought. Both would work well, but for different reasons.

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Erik Baumgartner Senior Member • Posts: 1,515
Re: Fuji 56mm f1.2 or 16-55mm f2.8?

If I was going to do what you describe, I’d go with the 16-55 or the 35 1.4 if was limited to a prime.

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Bob Tullis
Bob Tullis Forum Pro • Posts: 38,265
Re: As if you have a choice. . .

charley5 wrote:

Yes, but the price for each is hefty, particularly for a Canadian that deals with a 33% exchange. That is why I need to give this some thought. Both would work well, but for different reasons.

Of course.

Anyways, it's a nice problem to have to flesh out.   I was going to suggest to get the zoom, because that's the practical first choice.

I don't care for hefting the 16-55 if I can help it, but that's not because it's not an awesome lens.    If I could only have one. . . it would be the 16-55, as much as I favor primes over zooms.

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yokken
yokken Regular Member • Posts: 199
Re: Fuji 56mm f1.2 or 16-55mm f2.8?

The 56 isn't exactly a light lens. The 16-55 is heavier but not twice as heavy or anything. It is more versatile and you also get weather sealing. They're pretty close in price. The 16-55 is a good choice if you know you won't need the extra fast aperture.

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OP charley5 Senior Member • Posts: 1,832
Re: As if you have a choice. . .

Bob, you sound very ambivalent, which is my state of mind right now.

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OP charley5 Senior Member • Posts: 1,832
Re: Fuji 56mm f1.2 or 16-55mm f2.8?

Erik, that is the conclusion I am coming to as well.

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Bob Tullis
Bob Tullis Forum Pro • Posts: 38,265
Re: As if you have a choice. . .

charley5 wrote:

Bob, you sound very ambivalent, which is my state of mind right now.

heh. I'm that transparent, eh? The difference is - I've had more time to rationalize, save, and give in. Now it's a more immediate dilemma, a choice to be made every time I look at those lenses getting ready to go out.

May you too one day be so conflicted (or is it, afflicted?) [g]

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OP charley5 Senior Member • Posts: 1,832
Re: Fuji 56mm f1.2 or 16-55mm f2.8?

I will be going to a photo store to check out the weight of these lenses. I think that will help me decide!

-Charles

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10sj03 Regular Member • Posts: 431
Re: Fuji 56mm f1.2 or 16-55mm f2.8?

I have both. For your usage, 16-55mm.

OP charley5 Senior Member • Posts: 1,832
Re: Fuji 56mm f1.2 or 16-55mm f2.8?

Thanks. That seems to be the consensus.

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Fazal Majid
Fazal Majid Senior Member • Posts: 1,876
Re: Fuji 56mm f1.2 or 16-55mm f2.8?
1

I have both, and love both. If you are financially constrained, get the excellent 18-55 kit lens and the 56mm f/1.2. You will also appreciate the weight savings.

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