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Defective autofocus of my Fujinon 56mm 1.2


Bedouin
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I recently bought a Fujinon 56mm 1.2 and there is a problem with the autofocus. It can autofocus “well” when the focus box is in the center of the frame, but it usually does it wrong outside the center, toward the borders. I can focus manually if I want, but the AF generally can't focus.

And I said that the lens autofocus “well” in the center. Yes, but sometimes I can still improve the focus manually.

I use a XT3. I installed the last version of the firmware and it didn't fix the problem.

I show some pictures so as you can see clearly the problem (I always tried to autofocus using the focus box over the center of the word “AUGUSTINE” – I also show a crop of that word).

240843514_AugustineLeft.jpg.37afa21c8eac1e22c4b6b49a69021209.jpg

 

508809002_AugustineRight.jpg.fbed39844fa1dcceae9e76292b2e171d.jpg

 

1777471459_AugustineCenter.jpg.7aa1d1f4710052ab1348b07626d228d0.jpg

 

Does anybody have the XT3 and the 56mm and have this problem? I read some anecdotes on the Internet where the users usually say the autofocus is sometimes a bit slow, but it works fine, it focuses. But they had the XT1 or XT2, not the XT3.

I live in Argentina and I imported the lens. I called Fuji USA and they told me to send them the lens. This is complicated because I have to spend like 100 dollars and to be some weeks without a 1000 dollars lens (I’ve never done this, and it doesn’t amuse me a bit). So I want to be sure that there is a problem with my specific lens and that sending it to them will solve the problem.

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5 hours ago, Olaf W. said:

What aperture setting did you use? Did you consider that the depth of field is very narrow with an open F1.2 lens?

Thank you, Olaf.

Those photos are taken with f/1.2, SS 400, and ISO 160.

I just used f/1.2 in those photos to show the problem more clearly. The same thing happens if I use 2.8. But, personally, no matter what depth of field I use, I am interested in how the lens can focus what is under the focus box. I bought the lens specially to photograph people and to autofocus on the eyes, as I have been doing for some years. I realized that there was some kind of problem when I photographed a model and then I saw a lot of photos out of focus.

Do you have the same lens? Do you get constant out of focus photos when you photograph people and focus on the eyes? Have you tried the same test that I did, focusing the same object in the center and on the sides, using always the focus box over the object?

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Hi Bedouin, bad luck when a lens behaves like yours. I do not have this lens but had a 35F/2 that behave like your 56mm and was replaced under warranty. If yours is under warranty why not ask your Fuji service center to pay for transport?

Did you use the smallest focus area for your test above?

Henk

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21 hours ago, mrPeter said:

Hi Bedouin, bad luck when a lens behaves like yours. I do not have this lens but had a 35F/2 that behave like your 56mm and was replaced under warranty. If yours is under warranty why not ask your Fuji service center to pay for transport?

Did you use the smallest focus area for your test above?

Henk

Thank you, mrPeter.

It is great that Fuji replaced your faulty lens. Did they pay the transport, in your case?

At first, for instance when I was shooting the model I mention, I used the standard focus box, which I think is the third smallest one. And then I chose a smaller one.

What focus box do you recommend, the smallest one?

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21 hours ago, Olaf W. said:

I‘m using different lenses. I‘m not really sure that your photos are out of focus. 

Okay… why aren’t you sure? How do you explain that the area where I tried to autofocus is blurry? It is not motion blur because I used SS 400 and the blurriness happens also using a tripod.

Edited by Bedouin
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3 hours ago, Bedouin said:

Thank you, mrPeter.

It is great that Fuji replaced your faulty lens. Did they pay the transport, in your case?

At first, for instance when I was shooting the model I mention, I used the standard focus box, which I think is the third smallest one. And then I chose a smaller one.

What focus box do you recommend, the smallest one?

You're welcome Bedouin. Fuji paid for transport of the defective lens and for the new lens. I must add that the defective lens had been at the service centre two times without result except "lens tested and is within spec." 

For your test I would use the smallest focus point. Do you have other lenses that you can do the same test with? That would rule-out a camera-based problem.

Maybe something is wrong with the alignment of the lens elements.

Edited by mrPeter
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I did more tests and I was partially wrong.

When the camera-lens can’t autofocus, like in the images I showed, I can get a BETTER focus manually. This is especially true when the object is on the sides of the frame.

But BETTER doesn’t mean that the object is not somehow blurry. My mistake was that I wasn’t comparing the objects when I focused manually (to achieve a better focus than automatically).

And I also did a simple test to measure a “de-centered” lens.

So, even if I focus manually, on the sides the objects don’t look good. And it is worse on the left side. And in the letters of the guitar strings packet you can see clearly that it is a kind-of “ghost-like” blur. You can see like a blurred copy of the letters on the side of the original ones.

Thus, this probably means that the camera gets confused with this “ghost-like” image and as a consequence it also delivers a bad autofocus. So, it offers a defocused image of an originally fuzzy image.

Now, that is using f/1.2. I tried using 4.0 and this “ghost-like” image on the sides is greatly reduced. But I should try more with different apertures.

I could go on testing and prepare some examples to show you, but, in general, what is this indicating? A “de-centered” or somehow defective lens?

I doubt that all the users who love this lens are getting the poor results I am getting, not even with apertures between 1.2 and 2.8, because portrait photographers usually use these apertures with this lens, and they also use autofocus, that is why they bought it. Am I right? Let me know what you think.

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With a fully opened F1.2 lens you will in most cases get a softening effect and bad corner sharpness. Many photographers love and use this effect for portrait photography. For other photography one better uses a more closed lens. You are right that the bad autofocus can be a result of the softness. 

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9 hours ago, Olaf W. said:

With a fully opened F1.2 lens you will in most cases get a softening effect and bad corner sharpness. Many photographers love and use this effect for portrait photography. For other photography one better uses a more closed lens. You are right that the bad autofocus can be a result of the softness. 

Yes, but in a typical close-up portrait, the eyes are in the top part of the frame. I got a lot of pictures where the tip of the nose is quite in focus and the eyes defocused.

And in a head to toe portrait, the whole head is in the top and ends up being out-of-focus. And maybe the waist will be in focus.

 And I didn’t use 1.2, but 2.8 and sometimes 2.0.

It is not very convenient for a portraiture lens, is it?

 So, do you think that the performance of my lens is normal?

Do you work for Fuji?

The man on this video seems to have the same problem, or a similar one. But as he needed to photograph events for money and as he didn’t get an answer from Fuji, he decided to sell all his Fuji equipment and buy another brand:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9TeFoY6BF8

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On 4/30/2021 at 4:25 PM, Bedouin said:

So, do you think that the performance of my lens is normal?

Do you work for Fuji?

 

No, I don‘t. Just have used similar lenses with mixed results. In my opinion a lot of experience snd patience ist needed to use them. That doesn‘t mean I think you‘re doing something wrong or have wrong expectations, but some people definitively do (such as me doing the first F1.x shots). I can‘t give an definitive opinion regarding your lens. If you‘re not satisfied with it you should get it checked.

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On 4/30/2021 at 6:11 AM, Bedouin said:

>>

I could go on testing and prepare some examples to show you, but, in general, what is this indicating? A “de-centered” or somehow defective lens?

I doubt that all the users who love this lens are getting the poor results I am getting, not even with apertures between 1.2 and 2.8, because portrait photographers usually use these apertures with this lens, and they also use autofocus, that is why they bought it. Am I right? Let me know what you think.<<

I would stop testing and just send it in. You obviously found something is wrong with your lens, let Fuji check it. Provide them with your test images and description of how you tested.

Henk

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  • 1 month later...

I sent Fuji some images and they told me that they think it is soft on the corners. They spent like three weeks to answer my email, I had to call by phone more than once to finally get the answer (luckily I found a mobile app which makes free calls to USA). The man who assisted me, the first time I talked to him, told me it will take one or two days to fix it. And then he told me it will take 2 ½-3 weeks.

And I don’t know if they are going to fix the lens, or to replace it for a new one. I asked if I could change it for another model, and they said no.

The only positive thing is that they told me that they will take charge of the delivery to my house in Argentina (but I have pay the delivery to them, which will cost like 50-100 US dollars). And I don’t know if the customs office here will retain the packet, due to “Covid restrictions” or something, I have to find out.

In Argentina there is a technician who repairs it. I asked Fuji if it is an official repair service, and they didn’t answer. And it is just one technician and I have to also leave MY CAMERA for some weeks.

So, yeah, to buy a defective product it is a downer, especially if you imported it. Also, my mistake was not trying the lens enough in the first 30 days, because in that case at least I could have returned it to B&H.

And I think the 50mm 2.0 was much more convenient for me, and much cheaper too, I didn’t investigate enough back then.:(

I will update you on whatever happens to my lens.

Edited by Bedouin
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I've tried this lens out for about 5 minutes at Fuji and had no issues on my X-T4 

The only quirk was, it refused to eye focus on anyone wearing a mask.  Which was kinda funny when looking at the photo tests and the Fuji guy saying it's a known issue with that lens.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 7 months later...

I bought that lens several years ago.  I was shooting two back-to-back events in a beautiful, well-lit church.  There were windows down both sides, and skylights.  Beautiful light.  I attempted to use the 56 1.2 and it was utter frustration and failure as it failed to focus time after time!  I switched to my 35 1.4, and the 18-55 (as I didn't own the 16-55 at the time)and the 60mm F2.4 and finished the two events with no issues after that.  The 18-55 was fast enough. the 35 and the 60 hunted some for a split second but unlike the 56 1.2 they did lock on target.  This was on a Sunday; and on Monday I returned the 56 1.2.  I've never looked at another since.

I think I was using the XT-2 at the time so I'm not sure how the same lens would handle on the newer models. 

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  • 2 months later...

Hello.

Fuji sent me a new lens. It was in a new box. But the pouch and the manual probably were the same of the old lens.

There was a paper which says “Replaced lens as a courtesy. OLD SERIAL #06A03202 NEW SERIAL#1HA01549”

I tried the lens a bit, and unfortunately it works the same or even worse. I noticed that out-of-focus photos are more frequent.

The manager himself took charge of the replacement, and I said to him clearly that I would much prefer a reimbursement or a change for another model. But he sent me this new copy.

I have already sent the lens twice. The first time they supposedly replaced two internal parts, to get exactly the same results.

So… what conclusion should I reach?

Obviously they don’t take care of the client. It is a very frustrating situation. I told them the problem with the lens. I told them that I live in another country and it is very difficult and expensive to send the lens there. I didn’t even get an answer admitting that there is a problem with the lens. Or saying that all the 56mm lenses work like this, or that the problem is my camera, or something. Back in February, when I contacted the manager, he answered me with one or two sentences, without any explanation.

What would you do? Should I keep the lens, hire a lawyer, or what?

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2 hours ago, Bedouin said:

What would you do? Should I keep the lens, hire a lawyer, or what?

Of course, this is annoying. On my X-A1, this lens worked perfectly even at F/1.2.

In your place, I would first test the lens on another Fujifilm digital camera to rule out that it is due to the X-T3. Does the X-T3 confirm the focus with the green AF field when you take the photo or do you press the shutter button immediately without waiting for the autofocus confirmation? Please take the photo once with a tripod and once without the tripod. It is quite possible that the shutter triggers a vibration that is sufficient and the photo becomes blurred by blurring. Please also check that the lens is in autofocus mode.

If all this does not help and the dealer does not want to give you your money back despite the guarantee, then you have to go to the lawyer. Unfortunately, I had to do that before.

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Posted (edited)

Even though I can't offer a solution other than what others have stated here, I will say I bought this lens and used it for it's first official event.  I was photographing three christenings back-to-back in the same church.  The church was extremely well late in afternoon light with large windows down both sides, and skylights running down the center.  Very well lit.  The 56mm on my XT2 would not lock focus.  It was absolutely miserable experience.  I switched to using my 35 1.4, and my 18-55 and breezed through the three events!

So, my experience with the 56 1.2 has not been positive at all and I would never own that lens.  This particular event was on a Sunday, and I returned the lens on Monday morning and have never looked back

Heck, I've used the slow and noisy 60mm 2.4 with better results than the 56...

That was my experience with the 56mm.

Edited by jlmphotos
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@cpXThank you.

I tried my former lens with another Fuji camera, another model, in different conditions that I usually tried it with my camera. I think the problem was still present, probably less, but still present. Someone I didn’t know from a forum in my country lend me his lens for a few minutes.

To do the tests, I use a tripod. I wait for the green square confirmation.

I live in another country, so I wouldn’t know how to hire a lawyer to deal with a problem in the US. I don’t know if I would end up winning something. Some months ago, I looked at Consumer Protection laws in New York City, for instance, and there wasn’t anything referring to defective products. And the Consumer Protection office can only deal with the vendor, B&H in this case, but can’t do anything with the manufacturer Fuji. Yes, it is ridiculous and useless, because Fuji offers the warranty. It is like the Consumer Protection office only deals with, for example, the returning policy of the vendor.

So, what is the law that a lawyer would be based on to file a complaint? I don’t know.

 

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On 2/21/2022 at 10:54 PM, Choccy said:

the Fuji 56mm 1.2 works like a dream on X-T4 I used it at 1.2 and it was sharp

Cases like yours seem to indicate that there are good 56mm lenses and bad ones. So... are my old and my new 56mm lenses bad ones?

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