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XF56 vs XF90 - Your thoughts apprecaited

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You guys have seen this side by side?     https://ivanjoshualoh.wordpress.com/2015/05/18/please-to-meet-you-mr-bokeh/

If I may add to the conversation: I have shot entire weddings with the 56mm (non APD) for any shot of less than 3 individuals and all candids at a reception. I never felt the need to want "more bokeh"

This month I will do a practical comparison between the 35mm, 56mm, 56mm APD and 90mm as I have all of them in usage for weddings at the moment. I will test them for usability in fast-paced, slow-pace

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Maybe I'm the odd one out, but I actually prefer the bokeh on the left...

Either way, it's too large for my studio anyway. :)

I concur. Too much bokeh and the shot becomes uninteresting - may have been shot on an oof seamless. I like bokeh which is smooth, buttery, yet reveals some environment (Just enough to create a 3d effect while keeping the environment connected and provide some context). 

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sometimes I wonder why do they even bother to put an aperture in lenses these days since there is helluva lot of folks out there who never stop the lens down  :D


that's why I choose 60mm f2.4

it has 9 blades vs. 7 on 56/90mm


stop down to f4 and you'll see the nut "bokeh" ... but not for 60mm


also 90mm is a bit long, no OIS


I'm still testing it (I have a Samyang 85/1.4 also)

I love pictures from 90mm (the Samyang is a good competitor for its price thou. actually it's not bad at all)

but not sure If I decide to buy the 90mm


between 56 vs 56APD I like the APD version more even stopped down

(it's not that "greyish" in the backgrounds)

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I have the 60mm and like it a lot.


I am convinced that there is a public for the 90mm (especially for macro, but not for portrait ) but again when 135mm ( equivalent to the 90mm) were around on classical 35mm cameras they were considered to be of an awkward focal length and now, all of a sudden and for no good reason, the 90 Fuji is considered to be the best thing after sliced bread.


Incomprehensible to me.

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I concur. Too much bokeh and the shot becomes uninteresting - may have been shot on an oof seamless. I like bokeh which is smooth, buttery, yet reveals some environment (Just enough to create a 3d effect while keeping the environment connected and provide some context). 

You mix up bokeh and the amount of blur. You refer to a lens with pleasing bokeh but not an extremely shallow DOF. Good bokeh can actually result in extremely shallow DOF where the out of focus areas are just a blurry mess but also result in a background that is just a tad soft.


Bokeh = quality of blur, not the amount.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 months later...

After having tried the 90mm in a shop and quite literally weighed the pros and cons I found this lens way too heavy for me. The 56 is not too heavy but certainly is big.


I am aware that my perspective might be very different for others, especially the one of young photographers who often, I find, have a very physical approach to photography.


The reason why I was originally attracted to the system was the lightweight of it all. I have never been really big on digital cameras compared to film where I have had many types and sizes and models of almost anything, but after a couple of very heavy digital Canons and the Nikon of a friend used when I was still professionally active, I wasn’t going to have anything like that for fun.




Maybe I have taken a slightly different direction since then ( adaptive photography which is heavy and slow) but that has mainly a meditative way of working as opposed to the autofocus lenses.

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I think I'd rather have the 56mm now and just wait for the 120mm. It'll have the OIS and a significant extra use as a macro, the extra length will account for the dof (that's assuming you don't want to carry the 50-140mm right now). The lack of OIS on the 90mm is a dealbreaker for me.

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These lense are so different, and optimized for different purposes I do not see a basis for comparison.


When shooting available light, I oftn have the 90/2 on on body and the 56/1.2 on another.

I think the basis for comparison is that they're both telephotos, and people rave about them both for portraits. And if you want a portable but comprehensive all-purpose carry-around kit of lenses, you'll probably have a wide, like the 14 or 16, a standard like the 23 or 35 and then either the 56 or 90. At least, that's what I have: 16, 35, 56 and an X100t



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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I've got both the 56mm and 90mm and if I had to choose just one of them it would be the 56mm. They are both excellent lenses but the 56mm get the desired image more often for me because, in my experience,  it is easier to suffer from camera shake with the 90mm. This only really applies when you aren't using a tripod or when you rely on available light instead of flash. With the 90mm I have to employ more careful shooting habits to avoid the camera shake, whereas the 56mm is more easy to work with quickly. IBIS wanted Fuji!


As to which focal length is better for portraits, this entirely depends on your style and the amount of room available to shoot in. If you favour a tightly cropped look, the 90mm works best but if you are going for a more traditional head & shoulders look the 56mm works best. The amount of room also is important, are you working within small rooms or in bigger spaces? The answer to that may decide which lens is better for you. If I was working in confined spaces such as cars or train carriages I'd probably favour the 56mm or the 60mm macro.


I'm the kind of photographer who likes to work quickly and fluidly when taking portraits, I like to react to people's mood and expression and so find that the 56mm is ideal for that kind of work. Some have dismissed the 90mm because it doesn't appeal to them, I think each person has a sense of what is right for them and so even if everyone on the forum suggests the 56mm, you should explore the options for yourself and find out what works for you. I suggest a visit to a friendly camera shop and try them both, I think the right lens will become evident to you,

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  • 1 month later...



I have the 90mm and I asked in another thread if getting the 56 is redundant.


To me they both have a place and I'm gonna buy the 56 soon too.


Here's why (for me).


90mm great for tight portraits and when you have a bit more space upper body etc. It also focuses really quite closely so it can be a pseudo macro lens if you're not too fussy.


56mm is great for upper body portraits. It's also a great partner to my 23mm for low light event shooting.


When in the studio I tend to (from past experience) switch from 85mm to 135mm (on full frame) depending on how tight I want to be.


Thr compliment each other, but if you must get one, what do you want? A semi-tele, semi-macro, tight crop (unless you can back up a lot) portrait lens? Then the 90mm is for you.


You want a great low light event and upper body and wider portrait lens. Then the 56mm is right for you.

Edited by Stealthy Ninja
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