APD : The New King.



In the colorful kingdom of Fujifilm; there live a Portrait King. Its name; the XF 56mm F1.2R.
He has been king for very obvious reason in the mirrorless world. A famous household
name. Pretty small and lightweight compere with its full frame system from other kingdom.
Its has help photographers produce gorgeous and creamy bokeh. Until now; there might be
a new King with a slightly longer name.

APD, the 3 letter word that represent the pinnacle of a portrait lens? Is it worth $500
premium? The question will be, if you are already the owner of XF 56mm F1.2, will
you sell its and buy the APD version? And the other question will be if you don’t own
a 56mm and plan to get one, which 56mm should you get? The XF 56mm F1.2 or XF
56mm F1.2 APD. I will take you through the paces and see what is the real difference
between this 2 great lens from Fuji and let you make your own decision.




As you may have read it in the Fuji Kingdom Times, APD stands for apodization. This
lens is a variant of the existing XF56mm, utilizing the same design but adds an apodization
filter. There are 2 aperture rings marking on the lens. This is to help the photographer
understand that there will be a little lost of T-value when using the APD. Is it a big deal
to compensate for the slightly sharper picture and smoother bokeh? This will also lead
to a more three-dimensional result.

Next “major” difference will the the AF. Will be slower because of the added filter?
After trying these 2 lenses in the same indoor condition; I feel its may be 10-20%
slower in the AF department due to the part its uses contrast autofocus. If you are
thinking of adding any of this 2 lens in your collection; do bear in mind that they
serve a very specific purpose; to shoot great portraits. Not sports or street action


Below are some product and portrait to show the differences between the 2 lenses.
Let these pictures do the talking instead of getting too technically about it. Hopefully
with these pictures I am able to show the real difference between this 2 great portrait
lenses. All picture are taken with the camera mounted on a tripod. To show the different
in this two lenses I have not just taken the shot wide at F1.2 but all the way to F5.6.

A01 A02 A03 A04 A05 A06 APD01 APD02 APD03 APD04 APD05  F1.2 F1.4  F2.0 F2.8   F4.0  F5.6


Finally the million dollar question; or rather the five hundred dollar question. The difference
between the great and the greater is always just abit. To me as a portrait photographer,
that extra sharpness,contrast plus a even creamer bokeh means a lot to my final photo.
Will I get the APD? Its will be a resounding YES. A new Fuji king is crown; at least for me.



  1. Thanks for this comparison! It appears (at least to my eye) that the APD lens is slightly darker at the same aperture settings than the non-APD version. There must be a wee bit of transmission loss. The bokeh is noticeably better at 1.2 on the APD. Thanks again for posting this helpful comparison.

    1. I will have to agree with you. Its a wee bit darker I guess it the apodization
      filter but nothing PS cannot manage. The advantage for me is the contrast, details and bokeh,
      like what you mention is noticeably better. Having say that the original 56mm is a great lens
      still. Only those who need that extra bit will go for the APD. like myself. have a great
      day ahead.

  2. Thanks for this, it’s great to see some comparisons. I would sure like to see this lens.
    The only thing though, not sure if it’s my screen, but nearly all of your shots look underexposed to me.

    1. Hello there, thanks for you heads up. Monitor is one of the headache we all face.
      and also very subjective. just like when we go to a huge electronic store with
      all the latest TVs on display; the screen all look different. But I do hope the comparison
      will help you find the 56mm that best suit your needs. Have a good day ahead Ian.

  3. Hey ! thanks for the comparison and those great photos . I am actually buying a xt1 GS edition later this month from Singapore. So i am bit of confused with the price of the lens here . how much did the 56mm f1.2 APD cost u ?

    1. Hello there. Honestly I don’t know yet because the lens is not for sale yet in Singapore. But you could drop by at the Fujifilm showroom
      at Funan Centre. They have a sample for photographer to “test drive”. Just a few shop away, there is a camera store by the name John 3:16
      photo supplies. Look for Sam and he will be most happy to serve you. Great Shop with best service.

      1. I’ll look into that shop . But i don’t exactly know the current price of the original 56mm f1.2R … so i am guessing it’d not be the double price of the original one .
        Thanks for the information .

  4. I got my hands on the APD and did some testing on 3 different assignments. A very interesting lens. There are differences in quality, sometimes subtle, sometimes obvious. When I returned it to the person who loaned it to me I was surprised how reluctant I was to give it back. If you would like to see my comparison please follow the link below. There are three pages in all.


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