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Fuji Short Telephoto for X-H1

Aug 7, 2011
Jersey Shore
My XF 16-55 f/2.8 has arrived for my brand- new X-H1. No doubt this lens will spend a lot of time on this body. I also have the 35mm f/1.4 and will probably get the 23mm f/1.4 at some point. The jury is still out on whether I will bother with the 50-140mm f/2.8.

My question: Should I go for the 56mm f/1.2 or the 90mm f/2.0 as a portrait/general short telephoto lens for the X-H1? A quick internet search reveals the 90mm is lighter and superior in a number of other ways, such as sharpness wide open and autofocus speed. It's also a bit less money.

But is there some magic about the 56mm that I need to take into consideration? Is f/1.2 that useful in the real world? Fuji shooters do seem to enjoy the 56 - but results from the 90 seem to be just as pleasing to me.


Top Veteran
Apr 18, 2014
Boston Burbs
The 56mm f/1.2 may have some special sauce, but given your title says "short telephoto" and you have the 16-55mm.... I need a reason to add a faster prime in a range I have already covered. I added the PL25mm and S56mm to my Oly12-100mm because that are faster, much smaller, and much lighter (in fact, smaller and lighter even combined).

If I were looking to add coverage for a short telephoto to the 16-55mm I'd personally look at either the 80mm macro or the 90mm f/2. Also for portraits I prefer something a little longer than 85mm EQ (another reason for the S56mm since it's 112mm EQ on m4/3).
The 16-55 is quite formidable at portrait work. With what you currently have, the 56mm doesn’t make much sense. The 90mm would be a much better pairing with the 16-55.

I recently had a loaner 90mm paired with my 16-55. The two worked very well together. Enough so that it still has me considering a 90mm as my short telephoto over the 50-140. The shortcoming I found was in the 56-85mm range. The situations I was using the 90 in didn’t allow for foot zooming. Have a look in this thread for a comparison.
Showcase - 50-140@140 vs 90mm f2 cropped

Ultimately it will depend on your usage. And willingness to crop. I found that cropping the 90mm images can give the effective compositions which could be had from zooming the 50-140. And the same could be done with images from the 16-55 to cover the gap from 56-89mm.


May 2, 2017
I would agree with davidzvi . The 56 hardly qualifies as a short telephoto, and you have that fl covered. I would personally go with the 56 over the 90 because I shoot primarily indoors. For outdoor shooting the 90 would give some extra space for candids and still allow for a narrow dof. Just buy both.


Feb 27, 2017
Roseville, CA
I first purchased the 56mm, then the 16-55, and later, the 90mm. I use all three on my X-H1.

Since the 16-55 arrived, I have not used my 56mm as much. Two reasons, 1) my original thought was to use the 56mm for portraits and for its wonderful bokeh at f1.2. However, the bokeh from the 90mm at f2 is even better, IMO. 2) the 16-55 is no slouch at 55mm and it is hard to justify having a second lens of virtually the same FL.

If the 56 has "magic" then so does the 90. Both produce superb images with excellent sharpness, color and contrast. Again, IMO. The AF motors in the 90 (and 16-55) are much faster in achieving focus than that of the 56, if this is important for what you shoot. The X-H1 IBIS is excellent with the 90mm, this combo works incredibly well.

One drawback of the 90mm for portraits is to have enough room to frame this longer FL.

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