Sirui Sniper AF 56mm F1.2 Image Gallery
December 21st, 2023
It is always interesting to see new lensmakers entering the market. Sirui started with cine (video) lenses (all manual – no autofocus or electronics), but they are now releasing their first autofocus lenses – called the “Sniper” series – and I’ve done an overview of the series here. The Sniper Series is (at least initially) made up of 3 APS-C specific lenses – a 23mm F1.2, 33mm F1.2, and 56mm F1.2 lens, with rumors . These can be purchased individually for $349 USD each (though in the first month a 15% discount will drop the price to $299 USD per lens) or as a set for $999 USD that comes in a custom designed case. These lenses will be available in Fuji X-mount (reviewed here), Sony E-mount, and Nikon Z mount configurations, though in all mounts they are designed to cover the APS-C and not the full frame image circle. Today’s review focuses on the Sirui Sniper 56mm F1.2 AF lens. Find out by watching my video review below o reading the text review here.
Thanks to Sirui for sending me a set of review samples of the lenses. As always, this is a completely independent review. All opinions and conclusions are my own. I’m doing this review on a 40MP Fujifilm X-H2 camera.
I’m doing this review on Fuji X-mount today, as that is what Sirui had available to send me. In many ways this is jumping right into the fire, as there is no platform more optically demanding than the 40MP sensor on my Fujifilm X-H2. This is the equivalent of over 90MP on full frame, a resolution point that is currently 30+MP higher than what is even available on full frame. That creates an extremely demanding optical test that will push this new series to the limits. Is this 56mm F1.2 Sniper lens up to the challenge? As with the other lenses, that answer really depends on your priorities and expectations as a photographer. The 56mm (in particular) allows you to get images with an extremely shallow depth of field and with beautiful bokeh, but it has its own optical quirks and flaws.
56mm is obviously a popular focal length on APS-C (evidenced by the fact that there are a number of competitors at 56mm), as once you apply the 1.5x crop factor of the camera you mount it on (whether Fuji, Sony, or Nikon), you have a full frame equivalent focal length of roughly 85mm. That makes perhaps the most popular portrait focal length of all. The Sniper 56mm has an advantage over many competitors due to having a maximum aperture of F1.2, which is about a half stop faster/brighter than F1.4. In my quick illustrative test, my X-H2 metered at 1/90th second at F1.2, but 1/60th of a second at F1.4 with the Sniper 56mm F1.2 mounted. That’s an obvious advantage for the F1.2 in two ways: 1) when shooting in low light conditions that large aperture can suck in more light 2) the depth of field will shallower at F1.2 than F1.4, allowing for larger, softer bokeh highlights and a more blurred out background. That affords the opportunity to get very effective subject separation.
The Sniper series ambitiously will come in three different finish styles: a black/grey finish with carbon fiber accents (the lenses I’m testing come in this finish), a white finish, and a silver finish. Each is available for the three different mounts that lens is sold for.
We’ll explore the design more thoroughly in the next section, but I want to congratulate Sirui on forging their own design philosophy. These lenses don’t really look like anything else I’ve tested, but the design works and the lenses in person look quite premium. So, does bright F1.2 autofocusing lenses for a reasonable price sound interesting? Here’s a quick link to the individual reviews of each lens:
Photos of the Sirui Sniper 56mm F1.2
Photos taken with the Sirui Sniper 56mm F1.2
Purchase the Sirui Sniper Lenses @ Sirui (use code DustinA for 5% off) | B&H Photo | Adorama | Amazon | Amazon Canada | Amazon UK | Amazon Germany
Purchase the Fujifilm X-H2 @ B&H Photo | Adorama | Amazon | Camera Canada | Amazon Canada | Amazon UK | Amazon Germany
Purchase the Fujifilm X-T5 @ B&H Photo | Amazon | Camera Canada | Amazon Canada | Amazon UK | Find it Used at KEH
Purchase the Fujifilm X-S20 @ B&H Photo | Adorama | Amazon | Camera Canada | Amazon Canada | Amazon UK | Amazon Germany | Ebay
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Keywords: Sirui, Sniper, Sirui Sniper, 23mm, 33mm 56mm, F1.2, STM, Carbon Fiber, Review, Fuji X, Sony E, Review, Telephoto, Action, Tracking, Hands On, Dustin Abbott, Real World, Comparison, Sharpness, Bokeh, Flare Resistance, Autofocus, Image Quality, Sample Images, Video, Photography, Sony a6700, Sony a6600, Fujifilm X-T5, Fujifilm X-H2, let the light in, #letthelightin, DA
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