Reviews |Sirui Sniper 56mm review

Sirui Sniper 56mm review

Sirui Sniper 56mm: Mastering Depth and Detail in Portraiture

Sirui Sniper 56mm

Price when reviewed



Our Verdict

Designed for APS-C cameras, the Sirui Sniper 56mm lens impresses with its compact form factor, a pleasant surprise in the world of mirrorless cameras. Its unique ceramic-like finish, especially in the white edition for the Nikon Z mount, offers a fresh aesthetic that’s distinct from typical lens materials.

The autofocus performance is commendable with the Nikon Z30 and improves with higher models like the Z6 and Z7. The standout feature is undoubtedly its f/1.2 aperture, enhancing low-light capabilities and depth of field control. While there’s some autofocus slowness and minimal chromatic aberration, the lens’s overall quality at this price point makes it a valuable addition for portrait photographers and videographers.


  • Excellent for Portraiture
  • Strong Low-Light Performance
  • Professional Bokeh Quality


  • Susceptible to Shake
  • Some Chromatic Aberration
  • Limited Versatility Range

What are the Sirui Sniper lenses?

The Sirui Sniper 56mm lens is a game-changer for APS-C camera users, offering high-end features at an affordable price. With a 1.5x crop factor common in Nikon and Sony cameras, this lens effectively provides an 84mm equivalent focal length.

Ideal for portraiture and detailed work, it brings versatility and creative possibilities within reach. Part of a trio including the 23mm and 33mm lenses, the 56mm stands out with its f/1.2 aperture for ultra-shallow depth of field. Priced at around $299 individually or $699 for the set, it’s an unprecedented value for autofocus lenses with consistent quality and usability for both photography and filmmaking.


  • Focal Length: 56mm
  • Lens Format Coverage: APS-C
  • Aperture: F1.2-F16
  • Lens Structure: Lens Structure: 12 Elements in 11 Groups
  • Aperture Blade: 11
  • Minimum Focus Distance: 0.6m
  • Filter Thread: M58*0.75
  • Rotation Angle of the Focus Ring: 360°
  • Lens Mount: E/X/Z
  • Length: E Mount 92.5 mm, X Mount: 92.2 mm, Z Mount: 94.2 mm
  • Weight: Weight: E Mount: 422 g, X Mount: 419 g, Z Mount: 427 g

Build and Handling

This lens, part of the diverse Sniper range, is available in three mounts and colours, designed for APS-C cameras. It shares the uniform dimensions and 58mm filter diameter common in the series, simplifying lens changes for videography.

The 56mm lens, with its f/1.2 aperture, offers consistent light transmission, aligning with higher-end cine lenses. Priced affordably, it maintains a solid build quality and simplicity in design, featuring a smooth focus ring and a standard round hood. Ideal for portraiture, the lens’s 11-blade aperture creates beautifully smooth bokeh, enhancing its creative potential.


The Sirui 56mm F1.2 lens for APS-C cameras, compatible with Nikon Z, Fuji X, and Sony E mounts, offers a unique blend of features for enthusiasts. Its large f/1.2 aperture enhances low-light photography and video with blurred backgrounds and Bokeh effects.

The lens, featuring 12 elements in 11 groups with an 11-blade aperture, ensures high-quality imagery and smooth bokeh. Uniform in size, with a 58mm filter thread and weights ranging from 419g to 427g, it’s designed for ease of use on gimbals and rigs. Available in Ceramic White, Carbon Fiber, and Aluminum Alloy, the lens combines aesthetic appeal with functional design.


The Sirui Sniper 56mm f/1.2 lens, equivalent to 84mm on full-frame cameras, is particularly effective for portraiture, providing a well-controlled depth of field. Its design, facilitating preview of effects on cameras like the Nikon Z30’s LCD screen, greatly aids in capturing desired shots accurately. While its longer focal length demands attention to camera shake, the wide f/1.2 aperture compensates by allowing more light, enhancing low-light performance.

Optimized for subject-centric photography, the 56mm lens creates beautifully soft backgrounds with a sharp central focus, though it is somewhat susceptible to chromatic aberration along high-contrast edges. In video, this lens’s 84mm focal length offers extensive creative control, especially in managing background blur and achieving stunning bokeh, adding a professional quality to to-camera video ample creative control for to-camera video. The ability to manage background blur and the stunning Bokeh enhances the overall effect.

Sirui Sniper 56mm
Sirui Sniper 56mm
Sirui Sniper 56mm
Sirui Sniper 56mm

Final Thoughts

Evaluating the three Sirui Sniper lenses has been intriguing, as they diverge from the usual design ethos of edge-to-edge sharpness for stills or video. These APS-C, AF lenses are Sirui’s first venture into f/1.2 lenses at this price point.

The overall quality of the lenses is impressive, boasting solid build quality. The ceramic white finish, while not my personal preference, has garnered positive reactions from others, making it a surprising hit.

Initially, I had reservations about the image quality, but thorough testing in various settings revealed their true potential as creative tools for modern photographers and videographers. The f/1.2 aperture is technically challenging to execute, and Sirui has admirably succeeded in delivering its intended effect. These lenses excel in subject-focused photography or videography, where the foreground is crisp and the background is softly blurred.

However, if you expect these lenses to be versatile for both portraiture and landscape photography, you may be disappointed. They perform well at apertures of f/5.6-f/11, with f/8 being the sweet spot. Landscapes shot at f/1.2, though, tend to lack detail and clarity.

I’m impressed with the build quality, large aperture, stunning bokeh, and background blur. The lenses integrate seamlessly into video rigs, and the AF, particularly in continuous mode, is effective thanks to the STM motor. For a first foray into AF lenses, these are remarkable. However, it’s essential to understand that they are specialized for creative, not general-purpose, use.

Check out the review of the full Sirui Sniper lens kit here