Many lenses are now available with fast f/1.4 apertures, but not all of them deliver superb performance at that opening. I routinely use the Fuji XF 56mm f/1.2 R lens in a range of f/2-f/1.4 to preserve its bokeh effect.
The minimum focusing distance of the Fuji 56mm lens is 2.3' (70cm). At that range you can pretty much fill up a vertical frame with a person's head, but to get in closer you need some help. I use a set of special 5T and 6T close-up lenses made by Nikon. These are not ordinary close-up filters. Filters are made from one piece of glass. The Nikon close-up set is an achromatic doublet made up of one flint glass, the one crown glass to reduce aberrations. Coincidentally, the 5T/6T set is 62mm making it a perfect fit for the Fuji 56mm lens. The 5T is 1.5x magnification, and the 6T 2.9x. They are no longer sold new, but can usually be picked up on eBay. I will be doing an extensive blog post on these Nikon close-up lenses and the Fuji lenses at a later date.
|Outdoors at f/1.6. On a full frame camera that aperture would cause me focusing problems. The smaller APS sensor of the Fuji handles it with no trouble.|
|An aperture of f/2, even in close like this gives the right amount of sharpness to the face and bokeh to the foreground dna sample the model is holding.|
|Fuji's Classic Chrome look mutes the colors naturally and provides just the right amount of contrast.|
|To obtain the foreground softness I was shooting past glass objects placed close to the front of the lens with the aperture set to f/2.|
|Here the model was photographed against a white wall using my portrait light set up from the top photo. All the rest was added later in Photoshop.|