The rule goes like this: On a bright sunny day with the aperture set to f/16 the shutter speed would equal the ISO -- in our case 1/200 second. Moving the aperture from f/16 to f/1.4 is 7 stops and would require an equal move with the shutter speed from 1/200 second to 1/12800 second -- almost 2 stops beyond the 1/4000 second capability of the camera. To solve this problem I use a 2 to 3 stop neutral density filter. This provides me with a comfortable working shutter speed while maintaining the open aperture I want.
All the photos below of plants I found in the local farmers market were taken using very open apertures ranging from f/1.2 to f/2. The vibrant colors were created by processing the RAW files with the Velvia/VIVID camera color profile now available in Adobe Camera Raw.
|The circular bokeh background of this image is one of my favorites. Shot at f/1.2 only the stem and some of the fuzz on the pussy willow are in focus. The overall rust color is from other stems in the background.|
|My camera was set to aperture priority mode. For this shot I dialed in a +1 exposure compensation to maintain the brightness of the large, all-white area of the flower, otherwise it would have gone dark through under-exposure.|
|Keeping the background flowers completely out of focus at f/1.4 creates a color cast to harmonize with the foreground flower.|
|Ahhhh...one of my favorite summer tastes is fresh basil.|
|I put the focus on the right edge of the second egg because it had a rippled surface texture that would make it stand out.|
|For this shot and the two below I used the tilt screen of the X-T1 to place the camera very low so it would be on the same level as the subject.|
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The Hoya 62mm Neutral Density (NDX8) 0.9 Filter can be ordered from: BH-Photo
The Nikon close-up lenses I use are no longer available, but can occasionally be found on eBay. There are two lenses, a 5T and 6T. The 5T is +1.5x and the 6T is +2.8x. Close-up lenses are often sold in kits of +1, +2, and +4. I have found that the +1 and +2 usually work quite well, but +4 often pushes the limits and gets a little soft. Of course, sometimes the soft effect adds something pleasant to the mix.
Here is a Hoya close up kit:
Hoya 62mm Close-Up Kit (Multi-Coated): BH-Photo
The closest I have found to the Nikon +2.7x lens is this +3x by Hoya:
Hoya 62mm +3 Close-Up Pro 1 Digital Multi-Coated Glass Filter: BH-Photo
...and in case you are thinking of ordering the Fuji 56mm f/1.2 lens: