As soon as I saw a post from Marc at Fujifilm UK unexpectedly showing off the 50mm TCL-X100 conversion lens for the X100/S at CP+ in February I knew I had to have one of these! My favourite camera suddenly becomes even more flexible. It is a focal length that many people have requested after they saw the [easyazon_link asin=”B0083F2QP6″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”m06d-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]WCL-X100[/easyazon_link] 28mm conversion lens, but was initially not going to happen.
I love shooting with the WCL-X100, the 28mm wide conversion lens, imperceptible loss in image quality providing a great other shooting option from the fixed 35mm. Combine that with the leaf shutter of the X100S it gives me flash shooting options I can only get from stepping up to a whole other level by going to a Hasselblad or similar leaf shutter lens option! Add in this [easyazon_link asin=”B00K8ROPDS” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”m06d-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]TCL-X100 50mm[/easyazon_link] equivalent adapter and I’ve got a small portable system that I can carry out in the field with any flash I like and sync up at 1/1000th of a second, something you can’t do with any dSLR out there.*
It does add quite a bit of bulk to the front of the camera there is no denying that. It doesn’t add considerably to the weight though, and provides a convenient way of supporting the camera with your left hand! I guess the reason for the size is to both keep the optical quality and the f/2 aperture of the X100’s lens. It isn’t anywhere near as neat as the WCL-X100 28mm adapter and that huge front element really does invite damage so you have to be very careful with it. I’ve tried to find a suitable hood to protect it, but haven’t managed to find anything that doesn’t cause vignetting.
Because of the size of the adapter there are a couple of drawbacks. Firstly it totally blocks the flash so that unless you have a flash on the hotshoe then it just isn’t an option. Secondly it also blocks the AF assist light making AF much slower in low light. Speaking of which, I find that this adapter slows the AF speed in general. Where the X100S is pretty snappy in normal light, it seems to struggle at times with the TCL-X100 on. This isn’t something I noticed with the WCL-X100.
Having said that, I’m not a speed shooter so it doesn’t affect me all that often.
On the camera you have to tell it that the adapter is attached. Well, you don’t have to tell it for it to work, but if you do then the correct focal length will be written into the EXIF data as well as applying the appropriate distortion correction to the JPEG files. It is something I occasionally forget to do so if you see any images in this post saying they are 23mm then it is because I forgot to change the setting! The best way I find to do this is to assign the option to the Fn button, especially if you are using the conversion lenses regularly because it is a hunt through the menu system otherwise!
The close focussing distance is reduced, meaning you can’t get quite as close in as you can without the adapter attached. Even with the increased focal length, you can’t get the same close-up shot. Not a huge deal, but worth mentioning.
As per the wide-angle lens, the optical performance of this adapter is excellent with no noticeable drop in image quality an sharpness. If you want a shallow depth of field, this adapter can supply that! However, as with the X100’s fixed lens, close up at f/2 is the weakest point of the X100 lens and can result in some soft looking images, needing to stop down to f/2.8 to get some sharpness back. That isn’t the fault of the adapter though.
The new [easyazon_link asin=”B00NF6ZGY6″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”m06d-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]X100T[/easyazon_link] will be fully compatible with these two conversion lenses, which is great news and shows that Fujifilm are thinking about long-term users rather than making propriety accessories for each new camera.
On the whole I still prefer the 35mm angle of view from the [easyazon_link asin=”B00NF6ZGY6″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”m06d-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]X100S[/easyazon_link] but this adapter gives you an extra option, and one that many people love in the 50mm focal length. With this you can now effectively carry three lenses and a body in a very small bag and could well be the ideal travel kit being small and light, yet producing professional level results. If you have an X100/X100S and want to expand into that camera rather than buying an X-Mount camera, this new adapter would be a great option and is selling for less than the WCL-X100.
I’ve attached a number of images in a gallery below if you’re interested in seeing what this can do! Click on any of them to get a larger view.
*yes I am aware that you can high-speed sync your dSLR, but that is only with manufacturer specific speedlights and at a much reduced power level. The X100S will sync in the field at 1/1000th with anything from the cheapest speedlight to a Profoto B1 even over a wireless trigger at full power!