It is exactly one year to the day to when I first bought my Fujifilm X100. It was refreshing to travel light and take photos of exceptional image quality.

A year later and the X100 is a completely different camera thanks to some amazing firmware updates throughout the year. At the time the retail price for the X100 was over £1000 but if you have waited this long the good news is you can now pick them up for around £600).

I think what is most remarkable is how much Fuji have improved this camera with each firmware release. I expected what could be achieved via a firmware update would be limited yet Fuji have shown again and again the X100 is a marvellous piece of kit that is capable beyond the software.

Following the release of the X-Pro1 Fujifilm have shown their commitment to the X100 camera with the release of the WCL-X100. A simple yet beutiful screw on lens adaptor it converts the camera from 23mm (35mm equiv. ) to 19mm (28mm equiv.) which works out at a magnification of 0.8%.

Fuji kindly let me borrow one of the adaptors for a few days and I am particularly impressed with the quality of the lens from the build through to the quality of the images.

I would really have loved to have seen a 24mm equivalent ultra wide option but 28mm creates some fantastic landscape photos (see my 18mm X-Pro1 samples here).

The lens converter requires the 1.30 firmware update available from the Fujifilm website here.

The update adds a menu option for the WCL-X100 to enable automatically image processing to shots taken using the WCL-X100 to reduce image distortion, ensure balanced illumination across the frame and reduce chromatic aberration, commonly found in wide conversion lenses.

The first thing I noticed is the adaptor shares the excellent build quality of the X-Pro1 lenses, it is remarkably well built and finished to perfectly match the colour of the X100 body. (It comes in both silver and black).

When attached to the camera is doesn’t actually look like an ‘extra’ attachment and screws on securely to the front by simply removing the little lens surround and tightening the threads.

The design compliments any X100 accessories you may have invested in (apart from the case which didn’t work with the lens hood either). The  LH-X100 lens hood and PRF-49S protective filter can be used on the conversion lens and the Fujifilm lens cap for the WCL-X100 can be attached with both the lens hood and filter in place.

In use with the optical viewfinder selected,  you get around  80% of the frame field of view, while selecting the EVF  a 100% field of view is shown, with AF frame compensation ON, the AF frame with parallax compensation appears according to an icon to check the focus. I did notice that the autofocus speed was slightly slower with the adaptor attached but not slow enough to cause me annoyance or any real issue.

View without WCL-X100 :

Converted to mono with the this preset for Lightroom 4.

View with the WCL-X100

Click either image for a larger view.

At 100% Zoom

Zoomed to 100% with the WCL-X100 attached.

[Again, click on the image for a larger view. Apologies it is a rather boring subject but it was close by.]

The quality of the WCL-X100 and added software support means images retain their quality, it performs like a quality prime lens rather than an enhancement adaptor.

I spent most of today playing with the X100 and WCL-X100, I was concerned the attachment might have changed the balance and perhaps make the camera ‘front heavy’ but this really  isn’t the case. It obviously makes the camera a little heavier albeit by  just 15o grams but it retains a nicely balanced feel in use.

 

Key Features:

0.8x magnification factor (19mm / 28mm Equiv.)
All glass optical construction using four elements in three groups.
“Made in Japan” for optimum quality.
FUJINON Super EBC coating. 

Personally, I really love the ability to shoot wide and many photographers use the X100 as a street photography camera where 28mm is a popular focal length and the WCL-X100 really opens up the power of the X100 while keeping the f/2 speed and classic quality Fujifilm image.

Conclusion

I completely love the fact that Fuji have shown their support for the X100 camera. Instead of pushing photographers to the X-Pro1 and 18mm lens they release an affordable adaptor that transforms an already excellent camera.

There are many X100 lovers out there who simply won’t part with their camera, there are people who will see the X-Pro1 as too much of an investment step for their type of photography and for them the WCL-X100 is the perfect shooting companion.

I think there will be many out there who will attach the WCL-X100 and won’t ever unscrew it, the added focal width makes an already fantastic camera even more versatile.

It opens up landscape photography and gives the street photographer a bit of added coverage ideal for busy city locations. The fact that it works with all the accessories and comes with a working lens cap is an added bonus.

If you don’t plan the upgrade to the X-Pro1 and are looking for a way to enhance your X100 and open up new opportunities the WCL-X100 is definitely the lens for you, you won’t be disappointed. The WCL-X100 is available now.

About The Author

David is a documentary and landscape photographer covering everything from dramatic long exposure landscape photography through to live music. David is also an official Fujifilm X Photographer.

  • Tenisd

    Beautiful post. At the begining I thought that they ask to much for this adapter, but now, after seeing all the great reports, I start to think, that if lenses would been changable and there would be a 28mm lens at that price, I would allready have one.
    As this adapter is more like and aditional lens, I guess I will buy it :)
    Thank You.

  • http://www.chaosboi.com chaosboi

    The lens only works well if shooting Jpg right? As the firmware software support will not correct RAW images. That’s a big negative for me.

  • http://www.flixelpix.com David

    The lens works well when shooting RAW too. Both of the above samples were shot in RAW mode but I have heard others say the processing only happens to jpg files but the Fuji website doesn’t seem to suggest a difference?

  • http://poertograph.wordpress.com Poer

    thank you for your review,
    its OOT, but may i ask about “the red shutter button” can you please provide me a link to it,
    thanks in advance

  • http://www.flixelpix.com David

    It is called a soft release, you can see it better here http://www.flickr.com/photos/flixel/7462442194/in/photostream I picked mine on ebay for about £6 and I really like the change in feel :)

  • http://www.arclightphoto.com Walter

    The whole point of the x100 is not more gadgets or red buttons but photographs.
    Thats why it is so good. One lens one camera. Try it it works.

  • Sarah

    I really love the photos on your site – so much so that I am inspired to get an X100 – though I know it is the photographer & not the camera that take the pictures. I just wanted to ask, how easy is to upgrade the firmware? I have no idea which version the camera will come with, so can I go straight to the latest one 1.30.

  • http://www.flixelpix.com David

    Really easy Sarah, you literally copy it to an SD card, put the card in your camera and turn it on while holding down the “display” button. Takes 60 seconds and I think you can definitely jump versions.

  • http://www.kbtimages.co.uk Kevin Thornhill

    You can jump versions I got my Fuji X100 today. It came with V1.10 I upgraded directly to 1.30 with no issues.

  • http://www.pauldale.info Paul Dale

    For me, the same result can be gotten a heck of a lot cheaper by just taking a step back!

    I’d want this filter to take it to superwide before I parted with cash.

  • Duane

    Great review!
    In terms of ease of switching and practicality, would you recommend the constant switching between 28 and 35 on photo trips?

    Thanks!

  • http://www.flixelpix.com David

    I tend to run a lens per day on trips so shoot a day at 35 then a day at 28mm. I don’t like constantly changing lenses when I am out.

  • Antoine B.

    ah, but it’s not always possible… and I like the fact that they put a filter screw on the 28mm adapter, that way I can keep my CPL on it for the landscapes requiring polarization.

  • Felix Sanchez

    OK, I must admit that I agree a little with Paul Dale. I guess, in most situations, I’d be able to take that step back. Yes, I’d love to own this, and yes, I’ve considered buying it many times, but still…!

    I guess that if I were to buy a converter for my Fuji X100S I’d want it to go wider. Do you have any knowledge of Fuji planning to release anything similar to the WCL-X100, something that might go wider, or..?

    Thanks :)