X100S + WCL-X100 = Great

What a great combination.

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Optically fantastic provided you correct the distortion.  I’m talking about the WCL-X100 wide angle converter which converts the X100 23mm lens to a 19mm lens (which means it becomes a 28mm equivalent). The build quality of this converter is excellent.

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It just feels like a solid hunk of metal and glass, with construction matching the X100/X100S body/lens. As the WCL-X100 simply screws into the front of the X100/X100S lens, the focus and aperture rings are the ones on the “normal” lens. The WCL-X100 has no markings on it at all. It accepts 49mm filters, the same as the official Fujifilm filter adaptor, so the same filters can be used and, in addition, the official lens hood can be used on the conversion lens.

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Optically, with one exception, this converter is very good. CA and fringing are almost non-existent. There is a little vignetting wide open that disappears as you stop it down. In terms of sharpness, it’s pretty similar to the X100/S lens – average at F2 but becoming excellent past F4.

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Unfortunately there is some barrel distortion which you can correct in camera for jpegs, but a profile is required for RAW files. I would like to say thank you to “Hector” who uploaded a lens profile for this lens to Adobe Lens Profile Downloader. It seems to work well enough. I realise many of these shots need keystone correction, but in the absence of capture one support there is not a lot I can do.

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Autofocus speed seems to be very quick with the adaptor fitted. By way of an aside (and nothing really to do with the WCL-X100), I tried switching to continuous autofocus to see if that speeded up AF. It does, AF on the X100S is actually as fast as the E-M5 (no mean feet) in good light.

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Oh, another point to make is that the WCL-X100 does partially block the OVF.

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Is it really worth getting? Isn’t 35 similar to 28 anyway?

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Yes and no. The 28mm focal length is more challenging for street photography but does give you that little bit more to play with. I do prefer 35, but there are times when 28 is a definite preference. This is a really nice, well built piece of kit that is definitely worth getting if you plan to travel with your X100/S. The only downside (for me) is that it is relatively expensive and you need to tell the camera it is fitted.

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All taken on my X100S with WCL-X100 fitted. Processed from RAW in LR 4.4RC

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27 thoughts

  1. Why to have an illusion of a interchangeable system introducing a deterioration of image with that adapter over that perfect 23mm lens? Buy an X-pro1 with 18 f2 to seriously play with lenses.

    • Thanks for posting and your question IS sensible and one I asked myself. However, I don’t think it really does reduce the quality of the images from the X100/s. After all, distortion can be corrected (as it is for the x100/s lens without adaptor). Also, you might like to compare the corners from shots on the xf 18mm lens to this WA converter, where the better lens is… The x100/s with wcl-x100.

      That doesn’t mean everyone should sell their xpro1, as I said in my review, an ILC like the xpro1 will be better for most people, but it does mean that x100 owners have flexibility across 2 classic street photography focal lengths.

    • The XPRO 1 with lens isn’t as good as the x1oos with adapter. The quality of image from the adapter is better. The 18mm XF lens isn’t a particularly good lens. I found the XF18-55 lens to be better at 18mm. The 18mm is obviously smaller and better in that respect.

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  6. IMO a overcorrection of the corners doesn’t means a better performance. General Micro contrast, colours, fringes, and obvously FLARE and DISTORTION are better in 18 fixed lens. Adding everything on a lens you introduce matamatically a degrade this is physics not subjective impression.
    So, I repeat, I think it’s time to sell your adapter and buy an Xpro1/Xe1 with 18. Cheers !

    • You do know that the 18 F2 is heavily electronically corrected, right? That’s why it has soft corners but also why you don’t see bad fringing and distortion.

      The similarly corrected output from the WCL is better in every way than the 18mm F2 (it has better contrast etc), I own both (I have an X-Pro1 too) so I can make an assessment. Do I plan to sell my 18mm XF? No, its a handy focal length for my X-Pro1, but I won’t pretend it has good output for anything other than street photography. I may reassess and sell once the 27mm is released.

  7. Thanks for the post Simon. You caused me to run out and pick one up in advance of my S arriving tomorrow.

    I think this is a really nice option for a tiny, high quality two lens kit. I slapped it on my buddy’s X100 and took some test shots today. Very impressed.

    I’m wrestling a bit with the distortion correction – oddly, my RAW files correct if I enable lens profiles in LR but the JPEGs are not correcting, and yes I have set the adapter option in the camera menu.

    To your previous poster’s point, I used to have the XF 18mm but I sold it and went wider with the amazing 14mm. The WCL is a lower cost option and I wouldn’t be surprised if it is just as good as the 18mm. I can see packing the S and the WCL as the perfect vacation combo.

    • Chad, thanks for the comment. The jpegs should correct if the WA option is turned on, but if it is there is a small icon on the rear screen to indicate this.

      The 14mm is a stunning lens in of itself and I can understand why you went for that in place of the 18mm XF F2. In any event you will get better performance optically from the WCL than you had with the 18 F2. Have fun with your X100S!

  8. Chad, IMO The WCL is not a lower cost option but is the ONLY chance you have to modify the angle of view with that camera.
    You say rightly (IMO) “and I wouldn’t be surprised if it is just as good as the 18mm” but sgoldswo writes :”That doesn’t mean everyone should sell their xpro1″ (!!!??!!!) because he, in an entusiastic way of treat this argument overvalues the converter in a non objective way. Sometimes we ask: it is right to use a simple filter as a skylight or an uv filter or a protective neutral glass or it introduces aberrations and other problems? With that complex tool full of lenses certainly the result is influenced in serious way.
    Sgoldswo: So for the third and last time I say: sell the converter and buy a 18 with camera included (if you want to write GREAT, write Xpro1 + 18mm = GREAT) Cheers !

  9. OK – I’m lost now. Why exactly am I overvaluing the WCL? It gives better output than the 18 F2, full stop. It doesn’t introduce (any) aberrations other than distortion, which is easily corrected.

    If you want to know, X-Pro1 + 18mm = average to good and no better.

    I get much better results on my X-Pro1 from the 18-55mm zoom at 18mm than the 18mm F2. The 14mm and 35mm are great/stunning lenses for the XF system (I own them too) but the 18mm F2 is the weakest available – its best features are its fast AF and wide aperture/low light ability, not its optical qualities.

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  16. Is there a menu tutorial on how to program the x100s to Wide Conversion Lens mode or do you just simply attach it ? I have the latest firmware update 1.10 and I can’t seem to find that option in the menu, anyone can reply

  17. I recently tested the WCL-X100 (X100s) against the XF18 on the X-E2 (latest firmware on both as of the date I’m writing this). The WCL-X100 is definitely sharper. I thought the adapter was 18mm but I guess it is actually 19.

    The thing the XF18 has going for it is size relative to the rest of the lineup. It protrudes significantly less than the WCL-X100. It is the “compact” ~28mm equivalent, not the WCL-X100.

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