Fujifilm WCL-X100 Review

4.5
July 31, 2012 | Mark Goldstein |

Introduction

The Fujifilm WCL-X100 is a new wide-angle conversion lens for the popular X100 camera. It converts the X100's 35mm lens to a wider-angle 28mm focal length with no effect on the camera's fast f/2 maximum aperture. Read our in-depth Fujifilm WCL-X100 review complete with full-size sample images to find out if it's a must-buy for X100 owners...

The WCL-X100 is an 0.8x wide-angle converter for the popular Fujifilm X100 compact camera. This conversion lens attaches directly onto the X100 and converts its 35mm lens to a 28mm wide-angle. Manufactured in Japan, the Fujifilm WCL-X100 features an all-glass optical construction using four elements in three groups, with Fujinon EBC coating. The Fujifilm WCL-X100 is available in black or silver for £249.99 / $349.95 in the UK and the USA, respectively.

Ease of Use

Fujifilm WCL-X100 The Fujifilm WCL-X100 lens

Fujifilm WCL-X100 The Fujifilm WCL-X100 lens, isometric view

Fujifilm WCL-X100 The Fujifilm WCL-X100 lens, isometric view

For a tele-convertor, the Fujifilm WCL-X100 is a rather big lens, adding an extra 37mm to the X100's existing optic, although it's not too heavy at 150g.

Fujifilm WCL-X100 The Fujifilm WCL-X100 lens alongside the X100 camera

As you would expect from a tele conversion lens that costs this much, build quality is excellent. The Fujifilm WCL-X100 feels very solid in your hand, with the all-metal construction inspiring confidence and matching the X100 camera. As the WCL-X100 simply screws into the front of the X100's lens, the focus and aperture rings are the standard X100 ones.

Fujifilm WCL-X100 Front of the Fujifilm WCL-X100 lens

Fujifilm WCL-X100 Rear of the Fujifilm WCL-X100 lens

There are no markings of any kind on the WCL-X100. It accepts 49mm filters, so the LH-X100 lens hood and PRF-49S protective filter can be used on the conversion lens as well as the X100 itself.

Fujifilm WCL-X100 Front of the Fujifilm WCL-X100 lens

Fujifilm WCL-X100 Rear of the Fujifilm WCL-X100 lens.

The WCL-X100's optical construction employs four glass elements in three groups to help keep aberrations to a minimum and uses Fujinon's Super EBC coating.

Fujifilm WCL-X100 Front of the Fujifilm WCL-X100 lens, in-hand

 

The lens ships with front and rear lens caps and a nice quality cloth bag to store it in.

Auto-focus

The auto-focusing speed and noise with the WCL-X100 are exactly the same as on the X100 - we couldn't discern any noticeable differences between the two. The main change from a usability point of view occurs when using the optical viewfinder - rectangular markers showing 80% of the the edge of the frame are displayed to help you compose the shot correctly. Otherwise the X100 operates in exactly the same way as it does without the WCL-X100 fitted.

Chromatic Aberrations

Chromatic aberrations, typically seen as purple or blue fringes along contrasty edges, are impressively well controlled with the WCL-X100- the examples below show the worst-case scenario.

Fujifilm WCL-X100 Fujifilm WCL-X100

Light Fall-off

With the lens wide open at f/2, you can see some slight light fall-off in the corners. Stopping down helps, although to completely get rid of this phenomenon, you will need to use an f-stop of f/4 or smaller.

Fujifilm WCL-X100

Macro

The Fujifilm WCL-X100 commendably maintains a close-focus point of 10cm from the film/sensor plane, exactly the same as the X100's native 35mm optic, and Fujifilm quotes a maximum reproduction ratio of 0.8x for the lens. The following example illustrates how close you can get to the subject, in this case a CompactFlash card.

Fujifilm WCL-X100 Close-up performance

Bokeh Examples

Bokeh is a word used for the out-of-focus areas of a photograph, and is usually described in qualitative terms, such as smooth / creamy / harsh etc. Below you'll find some examples, but you are also encouraged to check out our sample images.

Fujifilm WCL-X100 Fujifilm WCL-X100
   
Fujifilm WCL-X100 Fujifilm WCL-X100

Sharpness

In order to show you how sharp this lens is, we are providing 100% crops on the following page.

Entry Tags

wide-angle, lens, fujifilm, 28mm, fuji, prime, wide angle, landscape, architecture, x100, convertor, converter, fujifilm x100, 28 mm, fuji x100, conversion, WCL-X100, journalist, wcl x100, Fujifilm WCL-X100 Review

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