Lenses

Testing out the TCL-X100 Tele-Conversion Lens for Fujifilm X100/X100S

When I first read about the forthcoming Tele-Conversion Lens for X100/X100S, being a very keen user and huge fan of the Fujifilm X100S, I was really looking forward to getting my hands on it and seeing what it can do.

I’ve used the WCL-X100 quite a bit and really love the results. Personally I can’t see any difference in the image quality and I’ve found those extra few millimetres can make all the difference when taking a few steps backwards is not an option.

Assuming the same could be said for the TCL-X100, I knew we’d have a product that will be highly regarded by the X100 community – you know who you are!

Image comparison

Here’s two comparison images of my kids. My eldest is like a statue with my “do not move your feet!” instructions. The other not taking this highly technical and scientific experiment as seriously as I’d like.

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The River Ouse looking rather attractive – showing some more of the edge detail.

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Another two showing edge detail.

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Bokeh effect of the TCL-X100 compared to the XF35mmF1.4

James Limpua, a Facebook user, requested a comparison between the XF35mm and the X100S with TCL-X100. So here goes. X100S + TCL-X100 (+ in-built ND filter) are on the left, X-T1 with XF35mmF1.4 are on the right. Both shot at f/2.0.

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Is digitally cropping pretty much the same as using this conversion lens?

A user has asked the question in the Comments section about whether Digital Cropping could have the same effect as using the TCL. I took a couple of example shots last night to demonstrate why the TCL is not just about bringing things closer, but actually narrowing your field of view.

Here’s two shots of my Millican bag. In both cases I lined the edge of the bag up with the 1/3rd gridlines on my camera. Obviously this means I was standing further away when I shot with the TCL.

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As you can see, when I shot with the TCL on, the narrower field of view effectively makes the background appear much closer. One practical benefit of this is it allows you to cut out unwanted background distractions. Also, the longer focal length give a slight compression to the subject which is often more flattering. IF you notice in the samples, the bag looks slimmer in the TCL shot.

My verdict

IQ
Just like the WCL, as far as image quality is concerned, I personally can’t notice any loss of IQ when using the TCL-X100.

Autofocus
I have read people saying that the AF tends to miss more often with the TCL on but I have not experienced this. Although I’ve not used it in low light yet and I’ve only tested it on the X100S, not the X100.

Size and weight


My X100S is my absolute “go to” camera because it fits in my coat pocket, or in a small bag along with other things. The TCL does change that dynamic slightly, although it’s nothing I can’t overcome by storing it in my other pocket. If I’m really travelling light, unless I know I have a specific reason to have 50mm equiv, I’m probably going to leave this at home.

Overall
I think that after a fairly high investment (for a hobby) in an X100/S body, to be able to have the flexibility to change between 3 different focal length, leaf shutter, prime quality lenses (when factoring the WCL) for only a few hundred pounds extra per converter lens is a great move by Fujifilm.

You could live without it, and half the fun of the X100S is using your legs to zoom in or out and always thinking about what would fit into your 23mm (35mm FF equiv) frame, but this is certainly something that I will buy to turn my already awesome X100S into a better portrait camera.

As usual, please leave a comment below or send me a Tweet if you have any questions at all.

Learn more

For more information, including full specifications and where to buy, visit the TCL-X100 product page on the Fujifilm UK website.

Disclaimer

I may work for Fujifilm UK but I’m also a keen enthusiast photographer, and getting keener by the day. This blog is my opinion on the TCL-X100 and should not be considered the “official word of Fujifilm”.

Categories: Lenses

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32 replies »

    • Hello,

      Nothing that I noticed although I’ve read someone else’s blog where they mentioned they thought it might be different. I’m planning to keep using it for a few days so perhaps in different situations it might happen.

      In regards to control, I find the manual focus ring a bit fiddly to use when the TCL is attached though. Although I do have big sausage fingers

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      • Thank you for the reply back, I currently have the WCL and i hope it is exactly the same function :). thanks for the sample shots. Looks amazing 🙂

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  1. I have no doubt Fuji quality is worth the investment. The WCL-X100 has certainly found itself to be a useful tool. However, I wonder if the cost of the TCL-X100 versus its benefit is really worthwhile? For those of us on limited budgets, or for those not wanting to add any bulk to their fantasticly slim and stealthy X100/S, wouldn’t cropping the photo during editing be just as effective? I do it all the time and the end results are very similar to your comparisons. Thanks for the review. Thoughts?

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    • Very good question. So good, I even asked it myself at first. But then I gave it a bit more thought and realised that it’s not the same. The TCL is not just about making things appear closer, it’s about narrowing the field of view.

      To explain, I’ve added a section and couple of extra images to the post above. I hope this answers your question.
      Marc

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      • That didn’t really address the original question because you changed the camera-to-subject difference, so of course the background changed. The question is whether the IQ of a TCL enhanced photo is superior to one taken without (at the same subject distance) but cropped appropriately for a comparable field of view.

        Regards,

        Matt

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  2. Thanky you for your review Marc! I currently only use the WCL-X100 but the TCL-X100 looks very interesting, too!

    About the digital cropping comparison: You are changing perspective when you move the camera position. It would have been interesting to see the results from the same point of view. First photo with the TCL and then detaching it without moving the camera for the second photo. You would have to crop the wider frame of the regular 35mm fov to the TCL frame size. This would obviously reduce resolution but what about DOF and bokeh? That would really interest me 😉

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  3. What would be a smooth move by Fuji is to come out with a fancy box set containing both the lenses. The WCL and the TCL in one package. For those of us who want both. With maybe a slight price drop 🙂

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  4. Thanks for this very useful comparisons. I just wish the images were much bigger or available for download in full resolution.

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  5. Thanks Marc, very useful comparisons. Have just bought the x100s with both converters. So far very happy with the image quality and the versatility. Screwing on a converter is a lot less bothersome than changing lenses on the go.

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  6. The concept of the Fujifilm X100(s) is a relatively small, lightweight and unobtrusive camera.
    Why not take a few steps forward or backward, instead of messing around with those ugly, fairly large and intimidating converters.

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    • Why not take a few steps forward or backward

      That was kind of my first reaction at first, however sometimes that’s not always an option. Also, the focal length does actually change the perspective of the shot slightly. The conversion lenses at least give people the option if they want.
      Marc

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      • I find the WCL-X100 extremely useful for my style of photography. The classic 28mm FOV with converter plus the standard 35mm on the X100S make this an incredible combo for street-, reportage- and travel photography.

        Without having tried the TCL-X100 myself, I currently think that this one I can do without. Until someone proves me wrong (hint, hint @Marc 😉 ) I think that an image taken from the same spot with the standard X100S with 35mm FOV cropped to the 50mm FOV compared to an image taken with the TCL-X100 will mainly differ in lower resolution on the cropped image (and maybe a bit of DOF). And if you don’t print it very large you may not see much difference since you are not changing the perspective.

        But you can never add more image to your standard 35mm FOV in post processing. That is what makes the WCL-X100 so valuable to me. And this is probably the reason why Fuji made it first 🙂

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  7. Mine is due to be delivered today so waiting in eager anticipation, it will provide a great lens for street work and for portraits (shame it is not a 75mm) .
    Great to see that Fuji continue to listen to photographers rather than letting the engineers drive the design according to their perceived needs.
    Good short sharp review.

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    • From the tests I did I was would say I didn’t notice a huge difference, but then I wasn’t specifically looking for this. However, here are the words of Kevin Mullins, a pro photographer who has also tried it out:

      Depth of field plays a big part in creativity, I get that, and of course having a 50mm focal length is going to give you a more narrow depth of field to work with. It’s good. I find the bokeh pleasing and I too like using depth of field as a creative attribute to an image so being able to shoot with 23, 35 and 50mm lengths have offered me that versatility at each end of the bokeh spectrum. I’ve shot the same image below three times. Firstly with no adapter attached, secondly with the WCL-X100 (wide) adapter and the third one with the TCL-X100 (tele). Again, the RAF files are there for you should you want it. Each image was shot using the same camera and at the same manual exposure of 1/125 F/2 at ISO 2000

      This quote was taken from the following link where you can also see and download the comparison images he is refering to. http://www.the-owl.co.uk/reviews/tcl-x100-review.html

      I hope this helps.

      Marc

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  8. I have just bought a TCL-x100 for my 100s and I am quite disappointed. It is much softer than the fixed lens in my opinion. I have taken some exact comparisons and don’t like the results much

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  9. Your field of view comparisons are just what I was looking for–thanks so much for putting them up. Looks like I will add the tele converter to my X100 & WA converter kit.

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  10. Hello Marc. I think you are turning into a bit more than an enthusiastic photographer. There’s some very nice shots in this. Very nice glass.

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