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!
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.
The River Ouse looking rather attractive – showing some more of the edge detail.
Another two showing edge detail.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For more information, including full specifications and where to buy, visit the TCL-X100 product page on the Fujifilm UK website.
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”.