Fuji X100 Mark II Wide and Tele Conversion Lens Review (28mm & 50mm)

The Fuji X100 series has been incredibly popular since the very first version and I was excited to buy my own X100F as soon as it was announced. The camera has a fixed 23mm f/2 lens on it that delivers an angle of view that’s equivalent to a 35mm lens on a full frame camera, but Fuji have been selling two conversion lenses for a number of years. Alongside the X100F launch, they also launched new “mark II” versions of these 28mm and 50mm conversion lenses.

Throughout this review, I’ll be referring to the conversion lenses by using their 35mm equivalent values because this is what Fuji do themselves. The TCL-X100 II gives you a 35mm equivalent angle of view of 50mm, and the WCL-X100 II gives you a 35mm equivalent angle of view of 28mm.

Mark II Changes & Compatibility

The difference between the original TCL-x100/WCL-X100 and the new mark II versions of the conversion lenses is very minor. Optically they are identical to the previous versions, with the only difference being a small magnet in the base of the lens that allows the Fuji X100F or X100V to automatically detect the usage of one of the conversion lenses. With the original lenses you needed to manually select an option in the menu to tell the X100 that you were using a conversion lens. This then compensated for distortion and adjusted things like frame lines in the OVF and distance readings in the EVF. If you use these Mark II lenses on the X100F, and any subsequent X100s that were released after the X100F like the X100V, the camera will automatically apply that setting for you.

You can still use these Mark II lenses on older X100 models such as the X100T and X100S, but they lack the ability to detect that magnet, so you still need to change the menu setting to apply it. What this means is that there is absolutely no reason at all to upgrade from the previous conversion lens versions unless you have an X100F or X100V and want that automated lens detection. If you have the older cameras, there will be no difference at all to your images or functionality.

Lens Design, Usage and Features

28mm (left) – 50mm (right)

The photos in this section tell much of the story here. The 28mm lens is actually the smaller of the two, which might catch a few people by surprise, so pay attention to that because it’s very important in the overall review of these. The 50mm lens is gigantic, I really couldn’t believe it when I got it out of the box, it’s almost comically large on the little X100 and it totally unbalances the camera to the point where I just didn’t want to use it. The 28mm doesn’t affect things quite so much, but it does turn the camera into something which you can no longer fit into a large jacket pocket, as you can when it’s just the native fixed lens.

In order to attach them to the camera, you first have to unscrew a small vanity ring which is covering up the thread on the front of the X100’s fixed lens. Once that is off, you simply screw the conversion lens to the front of the camera. The X100’s fixed lens has an f/2 aperture, and the great thing about these converters is that they maintain that aperture, unlike regular teleconverters (the ones that sit between lens and camera body), which typically cause a 1-2 stop reduction in light transmission to the sensor.

The 50mm really is a behemoth!

If you’re using the X100 filter adapter then you’ll need to unscrew that from the camera’s fixed lens in order to attach the converter. The X100 filter adapter allows you to use 49mm threaded filters on the camera, and there’s also a 49mm thread on the 28mm conversion lens so you can continue to use the same filters once you have swapped them from camera to conversion lens. Unfortunately, with the 50mm conversion lens being so big, its filter thread size jumps up to 67mm which means you’ll have to carry a second set of filters with you if you want to use them on that longer focal length – definitely a pain in the ass.

Image Quality

I have to award Fuji excellent marks in this area because both lenses exceeded my expectations in normal usage. I was particularly concerned about the magnification that’s present in the 50mm lens, because this will also magnify any flaws in the original optics, but thankfully it all worked rather well. The only area of disappointment for me was in the close focus images. The X100 lens has always been pretty weak at minimum focus distance anyway, and things tend to lose sharpness and get a little “foggy” looking around the edges. The same can definitely be said when used with the converters, but to an even greater extent unfortunately. Since the converters don’t alter the minimum focus distance anyway, I can’t imagine anyone will be buying them for macro purposes, so it’s unlikely to be a huge issue, it’s just something to keep in mind whilst shooting.

Overall though, I was pleasantly surprised by their optical quality. Most people would be able to spot the “converted” images in their image library simply by the different angle of view, but if you couldn’t you’d be really hard pushed to pick them out without examining the photo’s EXIF data and that’s pretty impressive.

The images below give a good indication of the change to angle of view when using the converters, with 35mm equivalent focal length noted in the captions.

X100F with WCL-X100 II (28mm)
X100F using native 35mm equivalent lens.
X100F with TCL-X100 II (50mm)

Video Review

Thoughts and Conclusions

I have been so excited about my Fuji X100F since the day I got it (and now lust over the X100V), so naturally I was also excited to investigate these conversion lenses, as I thought that might add even more to my already beloved camera. I was really impressed by the optical quality of the lenses, and only noticed some softening of the images when they were used at the absolute minimum focus distance, which has never been a strong point for the X100 series anyway. In normal shooting, you really can’t tell that these are being used, apart from the obvious change in angle of view that comes from the wider 28mm or the longer 50mm.

The difference really comes down to the usability of the camera, and for me this is where my feelings are a mixed bag. The 50mm conversion lens is gigantic, and I really felt that it killed the soul of the camera. The unique thing about the little X100 series cameras is that they do seem to have some soul to them, they just make you smile when you use them, and they invite creativity and experimentation. With the 50mm converter attached, it lost this because it just became unwieldy to use, and so much less portable. You could try and argue that you can remove the lens, but the screw-on method of attachment, and need to remove filter rings and change filter sizes is all just too much. It eats into the experience of using the camera, and you might as well just buy an XT-20 and a Fuji 35mm f/2 WR lens which would give you a 53mm equivalent in a smaller and cheaper package. If 50mm is a focal length you love to use, the Fuji X100V, or any other variant of the X100 product line with this converter is simply not the way to go, get the interchangeable X-Series model with the gorgeous, small, 35mm f/2 instead.

On the other hand, the 28mm conversion lens is a lot nicer to use. I still found that the inconvenience of the attachment method meant that when I put the lens on, I kept it on all day, but at least it was a comfortable size to use. It’s slightly less portable with the longer lens protrusion, but it’s not nearly as restrictive as the 50mm one. For me, I still prefer to shoot with the “naked” camera and it’s 35mm equivalent lens, but if you’re someone that really loves the 28mm field of view then I think you’ll be happy with this one. By the numbers, 35mm to 28mm doesn’t seem like all that much, but it does make significant compositional changes when you’re working with landscapes, which is the scenario I would most recommend for that setup.

Where to Buy

Photo of author

Dan Carr

Professional photographer based in Yukon, Canada, and founder of Shutter Muse. His editorial work has been featured in publications all over the world, and his commercial clients include brands such as Nike, Apple, Adobe and Red Bull.

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37 thoughts on “Fuji X100 Mark II Wide and Tele Conversion Lens Review (28mm & 50mm)”

  1. Thank you for your great article.

    I have a question though please: were you really able to screw the initial version of the TCL-X100 all the way onto your x100f?

    I ask because I can’t seem to with mine… about half way on, it tightens and I feel that any more torque to screw it further on would probably damage the threads.

    I’d appreciate your feed-back as I don’t have this issue with the TLC and my first generation x100.

    Best,

    Francois

    Reply
    • Hi Francois, I didn’t have the Mark 1 version, I only had the Mark 2 versions of the lenses so I’m not sure if my opinion helps. With the Mark 2 version on my x100F, I could screw it all the way on with no problem.

      Reply
      • Hey, I recently got a WCL 100 II (with this name on the lens) from a Japanese seller at ebay , it looks of great quality but my x100f just can not detect it. Do you think this would be a fake len?

        Reply
    • Hi ,

      I have the same problem. It works fine on the X100 and the WCL works fine on the X100F …odd
      I am selling mine and upgrading as it is worth it for me.

      Reply
    • Well the 35mm f/2 would probably have a slight edge in that department too. Just a guess though, I haven’t done a side-by-side test and I no longer have the TLC here.

      Reply
  2. This was a really helpful review. I’ve been deliberating on whether to buy one of the X100 cameras (s or t most likely) or the Fuji X-Pro1. The benefit to the X-Pro1 is that lenses are interchangeable but the size of the X100 seems so appealing, especially for street photography. I’m glad to know the 28mm wide adapter isn’t too obtrusive and that’s definitely pushed my decision towards the X100 rather than the X-Pro1.

    Reply
  3. Thanks for this review Dan – I was looking for a comparison between the WCL-100 and the Mk II version which you’ve covered well.
    Looking to get one for my X100F – will probably save my money, get the original version (ie not the Mk II) and do a manual Option selection (to tell the X100 that I’m using a conversion lens) via the Q menu – only takes a couple of seconds!

    Reply
  4. Great article Dan. I just upgraded from the “S” and am loving the new features (Hello toggle switch!). I especially liked your bit about the “soul” of the camera. I have a photography podcast (Photobomb) and I talk more about my little Fuji than I do my pro gear because I just love picking it up. When I see the x100f sitting on the table, I want to pick it up and shoot. I think that may be the real reason people who own this camera love it so much. Despite being a full-time pro, I still want to shoot when I have that Fuji x100f in my hands.

    I have read a lot of great reviews of the converters and it is nice to read one that confirms what I believe: If you want more zoom, don’t buy the Fuji x100f. That’s not what it’s for. 🙂

    Thanks for the article!

    Reply
  5. Just ran across this piece after having an x100f for a month or two. It is a very well thought out and written piece (thanks!). I think I will check out the 50mm adapter in a store just in case; my hunch is that you are right about adding bulk but given that I am slowly migrating from a Canon Mark II (often switching between the kit lens, an 85 mm fixed portrait, and an 18-40mm wide) this may not seem too bad for now.

    Reply
  6. I’ve had the 50mm converter lens with my 100t for a couple years now, after so much use the threads on both the lens and camera have become stripped to the point I can not put the lens on anymore.
    I’m ready to upgrade the camera to a pro model, and will have to toss this lens in the bin.
    Wouldn’t recommend it for portrait photography.

    Reply
  7. good read!

    how about a comparison of the 50mm digital teleonverter vs the tcl x100? if the difference is not all that big then i do not see the need for the tcl x100

    Reply
    • Hi Martin, I didn’t test this while I had the converters because I have never seen a digital converter that comes even close to an optical one. I’m sure the optical one would be much better.

      Reply
  8. Nice piece, Dan! Just a quick question. When you were shooting wide open with the 50mm, did you notice a reduction in the DOF? I often find that the standard lens is a little too good at getting the BG in focus and I wouldn’t mind something that increased the BG blur when shooting things in the foreground. What do you think?

    Reply
    • it doesn’t make much difference really. Your best bet is to make the subject larger in the frame. Perhaps should have shot some examples of that but the loader gear has gone back now.

      Reply
  9. Instead of buying the wide angle lens I’m just going to use photo merge in Lightroom or Photoshop to get the wide angle shot from 2 or more photos.

    Reply
  10. Hi Dan,

    Thanks for the useful article.

    I am thinking of buying a WCL or a TCL for my X100F, but I have one doubt about light intake which I hope you can clearify.

    Native Lens is 35mm equivalent with F/2 ratio.

    I have read on many reviewes that both conversion lenses allow to work with the same original F/2, but how can this be possible?
    At F/2 the aperture has a diameter of about 12mm. In order to keep F/2 ratio with the TCL the aperture would need to be more than that (17.5mm), but there is no space left for more aperture.

    The same applies to the WCL: if the aperture diameter keeps =12mm, F ratio will even decrease from F/2 to F/1.6, which would be a great ratio for night photography. But that seems strange to me.

    Am I missing something? What is the real F ratio with WCL and TCL?

    Thanks a lot!!

    Silvio

    Reply
  11. Thank you for the great review. I have been on the fence between this with the x100v or a Leica q or q2. I am still leaning toward the Leica but This makes me think about renting the Fuji and giving it a try.

    Reply
  12. My main area is HEADSHOTS
    Framed just above head to Below armpits (females with long hair will be “longer” framing
    presume the TCL would handle my requirements easily ?
    Usung X100V
    Many thanks

    Reply
  13. Coming late to this article I echo the many words of praise for clarity and helpfulness. I have really been tempted by the X100V, but you have helped me NOT to buy it ! I ave to recognize that I*m more a 50 – 75 mm guy than a 35 as is proved by how little use the Leica X2 sitting in my cupboard gets. Now if Fuji would run a native 50mm X100…………

    Reply

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