A Tale of Two Tele’s – Fuji Teleconverters

A few months back I picked up the WCL-X100 for my Fuji x100s. This is the wide angle teleconverter that takes the built in lens from 35mm to 28mm equivalent focal length. Surprisingly, the maximum aperture of f2.0 is maintained, although whether through misdirection or skullduggery on the part of the manufacturer I will leave to people who care.
I haven’t had much of a chance to use the converter in anger, with the day job taking precedence, but on the rare occasion I did play with it, it seems to do well enough. I knew I would have to wait for the right opportunity to put it through it’s paces though.

(Click on the Images for larger size versions)

Beijing Towers - Fuji WCL-x100

Then Fuji announced the TCL-X100, a 50mm equivalent teleconverter, that again maintained the max f2.0 aperture. Some careful financial planning ensued, and stalking of B&H so that as soon as the pre order was open, I was on the list. I’d been using the x100s for environmental portraits, but wanted something a bit tighter that would give a little less distortion when used closer – it’s all about perspective. So, the two converters now in the bag, I’m off on a business trip to Asia Pacific, specifically China, a stopover in Singapore and a short stay in Australia.

Woman in Starbucks Chongqing Fuji TCL-x100

I wrote about the minimalist travel kit in my last dispatch, and these two round it out nicely. They come boxed and wrapped in Fuji’s familiar high quality packaging, complete with a slip on rear lens cap and a pinch operated front lens cap. They also have a little velvet bag to keep them in, with x100 stenciled on the side.

When the TCL-x100 was announced, Fuji updated the firmware for the x100/x100s to accommodate the new converter. This added it to the menu selection so that when selected, the camera would take care of any optical corrections needed. This is very important and a bit of a challenge.

The build quality of these two matches the Fuji X system. Enough said. The optical quality is excellent, at least to my jaded eye. I’m sure the professional pixel peepers will be relating lots of reasons why you should hate these two, but for the life of me, I don’t get why. Within the optical limitations, they render lovely images, and with the in camera corrections applied, straight out of camera jpg’s work well.

Chinese Theater, Chongqing, WCL-x100

The only annoying thing is applying those corrections. If you switch converters, or remove one, and forget to change the firmware setting, you can’t reprocess with the correct setting. And I forget to change the setting all the time! I have it set up on the fn button on the top plate (which I’d prefer to use for ISO, but need to have it for converter use), and there is a handy icon in the viewfinder to remind you that you have the correction applied (unfortunately, it doesn’t tell you which one). Nevertheless, I still forget to either change the setting or cancel it when I switch converters. I’m sure I’ll get into the habit, but for now, it’s a fix it in post job.

Bridge to CBD, Chongqing, WCL-x100

Neither converter comes with a lens hood. The hood for the x100 fits the WCL-x100, but you are out of luck for the TCL-x100. Third party is the option here. Given that lovely large front element, I want to get a hood as soon as I can. You may choose to use a skylight filter to protect the front element, I choose not to, relying on a hood instead.

I’ve used the WCL-x100 with the 49mm B+W circular Polarizer without any vignetting issues. I haven’t stacked ND filters on it yet, so I don’t know how far I can push it, but I’m sure I’ll find out soon.

The WCL-x100 only gives you a 7mm shorter focal length compared to the standard x100s lens. It doesn’t sound like much, but I found that when walking around the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, or shooting the sunset from the top of the Marina Sands Hotel in Singapore, that extra 7mm counted.
In contrast, the TCL-x100 is double the jump, a full 15mm change from 35mm to 50mm. The longer focal length allows for more compression, with less curvature and distortion due to perspective relationships. This has more impact when shooting people as they look more natural, with appendages maintaining proportions when the person extends to the edge of the frame. It also helps when going in tighter, keeping noses and ears more natural looking. Even shooting more mundane cityscapes, using the slight telephoto compression changes perspective and the feel of the image, allowing you to explore opportunities more fully and hopefully, exceeding your vision.

Singapore Sunset Fuji TCL-x100

Question is, should you buy one, or both of these converters? If one, which one? I can’t answer that. I can say that if you need them, you shouldn’t be disappointed in what they can deliver. You may get annoyed by forgetting to switch the firmware correction over occasionally, but unless you are a rabid pixel peeper, both of these units are complements to the x100 / x100s. I love the simplicity. For my minimalist travel kit, I’m delighted to have them. As I practice more, I will remember to switch the firmware, but in the meantime, photoshop to the rescue (at the time of writing, ACR beta has the TCL-x100 profile). I’d still prefer to get the profile applied in-camera than trying to figure it out later, because I will not remember if this was shot with or without the converter.

Singapore Sunset Fuji WCL-x100

One note on images included in this post. They are all SOOC jpgs processed on an iPad mini in LightRoom Mobile, then transferred to Snapseed for final rendering. If the wrong lens correction profile was applied, I can’t fix it until I get the raw file back into Lightroom at home. I also can’t do some of the heavier processing, like HDR, gradients, layers, masks, distortion correction etc, or my usual borders. I will update this post with fully processed images once I churn ’em out, but in the meantime, I’m working through the limitations of a truly mobile minimalist workflow.

More to come…….

Creative Commons License
This work by Jason Pitcher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.jasonpitcher.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at www.jasonpitcher.com.


  1. Great informative article, it answered almost all my questions regarding the WCL-X100

    Can you share with us the name or the model number of the B&W filter you are using with WCL-X100

    • I’ve got a post with links to the stuff I use here: , but specifically it’s a B+W 49mm 0.6 ND 102 Filter.


  1. A Tale of Two Tele’s – Fuji Teleconverters | Jason Pitcher › By TOMEN - […] Source: jasonpitcher.com […]
  2. A Tale of Two Tele's - Fuji Teleconverters - ww... - […] A few months back I picked up the WCL-X100 for my Fuji x100s. This is the wide angle teleconverter…
  3. miXed zone: XF 18-135, Zeiss 50mm and more | Fuji RumorsFuji Rumors - […] A tale of two tele’s – Fuji’s Teleconverters at jasonpitcher: “Question is, should you buy one, or both of…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *