Going Wide with the X100 and the WCL-X100 II Wide Conversion Lens

For most of my travel photography I very much like the 35mm angle of view provided by the Fujifilm X100V. But there are those situations when I need just a little wider frame. Wandering through the redwoods is a perfect example.

DSCF2058-Armstrong-Woods-1024-web.jpg Armstrong Redwoods with the Fujifilm X100V and wide conversion lens. This was the breadth that I wanted to capture.

At first, I had very good luck using a DIY adaptation of an old Canon wide angle lens I had. Over time, however, the rig proved a bit bulky for travel, and I had to set the EXIF data manually. Ultimately, I wanted something more compact and convenient.

So I turned my attention to the FUJIFILM WCL-X100 II Wide Conversion Lens because it was much smaller and definitely more convenient. With it on the X100V, I now have a quality 28mm equivalent optic that is wider than the 35mm standard lens.

Fujifilm updated the WCL-X100 II a few years ago to make it smarter on the X100S and X100V. The optics are basically the same as the original wide angle lens, but they included a clever magnet system that tells the camera when the wide angle is mounted, and the camera makes all of the framing adjustments, plus alters the EXIF data accordingly. This is wildly convenient. It feels very much like an interchangeable lens camera with the new system.

Another nice feature is that the wide conversion lens has the same 49mm filter size as the standard adapter that you probably already have on the camera. So you can use the existing protection filter (or any other type) that you're already carrying with you.

X100-with-28mm-1024.jpeg Fujifilm X100V with WCL-X100 II Wide Conversion Lens.

The wide angle lens looks very natural on the camera, even handsome. The lens quickly screws into the threads on the camera body that are revealed when you remove the filter ring adapter. The X100V isn't as pocketable when the wide angle mounted, but it's still not bad either. And it's certainly easy enough to remove the lens and stash it in the other pocket. Image quality is excellent, as you would imagine.

The wide angle lens kit comes with front and back caps plus a nice lens pouch.

The Bottom Line

My DIY solution worked well when I wasn't on the road, which was fine during the pandemic, but now that I'm out and about more, I prefer the WCL-X100 II Wide Conversion Lens because of its compact size and convenience. And the fact that I can use my existing 49mm filter is a nice bonus.

Highly recommended.

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