Fuji unveils wide conversion lens, new firmware for X100 (with samples!)


posted Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at 2:26 PM EDT

Fujifilm's WCL-X100 Wide Conversion Lens. Photo provided by Fujifilm. Click for our Fuji X100 review!Fujifilm has today announced a new conversion lens specific to its FinePix X100 digital camera, offering X100 shooters an alternative to the 23mm fixed focal length of their camera. The company has also simultaneously announced updated firmware for the X100 body.

The Fuji WCL-X100 Wide Conversion Lens has 0.8x magnification, and mounts directly on the camera body, without the need for the AR-X100 adapter ring that must be used to attach other filters and accessories. When mounted, the combination of X100 body and WCL-X100 conversion lens provides a focal length of 19mm, equivalent to 28mm on a 35mm camera. (The X100 alone has a 35mm-equivalent focal length of 35mm.)

The conversion lens' design features four elements in three groups, and cleverly includes compatibility with the same 49mm filters and LH-X100 lens hood as would be accepted by the camera itself when using the AR-X100 adapter ring. Hence, if you already have the adapter ring and hood or stock of 49mm filters, you can gain the advantage of those with the WCL-X100 as well.

Fujifilm's WCL-X100 Wide Conversion Lens mounted on the X100 camera body. Photo provided by Fujifilm. Click for a bigger picture!
Fujifilm's WCL-X100 Wide Conversion Lens mounted on the X100 camera body. Photo provided by Fujifilm. Click for a bigger picture!

Fujifilm's WCL-X100 Wide Conversion Lens is available in both black and silver versions, matched to the finish of the camera body and optional lens hood.
Photos provided by Fujifilm Corp.

Dimensions of the WCL-X100 are 2.2 inches (55 mm) diameter, and 1.5 inches (37 mm) in length, and the lens weighs 5.3 ounces (150 g). Mounted and ready to shoot on the X100 camera body, that takes total weight up to 21 ounces (595 g), while depth is a little over three inches, not far off double the depth of the camera alone.

With the new firmware installed and conversion lens attached, the X100 can indicate the new extents of the image frame using Hybrid Viewfinder mode. Screenshots courtesy of Fujifilm Corp.

With the new firmware installed and conversion lens attached, the X100 can indicate the new extents of the image frame using Hybrid Viewfinder mode.
Screenshots courtesy of Fujifilm Corp.

A firmware update is required for the X100 body to support this accessory, and this firmware is available immediately from the Fujifilm USA website. With the new firmware installed, the X100 can indicate the area covered by the conversion lens in its clever hybrid viewfinder mode. This is done with four small, yellow marks indicating the corners of the expanded image frame.

Even if you don't plan to buy the conversion lens, you'll want to update to the new firmware version 1.30, as it brings two other important tweaks to the X100's operation; in full the list of changes is as follows:

  1. New function for the WIDE CONVERSION LENS WCL-X100 is added to the shooting menu. The function for the WCL-X100 can also be allocated to "Fn/RAW" button.

  2. Hold the "AE/AF LOCK" when changing to OVF after one of 25 focus points(inner portion of 49 focus points) is selected in EVF or LCD.
    <Notice> "AE/AF LOCK" will be canceled when changing to OVF after one of 25 focus points (outer portion of 49 focus points) is selected in EVF or LCD. In this case, you need to use EVF or LCD to hold the "AE/AF LOCK".

  3. Change of "MIN. SHUTTER SPEED" setting in "ISO AUTO CONTROL" of the shooting menu will be reflected without OFF/ON operation.

As for the conversion lens, it ships from June 2012 in body-matched black or silver versions. Pricing is set at around US$350, taking the total list price for an X100 and the conversion lens to around US$1,550. Fuji ships the WCL-X100 Wide Conversion Lens with both front and rear caps, and a storage pouch.

A number of sample images shot with the pairing of the Fuji X100 body and WCL-X100 lens can be seen on the Fujifilm USA website.

The WCL-X100 Wide Conversion Lens in both silver and black versions. Photo provided by Fujifilm Corp. Click for a bigger picture!

The WCL-X100 Wide Conversion Lens in both silver and black versions.
Photo provided by Fujifilm Corp.

Press Release

Fujifilm Announces All New Wide Conversion Lens For The Award Winning Fujifilm X100 Digital Camera

Valhalla, N.Y., May 15, 2012 – FUJIFILM North America Corporation today announced an exciting new premium accessory for the award winning FUJIFILM X100 – a Wide Conversion Lens (WCL-X100) that will further enhance the exceptional photographic experience of using the FUJIFILM X100 digital camera. The new Wide Conversion Lens will not only maximize the FUJIFILM X100’s shooting versatility and performance, but it will also add to the stunning look and feel of the camera with its exacting design similarities.

“We are extremely pleased to offer this new Wide Conversion Lens for the FUJIFILM X100, which has been enthusiastically received from the professional and advanced amateur photographic communities for its beautiful design and outstanding image quality,” said Go Miyazaki, division president, Imaging and Electronic Imaging Divisions, FUJIFILM North America Corporation. “Fujifilm is committed to giving photographers the premium tools that they need to achieve the best imaging results imaginable, and this new lens will allow the FUJIFILM X100 to exceed users’ expectations by opening up countless new shooting opportunities.”

FUJIFILM Wide Conversion lens (WCL-X100)
The FUJIFILM WCL-X100, a wide conversion lens made in Japan and designed specifically for the award winning FUJIFILM X100, attaches directly onto the camera and increases picture taking versatility by multiplying the fixed focal length by 0.8x, converting it from 23mm (35mm equivalent) fixed focal length to a 19mm wide angle (28mm equivalent). The WCL-X100 delivers superb optical quality and maximizes versatility of the FUJIFILM X100 by ensuring comparable image quality even at the f/2 wide aperture setting, all while retaining all the original optical characteristics, including the attractive bokeh effect.

The FUJIFILM WCL-X100’s optical construction uses four premium glass elements in three groups to keep aberrations minimal, and also employs the unique FUJINON Super EBC (Electron Beam Coating) for outstanding results.

Using the WCL-X100
Achieving the very best results from the WCL-X100 is simple: select the ‘Wide Conversion Lens’ option in the FUJIFILM X100’s menu system (camera must be updated to firmware version 1.30 or later) or select the function via the Function (Fn) or RAW buttons.

After selecting the ‘Wide Conversion Lens’ option, the FUJIFILM X100 automatically applies image processing to shots taken using the WCL-X100 to reduce image distortion, ensuring balanced illumination across the frame and reduced chromatic aberration which can be commonly found in wide conversion lenses.

The WCL-X100 maintains the full functionality of the FUJIFILM X100, including auto focusing speeds, the 10cm macro capability and of course, the extraordinary hybrid viewfinder. With the optical viewfinder (OVF) selected, icons showing the edge of the frame are displayed instead of the frame rim (equivalent to 80% of the frame field of view), while selecting the electronic viewfinder (EVF) gives users a 100% field of view.

The perfect match for the FUJIFILM X100
The design of the WCL-X100 has been carefully considered to ensure a seamless blend with the FUJIFILM X100. It uses the same materials, textures and colors as the existing X100, plus the optional LH-X100 lens hood and PRF-49S protective filter can be used on the conversion lens. Furthermore, the clip-on lens cap for the WCL-X100 can be attached with both the lens hood and filter in place.

FUJIFILM WCL-X100 key features

  • 0.8x magnification factor to convert X100 lens to 28mm wide angle (35mm equivalent)

  • All glass optical construction using four elements in three groups

  • FUJINON Super EBC coating

  • “Made in Japan” for optimum quality

  • Available in silver and black

The FUJIFILM Wide Conversion lens (WCL-X100) will be available in silver and black in June 2012 for $349.99.

About Fujifilm 
FUJIFILM North America Corporation, a marketing subsidiary of FUJIFILM Holdings America Corporation, consists of five operating divisions and one subsidiary company. The Imaging Division sells consumer and commercial photographic products and services including film, one-time-use cameras, online photo services and fulfillment, digital printing equipment and service. The Electronic Imaging Division markets consumer digital cameras. The Motion Picture Division provides motion picture film, and the Graphic Systems Division supplies products and services to the printing industry. The Optical Devices Division provides binoculars, and optical lenses for closed circuit television, videography, cinematography, broadcast and industrial markets. FUJIFILM Canada Inc. markets a range of Fujifilm products and services. For more information, please visit www.fujifilm.com/northamerica, or go to www.twitter.com/fujifilmus to follow Fujifilm on Twitter. To receive news and information direct from Fujifilm via RSS, subscribe at www.fujifilmusa.com/rss.

FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation, Tokyo, Japan, brings continuous innovation and leading-edge products to a broad spectrum of industries, including electronic imaging, digital printing equipment, medical systems, life sciences, graphic arts, flat panel display materials, and office products, based on a vast portfolio of digital, optical, fine chemical and thin film coating technologies. The company was among the top 16 companies around the world granted U.S. patents in 2010, and in the year ended March 31, 2011, had global revenues of $25.8 billion*. Fujifilm is committed to environmental stewardship and good corporate citizenship. For more information, please visit www.fujifilmholdings.com.
* At an exchange rate of 86 yen to the dollar.

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