See better, carry easier: Fuji releases X-T1, X100 accessories
posted Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at 3:53 PM EDT
If you own a Fuji X100s, X100, or the recently-launched Fuji X-T1, then you'll find a raft of accessories released by the company today to be of interest. A new conversion lens for the X100-series cameras will help you bring distant subjects closer, while a selection of grips help you hone your hold on the Fuji X-T1. And best of all, there's an eyecup accessory for the X-T1 that answers one of the few concerns we uncovered in the first Shooter's Report section in our ongoing Fuji X-T1 review.
But first, the conversion lens. If you own the Fuji X100 or X100s and find yourself longing for a choice of lenses -- well, it might not be an interchangeable-lens camera, but a conversion lens is the next best thing. Fuji already offers one such optic for the X100s and X100, the WCL-X100 Wide Conversion Lens. But what if telephoto is your goal? That's where the new TCL-X100 Tele Conversion Lens comes in. It'll give you a 1.4x focal length multiplier, turning your camera's 35mm-equivalent lens into a 50mm-equivalent. And you'll be able to focus down to just 5.5 inches (14cm) for macro shots.
Fuji says its Japanese-made, four-element, four-group optic with Fujinon Super EBC coating will provide "supreme optical quality", even at the lens' maximum aperture. The lens was designed by the same engineers responsible for the built-in optic on either camera, and the cameras themselves are capable of correcting distortion, vignetting and chromatic aberration when it's mounted. They'll also indicate coverage of the lens in their clever hybrid viewfinders. (You'll need to update to the current firmware for all of this to be the case, though.)
Available in black or silver with a finish that matches your camera body, the Fuji TCL-X100 Tele Conversion Lens goes on sale from May 2014 in the US market, priced at around US$350. Sample images shot with the optic mounted can be found on the Fujifilm website.
Fuji X-T1 owners, meanwhile, have access to four new accessories, as well as the chance to buy replacements for several easily-lost parts of their camera. Of the new kit, the one which really makes us smile is the EC-XT L Extended Eyecup. Now, we wouldn't usually smile about an eyecup, even if we are photo geeks -- but as it just so happens, we specifically called attention to the inadequate depth of the stock eyecup in the first section of our Fuji X-T1 Shooter's Report:
"[The X-T1's electronic viewfinder] could stand to be a bit brighter, but I only really had difficulty with it under harsh sunlight, and even then mostly because of its viewfinder eyepiece, which has a very shallow cup. Shielding the top or side of the camera with my free hand does the trick, but if I were to buy this camera, I'd probably take a trip to my local camera store to see if I could find a more generous viewfinder eyecup that fit. (Fuji doesn't make one, and although I tried eyecups from Canon, Pentax and Sony, none of them fit either.)"
We'd love to think we influenced the decision to make this more generous eyecup, but given that we only wrote those words two weeks ago, we rather doubt that's the case. Still, if there's one thing better than a camera company which listens, it's a camera company which reads your mind before you've even had the chance to express the opinion! ;-)
Alongside the new eyecup, Fuji has also launched the MHG-XT Large and MHG-XT Small handgrips, each milled from a solid block of aluminum. Just like the existing MHG-XT handgrip, these have cutouts to provide access to the battery compartment, and include a tripod socket on the central axis of the lens. They differ from the existing grip only in size and profile, giving you a choice of handgrip types.
Personally, even with large hands we didn't really feel one of these grips was necessary, and stuck instead with the VG-XT1 battery grip, which adds duplicate controls for portrait shooting as well as space for a second battery. If you didn't think the X-T1's grip felt right to you, however, these could well be the answer.
And if you're a belt-and-suspenders shooter, you'll be thrilled by the new GB-001 Grip Strap, which fits all Fuji X-series interchangeable lens cameras with or without accessory grips, as well as the fixed-lens X100, X100s, X-S1 and FinePix HS50. This simply attaches to the camera's righthand strap lug and the tripod mount on its base, wrapping snugly around your hand so that you don't drop the camera.
Finally, the CVR-XT Cover Kit for the X-T1 includes spare sync terminal, hot shoe and battery grip connector covers, ensuring your camera won't come to harm if you lose one or more of these.
None of these accessories have yet been announced in the US market, and we're not sure if they will be. Fujifilm Global hadn't provided pricing or availability information at press time, either. If you're in need of one of these accessories, we'd recommend checking with your local Fuji agent...