Two Thoughts About the Fujifilm TCL-X100

Precisely a year ago, I attached a Sony teleconversion lens with a step up ring and made a poor man's 50mm attachment for the X100S. It was neat for a few shots, but the crazy amount of distortion and warping in the sides made any photo that wasn't a close up portrait of a single person pretty much unusable.

With a trip to Japan coming up soon, I wanted the real thing. So I plunked down $350 and got the Fujifilm TCL-X100 teleconversion lens.

Here's what it looks like on my X100S:

Fujifilm TCL-X100

Fujifilm TCL-X100

Fujifilm TCL-X100

Here are two thoughts from my initial use of it  -

1. There's still some distortion, but easily correctable in Lightroom. I found that setting the distortion to -13 got me a pretty accurate image. I only need to do this if my background has distinct straight lines, such as doorways, window frames, or the horizon of a landscape.

EDITED: The firmware update 1.2 fixes this.

Left: No distortion correction.
Right: Set the distortion to about -13 in Lightroom.

2. It's not the sharpest when focusing at close distances. Using the 50mm attachment, yes - I can focus pretty closely. But it will be soft. For pixel-peepers, this will be a glaring problem. For the average shooter, maybe not too much. I don't really consider myself a pixel-peeper, but I did find my close up images a bit too soft for my taste.

Solution: just back up a bit. Even without the 50mm attachment, the X100/S isn't the sharpest when you're shooting at the minimum focusing distance.

Other thoughts:

It's easy to attach and small enough to fit in a jacket pocket. It made the X100S larger, but definitely not obtrusive. The only thing I'm bummed about it is that I can't use the optical viewfinder with it so it'll drain my battery faster.

I have a few photos from exploring some new places shot with the X100S and the TCL-X100 50mm attachment that I'll be sharing shortly.