You’re probably thinking how is this even possible, before we get into it let’s look at the difference between the two. The mk1 was initially released for the x100/S/T models, as a means to give people that little extra reach and background isolation, or as a way to offer those who prefer the equivalent focal length of a 50mm. One of the limitations with this version is that you must remember to enable it whenever it is attached, then disabled it when it’s detached, this is either done in the menu or by assigning it to a function button which is the most common approach. But what this means is that you’re now short 1 function button, on a compact body you’re limited to how many buttons you can customise. Even with a button assigned I still find myself forgetting to toggle it on/off, but why not just leave it set to one and forget about it. Well the other purpose of this is that the system can then do corrections based on which convertor lens you have attached. Think of it as camera/lens profile to correct distortion etc.
When the X100F was released Fujifilm also released the mk ii of the conversion lenses. They are very similar but with one standout feature. Whenever this is attached to a X100F, the camera will recognise which conversion lens it is and automatically enable it for you. Additionally when it’s detached it’ll disabled it. Surely there’s other improvements? Well not that I can tell, both are optically the same, maybe a few physical appearance tweaks but that’s it as far as I can see. I’ve yet to find a post from someone pointing out any major differences apart from what I’ve mentioned above.
Themk ii isn’t cheap, approx RRP $450AUD while you can pick up a TCL-X100 MK I anywhere between $200 to $350. I was very fortunate to pick one up from a fellow Fuji X Aus community member for $130 and in the silver colour to match my silver X100F.
Now before I go on any further, I just want to say that this hack/trick or whatever you want to call it, has been around for some time now so I’m not taking any credit for this, you’ll find numerous links and YouTube videos on how to do this, but what I’m going to is take you through the steps that worked for me and to help those of you interested in this DIY guide to get it working on your first attempt, my guide is focused on the TCL but it can also work on the WCL. So here’s what you need:
- TCL or WCL conversion lens (I’m using the TCL)
- A 2mm X 1mm magnet (20 would cost you about $2.99AUD on eBay) – link
- Super glue
- White board marker
Remove the rear cap and locate the “Made in Japan” on the rim. Position it so that it’s facing the 12 o’clock position, next, apply a small amount of blu-tack just slightly above the 3 o’clock position, it should be placed on the inner-side of the lens just where there is a slant. Place the magnet on to the blu-tack enough that it won’t fall out when you hold it upsidedown.
Turn on the camera and attach the conversion lens, if nothing happens then simply adjust the magnets position slightly and try again until the camera automatically toggles on the TCL/WCL setting. Take careful not which of these is enabled as the polarity of the magnet determines this.
Once you’ve found the position and the correct polarity, use the marker to mark the location of the magnet and also to mark which side of the battery to use. Remove the magnet and blu-tack, this part is a little tricky, place magnet (marker side up) just near the marker position, apply a small amount of Super glue along the marked area then either using your finger or small flat object, push the magnet into the glue area. Apply a little bit of pressure and let it sit to dry. Turn your camera on and attach the lens, if done right it should automatically toggle on/off the convertor lens profile.
If you’ve made a mistake, the magnet should be fairly easy to remove, for this reason, it might be a good choice to order more than 1 magnet as a contingency plan if the first free attempts are botched.
If you have a simpler method or would like to add something please share it in the comments below for others to follow.