As I have previously explained, I am not intuitively a wide lens shooter.
I do own a variety of short focal length lenses for the various camera formats in my collection, but I admit they are among the least utilized. These days I tend to prefer the so-called “normal” focal lengths (35 to 50mm equivalent).
I used to shoot more with zoom lenses. When I would put my eye to the viewfinder I would generally first view the scene first through the widest angle setting, prior to twisting the zoom ring. If I liked what I saw at say, at the wide end of my 17-35mm Nikkor, I might just acquire the image. Now that I tend to shoot primes, I never see that image, because, for me, the middle range primes are more versatile, and thus more likely mounted to the camera.
Along with my Fujifilm X 100t, I have been playing with what will probably be the final accessory I purchase for the X100 line, the WCL-X100 wide converter lens. This was the first converter lens designed for the X100 line. It converts the 35mm field of view of the X 100 lens to 28mm, a modest widening at best. At US $399 it always seemed too pricey, and as I like shooting the native lens, I avoided it.
Then I bought the TCL-X100 and loved using it. It was pretty easy to take on and off, and particularly if you could remember to change the camera to the teleconverter setting in the menus, it provided wonderful image quality. I had a great time with my X100s, now at times sporting a 50mm field of view in London last winter. On returning home from that trip, I saw its wide-angle counterpart was now offered for US$200-250 on Amazon. I snapped one up.
Like the TCL -X100 teleconverter it is a beautifully finished product, which comes with a soft pouch, a lens and a back cap. It was cleverly designed with the same filter threads, as the native 23 mm fixed lens of the X100’s allowing it to utilize the same filters and lens shade. It is significantly smaller than the tele-converter and it alters the balance of the X100 type cameras far less. As with the TCL, it offers its field of view alteration with the same f2.0 maximum aperture of the native lens. Together with the X100t and the TCL, it provides a very compact street shooting kit covering all of the classic focal length equivalents.
The additional field of view offered by the converter is to me , noticeably wider than the native lens as you can see here (The distortion that you see is in part because I was shooting uphill).
It does allow for more of the surroundings to be seen in portrait work.
You can get more of that “Yellow Brick Road” look with the far objects looking more distant than they appear to the eye.
This can be useful for separating foreground objects from a lackluster background.
Truth be told, I could easily use the X100t with the converter lenses for 85-90% of my shooting. The camera focuses well with both converters ( slightly better I think with the WCL as opposed to the TCL). I like very much that I can change focal lengths on the X100t without exposing the sensor to dust. And like the TCL it retains the sharpness for which the native X100(s, t) lens is renowned
I knew that at its original $400 price, the WCL-X100 was for me an extravagance. But at the prices at which it is currently offered, it becomes a reasonable purchase, offering a 28mm field of view to the ever evolving X100 line of cameras.
I just have to learn to think “wide”.