Convert Old WCL-X100 and TCL-X100 into Version II with Magnets

I used the X100 converter lenses extensively, and have always wished for a way to have the X100 detect the attached converter lens and change the profile automatically. Up until the X100T, I've assigned a button to change the profile, but during the heat of the moment I have forgotten to change the profile back more than once, shooting WCL using TCL profiles and vice versa.... With the recent release of Fuji X100F however, it's now possible for the the camera to detect the installed lens. The camera uses magnet installed in the converter lens, using different polarity, to make contact with the camera and automatically switch out lens profile according to what is attached. The bad news is that only the version II of the TCL and WCL has this feature built in, while remaining optically identical. The good news, however, is that we can add a simple magnet to the TCL and WCL to make them X100F compatible (detection). This is very good for previous X100 users who has already purchased the lens. You can even buy used lenses at a much discounted rate and apply this hack, and it'll be exactly the same as the version IIs, not having to spend 350 dollars for the inclusion of an extra magnet.

First, a video of it in action:


You can see from the above video that the magnet is located on the slant, and it's fixed by superglue. By positioning it correctly, the camera automatically detects and applies the profile needed for whichever converter lens you use.

The things you need to do this hack:

TCL-X100 and / or WCL-X100 - At the time of writing, the WCL version I is 100 dollars cheaper than the version II. Another great place to find used equipment is the buy and sell section of Fred Miranda.  Selections vary but they're usually very good prices to be found.

1) 2mm x 1mm round magnets - It wasn't difficult to find these little magnets.  What you want to find is the 2mm x 1mm circular magnets, wider than it is taller.  I purchased 100 pieces from a Chinese seller on eBay expecting to lose a few during the process but ended up with 98 extra magnets (because I didn't lose any). If you need some magnets and are in the LA area, you can swing by and take some of the 98 extra pieces I have off of my hands.

2) electrical tape cut into really thin strips - You can use the electrical tape to secure the magnets in its place.  I recommend starting with the tape during the beginning, so you can change the location and the polarity of the magnet.  I do not recommend using Gaff tape because once it dries, it will leave a powdery residue at the edge.  An alternative to the tape is to use Blu-Tack.  It's a putty like adhesive that's easy to remove and re-stick, it makes finding your location much easier.

3) Plastic tweezers - I used metal tweezers and they were a pain, because the magnets kept getting stuck on them.  I highly recommend plastic tweezers to avoid this problem.

4) Sharpies - I use sharpies to note the different polarities on the magnet.  Since the TCL and WCL detection each use a different side of the magnet, it's important to get this right otherwise you'll apply the opposite profile to your lens.  I also use sharpies to mark the final location of the magnets before gluing them onto the lens permanently.

5) Permanent adhesive - This is optional, but I did it because I didn't want to accidentally knock the magnets out of place so I glued them onto the lens after figuring out the position using tape.  Electric tape or Blu-Tack, if it comes undone during critical moments then the lens will not be usable again until I sit down and glue it back.  In other words, I used super glue so I don't have to service it in the field.

You can see from the photo above where the magnets should be placed at.  It will stay on the slanted ring.  The slope is just wide enough to completely accommodate a 2mm wide magnet.  The MADE IN JAPAN text is exactly at 12 o'clock, on the top of the photo.  Use the holes as a reference on how far the magnet should be.  You can eye ball the locations and use tape to stick a magnet on, and then make smaller adjustments to test detection.

Few things to note:

The detection area is quite generous, as it should be 2 magnets wide.  Theoretically, you can use 2 magnets side by side to enhance the effect.  Just line them up right next to each other.  It will be much easier to detect but the room for error increases greatly.

ONLY use 1mm tall magnet.  You might find stacking 2 magnets together on top of one another will increase detection, but you will run into problems when the lens extends all the way during macro focusing.  If you're using one magnet and not detecting, don't be discouraged and keep trying.  Eventually you'll get it.

If you want to use super glue - just be REALLY POSITIVELY ABSOLUTELY UNDOUBTABLY sure that you've got the polarity and position figured out.

Some people feel like the WCL is more difficult to make modifications to, but they're the same.  Keep trying and you'll get it.

Be smart about using adhesives near optics, and be really steady and careful not to mess up the lenses.

If you have any questions before starting, just leave a comment and I'll try to explain as much as I can.

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Categories: equipment, fujifilm, Tutorial

conversion diy fujifilm fujifilm x100f magnets tcl-x100ii wcl-x100ii x100t