Schneider Componon-S HM 50/2.8

Rare apochromatic version of the Componon-S 50/2.8.

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Category:
Dimensions 50 mm
Focal Length (mm)

50

Max Aperture (f)

2.8

Min Aperture (f)

16

Elements

6 / 4

Rear Mount

M25 x0.5

Production

c.1993

Serial Numbers

14499656

Reviews

  1. 16:9

    The only sample of this rare lens we’ve encountered surfaced in an industrial clearance sale in Israel in 2022. We suspect it is not unique, but part of a short run of apochromatic HM versions destined for short-range applications. Although it has the standard Schneider concave-5 diaphragm, it’s missing the commercial colour-coding typical of that period and has a unique barrel design. It’s smaller but slightly heavier than the Componon-S 50/2.8 of 1993 and appears to be single-coated.

    It’s surprising to find such a lens with a variable aperture: in brief testing, it manifested behaviour typical of Schneider’s fixed HM lenses: wider than f8 performance is unremarkable – as is any aperture when shooting at distance. However, at f8 for subject distances between 30cm and 1m, the 50/2.8 HM is right at the top of tree: better than any Apo-Rodagon at this focal length and even outperforming the class-leading Fujinon EX, Nikkor EL and Minolta CE. If near-distance f8 was the only metric, this properly apochromatic lens might outrank or match any 50mm made before or since. It’s therefore churlish to award it a mere Silver, but its performance in other domains doesn’t keep pace with its excellence in that application – and why should it? This was evidently intended to excel at one job (and perhaps one transmission range) alone. Maybe one day we’ll learn what it was…

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