Schneider Componon-S HM 50/2.8
Rare apochromatic version of the Componon-S 50/2.8.
|Focal Length (mm)||
|Max Aperture (f)||
|Min Aperture (f)||
6 / 4
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…
I also saw this copy for sale on ebay.
A Japanese retail chain listed the Componon-S 50mm with the B-00 barrel, and the “HM” letter can be seen in the product photo.
But it is unclear how many were sold or if the sold model was actually same as the model pictured.
Relatedly, it seems that some of 50mm Componons are labeled APO in addition to HM.