Adox Silvermax First Impressions

It’s not often a new film comes along these days, so when one does it’s almost impossible to resist trying it – so, here are some of the results from my first roll. There has been no post-processing on these images other than resizing, so they look a little more ‘raw’ than the images I usually post.

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It’s been snowing in Dorset (as you can see!) so the conditions for a test aren’t exactly bright. However there are lots of subtle graduations in the snow which some films struggle with. I’ll do another test in brighter conditions, but until then this is what we’ve got.

Adox lost their monochrome CHS ART film lines after the closure of their supplier’s Croatian factory, and ‘Silvermax’ is the replacement film, manufactured in Germany. Adox claim it has a higher silver content than ‘regular’ film resulting in greater dynamic range.

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Initial impressions are that it’s a quality film, light grey in colour, rather like APX100. The 35mm cassette feels well made with a substantial felt light trap and a hefty weight. The film, maybe because it’s thin and quite stiff, winds smoothly onto a plastic film spiral for development.

This film was developed in Rodinal 1+50, rather than the specific developer Adox supplies. There are development times for most common developers here on the Adox website. All shots scanned on a Plustek 7500 and taken on an Olympus OM2N with exposure compensation as required.

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Below is a small section enlarged from the right side hanging branches.

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The grain is moderate for a 100 ASA film – no surprises either way really.

The dynamic range under these limited conditions was very good, the film picking up a good range of midtones. Quite a bit better than AGFAPhoto APX 100 (which is my favourite general purpose film), and handling the range from deep black to white so well that the scanner just needed to do a straight scan with no adjustments or pre-canned film profile which is very impressive!

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Initial impressions are very good. I think the dedicated developer might be worth a try rather than Rodinal, which has maximised edge sharpness but hasn’t done much for the grain. However many photographers only use Rodinal so it’s been a useful test.

So – next step is a roll under brighter conditions – blue skies, sunshine etc. I may need to wait a while for the weather before it’s done though!

Thanks for looking and I hope you find this useful.

Click here to see my second impressions, this time developed in ID11/D76.

p.s. I have no connection with Adox in any way – other than buying some of their film of course….

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17 thoughts on “Adox Silvermax First Impressions

  1. Very nice indeed! I like the look of this film very much. It looks like a useful film to have in the kit bag. We managed some blue skies in Cornwall today, I hope the same for you in Dorset. The snow missed us completely thankfully although it would have been nice to have the opportunity to take some snow pictures.

    • Thanks Chillbrook – the snow was pretty heavy (by Dorset’s standards anyway) and we’re only just seeing the last of it melt. Looking forward to some blue sky and warmer temperatures on Sunday as I’m itching to use a roll of Silvermax in normal conditions.

  2. So you got your hands on some of them huh, looks APX like, good stuff. Btw, ‘Silvermax’ is not the replacement film for CHS series, they are trying to restart CHS. Cheers.

    • Thanks Derek – I thought the Croatian factory was permanently out of action so that’s excellent news. I really liked the CHS films and I’m eking out a dwindling supply.

      • Yes the Croatian Factory is for sure permanently out of action. I can’t remember what they make besides CHS, i think it’s actually efke but don’t quote me. Adox subcontract them to make CHS. What i heard is they finally broke one of their old machines and they figure they don’t want to spend money to fix it so they just closed the door. So now ADOX just have to find someone else to make it, or rearrange to manufacture in their own facility. I am pretty sure it will be back, and that’s also the reason why Silvermaxx 400 (or whatever they call it) is not out yet. I love CHS25 too, not like I can afford it all the time but for sure it needs to come back. Cheers.

  3. I definitely appreciate hearing your thoughts and from the images you’ve shared I’m looking forward to eventually getting a roll here in the states. I especially like that you developed in Rodinal because that is the only developer I use. Freestyle Photographic in California has posted that they should start selling Silvermax sometime in March. Hope they sell out quickly to prove there is demand for new analog film!

    • Hello janaobscura – it looks like it’s selling out as fast as it arrives in the UK, so good news for this new film (at least as long as I’ve got a few rolls in the fridge).

  4. Great post, thanks for sharing your review. I haven’t shot on film for years now (we got burgled a number of years ago and all my photographic equipment got stolen) and I appreciate your trials in using different film for this experiment. I love the 3rd picture down, the one with the branches and the hedgerow. Very atmospheric and is almost a book cover in its own right…. hmmm…. you’ve inspired me to think out the story that would go under that!

  5. Today, the light was good…out a rol adox silvermax in the camera, go for a walk. developed the film and the first impression is very good (negative view) …….did scans more lic=ke a conrtact print and stil oke….preparing now the darkroom in the comming weeks to generate the first prints.

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