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Tuesday, September 18

Silvermax - let's hear it for Adox!

Film is in no immediate danger of disappearing but we all know that it's not going to be around forever. That's why it's vital that we show our support for those companies that are supporting our passion of film photography. Chief amongst these just now must be Adox. Not only have they brought out a very welcome new, silver-rich film but they've done so at very reasonable cost.

Silvermax is now for sale on the Fotoimpex site in Germany at just €3.81 for a 36 exposure roll. The price comes down to €3.45 if you buy ten rolls. To save you firing up xe.com, that works out at £3.06 and £2.77 respectively. It's understood that this is an introductory price so expect a price rise in the near future. I've got quite a lot of Agfa APX 100 to get through first but I'll definitely be putting in an order for ten rolls.

Nothing's perfect, however, and Silvermax is no different. Adox say categorically that Silvermax will not be made in the 120 size and the company is pushing its own developer for the new film. Unless the emulsion is radically different in some way, I'm always wary of bespoke developers. Adox claims Silvermax can record up to 14 zones in the dedicated developer although, to be fair, they are not saying this is the only developer you can use with the film or that this lattitude is only possible with their own-brand product.

It costs €16.54 or £13.29 for a bottle that makes 7.5 litres. In my Paterson tank, that's enough for 25 films for a price per developed film of 53p. Let's compare that with D76, assuming it's suitable. Silverprint have a 3.8 litre pack (it's in powder form but that's how much stock solution it makes) for £5.34. It can be used at 1+1 so the stock would make 7.6 litres. I can get 26 films out of that for a price per film of just over 20p. Will Silvermax developer be worth a 33p per film premium? Time will tell but it is less than 1p per 35mm frame. Certainly, if the dedicated developer produced something special then I'd happily pay a bit extra.

But I'm getting ahead of myself here. Let's stick to what we know and that is that there is an interesting new film on the market that is, for the time being at least, very affordable. This is a good day to be a film photographer.

17 comments :

Neal said...

here here

Alistair Baird said...

Some folks go on about the cost of analog but its still not that bad. What is it? Maybe £4 per film including processing? Three dozen shots for that is okay. I'd be happy to pay extra to Adox if the quality is there. Let's see.

Eric the Snapper said...

I'm going to wait until its on sale in the UK and get some. Better supporting UK firms. It will be D76 for me!

steve said...

we all know that it's not going to be around forever.

Sorry but l disagree with that statement l think there will always be a market for film. having said that, I'm all for supporting new emulsions. l will be ordering a 10 pack of this film.

BRUCE ROBBINS said...

I'm not too clear on what you're saying here, Steve. Are you saying that you think there will always be a market for film? I'd like to think that will be the case but nothing lasts forever and I doubt film will be any different. Anyway, on a purely selfish level, if it lasts for another 30 or 40 years it wont make any difference to me!

steve said...

l think there will always be a market for film. there's still a market for LP records. there's still a maket for Radio valves (vacuum tubes). there's still a market for fountain pens. dare l mention paintings.

just because a new technology comes in (and becomes dominant) doesnt mean the old tech disappears completly.

lots of people are still making daguerreotypes, calotypes, wet plates, and dry plates.

BRUCE ROBBINS said...

Well, one thing's for sure. It's the likes of us, who are still spending money on film, who are giving it the best chance of long-term survival.

RED said...

Bruce, I know it 's a PITA but when I see a price in a non-US currency this old guy is left in an even MORE confused state of mind. Any way to adjust the site to translate automatically?

BRUCE ROBBINS said...

'Fraid not. And can you imagine what it's like for non-US people when probably 75% of the world's websites are American! I use www.xe.com to do currency conversions.

Thomas J. Webb said...

Vinyl outlived CDs and is better quality today than it was decades ago. Analog synths are better today than they were during the heyday of analog synths (even Korg now makes an analog monosynth). I don't think film is going away in the sense that most people think (but maybe in the sense that all technology we have today might).

There will probably be a point pretty soon where you just have to mail it in or develop yourself. We're in the beginning of a dark age for film that will be followed by a revival when newer technologies make it an affordable niche for new firms to enter (maybe new processes will come out that don't involve expensive components like silver, and not film proper, but it will eventually be affordable to make a film-canister and film-shaped digital back for manual 35mm cameras, a la the infamous recurring April fool's joke).

raddad said...

I am in favor of your praise of Silvermax. However I want to point out a funny fact: I am a dealer for MACO/Hamburg photographic products for Finland. I am selling RPX 400 and RPX 100 films, the kentmere "look alike" material here. My price for 2 rolls of either RPX 135-36 is 6 euros for 2 rolls. The 120 film of RPX , 100 or 400 asa sells here for 16 euros for 5 rolls. That is 3,20 euros per 120 roll. I think we see no shortage of analog B&W material nowhere soon, as these both companies (Fotoimpex/Adox and MACO) will do their best to supply materials OF EUROPEAN ORIGIN at reasonable prices.

BRUCE ROBBINS said...

Those seem to be very good prices for film. The Finnish government must use the high cost of alcohol to subsidise film costs! It's heartening to hear your view on the future of film. Let's hope you're right.

Bokeh said...

It is kind of unfair to impose one developper to one new film (Adox Silvermax), but i miss so much the Kodak 125 Plus-X that I might be desperate enough to buy the film & the developer as well.

I heard that Freestyle will soon offer the Silvermax film for North America.

Yours,

Bokeh

wes said...

Great blog! I currently have a couple rolls of Silvermax sat ready and waiting for me to load. If it's anything like the CHS series of films it should be excellent.

As for the comments about the longevity of film photography - I reckon it has some legs in it yet; I took up photography about 4 years ago. With distant memories in my mind of my dad showing me how to operate a Canon AE-1 in manual mode while I was about 6, I hunted out a classic camera. I ended up with an EOS650 and haven't looked back since... well, apart from the later acquisition of an ae-1, a pentax p30, OM-1, lubitel 166b, kershaw peguin..... the list goes on! For the record I do own a digital compact, bit it is just there for holiday snaps. I know of many more people (some a fair bit younger) who are developing an interest in film, mostly because they are interested in expanding from their digital cameras into something that has a "bit more feeling to it".
Long live film!

BRUCE ROBBINS said...

Thanks Wes! Keep spreading the word amongst your pals. It seems to carry some weight when you point out the fact that most artists see film as more creative than digital.

Danny said...

This is a great blog! I can't believe it's taken me this long to find it! And yes, I share your love of analog photography completely. I just got my first rolls of Adox Silvermax today. So it's time to make some pictures this weekend!

BRUCE ROBBINS said...

Thanks, Danny, for taking the time to comment. Blogging can seem like a thankless task at times and it's often supportive comments that keep me going. If you get anything you like from your roll of Silvermax, please ping me some scans. I keep meaning to buy some but I'm not taking too many photographs right now for some reason. That will hopefully change now that the festive season is over.