Having just processed a couple of rolls of film, 1 Adox Silvermax and 1 Fuji Acros 100, I randomly selected a negative from each roll for scanning .  Whilst the Imacon was doing it’s work, it occurred to me the the two negatives by coincidence have a few things in common:  they were both taken in two of our National Parks, (Dartmoor and The Peak District), they were both taken with my Leica MP and 90mm Elmarit-M f2.8 and they share a horses theme!  It was also interesting to compare the appearance of Fuji Acros with Adox Silvermax on the lightbox.  Silvermax clearly shows a more meaty depth to the tones of the negative whilst the Fuji is more subtle, lighter and thinner but lacking nothing in the shadows.  These two negatives side by side reveal the grain of Fuji Acros 100 to be  very evenly distributed and precisely sized, the grain of Adox Silvermax 100 is a little less precise, slightly larger and very dense.  Fuji looks ‘softer’ with those subtle tones and Adox appears ‘sharper’ with it’s defining edges of structures.

Which film to choose?  Well, in this two-horse race it’s neck and neck.  Fuji for it’s reciprocity stability and Adox for it’s biting tonal clout. We 35mm film users are blessed to have such a choice!

Dartmoor Ponies, Merrivale, Dartmoor National Park June 2015

Horses on Dartmoor. Mother & Son

Mother & Son

Dartmoor ponies are feisty, scruffy, smelly creatures with loads of character.  This mare and her colt displayed great affection for each other.  You can’t help but be captivated by them!  Leica MP, 90mm Elmarit-M f2.8 with K2 filter, Adox Silvermax.


Horse Gin, Magpie Mine, Peak District National Park, November 2014.

Horses work at Magpie Mine, Peak District

Magpie Mine, Peak District

This is a replica horse gin as would have been used to bring ore to the surface during the Magpie mine’s heyday.  The thunderstorm was retreating north eastwards.  It would have a been boring work for the horses, the little Dartmoors above must be eternally grateful for their semi-wild existence by comparison.  Leica MP, 90mm Elmarit-M f2.8, Fuji Across 100 with O22 filter.



  • Ruediger HartungJuly 6, 2016 - 10:04 pm

    Steve, I am very much in favour of your photographs. And I agree: Silvermax is a good choice. Last weekend I gave a role – exposed @50 ASA and developed in Silvermax for N-1 – a trial in order to get rid of buring & dodging skys and shadows. I also used preexposure of the negatives to bring up the shadow details.
    So density curve turned out to be quite flat and looking at my negatives I had no good feeling for printing them. But surprisingly tonality was even better and the whole scene from white clouds to shadows under trees could be printed on one paper grade without any efforts. Moreover I did some shots of a colour map and found that grey tones of colours showed much more difference as you receive with normal exposure and development.

    So Silvermax has much more to offer using pushing, pulling or pre-exposure.

    I see a good chance Silvermax and it’s creator Adox will stay in the market for some years to come, especially because here in Germany there is a little renaissance in analogue photography.

    Warm regards


    • Steve WaltonJuly 25, 2016 - 11:26 pm

      Thanks for taking the time to visit and comment, Ruediger! I’m pleased your first trial with Silvermax has gone well! Regards, SteveReplyCancel