New films are rare, so let's welcome a newcomer
Many of us are mourning the loss of the old Adox/Efke CHS films (although they seem to have passed a lot of Lomographers by). These black-and-white films with their low ISOs (100, 50, even 25!!) and ancient emulsion formulas were demanding, but gave outstandingly crisp and ‘vintage’ effects, taking one straight back to the 1940s-50s. There was nothing else quite like them, and though they would be wasted in a plastic lens camera with one or at most two shutter speeds, they were an absolute knockout in a decent SLR, rangefinder or TLR with a good Russian or German lens.
However right now I have sitting in my fridge two 35mm canisters of that relative rarity-a new film in the film world. It’s called Adox Silvermax, and is advertised as having ‘extra high silver content’. It’s incredibly reasonably priced, and Adox also want you to use their own developer, but we’ll see about that. I’ve no idea yet if it will reproduce the effect of the old Adox CHS brand-my sense is that it probably won’t, since that was a quite specific emulsion formula produced on now worn-out and abandoned vintage Efke machinery in Croatia. This new film is made in Germany by the Adox company itself. However every new film should be welcomed, and especially B&W, the film that anybody can develop at home. Needless to say, i can barely wait to try it. I just hope it’s not like Kodak T-Max, possibly the only B&W film I’ve never fully warmed to-just too ‘modern’ for me. In the meantime I’ve got a small final stockpile of the now late lamented CHS 50, and some rolls of 35mm Fomapan, which is probably the nearest modern equivalent that remains to that ‘vintage’ look. Buy all this stuff while we still have the joy of choice-digital will never reproduce this look….