The eyes of 47 subjects with exudative age-related macular degeneration in the fellow eye were tested with a battery of visual function tests at baseline and followed for at least 18 mo. Fundus photographs also were obtained at baseline. These photographs were used to verify the absence of exudative lesions in the 47 eyes tested. Functional and funduscopic baseline data each were compared against outcome data obtained typically at 18 mo. The baseline data were analyzed for their ability to distinguish eyes that had developed detectable exudative age-related macular degeneration from eyes that had not. Eyes with relatively slow foveal dark adaptation rates despite low foveal quantum absorption capabilities (as inferred from the effects of test area on the Rayleigh color match) were especially likely to develop subretinal neovascularization. The resulting sensitivity/specificity and odds ratios were comparable to those of the most effective funduscopic risk indicators. Low S (blue) cone-mediated sensitivity also was associated with an exudative outcome.