The best way to learn is just to DO IT yourself... everything else is someone else's opinion...
I agree with StoneNYC in that Pyrocat-HD might be something for you to look into. You can get a kit from Photographers' Formulary or make you own with the chemicals. If you use Propylene Glycol for the stock it will last forever. It has two parts and is mixed 1:1:100 with the 100 being H2O so you can see it will go a long, long way. I have and still am using it and it seems to be a very forgiving, fine grained, high acutance developer. I'm still a rookie with it, but I have a feeling it will be my go-to developer in the future. Very nice negatives! I do know that if I had to pay the prices you pay I'd be looking for a good developer that lasts forever and goes a long, long way. Rodinal and Pyrocat-HD are my two top choices with Diafine running close.
You need a developer that develops with really short times, it cuts down on fogging.
So thing like HC-110 with lower dilution mixtures like dilution (B) or Ilfsol 3
Both of which have super short dev times, 6 minutes or less generally. That's best for old films.
As far as exposure, assume 1 stop loss every 10 years (or so) if the film was only stored at room temp or hot temp the 10 year rule stands but if frozen it's probably a lot less. So a safe bet for Tri-x (400ASA) from 1992's would be EI 160.
Anyway hope that helped.
Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
I have recently developed some T-Max and it seems to have turned out relatively decent, ignoring a couple rolls with black spots courtesy of a burned shutter curtain in my M6.
Rodinal may not be the first choice but don't write it off automatically. This old developer seems to be quite flexible and capable of handling lots of different tasks.
I am not necessarily a terrific photographer but I'll see if I can get some of this posted so you can make your own call.
As StoneNYC found out "agitation regime" is the key to many developers and Rodinal is no exception. I used to use HC110 del. B for TRi-X and time and temp were important to follow, but I never notice a ton of difference between negatives that I gave aggressive agitation and milder agitation. But Rodinal is different and I found out the hard way since I always think slightly more must always be better. Not with Rodinal. My first try was years ago and I developed Tri-X in Rodinal 1:25 with the same kind of agitation scheme as HC110 and decided Rodinal for me was out. The negatives had much more contrast and a real gritty grain appearance. Still, I kept seeing shots/pictures from people using this combination and their results certainly didn't mirror mine. At that time I was happy playing with HC110 and from time to time Edwal FG7 so I didn't mess with Rodinal again until I started messing around with some Kodak TechPan film and then used it very diluted, semi-stand and got very nice results. Then I read an article about the compensating ability of diluted Rodinal and became a little more interested. It wasn't until I did a shot of a big black steam locomotive on a very bright slightly overcast day with my 3.5E Rollei that brought out the bottle of Rodinal. I developed the Fuji Acros in Rodinal 1:100 @ 20C for 1hr. with 45 seconds of normal agitation first and then two very gentle inversions at the 30 minute mark. Now, first let me say that Acros is a very nice film and it's pretty simple to get nice results with many different developers, but this combo was what I had to call superb for this situation. Unbelievably sharp, held highlights and almost no sign of grain. I thought, what more could you ask for? Well some of us don't like long developing times, but I'm not one of them. Diluted developers also have a built in safety factor that highly concentrated developers don't and that is more forgiveness for human error, which I seem to be heavily blessed with. With a highly diluted developer and longer times their is a much less severe affect of a drift of a degree or two and a couple of minutes one way or the other. I consider it a winning combo and a nice tool in the tool box, plus it lasts forever, dilutes greatly and that makes it cheaper than dirt. I have never tried it with C-41 film like StoneNYC has, but I will someday. It really is a "MUST TRY" tool. JohnW