for what its worth
i have used a lot of MG ilford
and a fair amount of agfa gr 1
same light, same lens same everything
the ilford was like 20seconds
the agfa was like almost a minute.
i was using a combination of tungsten
and 2 300ws strobes ...
My experience with paper negatives over the last 15 years (almost exclusively in daylight illumination) is that film developer will only slow down the development process, not really giving you any less contrast but affording you more opportunity to pull the negative at the right time. My main modifier of liquid concentrated paper developer is to use a more dilute developer than when processing darkroom prints (I typically use 1:15 or 1:20), and let it sit longer (around 2-3 minutes), and pull the negative when shadow detail appears sufficient but before the highlights get too dense.
Contrast I modify by using graded (grade 2) RC paper; graded so that the paper's resulting contrast is much less sensitive to the color of light, and RC so that the negatives dry fast and flat. I also preflash the grade 2 paper slightly (in my darkroom prior to loading film holders or box cameras), to bring up the shadow detail without adding much additional highlight exposure. The amount of preexposure is sufficient to yield a faint light-gray tone to an otherwise unexposed but developed sheet of paper.
I don't use yellow filters over MG paper, instead prefering grade 2 paper (Arista's house brand) that I've found yields an EI of 12, much faster than what you get with a yellow filter over MG paper.
I've found to get a consistent EI12 with grade 2 paper, I ensure that the dilute paper developer (1:15 or 1:20) is at 68f, temperature being rather crucial to getting adequate development, especially in the winter months.
It helps to learn to visualize the world in UV light, since that's mainly what graded paper is sensitive to. Shiny metallic surfaces, and water, reflect UV much easier than what your light meter would otherwise indicate, while conversely browns (like adobe and brown stucco buildings) often are rendered darker than one might expect. Dark green foliage, like coniferous trees, render very dark, almost black. Human skin (even Caucasian) renders much darker than one might otherwise expect (hence the use of white-face makeup in the old B/W silent film days of ortho emulsions). Depending on the principle subject matter in your image, one should adjust exposure accordingly.
Thanks Joe, I just ordered a box of Arista's graded paper. You had me at EI 12. I've been having trouble with successful exposure rating the MG at EI 4-6, although I was recently encouraged by getting exactly the exposure I wanted. I assume Arista's graded is also fomaspeed?
Any suggestions on where I could read up on UV light? I'll do a quick forum search.