Apparently some of us have very different standards about what consitutes acceptable quality. I consider the current Provia film useless for pulling, and Astia
maybe 1/2 stop at best. The whole point of pulling is to SLIGHTLY expand the exposure range of the film without gross crossover or lumping of the extreme ends
of the curve. Otherwise, you're merely trying to salvage a bad exposure. I could pull
the older-style Provia 100 half a stop with just a little blocking up in the highlights,
and get better shadow expansion; but the 100F has very little forgiveness in this
respect. I will admit that I haven't tried the 400-speed film because I shoot mostly
8x10, and that stuff penalized your wallet heavily if you waste an exposure. Pushing
virtually always ends up lopping off part of the scale. It's basically a form of underexposing, losing shadow values, and then trying to correct the midtone saturation; but if that's the look someone wants...