It appears to me the point overlooked is the paper grade printed on. G-6(or 5) will render pure blacks crisp whites and whatever grays are left will appear somewhat grainy from a 35mm negative enlarged to 8x10. The shift from that look could be attributed to either nonexistance of the paper grade or the artist deliberatly changing his ideals for a softer look(most likely both). In my younger days, I loved hard contrast, it mimiced my life. Now that I am much older and mellower, I can appreciate the softer feel of a print that includes a fuller compliment of tones. Plus my shooting style has changed as I learned to expose properly(read-I slowed down and consider exposure as much as composition).