Quote Originally Posted by polyglot View Post
Efke IR820 has it in spades. Hurrell's film clearly had it. Older TXP apparently somewhat had it; current TXP in sheets may or may not still do it depending on who you ask.

Is there a film I can buy (I haven't tried R100/PL100 but the published curve is a lot straighter than for IR820) or processing technique that I can use to get a fairly long toe with a dramatic upsweep in the middle of the HD curve?

I've tried (semi-)stand development in Rodinal 1+100 and found that it gives the long toe but I also found that the compensation effect introduces significant shoulder so the highlights look quite dead. I want the curve to shoot up steeply as it goes through Zones VII-IX at least, without any apparently shouldering.

I can fake it easily by scanning, but obviously want to be able to do it with an all-analogue process.
Try Acros or T-MAX 400 in full strength film developer. You may have to overexpose because you won't get long toe.
Don't do semi-stand. Do Kodak agitation method every 30 sec or use continuous agitation.
If you are doing studio portrait like George Hurrell's classic headshots, it has a lot to do with lighting as well. Many portrait photographers today are not bold enough to use specular lights like his era. Put your softbox and shoot-thru's and switch to shiney metallic parabolic reflectors, especially the hair light. Be careful about the lens flare, especially if you use vintage lens. Any straight line film would be made to look reasonably darker midtone and harsh highlight like this... If the skin comes out too shiney/dewey use water based airbrush makeup and/or mattifying gel on the skin.