Quote Originally Posted by abhoan View Post
With respect to the question of what film I'm using, I'm on Trix 400 and Tmax 400 or both the cameras.
Given that starting point, you have some interesting options.

Simply switching to TMax 100 or FP4+ or even Pan F in your M3 could make a very significant difference in the clarity and smoothness of tones.

I made a similar choice for my traditional b&w 35mm work.

There are other good options too, XP2 Super and C41 color negative film. It is really fun to shoot actually because its flexibility.

With C41 films, when you need an EI of 400 shoot it at 400. When you can go slower you can shoot it at EI 200, 100, or even 50, and that extra exposure actually reduces print grain.

C41 films have a different look, tonality, you may or may not like it, but it is very much worth a try.

C41 film development would be a change for you or that could be done by a lab.

In printing, XP2 is designed to be used with normal b&w paper and I find that grade 3 settings on VC paper is normal for me instead of grade 2 for say FP4+.

C41 color films can be printed on normal b&w papers too but it's hit and miss in my experience. The reason I mention them here is that even more than XP2, I find the sharpness and tones another step better. Whether they will work or not for you...?