Quote Originally Posted by DREW WILEY View Post
There's a distinction between a film being able to hold a long range of values due to compression ("minus" and/or compensating development with its inevitable compression of midtone microcontrast)
and a film which will actually carry a very wide range of values upon a relative straight part of the
curve.
I'm going to try to reformulate what you said in terms of characteristic curve.

Let's say we have film A, which is "a film being able to hold a long range of values due to compression."

Compressed development only means that the 14 zones of exposure translate into a density range that is printable on a given grade of paper following less development than normal.

If you develop film A normally, unless the 14th zone of exposure reaches the shoulder (in which case it will be unprintable because it will be undistinguishable from the nearby 13th zone of exposure), you will have 14 zones of exposure nicely lined up on the straight line of the characteristic curve, you will have excellent tone separation, but totally unprintable highlights. Which will require you to either a) burn down the highlights or b) print on a soft contrast paper (silver gelatin 00, platinum, etc).

There is no such thing as film B, which would be "a film which will actually carry a very wide range of values upon a relative straight part of the
curve" that is distinct from film A, because it's ALREADY film A.

If you have a film such as "film B" then you could very well end up with unprintable highlights. Unless it's inherently a low contrast film. In which case you only need to develop it normally for it to translate a 14 zone exposure range into a printable density range.

The only advantage of such a film compared to a typical film undergoing reduced development is if its curve happens to be more nicely SHAPED than the curve of a normal film developed less than normal.

I know that some compression/expansion regimens, even though they allow one to fit 14 zones of exposure range onto a grade 2 paper, might give unsatisfactory results because of the SHAPE of the resulting characteristic curve.

So, if this film is a "killer app" for something, it would be because it has an interesting characteristic curve SHAPE for a situation in which one needs to translate 14 stops of exposure range into a printable density range, without the need for burning in, and by avoiding some side-effects (distortion of the characteristic curve).

But until I see densitometric data from ADOX, I will just stay with the fact that this film might be great for B&W reversal; in the absence of a characteristic curve, we're left with vague concepts.