Thanks for the feedback guys.
I'm enlarging my 35mm TMX into a 4x5" inter-positive and then I enlarge the inter-positive into a 8x10 negative.
Originally Posted by davido
I use Rollei ATO 2.1 for the inter-positive, which retains a very sharp grain. I prefer a large format inter-positive to avoid "double grain" issues, where the grain from the inter-positive shows in the final print along with the original grain.
For the large negative I use Rollei Ortho 25 or Adox Ortho, both are lower contrast than the ATO and have a slight magenta base which detaches the minimum values of the image from the uncovered sensitive solution.
I clearly see grainy shadows in the negative. I pushed it until the shadows in the enlarged negative were close to step 3 in a Stouffer tablet, but in order to see the grain in a Pd it needs to be printed so that the shadows are in a zone 3-4, which looks pretty ugly.
I suspect the issue with printing this subject in Pd is the long shoulder of the Pd printing curve. Pd has a very slow curve at denser levels, so getting separation is hard. Also, even if I see the grain in the wet print, as soon as I blot the water off, the shadow details get lost. I had this problem before.
Bottom line is, IMHO, that every type of subject has its own ideal process, and for this specific one I should probably be looking for a process with a more linear curve. That's why, especially after looking at this graph on Unblinking Eye: http://unblinkingeye.com/Articles/Carbon/a_Chart1.gif , I think carbon would render shadow grain much better. I still think silver gives a too harsh effect. Too bad I couldn't find a comparative curve for gum.