Quote Originally Posted by bvy View Post
Thanks again everyone. I'm still not convinced. I won't argue that my negatives aren't thin and/or underexposed. But the print I got of the boy (#1) has much more contrast than the prints I'm producing today (from similarly thin/underexposed negatives).

I bought my Ilford multigrade developer (PQ) 13 months ago, but it has always been kept full in an airtight bottle. I wouldn't expect it to be bad, but I might pick up a fresh supply anyway.
You may be surprized. Ilford PQ Universal and probably multigrade have a short shelf life when opened. Once the liquid changes several tones to a light yellow-brown, toss it. At a certain tone of light yellow-brown, it will produce a OK print but may not be full scale. In general, a print developed with oxidized developer lacks sparkle.