Quote Originally Posted by Tom1956 View Post
Yes they are, MR74. Though I've still never quite pinned down "normal" contrast. Enlarger lights are different, film base color is different, etc. Finding #2 and nailing it down from escaping is about hopeless.
Make your tests for development with VC paper and #2 filter. That is your #2 and I do not find it different from graded by any significant degree. If you find them much different, the developer is old or diluted to working strength for more than 4 hours or the paper is old/fogged which can happen quite easily with todays papers due to the way they are manufactured. The shelf life is very short, 2/3 years from date of manufacture, no actual dates on the packs, and slow moving store stock.

Curve shapes can change from one paper to another so do not expect them to be the exactly the same, however overall contrast should be close.