In order to better understand what was going on, I setup a test to calibrate or compare my results.

I decided to standardise on XTOL stock (I've mostly used Rodinal and HC110 before, none gives full film speed) and only try other combos once I got this figured out.

Till now I was shooting tmax a lot, but since people are saying it's hard to print, I'm looking for alternatives and testing delta and panf+ at the moment. I like low grain films when speed doesn't matter.

I've developed against ilford tech sheets and it seems the negatives are slightly too contrast for my enlarger, or maybe not. Fomaspeed paper should have grade 2 with Magenta 10 filter, but my negatives work with just a touch of yellow.

Here are the results:
(I photographed the prints with my digicam and reproduction is not the best)

1. Delta 100 at EI 100, Y3:
The shadows are not well separated and maybe a bit dark?

delta100_ei100_y3.jpg

2. Delta 100 EI 50, Y3:

This seems as good as I can make it. Much better separation of shadows!

delta100_ei50_y3.jpg

3. PAN F+ EI 50
panf+_ei50_y3.jpg

4. PAN F+ EI 25

I see no real difference in EI50 vs EI25 in FPAN. Also, the result seems very, very close to delta. I'm not sure I could tell them apart if the scene was the same.
panf+_ei25_y3.jpg

It seems ilford's published times give really coherent results, as both film had contrast best printed with the same contrast filter. Both have highlights in the sugar clipped. Haven't tried burning yet to see if there are any details in there.

Questions:
1. What do I change, if anything? I'm thinking of trying reduced development times and try to get results printable with M10 filter.
2. Are the examples above OK or is there anything I could and should do to improve them?

Thank you