** Warning, warning - imminent newbie questions approaching! ** :-)

Okay, being new to this and boring to boot I've been following Ilford's data sheets pretty much to the letter. My usual films of choice are FP4+, and Delta 400. I started off with Ilfosol S at the recommended times and temps and moved to DDX (again, following the instructions) when Ilford brought it out.

I prefer the negs I get from DDX to those I got from Ilfosol S, although I have no real scientific basis for saying that. To me they just appear "crisper" and "better defined" (please don't ask me to tell you exactly what I mean by that!).

The downside is that a litre bottle of DDX (the smallest size they do) at 1-4 will do sixteen 35mm films and (being a liquid dev (my preference)) doesn't keep that long; cue looooooonnnnnnnngggggggg batch processing sessions! Still, I like the results I get... ...although I haven't got that much with which to compare them.

From the above there seem to be roughly as many film / dev preferences (perhaps more) as there are photographers! So I'm now wondering on what delights and revelations I'm missing out...!

Given my (poorly-stated!) preferences above, what would you suggest I try?

More importantly, could someone point me to a guide on how to properly assess a neg or a film / dev combination (without a densitometer) so that I can tell whether it works for me?

Thanks in advance,

Frank

...All the world's a stage, and .....line!.......LINE!!