Quote Originally Posted by John Sparks
Similarily, you may be able to find a film/developer combination that has higher highlight contrast. Unlike some of the earlier postings, I don't think a pyro developer is what you want. Pyro developers generally produce a yellowish or greenish stain that is
strongest in the highlights. With VC papers, this stain means that the highlights are printed with a lower contrast than the rest of the image. This is great for fitting really long scale negatives onto the paper (for example very bright, contrasty clouds over a darker landscape), but do so at the expense of sparkle in normal negatives. Tmax developer and HC110 generally give increased highlight contrast especially with a film with straight or upswept curve shape like FP4+, Tmax 400 or Fuji Acros. 320 Tri-x in HC110 is probably the ultimate in high highlight contrast, but you probably won't like the low shadow contrast unless you really overexpose (I used to use it at 125).

Good luck!
I agree that yellow or green stain from some pyro developers (PMK and in some instances ABC formulation) is a detriment to VC materials. The matter of yellowish or greenish stain is not a factor with Pyrocat developer. Pyrocat produces a tan or brown stain with most films. I have found that ABC pyro is far and away better then HC110 ( I used HC 110 for over 15 years) and that Pyrocat is a far superior formulation to HC 110 from the standpoint of not only better highlight separation but most importantly increased sharpness. I don't have much favorable experience with PMK but some folks use it and like it.

However "your mileage may vary"