Quote Originally Posted by ann

Now, i know i did not just come up with the thought that grade 3 was a better option for 35mm , but i can't remember how and why that became a standard starting point.

You may find the following quotes helpful. They are from Zone VI Newsletter #47 by Fred Picker. The first paragraph is from page one, the second from page six.

"In the last Newsletter I began a review of improved proceedures that would appear in a revision of Zone VI Workshop if I were to revise it."

"In a revised book, for 35mm only, I would suggest doing a development time test using grade 3 paper rather than grade 2. There are several reasons: 1) A shorter development time dramatically reduces grain. 2) The grade 3 paper -assuming quality paper- will print a strong black even through the dense 35mm base; a grade 2 usually won't. 3) Because 35mm is often used in fast breaking uncontrolled situations where "hot" areas can accidentally appear, the short development of the negative will reduce the contrast and give you two grades -grade 2 and grade 1- below "normal" to step down to. The trade-off (there is always a trade-off) is that the low values will be underdeveloped in the negative and you will lose separation. But I think that in the kind of work that 35mm should be used for, the loss of low value crispness is a worthwhile exchange for strong blacks, smoother high values, reduced grain, and easier-to-print negatives made under contrasty conditions. If you try the grade 3 approach for 35mm, check your first "proper proofs" carefully; you might find that you need an extra half stop of exposure to compensate for the decreased development."