What's Over the Horizon for B&W (or film in general)?
Just to situate you, I have returned to 35mm B&W after about a 15 year absence. I returned for the pure pleasure I get out of the processes I use when I putter about in my home darkroom. Pure and simple.
Yesterday I found an older publication from about 1971 which gave details on some major B&W films and papers and their respective properties. What really struck me was that at the end of the 1960s, really fast films were running about 400ASA. They included Tri-X Pan and HP4. IIRC, 15 years ago in high school, the speed of choice was 100ASA, and 400ASA pushed to 800 gave you some awfully grainy results. Today, you can push 1600ASA to 3200ASA and get some really good results.
A couple of years ago, B&W was still making great strides, and Ilford managed to further massage its Delta 400, and introduced DD-X to replace ID-11 as its 'primary' developer for the Delta line. I think that Kodak made some changes too, but I'm not a Kodak user, so I cannot speak to that.
This said, what do you see as coming on the horizon for B&W, or colour for that matter? Are faster, finer, films coming? What about developers? Do you think that the major manufacturers will abandon their R&D and simply let their products remain stable for the moment?