If I'm not mistaken, contrast control is the principal strength of staining developers. In a magazine (perhaps it was View Camera) many years ago, there was an article by Gordon Hutchings about his pyro formula that included some of his photographs. They were made in conditions of extreme contrast and they were beautifully rendered. As a result, I bought the "kit" from Photographer's Formulary. After reading the book, I chose not to pursue the process, but I can certainly see why others did. I found other means to achieve the results I was looking for, but there's no doubt that staining developers achieve what they're touted to achieve.
Originally Posted by ernie51