Well, I've developed my first 8x10's in Pyrocat hd and I have to say the sharpness in the negs definitely seems better than what D-76 did for me. But I have probably screwed up something because the negative (and print) contrast seems excessively high compared to what the scene was like. This is a contact print of the neg; neg was shot at 1 sec @ f22 with front swing (hence running out of image circle on the right side-lens is a 210mm Ilex Acu-Tessar) and developed @ 72 degrees in Pyrocat hd for 7 1/2 min. @ 1:1:100 dilution with 15seconds of agitation every 30 seconds (agitate 15, still for 30) in open trays.
Pardon the scan, it's off of a crappy 9 year old scanner that I don't really know how to use.
Is my agitation too frequent? Would that cause extra contrast?
My temperature control is basically room temp; I measure it prior to developing and then adjust times accordingly; I suppose it's possible that the thermometer I use is not very accurate and that the temps are higher; would over developement cause high contrast as well?
Is it possible that the scene was indeed this contrasty? I don't recall it as such, but then it was a sunny day and I was under tree cover.
Overall, I'm pleased as punch at the results, even though they may look like hell to some; I can't wait to shoot some more and do some more testing! Thanks for any suggestions, and to all who helped me get this far.