TMAX is not dead.
I shoot a lot of foma 100 from 35mm to 8x10, is supercheap here in Europe and I like the results developed in Pyrocat-mc and 510-pyro. It has a bad reciprocity effect, but I never had any other issue.
I really like the combination of Aristafied Fomapan 100 and Fomabrom N111 paper. Film is like playing the saxophone: put the time in to learn it and get outstanding results or don't take the effort and it comes out lousy. Either way its 95% photographer and 5% materials. Ilford has much better reciprocity rates than Fomapan 100 so I don't see Fomapan as being a replacement for Ilford, but rather another tool in my kit--a very useful & affordable (at the Aristafied price) tool!
TMY? TXP? Those are sentimental favorites but beware! Sentimentality can be very, very corrosive!
I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
For 8x10 and 4x5, I use about 80% tmy2 and 20% (arista) fomapan 100.
Kodak tmy2 is amazing. Never a fault. Always perfect. Big brightness range, versatile developing, etc... I have used the film for 20+ years and have gotten to know it, so I think it's the film that's awesome more than me. But you do need to work with a film for a while to get comfortable with it. You can get tmax 400 at B&H right now in 8x10 or send money to Canham and wait.
Foma is capable of excellent images under certain conditions and is cheaper. It's also more prone to scratches and pinholes (which I have finally got a handle on with tf4 fixer), and as mentioned not so great for long exposures, but I don't do much of that. It's a fun film, but I don't have the faith in it's quality that I have with Kodak.
My preference for Kodak and TMY-2 might be sentimental -- I do feel very warm knowing the film will be the size and speed that's printed on the box, that the film in this box will be functionally identical to that in the last box and the next box, that there will be no manufacturing defects of any kind, and that the imaging characteristics are simply unmatched by any other film. My god, I'm getting misty.
here, have a hanker, chief!
through a glass darkly...
canham has the 400 kodak film at 88 buckaroonies a box
bh photo has tmy 2 at 73 buckaroonies
fomapan is for me now $225au for 50 sheets, so 45 a box of ten. so about half price of the kodak 400, guess ill be cracken this box wide open...
thank you for lending your learned ears.
i will, work towards deserving some kodak
through a glass darkly...
I only can hope that the dinosaurs like Kodak, Ilford, Fuji will stick around some more to provide us with quality materials. I don't want to be forced to go back to collodion (though it certainly is fun to play with it)