So many people extol the virtues of Pyrocat and other staining developers (and have great work to show for it) but I've never had much success. I must have some really alkali water or something, causing the high 1:1:100 dilution to falter.
I gave a different developer a chance though, called Tanol. It's a much lesser-known one. I'm even less happy with it right now. I developed a couple of films now with just awful results. Terrible base fog, almost no density at all either, and ridiculous edge effects making the film look hyper-sharpened and ugly.
I think the edge effects might do better with larger format films (I was shooting 35mm) but I'm going to have to rate ISO 400 films at like 50-100 considering the low density! And develop it for an hour with semi-stand. Well, that's the next test, anyway. I actually developed one set of 4x5 negatives with this stuff and they turned out okay. Still looking for the best 400-speed film in 35mm for scenic, outdoor stuff. Tri-X is just too grainy for me and I continue to be kind of "meh" to T-Max 400 for some reason.
Anyway, here's a couple of the "passable" frames: