One of the benefits of shooting film is the ability to switch out your image "sensor" whenever you feel like it. Different types of film do produce its unique characteristics that may enhance your specific type of photography. This flexibility is not exclusive to analogue photography of course since the ability to manipulate digital files is obvious considering all the HDR and photoshopped images out there. The comparison between digital and analogue photography, and the argument for either will live on as long as they both exist. I find these arguments to be somewhat useless. I would simply use whatever inspires me to get out there to shoot. It happens to be analogue right now, but digital may call my name at any time!
A while back, I finally got to put a roll of Fujifilm ACROS through my 35mm camera. More recently, I have been shooting colour film more than black and white. This is quite a contrast to my preference for black and white photography in high school and when I first returned to photography. It's hard to explain this change of heart to colour, but colour offers the flexibility to revert back to black and white if so desired. It also preserves an essential element of our visual experience (for most people): the vibrant and diverse colour palette that makes up the world. On occasion, a B&W picture would take my breath away and then I realize that it will always have a special place in my heart, regardless of my time away from it, like that fattening Cookie Dough Blizzard from Dairy Queen.
I normally shoot with Ilford HP5 Plus due to its availability, price, and flexibility. HP5 Plus has the native ISO of 400 but I could easily push it to 3200 if I wish. I am familiar with the its development times. It's safe to say that Ilford is like a comfortable pair of shoes that is well worn but perhaps not all that exciting. When my camera ran dry the other day and as I looked at my well-stocked film cabinet, my hand bypassed the Fujifilm X-tra 400, Kodak Porta 400, Kodak Ektar 100, and a number of other films. I grabbed a roll of ACROS that I had been meaning to try. I loaded it up and went on my way. I happily made quick work of the roll and threw it in a bag of to-be-developed rolls. I finally got to the roll the other day, and I was pleasantly surprised by the result. I knew ACROS is more contrasty compared to HP5 Plus, but I was afraid that the shadow detail might be lacking because of this. It turned out the shadow detail is well preserved despite the elevated contrast. I used the standard development times, and it appeared to produce acceptable results. I will have to shoot more ACROS to get the complete picture, but my first experience with it is certainly encouraging. The only downside is ACROS' rather expensive pricing. This is somewhat understandable since it has a modern emulsion that is not subjected to the reciprocal rule for longer exposures. I am likely to stick to my stock HP5 Plus until its depleted before considering shooting more ACROS. The benefit of the lack reciprocal rule is not currently essential to my photography, and more contrast could always be added if I so desire.