I am in the church of no silver bullets. Sure, Rodinal is great for some purposes. So is a bunch of other stuff.
However, your content and composition matters 100x more than any particular photochemistry you might choose.
I used one of his articles, and writings by others, as jump-off ideas to test for myself, not as gospel. I don't blindly subscribe to the technical ramblings of any photographers, which are often in conflict and lack any reasonable basis. Rodinal is not a true "high acutance" developer. It's in a middle ground between diluted solvent developers and high acutance developers. Rodinal is a fine developer with a distictive look and good acutance, but not the razor people assume it to be. Sorry. Then again, serves me right for getting involved in any kind of Rodinal discussion. Won't do that again.
Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch
This is well said. Rodinal is definitely a fine and viable product, but isn't exactly the rise and fall of good pictures.
Originally Posted by polyglot
An interesting exercise is to shoot the same scene with the same camera, same film, process in different developers, and then make prints. Some would be surprised by the differences. The important thing, however, is to know your materials well enough so that they are not an obstacle in your process, but rather something that is so well anchored in your vision that what you see in front of your lens when you take the picture, you can also see roughly what the resulting print will be like.
To have that clarity of vision is like photographing on instinct, and it means you can leave all of the technical aspect out of your thought process, and you can simply react to the subject matter in front your lens. There's real freedom in that. It's what I strive for in my process, and you can do it with Rodinal, D76, Xtol, Microphen, DD-X, Pyrocat, etc... My own choices are replenished Xtol and some PMK Pyro.
But I also don't want to take anything away from the die-hard Rodinal fans out there. It's a wonderful tool, and if it's your opinion that it's the greatest thing since sliced bread, who's going to be able to say that you're wrong? Just continue to love it, use it, and make the wonderful prints that you want to make. If you believe it works, and you like the product, the results will probably be great too. That's what's important in the end anyway.
"Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank
"Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman
"...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh