The Test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test. If the machine produces tranquility it's right. If it disturbs you it's wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed. The test of the machine's always your own mind. There isn't any other test.

-Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance


I've got my dog-eared copy of Pirsig's ZAMM in front of me. Last night I came across the above passage, which when reading I had marked in the margin with the words "view cameras." It again strikes me that this sort of thing has a lot to do with why we choose the particular tools we choose for the creation of our images. How many of us stick with equipment that we dislike any longer than we have to? I would venture to say that, if we have the means to adopt change, most of us are likely to ultimately use the tools that we are most comfortable with.

As Pirsig says, whether or not a tool (or machine, as he puts it) is good is the result of whether or not it fits us. If it doesn't, it will never be comfortable until either it or ourselves are changed. If something fits us, it's good, if not then not.

Of course, we have a lot of different reasons for choosing the equipment that we use, but what else but this is the ultimate deciding factor in why we prefer particular cameras, lenses, films, etc over others?