Quote Originally Posted by Fugazi Dave
There is, of course, a learning cuve, but I think early in the learning process when you're getting used to a new piece of equipment, there are often signs that tell you a fair amount about how you'll get along with it in the long run. For example, even with all sorts of initial dificulties, I took to large format from the start. Meanwhile, some of my classmates at OU couldn't stand to be in the same room with a view camera after three years of shooting with one. They hated it at the start, hate it now.

And of course when you're starting out in photography in general, its harder to know what works for you because you're still learning the technical aspects of everything. I guess I'm thinking more in terms of the things we choose to work with once we've gotten fairly well established in our work, technique, etc.
I think that a great deal of what you are addressing here has to do with the temperament of the individual. If one is of a more spontaneous temperament then the view camera will not easily become an extension of themselves. I think that if at the outset a person would inventory their preferences insofar as a deliberation/spontaneity index then a better choice could be made.

There is also another factor that I have observed in individuals. They want the better resolution and tonal scale of the larger negative but become intimidated/frightened by the view camera movements...they would like the results if only someone else did the adjusting of the camera for them. For these individuals, if they are easily frustrated, often return to a camera without movements.

To learn to see what the lens sees (without setting up the camera) took me many years. I have gotten the 210, 120, and 90 down well in 4X5. I have the 210 and 450 down pretty well in 8X10, though not as well as my 4X5 lenses. I am still working on the 450 on the 12X20 although it closely resembles the 210 in 8X10.

I think that when we are able to say to ourselves "this is what this will look like with this lens" without setting up the camera and not have to move the camera a dozen feet when we set up then we come closer to the "zen like" act of photographing.