By Esther Shavon Thomas
Thinking of buying a new lens? Need a Particular Lens for a special occasion, outing, or event? Try Renting a Lens
I rent lots of camera equipment and am often asked 2 questions:
What’s the benefits of renting a lens?
How do you go about renting lenses or any camera equipment?
One of the obvious benefits is cost. Renting allows you to obtain often expensive equipment for a fraction of the cost. Especially if you only need a particular lens for a specific event or time period.
The second benefit of renting is it’s a great way to “try before you buy.” If you are considering purchasing a lens, renting prior to purchase gives you a chance to explore your potential purchase and really get some hands on feel to how it handles. There is nothing like taking a lens out and shooting with it in the field to determine if it is right for you as a photographer.
The photos included in this article were taken on an Arizona Highways Photo Workshop “Shoot the Zoo.” I shoot mostly macro so I needed a decent telephoto for the workshop. Also, given how quickly animals may move or change a particular action or behavior, I wanted a lens that could cover most of my shots. I I rented a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens and found it a versatile option to cover the variety of animal habitats and environments within the zoo.
Best way to go about renting lens/equipment?
The two most common ways to rent a lens are either online or through your local camera shop. Your neighborhood camera store is convenient and allows for immediate possession. It also allows you to view your item before you rent it. Often your local camera shop may have offers to apply your rental fee to equipment purchase.
Online is the other option for renting equipment. There are several reputable companies that rent camera equipment. You can do a simple internet search for “online camera rentals.” Online is a great option for those who do not have a local camera store near, or for increased availability of particular items. I would suggest reviewing each website and their product offerings and fees.
If you are interested in renting a lens, sign up for their respective email newsletters. Newsletters often alert members to attractive deals and coupon codes! Below are a few online lens rental companies I have used in no particular order.
Esther Shavon Thomas is a trip leader with Arizona Highways Photo Workshops