Three Great Reasons to Rent Camera Gear

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Tips for renting camera gear

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Did you know you can rent pretty much any kind of camera gear? Purchasing a new camera or lens can be quite stressful, not to mention expensive. If you are in the camp that I addressed in a previous post, How to decide what camera or lens to buy, then you are probably full of questions such as:

  • Which brand is best?
  • Should I buy a cheap or expensive lens?
  • Should I buy a fixed or zoom lens?
  • What if I don’t love the lens after I buy it?
  • 85mm, 50mm or 35mm?

Photography is an expensive hobby, and even if it’s a business, the up-front investment is significant, so being completely happy when you make a purchase is critical. If you head to the local camera store when you are about to buy something, it’s hard to tell from the fluorescent lighted counter if you will like the camera or lens when you get it home. And it can take some time with a camera or a lens to know if you really love it. You can’t get that in an hour.

You can certainly rent from stores, but the convenience of online shopping to rent is hard to beat.

Renting two similar lenses helps in the purchase decision:

How to rent a lens

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I’ve rented from Lens ProToGo, but Borrow Lenses and LensRentals also conveniently ship equipment to you with an easy return ship process. I’ve only rented lenses, but these sites also rent camera bodies and lighting equipment.

So here are three reasons why it’s smart to rent camera equipment.

1. Play before investing. A few years ago, I really wanted the 70 to 200mm f/2.8 lens. It’s quite a hefty purchase, so I decided to rent it first, and found it was super heavy! I’d have to walk around with a monopod everywhere I went, and I just didn’t want to do that. I ended up purchasing the 70 to 200mm f/4.0 instead — the specs weren’t as good, but it was much lighter, and that proved to be more important to me.

2. Travel versatility. When you travel, you may want a specific lens just for that event; you don’t necessarily want to invest in the lens for the long haul. Renting a lens for travel is a great option, especially if you only want to bring one lens instead of your entire arsenal. You can also typically reserve lenses in advance, so when you know your travel dates, you can lock it in well in advance.

3. You can’t afford what you want. Sometimes you can’t afford a piece of equipment, but you really want it for a specific event, like a wedding or vacation. Renting the lens is a reasonable short term, smaller investment that will ultimately help you decide if you love the equipment enough to make a purchase later on down the road. Or you can just pay to use it for that one situation, even if you know you could never afford to buy it outright.

Camera equipment rental is much easier than it seems, and offers the convenience of delivery right to your doorstep.

Photo credits: Pelican, Points in Focus

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