Camera lens rental may be something you should consider before buying your next lens or for your next photography outing. This is a fantastic way to test out certain gear to see if it fits your photography style before you invest in new camera lens.
Is it renting a camera lens affordable?
It isn’t as expensive as you might think in the whole realm of things. Well, photography related, that is. You can rent by the day, a weekend, a week, a month, depending on the company. Of course, the longer you rent a lens, the more it is going to cost. You should think about how cost effective it is to buy the lens as opposed to renting for longer periods. Cheaper lenses cost less to rent. More expensive lenses cost more to rent.
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For example, at Adorama at Nikon 24-70mm that retails for $1,880 costs $24 to rent for a day and $72 for the whole week.
How long is the camera lens rental durations?
Depending upon the company, rental durations may differ. Some rental company’s rental durations differ depending upon a face to face rental or a mail rental. If the equipment is mailed, the company may require a longer rental agreement due to the wasted days in the mail.
How does the lens rental work?
You can reserve lenses for specific dates. If you are going on vacation and would like to take a lens that you don’t own or want to buy, you can reserve it for the dates you will be gone. Or if there is a holiday or special event coming up, you may want to consider renting. If you have an upcoming special shoot like a birth you also might want to rent a better lens than what you already have since it is such a special moment.
What lens should I rent?
If you want to rent a lens, but are not sure about compatibility, call the company you are thinking of renting from. Customer service should be able to help you find a lens that will fit your camera and your needs. This is a personal preference. Maybe you have had your eye on a zoom and want to play with it before you buy it. You can read more about what lens would work best in which situation in these posts – What lens should I buy next? and Comparing different lenses.
Why rent a camera lens?
If you are thinking of buying new equipment and want to give it a test run before you take the plunge, renting is an affordable way to decide if it is the right lens or camera for you. I have known photographers to rent camera bodies to decide up which brand to upgrade to as well as deciding between different lenses to buy like the 35mm vs 50mm lens.
Vacations are a great time to rent a lens. Some lenses are just not very useful on the day to day basis. And typically, those lenses are very expensive. So, it may make more sense to rent rather than buy for special occasions.
Or maybe you’d like to try your hand at some wide angle photography, that’s a great time to rent before you buy!
Read more: Top 9 Tips for Remarkable Street Photography
What’s the first step?
Decide which lens you want to rent. If you aren’t sure, or need a guide to help you decide check out my Ultimate Lens Comparison for Finding Your Perfect Lens.
It is really easy. BorrowLenses.com is an online rental company. It is really quick and easy to order a lens. You can also choose several “pick up” locations (not offered in every state) if you would rather not have it mailed to your home. Adorama Rentals also offers an in person or by mail rental. From what I understand, mail rentals through Adorama Rentals have a minimum of a week long rental.
Where do I go for camera lens rental?
When I rented a lens, I looked at both Borrow Lenses and Adorama Rentals before renting. Due to my schedule, Borrow Lenses was the best choice for me. I had a great experience with them. The lens arrived when it was scheduled to arrive and they were forgiving when I sent it back a day late. Woops! The lens was in great condition. It was tack sharp and I enjoyed getting to play with a wide angle all weekend.
Recently, I went to New York City for a photo walk and rented a wide angle prime lens (Nikon 24mm f/1.4G) for street photography. Until renting a wide angle lens, I wasn’t sure that it would be a lens that I would use very often or would need in my bag. After renting, I have a wide angle on my list of wants. It would be great for vacations and indoor shoots and storytelling. The lens, new, is around $2000, so renting made sense to me for this quick trip.
Here are a few images from my rental! I even got to meet Courtney! I can’t wait to have another occasion to rent a lens.
What other questions do you have??