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5 Reasons Why You Should Rent Your Next Lens


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rent-600x221 5 Reasons Why You Should Rent Your Next Lens Business Tips MCP Thoughts

In the past 10+ years I have always bought camera equipment as I had the funds for it. Often times, I would sell one lens that I no longer wanted to pay for a different lens. Since most lenses retain a high % of their value, I acted as my own lens rental company, buying and selling as I wanted to try new things.  While this may not be practical for everyone, it was for me.

In late July, I went on a trip to Alaska with my mom. Side note: It is wonderful to get to know your parents in new ways once you are an adult with your own kids. For this venture, I knew I’d have the opportunity to photograph wildlife from both the cruise ship and on some special excursions. My longest lens reaches to 200mm.  From a lot of research, I learned that it would not be long enough, especially not on a full-frame Canon 5D MKIII.

Enter… lens rental.  It was the perfect opportunity to rent camera equipment that I would not necessarily need long-term. Within 2 days, Aperturent sent me a Canon 7D, 100-400, and 1.4 extender for my trip. I used the camera and lens, but never needed the extender. Imagine if I bought it…  I captured images of bears, whales, closeups of glaciers, and more.  It would have cost me thousands of dollars to buy these items but the rental price was only a few hundred dollars.  It was the perfect choice.

black-bear-for-blog-post 5 Reasons Why You Should Rent Your Next Lens Business Tips MCP Thoughts

After the experience I brainstormed why others may want to consider lens rental.

Here are 5 Reasons Why You Should Consider Renting Your Next Lens (Or Other Camera Equipment):

  1. Try before you buy – I get questions daily about what lenses or camera I use. Consider renting before your next big purchase.
  2. Fill a short term need, such as a vacation or uncommon photo shoot – this is great when you will be photographing things at different focal length that you usually do.
  3. Replace lens or camera that is being repaired – when your equipment is not working properly or is in for cleaning or service, you do not have to be without.
  4. Extra gear for backup during an important event such as a wedding – you should always have backup during important events where a reshoot is impossible.
  5. To get out of a rut – sometimes a fun lens, like a macro, tilt-shift, or fish-eye can get you thinking creatively.  But you may not want to invest in one long-term.



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  1. Aparna B. on September 5, 2012 at 9:11 am

    I totally agree with you! I use Borrow Lenses and love it!! I did a senior portrait session over the weekend. I had rented the 85mm f/1.8 for two weeks from them for both a vacation in Northern Michigan and also for this shoot. I’m so glad I rented the lens! I got the photos I want without having to page $300+ for the lens!P.S. Love your pics from Alaska 🙂

  2. Julie Hunter on September 5, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Jodi!Thank you so much for this review and for the tips on renting. We are so happy that you were pleased with the experience. If there is anything else we can do for you, let me know! :)Your readers can enjoy a 10% discount for reading this post on us! Just type in MCPPOST10 when checking out! :)Thanks again,Julie

  3. Cheryl on September 5, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Thank you for this article. My 60mm lens needs to be cleaned (the tropics are tough on gear) and I didn’t want to be without it. Renting will be a good time to try out the next lens on my wish list.

  4. Michelle on September 5, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Thanks! I have a few lenses that I am yearning for so this makes perfect sense to me:-) BTW, I own that 100-400mm Canon lens and it has become one of my favorite lenses. Seems we have gone to quite a few sporting events this summer and it has come in very handy;

  5. Alec Hosterman on September 5, 2012 at 10:53 am

    I use Borrow Lenses quite often and rent the out-of-my-price-range lenses, especially when they run sales. I think it’s a good option for someone who wants to try a new piece of glass but can’t afford it (right away).

  6. Laurie on September 5, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Great article and photo!!

  7. Chris Moraes on September 5, 2012 at 11:19 am

    I rented that Canon 100-400mm lens to photograph the annular solar eclipse earlier this year. It was a perfect solution since I only needed it for a weekend and could never afford that type of lens. I would consider rental again for trying out a lens before purchasing, but unfortunately photography budget is nonexistent at the moment.

    • Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions on September 6, 2012 at 7:26 am

      That is so cool. I love your images shown with your comment. Great example of renting. And fantastic images. Not sure when the next eclipse is but I’d love a tutorial with your images for it 🙂 Contact me if interested and if you know when it is. I suppose it could be a while off…

  8. Dianne - Bunny Trails on September 5, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    I never thought about renting while gear is being serviced, but that’s a great idea. I love renting because it’s nice to try out something for yourself before investing the money. Sometimes you find that while everyone else may rave about a particular lens, it doesn’t float your boat. So rather than spend big sums of cash on it, you can try it for yourself and then make the appropriate spending decision. My budget is fairly limited right now, so renting works fabulously for me. 🙂

  9. Kristie on September 6, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Do you have some suggestions for good online rental companies? I live remotely and only have one rental shop in town. The lens I want is already rented for the days I need. Thanks!

    • jackie Harley on September 8, 2012 at 3:07 pm

      Lens Giant. They are in Northville Mich. They were great to work with. I was even able to pick it up at the UPS store because I live so close and they do not have a store front . So I was able to save on the shipping costs.

  10. Blue Goose on October 6, 2013 at 8:41 am

    I use Lens Rental out of Cordova, Tn. Fast service and when I was questionable on what I wanted to rent tgey helped me make the choice and helped me decide I didn’t need the more expensive choice after all.

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