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Old 03-21-2015, 11:51 AM   #1
carolina_yankee
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Default Lens and Camera Rentals

IF you're on the fence of which kind of lens to get or whether or not you really want to invest in a whole new camera system, lens and camera rental companies can be a great place to give your desired purchase a test run to see if you really want to commit.

I see lensrentals.com advertised more frequently, but there are others. The rental prices aren't bad compared to the price of the item and you can rent for nearly any number of days. The general way it works is that the company will FedEx or otherwise overnight you the rented equipment before you need it, you use it, then return it in the provided shipping materials. There are some logistical differences between companies, and some will start the rental from date of send, while others will start the rental from date of receipt.

There are also varying levels of insurance options, with one company offering three tiers - no insurance, damage only, or damage and theft. Another one will offer no insurance or damage insurance, but won't cover lost equipment or theft. Your own homeowners or renters policy might also provide coverage.

I like lenrentals.com because of their reviews and comments. They also assemble some rental packages based on your goals - travel, wedding, etc. They have the best range of manufacturers I've seen.

Another one is lensprotogo.com , which seems to be a bit more geared to the professional, but also has reasonable prices and a great range of equipment from all the majors.

Posters have also recommended LensGiant.com and borrowlenses.com.

Kingdom Camera Rentals is the Orlando based agency. They focus on Canon and Nikon, but they have rental packages as well as individual items, and their pricing is based on a 7 day rental (though you can adjust for your trip). They offer free delivery to Disney resorts. Of the three, they are clearly focusing on the Orlando tourism market. Since you can pick up your gear locally, or have them meet you at the resort, they would be a great option for international travelers and those who don't have easy access (location or schedule) to receiving overnight deliveries.

Kingdom Camera has announced they are closing up shop.

I suppose you could also have the rental mailed to the resort you're staying at, but the companies may have policies requiring that rentals be sent to the address on the credit card to cut down on fraud.

Also, check out your local camera stores. They'll often rent equipment, too, especially the independents if you're lucky enough to have any around!

One final bit of advice: plan to have your rental delivered to you several days before you depart to account for delivery delays (blizzards and hurricanes) as well to give you time to become familiar with your rental equipment before you try to take that once-in-a-lifetime shot at Disney between Mickey and your precious toddler! This is especially crucial if you are rental a camera instead of or in addition to a lens.

So, have you ever rented? How did it go? Would this be a good option for you?

Dirk
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Old 03-21-2015, 11:51 AM   #2
kschasteen12
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We've rented camera bodies and lenses.

For our Christmas trip, I rented a Canon 70D and an 18-1335 STM lens from lensrentals.com.

On the same trip, DW rented a 70-200 f/2.8L from Kingdom Camera rentals.

We've rented several time from Lensrentals without ever having a problem.

The Kingdom Camera rental was a first for us, and it was great. They met us at the resort when we arrived, and came to the resort to pickup the lens when we left. Couldn't have been easier. The lens was perfectly fine, they had a case for us to use (but we didn't because we had something else to put it in). Actually, we called them the day before we arrived to arrange all this and they were very accommodating.

As I recall, they just didn't have a huge selection of equipment.
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Old 03-21-2015, 01:56 PM   #3
disney65
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Dirk, thanks for the thread, I was going to ask you about lens rental. Let me know what you think of 70-300L.
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Old 03-21-2015, 06:40 PM   #4
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Thanks for this thread. I think I will rent the fisheye lens I have been eyeing in may. Much cheaper to rent it and try it out Then buy on a wim
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Old 03-21-2015, 07:16 PM   #5
henrycpa91
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Dirk,

how do I get the optiong at lensrentals.com to have it suggest to me what to rent?


Quote:
Originally Posted by carolina_yankee View Post
IF you're on the fence of which kind of lens to get or whether or not you really want to invest in a whole new camera system, lens and camera rental companies can be a great place to give your desired purchase a test run to see if you really want to commit.

I see lensrentals.com advertised more frequently, but there are others. The rental prices aren't bad compared to the price of the item and you can rent for nearly any number of days. The general way it works is that the company will FedEx or otherwise overnight you the rented equipment before you need it, you use it, then return it in the provided shipping materials. There are some logistical differences between companies, and some will start the rental from date of send, while others will start the rental from date of receipt.

There are also varying levels of insurance options, with one company offering three tiers - no insurance, damage only, or damage and theft. Another one will offer no insurance or damage insurance, but won't cover lost equipment or theft. Your own homeowners or renters policy might also provide coverage.

There is one company based in Orlando that will deliver to you at WDW or you can stop by to pick up.

I like lenrentals.com because of their reviews and comments. They also assemble some rental packages based on your goals - travel, wedding, etc. They have the best range of manufacturers I've seen.

Another one is lensprotogo.com , which seems to be a bit more geared to the professional, but also has reasonable prices and a great range of equipment from all the majors.

Kingdom Camera Rentals is the Orlando based agency. They focus on Canon and Nikon, but they have rental packages as well as individual items, and their pricing is based on a 7 day rental (though you can adjust for your trip). They offer free delivery to Disney resorts. Of the three, they are clearly focusing on the Orlando tourism market. Since you can pick up your gear locally, or have them meet you at the resort, they would be a great option for international travelers and those who don't have easy access (location or schedule) to receiving overnight deliveries.

I suppose you could also have the rental mailed to the resort you're staying at, but the companies may have policies requiring that rentals be sent to the address on the credit card to cut down on fraud.

Also, check out your local camera stores. They'll often rent equipment, too, especially the independents if you're lucky enough to have any around!

One final bit of advice: plan to have your rental delivered to you several days before you depart to account for delivery delays (blizzards and hurricanes) as well to give you time to become familiar with your rental equipment before you try to take that once-in-a-lifetime shot at Disney between Mickey and your precious toddler! This is especially crucial if you are rental a camera instead of or in addition to a lens.

So, have you ever rented? How did it go? Would this be a good option for you?

Dirk
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Old 03-22-2015, 07:15 AM   #6
carolina_yankee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henrycpa91 View Post
Dirk,

how do I get the optiong at lensrentals.com to have it suggest to me what to rent?
They have packages under the Canon and Nikon options in the left menu.

You can also email them and tell them what you experience level is, where you're going, and what you want to try. They can recommend a package for you.

I'm not sure the packages save you dollars, they are just pre-assembled collections of cameras and lenses for specific purposes.

Honestly, for a Disney package - I would go with a camera (either crop or full-frame, doesn't really make a difference except for size) and then a wide-angle zoom, standard zoom, and telephoto zoom. That would cover your options. You can decide on the particular reach and consumer level vs. pro-level in quality.

You can assemble a mirrorless package on your own under the Sony e-mount option. That would let you try the mirrorless system that Mike uses without sinking a couple thousand dollars into it. Renting isn't super cheap, but you have to understand that once you buy a camera, you are committing to a system. In order to get the most out of that system, you have to buy lenses. To get a full quality set up, you will spend easily 3-5 times the price of the camera body.

I know you like to carry around as little as possible, but I'm really not a fan of super zoom lenses (those that cover nearly the full range of standard photography in one lens). They have to make too many compromises in glass quality and aperture variability. That's why I never travel with less than 3 lenses, even if I choose to only carry one or two on a particular day.

Dirk
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Old 03-22-2015, 08:06 AM   #7
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I rented the 70-200 2.8 IS from lensrentals.com way back in 2008 before purchasing the Mark II version upon it's release. I had an excellent experience and all my questions were answered quickly.

I wouldn't hesitate to use them again except that I found a company local to me, lensgiant.com. Being able to pick up saves me on the shipping costs. I believe they only deal in Nikon and Canon though.

As Dirk stated, I would allow a day or two before you actually need the lens. Not only could you have delays in shipping but you want to give yourself time to get familiar with the lens. I recently rented a 24-1.4 and had to adjust the autofocus. Something you don't want to find out during a shoot.
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Old 11-12-2015, 08:41 PM   #8
FrankPhillips
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Dirk, I'm just now seeing this sticky thread, so I'll throw in my two cents' worth.

While I've never personally rented any equipment, I've read on various photography forums about an interesting strategy: if the high-dollar lens you want is sometimes plagued with a "bad batch" (so to speak), many lens rental companies will give you the option to buy the lens you rented (at a "used" price, typically).

For example, let's say that you want lens "X" which is a $1,000 lens. Based on your research, you've discovered that "X" usually is exceptional, but can sometimes be disappointing due to poor quality control at the factory...so if you buy new, you can't be really confident you'll get a good copy of the lens. You could buy from a reputable dealer (full price) who will take returns, test the lens after you get it, and send it back if it's not up-to-snuff....then rinse and repeat with that same dealer.

OR....you could rent the lens, take it on a trip and put it through its paces, and if you like it, buy it from the rental company at a reduced price. This way, you'll know for sure what you're getting because you used it yourself.
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