Monday, December 8, 2014

Renting a Lens with BorrowLenses

There are two major camera gear rental companies in the US, LensRentals and BorrowLenses. They offer high end equipment that might be out of budget for many of us hobbyists, giving us an opportunity to try out the coveted gear or even try something that may be in our price range before purchasing to see first hand how it stacks up.

Knowing about these companies, I have been interested in giving it a shot and renting a lens that would be a step up from the kit lenses that came with my Nikon D5100. Well, as my wife was nearing her due date for our daughter we wanted to do maternity photos but didn't have the extra money for a professional shoot so I had the idea that we could rent the same lens the photographer used to do our son's one year photos (Nikon 50mm f/1.4). After thinking a little more about it I thought we could go with the 50mm f/1.8 instead. Going that route, if we really liked the lens and the results we achieved with it, it would be more feasible for us to save up the $216 the f/1.8 sells for over the $425 price tag of the f/1.4.

We wanted to have the lens through the weekend as well as the coming Tuesday (Veteran's day) that I had off from work so we could take some maternity photos. So on Monday I placed the order with the desired delivery date of Thursday. The seven day rental was $19 plus $24.95 to cover round trip shipping. The lens arrived at a perfect time Thursday morning and came with a lens hood and UV filter as well. When the next Thursday rolled around, thankfully the last FedEx ground pickup time at the local drop FedEx store was 6:00pm, so I wouldn't be frantic trying to get it post marked on time after work.

From start to finish the entire process went off without a hitch and BorrowLenses was easy to work with. A nicely designed site, simple rental procedure and no hassles made the experience a pleasant one and I would not hesitate to recommend their services or rent from them again - especially given that there are plenty more lenses I would love to try out. What I will likely not do again is rent the 50mm f/1.8 simply because a second rental would mean almost half the purchase price of the lens was spent on renting it, which seems a poor financial decision to me.



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