Renting lenses not only allows photographers to use glass they may not have in their arsenal, but it also gives them a way to try out something new before they buy it. Renting is becoming so popular, there are now a handful of companies offering these types of services, and Lens Rentals is one such company.
Using this service is rather easy and painless. It all starts by looking through their inventory for the desired item(s). They have everything from the latest professional cameras down to adapter rings and memory cards. They also carry a wide range of manufacturers like Leica, Canon, Nikon, Olympus, and Hasselblad. If there is something you are dying to try, chances are Lens Rentals has it.
The process of obtaining gear is easy. Users create an account and pay for their rental items. Lens Rentals includes extra insurance for anyone that may be taking said gear into some harsh environments and there is a potential for damage. Once the order is in the system, they handle the rest. The rental period starts as soon as they receive confirmation from UPS that the gear arrived and ends a day after the specified time. For example, let’s say I want a camera and two lenses for the week of July 9 – 16. Around July 6, a confirmation arrives via Twitter DM, email, or both with a tracking number. The gear arrives July 9 and my rental time begins. I get to use the gear through July 16, and then ship it back on July 17.
Sending everything back happens via packaging the equipment back up in the original boxes, so do not throw those away! Slap on the prepaid shipping label and drop it off at a UPS store. Once the gear arrives back home, Lens Rentals will check to make sure nothing is broken or damaged. After that is complete, the rental agreement is complete and life is good.
There is more here than just renting gear though. They also have an ever-changing selection of used equipment for sale. A nice bonus is that if you rent something and want to buy it, there is an option to do so and the rental cost comes off the purchase price. It is a slick way to try something and then buy it if it turns out to be worth owning.
Finally, the customer service needs some noting. If users add a Twitter account to their account, things like order acceptance, shipping, and various other notices arrive via direct message. This is on top of receiving emails. Any questions one may have can be addressed via Twitter, email, or even talking to a real human who answers the phone. They are extremely responsive and quick to act on any questions or problems.
This is a great company and they offer up a nice collection of benefits to every photographer. Anyone looking to try out that hot new camera that just came out or that terribly expensive lens should certainly consider trying these folks out.