I learned very quickly that photography can be very expensive. When I first started natural light portraits, I wanted to try every lens combination possible for my full-frame Sony A7. I wanted to mimic styles from all the photographers I studied online. These photographers used lenses ranging from the 35mm to the 85mm and up. Some used prime lenses. Others swore on zoom lenses like the 24-70mm, and the 70-200mm.
I knew I could not afford all these lenses, but I found a way to try them all out. I rented online, and tested them out. Seems like an easy option, but many beginners just don’t know you can do it. I found companies like aperturent.com, and borrowlenses.com. They shipped lenses straight to your door when ordered online. It really was a great choice in my photography learning journey.
10 Reasons Renting Lenses is awesome
1) Lenses can be expensive
Purchasing lenses can be expensive, so this is a great affordable way to try them out first (Don’t get buyers remorse). Nothing is worse then getting a lens and wanting to return it a few days later because it was not what you expected.
2) Try before you buy
Renting lenses gives you the opportunity to try many focal lengths before you purchase. Maybe you will like prime lenses over zoom. You never know until you give them a try.
3) Each lens is unique
When renting lenses, discover the unique differences each lens has to offer. Some have different settings, and allow you to make changes faster on the physical lens versus in camera. Some lenses have macro setting and infinity settings to look out for.
4) Rent for your specific needs
You can rent specific lenses for different types of shoots, and this comes in handy. If you find you are shooting in a very small space, and all you have is a 70-200mm lens, it might not work out so well. Renting allows you to adapt quickly to some of the needs of your shoots.
5) Do you believe in lens distortion
Some will say that you should use an 85mm or higher for portraits. This allows for less lens distortion of your subject. If you only have wide angle lenses and you need a quick way to get a closer lens, then renting will come in handy.
6) Lenses can be shipped directly to your door
If you have a local camera store that rents, you are a lucky. If you are in a less popular area and don;t have any local resources, then renting online is a big help. Many companies will ship the lenses to your door. When you are done, just return the lens in the same box with a pre-paid slip attached. Many companies make this a very easy process.
7) Need more than one lens at a time
If you have a wedding or event and need multiple lenses, then you are in luck. Renting lenses allows you to rent more than you think you will need for your shoot. Need zoom and prime lenses? Well, I am sure they have you covered.
8) New lenses on the market
Many lens rental companies get new lenses pretty often. If you have a new lens that you can’t purchase just yet, then try renting it first. I often try new lenses first before I consider purchasing them.
9) Lenses can be expensive
If anything, renting can always be a back-up option for your photography. Even when you don’t think you will need them, they are always there. Now keep in mind you will pay a premium for expedited shipping, but this option can be handy in a crunch.
10) They just make it easy to rent
The online rentals process has become easier over the last few years as i have been told. I just recently started renting lenses online. I find the option that fits my need the best, and I order online. I receive a confirmation within minutes, and have the lens shipped to me a day or two before my shoot. Once I am finished, I place right back into the shipping box and drop off the lens at a local UPS store. Easy right!
Keep your options open
Wether you choose to rent or not, keep in mind this option is always available to you. If you are unsure about the process, call the rental company and talk with an associate. Ask any questions up front so you will feel comfortable about getting your next rental.
6 online lens rental companies
Hope this comes in handy for you guys. Best wishes and happy shooting!