Borrow Lenses:
Camera & Lens Rental Online

Borrow Lenses: <br />Camera & Lens Rental Online

Professional and semi-professional camera equipment can be expensive. Really expensive. Potentially the-equivalent-of-buying-a-car expensive. For photography enthusiasts who can’t afford high-end camera gear—or are leery about making the financial plunge for it—there’s a cool website that will let you rent cameras, lenses, lighting another photography accessories: Borrow Lenses.

Why rent

There are several reasons why renting might make sense for you. The obvious ones: 1) You can’t afford the quality of photography gear you want/need; or) you’d like to try out a piece of equipment before buying it.

In addition, Borrow Lenses is a useful source for specialty gear. (Maybe an 8mm fisheye lens is the sort of thing you only need to use rarely?).

The site also does an excellent job at being among the first to get new gear. For instance: At the time of writing you could not pre-order the upcoming, super-fast Nikon 85mm f/1.4G AF-S lens (not even on Amazon.com) but you could reserve one on Borrow Lenses.

How the website works

It’s pretty easy. Search through the Borrow Lenses website for what you’d like to rent. Then select your rental period: 3, 7 or 10 days or 2, 3 or 4 weeks.

If you happen to live near San Carlos, CA you can pick up and drop off your rentals in person. If you live in northern or southern California you can have your gear couriered to one of a dozen drop-off points for a $15 or $20 fee.

Elsewhere in the United States, your rented photography gear arrives via mail. The cool part: Borrow Lenses also sends a box—already labeled and with pre-paid shipping—for you to return your rental.

Sadly Borrow Lenses does not ship outside of the USA. But there are several similar sites that serve markets elsewhere, including Lens Lenders in Canada, Peartree in London, Calumet in a variety of countries in Europe and Japan Camera in you-can-guess-where.

In general, the more expensive the thing you are renting the more cost effective it is. A few examples:

Camera Lens Purchase vs Borrow Lenses Rental Cost

Camera Lens: Retail price (US$) Amazon discount (US$) Borrow Lenses 3-day rental Borrow Lenses 10-day rental
  Carl Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 Planar T* ZF for Nikon   $750   $750   $46   $93
  Olympus 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye ED   $900   $720   $44   $91
  Leica 90mm f/2.5   $1,695   $1,695   $48   $115
  Nikon 24mm f/3.5D ED PC-E Tilt-Shift   $2,350   $2,200   $54   $106
  Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G AF-S ED VR II   $2,450   $2,450   $65   $127
  Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L Mark II USM   $3,800   $2,241   $57   $111
  Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS USM   $10,300   $6,799   $139   $275
technology gadgets photoblog  Borrow Lenses: <br>Camera & Lens Rental Online


technology gadgets photoblog  Borrow Lenses: <br>Camera & Lens Rental Online
technology gadgets photoblog  Borrow Lenses: <br>Camera & Lens Rental Online
technology gadgets photoblog  Borrow Lenses: <br>Camera & Lens Rental Online

Camera Purchase vs Borrow Lenses Rental Cost

Camera or camcorder: Retail price (US$) Amazon discount (US$) Borrow Lenses 3-day rental Borrow Lenses 10-day rental
  GoPro HD Hero Rugged Video Camera   $300   $230   $32   $59
  Canon EOS 60D Digital SLR   $1,000   $1,000   $65   $127
  Nikon D300s (body only)   $1,700   $1,655   $101   $200
  Canon EOS 5D Mark II (body only)   $2,700   $2,700   $136   $270
  Canon EOS 1D Mark IV Digital SLR (body only)   $6,000   $6,000   $194   $384
  Panasonic AG AF100 Camcorder   $6,000   $6,000   $291   $441

technology gadgets photoblog  Borrow Lenses: <br>Camera & Lens Rental Online

Gear Purchase vs Borrow Lenses Rental Cost

Piece of photography gear: Retail price (US$) Amazon discount (US$) Borrow Lenses 3-day rental Borrow Lenses 10-day rental
  58mm Circular Polarizing Filter   $79   $37   $6   $13
  Novoflex Mini Focusing Rack   $286   $248   $15   $28
  Sekonic 358 Lightmeter   $554   $309   $11   $21
  Quantum Instruments Qflash   $907   $706   $TKT   $TKTK
  Profoto 901053 D1 Studio Kit   $3,335   $2,379   $152   $278
published: 5 Apr 2011
technology gadgets photoblog  Borrow Lenses: <br>Camera & Lens Rental Online

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Related posts & pages:
Review of the Best (and Best Value) Nikon Lenses
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8 Amazing Flickr Photostreams

technology gadgets photoblog  Borrow Lenses: <br>Camera & Lens Rental Online

technology gadgets photoblog  Borrow Lenses: <br>Camera & Lens Rental Online


Responses

  1. Revistas says:

    Sounds like a very good deal

    [Reply to this comment]

  2. Dan says:

    This is a good business because good lens tend to be kind of expensive. The one who borrows needs to be extra careful because these are sensitive objects.

    [Reply to this comment]

    Spot Cool Stuff Reply:

    That’s a good point, Dan. Borrow Lenses offers an optional insurance on their products if you are worried about that. I imagine other photography equipment lenders do too.

    ~ SCS

    [Reply to this comment]

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