Most people don’t realize how cost effective it can be to rent camera gear when you need it rather than making a huge investment up front. Even if you have never considered renting gear before, go ahead and read through my top five reasons to rent camera gear and maybe you will find a good reason that fits your needs and requirements.
1. Ability to use high end gear at affordable prices
Probably the most common lens for wedding and portrait photographers is the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM II. The best price I could find on this lens at the time of this writing was $2,099. At BorrowLenses.com, this lens will run $65 for a three-day rental. That means you would have to rent it 32 times before you would have bought one. Maybe you are sporting an older body like a 40D or T2i and need a high end body for a weekend shoot, a Canon EOS 1D Mark IV will run $174 for a three day rental and a Canon EOS 5D Mark III will only cost $99 for the same amount of time.
2. Affordable means of having redundant gear
If you are shooting a wedding or important event you really need to have backup gear in case of a major equipment failure. Getting a EOS 7D for a weekend will only set you back $69. That’s some pretty cheap insurance to make sure you have the gear you need.
3. Try before you buy
There are several things that I can’t just stand to purchase without trying them out first, these things includes cars, laptops, and cameras. Many photographers are investing in small mirrorless cameras as their travel camera or street photography camera. With the wide range of options available, a good idea is to rent one for a while before dropping a bunch of money on one. A one week rental of a Sony NEX 5 will only set you back $78 which is a small price to pay to make sure that a $700 camera is the right camera for you.
4. Lots of lighting gear
Lighting gear is expensive whether it’s a bag of speedlites or a few Einstein monolights. Instead of dropping $1,500 on a few monolights you can rent a few for about $50 for a weekend. If you don’t need big lights all the time, renting is an excellent option.
5. Save from shipping gear to destination jobs
If you ever have to travel to do different photography jobs, it can be a serious pain to pack up all your gear and travel with it. Buying good shipping cases is expensive and using regular camera bags doesn’t always offer enough protection and/or security for your gear. Renting a good portion of your gear can be a cost effective means to have plenty of gear at a remote location.
Bonus Point: Have access to stuff you would never buy
Most rental shops have a wide variety of items that you may need to use once in a great while or even once in a lifetime so why drop tons of money of gear that you wont use. These types of items include things like underwater housings, Lensbaby lenses, specialty sound equipment, projectors, etc.
Renting equipment is becoming more and more popular as more people realize the cost savings and convenience of renting instead of buying everything. To do a review of the Sony NEX 7 I called on BorrowLenses.com and found out that most of their mirrorless have long backorder queues because so many people are trying them out before buying them and renting them to take on vacations.
If you haven’t given renting a try, I highly recommend taking a look at our good friends over at BorrowLenses.com and see if they have something available that you have been wanting to try out.