Tech Tuesday: Try before you buy

15 Mar

How often do you hear photogs say that the number one thing on their “wish list” (ok, after the destination wedding in Tuscany) is a shiny new piece of glass? I’m thinking pretty often. In fact, if I think about my own wish list, there are at least one or two lenses on that list that I’m currently lusting after. But investing in the right lens takes time and…well, MONEY.  That goes for any fine piece of camera gear. But there is another option – renting – the opportunity to try before you buy.

Now, there are a number of places you can go to rent awesome gear. And there are pros and cons associated with each. For instance, rent from a place such as Calumet and you  can rest assured that you’re getting gear from a well-established and highly reputed retailer. You make the reservation, pick the gear up yourself, inspect it, put it confidently in your bag and you’re on your way. But, you also have to carry a hefty deposit hold on your credit card (worth the cost of the lens) in order to take it out the door. Let’s face it – sometimes, a big fat hold of $2500 for that 70-200mm f/2.8 isn’t exactly in the budget for the weekend.

So, for those of us who would rather try before you buy with another pay-to-play philosophy, there’s



Borrow Lenses is a California-based company devoted entirely to renting lenses and other essential camera gear. Their schtick: Enjoy the convenience of sweet camera gear delivered to your door, shoot as you please and when you’re done? Ship it on back – with a deposit (in most cases) equivalent to the rental fee – NOT the msrp of the gear. Sound too good be true? I thought so too.

But, as it turns out, Borrow Lenses gets RAVE reviews. Additionally, I spoke with several photogs at WPPI who have used their services and swear by them. So, I plan to take them for a spin myself for my next wedding and hopefully find a affordable way to bridge the gap between my current arsenal and the future one I’m lusting after.

Have a firsthand experience with Borrow Lenses you’d like to share? Or, have you rented from another company that kicks ass and you want to recommend? Comment below!


5 Responses to “Tech Tuesday: Try before you buy”

  1. hdipiazza March 15, 2011 at 9:15 am #

    Great post Jenna! I’m eyeing-up the Canon 24mm tilt-shift RIGHT now. Only $35 for the day and less than $100 for TWO WEEKS! Awesome.

  2. Brittany Ostrov March 15, 2011 at 11:58 am #

    Awesome article. I’m definitely going to try a few lenses out!

  3. Lori March 15, 2011 at 1:58 pm #

    Yes, great post! FYI, I use NY Camera on Street Road in Bucks County. If you borrow a lens, then decide to purchase that lens within 2 weeks (?? I don’t remember how long), you get your rental amount off the cost of the lens. Nice!

  4. Lindsey March 15, 2011 at 3:48 pm #

    Love this post! I’m gonna look into renting from them for weddings 🙂 Thanks!

  5. Isabel March 16, 2011 at 9:41 am #

    BorrowLenses is AH.MAY.ZING! I use them whenever I need to rent anything camera related.

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