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You Can Try Glass Before You Buy It

September 5th, 2008

My theory is that, in real estate photography, your lens is the most important piece of equipment. And many times, your high quality ultra-wide lens, is the most expensive equipment you purchase. One of the best ways to decide which ultra-wide-angle lens you want to purchase is to rent it before you decide to purchase. You can rent many of the lenses I have listed in my lens table for a few weeks to make sure it’s the lens you want. Prices are reasonable.

There are several equipment rental sites that allow you to rent glass if you are in the same country. Here are a few:

  1. www.lensrentals.com
  2. www.rentglass.com
  3. www.webelenses.com
  4. www.cameraelectronic.com.au

I’m not recommending any particular camera rental site because I’ve never used any of these sites. However, it appears to me that lensrentals.com has the biggest selection of ultra-wide lenses. For shipping and customs reasons, these sites typically rent in one country. For example, rentglass.com only rents in the US (lower 48 states).

If any readers have used equipment rental sites they can recommend please leave a comment.

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7 Responses to “You Can Try Glass Before You Buy It”

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  • I have rented a couple different times from rentglass.com and was very pleased with their service and quality of the lens. Both times I couldn’t tell if the lens had been used before. The last time was over a year ago and at the time, lensrentals.com didn’t have what I needed in stock. But looking at their site now, they have a lot of copies of each lens so most of their stuff is constantly in stock.

  • In Seattle, Glaser’s camera had a great rental deal. You could rent most lenses over a weekend for $35. Local pickup Friday afternoon and return Monday in the AM. However, I’ve been in Australia for the last two years and they may not offer this weekend rental anymore. Also, if I remember correctly, you could apply the rental to to cost of buying a new lens.

    I first tried the Nikor 12-24 and 10.5 this way.

    If you’re in the Seattle area (like our venerable host), it’s worth checking out. I suspect that many other pro supply shops in large cities may offer the same kind of weekend deal.

    John Driggers
    (who’s boss gives him 45 minutes to do both a detailed floor plan sketch and to photograph a house)

  • I haven’t used them, but Calumet also offers rental services at most of their locations throught the world.

    http://www.calumetphoto.com/rental

  • Very Cool! Thanks for sharing. We’ve all probably been in a situation where we needed a lens that we didn’t have, but didn’t want to buy it. It’s great to know these rental companies exist.

  • Too bad the US ones don’t rent for Olympus…

  • Chester- Yea, this is a benefit of using one of the advantages of using one of the “big two” manufacturers.

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