Hey everyone! Thought I’d surprise you with a non-photograph post this afternoon!
As you all know by now I spent a week in Florida earlier this month and for that trip I rented the Tokina 12-24mm wideangle lens from Borrowlenses.com. I thought I’d do a quick little write about about what Borrowlenses.com does for those that might not know and how my experience as a first time lens renter went. So let’s get started!
What is Borrowlenses.com?
I suppose the first thing I should do is introduce to you what this company does and why they’re so popular.
As you can see from the image above they are in the business of renting camera lenses and other assorted camera equipment including professional level DSLR bodies like the Nikon D3s which retails for over 5,000 dollars and that’s just for the body, yet you can rent this for a weekend for under 300!
For this reason Borrowlenses.com is a great way to get something for a fraction of the cost to try it out for a few days before you make that plunge into the full purchase. Alternatively they’re also really good for people who are in the business of event photography, but can’t justify buying their dream camera for the job just quite yet, so they can rent what they need for the event and of course factor that cost into the price they’ll end up charging.
Of course, you could just take out a small business loan and buy the Nikon D3S from amazon right now. (While that’s probably not what you’re reading this review for I thought I’d mention it).
The best reason for using a site like borrowlenses.com is for the “test-drive” if you will aspect of it. Let me give you a real life example….
I am really interested in both the Tokina 12-24mm and the Tokina 11-16mm lenses for my pending ultra wide angle purchase. While I liked the 12-24mm lens when I rented it for Florida I’d still like to compare it with the 11-16mm before I dive in and make the purchase. With borrowlenses.com, for under 200 dollars, I’ll be able to test both of these lenses out for two weeks and really get comfortable with which one I want to spend the rest of the foreseeable future with.
Ultimately, it’s really up to you what you want to rent from them, but odds are they’ll have something that will fit your needs.
Oh and of course the reason you’re really here…. My experience as a first time renter!
I knew I wanted to add another lens to my collection and I knew I wanted it to be a wide angle lens after seeing some awesome shots from Jason Hines from The Perfect Sunset and Trey Ratcliff from Stuck in Customs (Jason I bet you never thought you’d be mentioned in the same sentence as Trey Ratcliff the HDR god) done using wider angle perspectives I thought hell, “I wanna learn how to do that!”.
I’d heard some good things about the borrowing lenses and stumbled across borrowlenses.com. I’ve also read a lot about how it’s always good to rent before you buy, so I thought I’d give it a go.
For 67 dollars + Shipping, taxes and the optional peace-of-mind-insurance I was able to rent the lens for two full weeks for under 100 dollars – a fraction of what it would have cost me to buy it on Amazon!
Overall, the company was outstanding. They answered the questions I had, shipped everything on time and as they advertised, and the return shipment went off without a hitch. They send you the return label in the box and all you have to do is stick it on over the old one and drop it off at your local FedEX shipping center. Very painless.
The lens came packaged tightly in a cardboard box insulated with foam packing material inside a plastic bag for extra waterproof protection. There really is no way this lens could be damaged during shipping so you shouldn’t have to worry about that.
A couple things I didn’t like about the whole process (very nit-picking I know)
- They don’t let you rent from x date to x date, rather they let you pick a start date, but you’re limited to various rental blocks. I’m sure this keeps things easy on their end, but if you only need it for 11 days you’re going to have to pay for 14.
- Signature is REQUIRED IN PERSON at time of delivery. I understand this is some expensive stuff, but it should be up to the person receiving the package to take responsibility after signing the FedEX door tag. I’m sure they’ve had issues with this, or they’re just trying to protect everyone’s ass, either way it’s probably a good thing they do it. Just stinks for those people who work the normal 9-5 style jobs and have to drive to their local FedEX distribution center to pick up their package.
I have signed up for their affiliate program so I receive something like 4 or 5% of any sale generated from a person who was directed to borrowlenses.com from my website. Think of this as a nice way to help support my blog and photography while at the same time getting yourself a new little toy for a couple days!
Have you rented from Borrowlenses.com? Tell me how it went for you? Would you rent from them again or recommend them to a friend? I know I sure would!