Thinking of getting into photography but don’t know where to begin? You’re not alone. So many people are eager to buy their first camera, or maybe upgrade to more expensive more advanced equipment, but are having a hard time taking the plunge. It’s totally normal to feel that way. Photography gear is expensive, so you don’t want to buy something if you aren’t sure you’re going to love it.
While you can always test out cameras and lenses in the store, you never get a true feel of what it’s going to be like once you actually take it out and experiment with different lighting and subjects. It may feel like there’s no alternative though. You buy the camera and you love it or you’re disappointed, in which case you’ll need to find out if you can return it or try and resell it to buy the one you do want.
All of this is way more complicated than it needs to be. Instead, choose to rent a camera and/or lens to decide if it’s what you’re actually looking for or not.
Rent a camera and lens? You may not even have known this is a possibility, but it really is, and quite a common one at that. One of the most popular websites is Borrow Lenses, but there are tons of other sites and local stores that offer it as well.
Typically renting the camera and/or lens you’re looking to buy is going to be significantly cheaper than the lens itself and will give you a great idea of whether it’s what you’re looking for or not.
You’ll usually have the option to determine how long you’d like to rent it for and Borrow Lenses’ standard options are 3 days, 7 days, 10 days or 14 days. As a sample, you can rent the Canon EOS T6i SLR (body only) for just $33 for three days. Don’t know what lens you want either? That’s ok too! You can rent the Canon EF-S 18-135mm IS STM lens for just $14 for three days or the 18-55mm lens for just $8.
Three days may not sound like a lot, but it’s enough to figure out if the equipment is what you’re looking for or whether you think you may want something else. And of course, you always have the option to borrow it for longer if you think you really want to test it in more environments.
Alternatively, renting equipment is a great idea if you’re a photographer but just need one piece of equipment for a short period of time. Maybe you’re shooting a wedding and you just want a backup lens for the one day. Renting that lens for three days is going to be far better value than actually buying a second backup.
Renting cameras and lenses is such a great idea and can save you tons of money and hassle in the long run.