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Old March 23rd, 2004, 09:24 PM   #1
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Renting Equipment Out

If someone trustworthy wanted to rent your camcorder, etc, would you rent it? Not as a major part of your business like a rental house --- but occasionally or infrequently?

Would it be adviseable to do this only if you have accidental breakage insurance on the equipment to be rented?

As in, when someone you trust borrows your camera and equipment and then pays you money for using it?

Would the insurance be the critical factor?

Thanks,

Ed Baatz
Sarasota, Florida
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Old March 23rd, 2004, 09:44 PM   #2
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Well, I don't let anybody else touch my camera...but being that nobody would want to rent it from me I'm not sure what I would do. I only let me other friend with a GL2 touch the camera, and one other one that I trust VERY much with it!!

It all depends on how much you loan your camera out for, and how long, what they're using it for, and do you trust them enough and know them well enough that if they damaged it they would pay to fix it?? That's the biggest part right there, if you truested them to fix anything they broken then you have it right there.
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Old March 24th, 2004, 12:39 PM   #3
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I rent my equipment out but I also always go as an operator or at least assistant if they already have an operator. This way I know that the things are properly taken care of..
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Old March 24th, 2004, 11:31 PM   #4
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Hey, that's a great idea...

Besides renting out the equipment, you can get involved with the shoot and get paid for that too... Cool! Even if it is just as an assistant... A good way to learn --- even if it ends up learning what not to do. ;o)
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Old March 24th, 2004, 11:54 PM   #5
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My wife doesn't even touch my cams. If she did, my nerves would get the better of me.

What happens when after renting it out you find out it's been dropped? Scratched? Or doesn't even work any more? Who's going to pay?

(If you do decide to rent out your cam..., just think about the tape types that may be used.)
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Old March 25th, 2004, 01:33 AM   #6
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I let someone borrow my 3x lens for my xl1s on a video shoot that we were doing, he was the other camera guy. well, i didnt bother checking it that night to make sure it was allright. sure enough, that ahole had some how managed to get hundereds of little pin holes in the front lens, i still to this day cant figure out how it happined. and i couldnt get ahold of this prick, so i got stiffed with the bill from canon to fix it. lesson learned...i will never let anyone borrow my camera again...but if you do, make sure they know if they break it, they buy it. and use a uv filter.
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Old March 25th, 2004, 10:16 AM   #7
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Gee, Rich... Does this mean I can't borrow your lens?

;o)
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Old March 25th, 2004, 10:53 AM   #8
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Pin Holes

Rich, it sounds like he went down the highway at a high rate of speed hanging out the window and your lens took all of the grains of dust like a windshield does. Were there actual deep holes into the glass or shallow pits in the coating? I would have to hunt that guy down and tell him a thing or two. The fact that he didn't even mention what had happened like you weren't going to notice. That's just totally disrespectful. I agree 100% that a UV filter is mandatory for front element protection if not for anything else just common dust.
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Old March 25th, 2004, 11:40 AM   #9
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shallow pits, you could only see it on the glass at a certain angle to the light...very hard to see actually. but, put the lens on the camera and pull it back to its widest and get close to a light source or bright areas, and suddenly you see dozens of diffused little blown out areas in the veiwfinder. , that i couldnt for the life of me clean off, took it to samys in hollywood and they agreed, send it to canon.

As far as how it happined, i would agree that the freeway thing is definitly what it looked like, but we were in a club all night, shooting a video for a band. if only i had the tape from that night, maybe it would be the evidence i need. I hate people sometimes!

Anyway, for me, never again will i let someone borrow my camera or lenses.
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Old March 25th, 2004, 04:07 PM   #10
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Some very interesting comments from everyone... THANKS!

>>>Frank: "My wife doesn't even touch my cams. "<<<

That might be more information than I needed to know? :o)

>>>Rich: "i couldnt get ahold of this prick, so i got stiffed with the bill from canon to fix it. lesson learned"<<<

So the lesson is that maybe it'd be wise not to rent to someone you don't know and who is a flight risk (or a prick)???

I know a few people, who I think are trustworthy and have a lot more experience shooting than I do. They always impress me as being careful when using equipment, their own or others... But, obviously accidents do happen and for that matter equipment fails under the best of situations... So, maybe to guard against such eventualities, accidental breakage/extended warranties would be critical?

If I used my equipment _every_ day then obviously renting it out would not be an option. But, instead of letting it sit unused --- it seems to me that renting it out occasionally would supplement my income and help cover costs/depreciation.

Say $200/day, $600/week --- for a XL1S camcorder, on-camera light, sound (DAT recorder, boom/shotgun and wireless mics & lavs with FP33 Shure mixer) and Sachtler tripod would seem to be a very reasonable price? And the income would add up nicely?

Or maybe not???

I guess the key would be insurance and warranty coverage...

Rental houses require the renter to have insurance... Maybe that would be the way to go?

Just a thought...
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Old March 25th, 2004, 04:24 PM   #11
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I would say the lesson learned would be. If your going to let someone borrow/rent something

1. obviously, make sure you know who they are, and have contact info. (talk about stating the obvious)

2.check the gear before it goes out and again as soon as it comes back.

3. establish some sort of repair/ replacement policy to cover your ass, maybe even draft up some sort of document that they sign.

You know what might help is if you scope out a rental house. thats a perfect place to find out about rates and policy.

The place i go to to rent gear charges 135.00 for a xl1s with a 16x lens. i belive the the 3x is about 40.00. not sure on the other gear, but, u may want to come in a bit under the rental houses. anyway, call around.

Oh, one last thing, the rental houses in l.a. dont charge for weekends, so if u rent on a fri, u get sat & sun free, and if there is a holiday on a fri or mon, thats free too. so if u time it right, you can get all sorts of gear for 2-3 days for cheap! not sure what its like elsewhere.

Hope that helps!
good luck!
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Old March 25th, 2004, 04:43 PM   #12
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Rich,

All very good points! Since I don't intend to become a rental house for video equipment --- but rather, rent only infrequently --- if at all --- I think your point about competitive pricing is most appropriate... Maybe charge half of what the going rate would be, IF, the equipment is insured against accidental damage. Also, only if you rent to someone reputable and experienced. For example, renting to skateboard videographers might be a little risky?

It just seems like a very real waste to have that equipment sitting dormant (stagnant?) when ever I'm not using it... I guess I am talking more about being "ready" to rent it if the occasion presents itself?

"Hey Ed, I'm doing a big wedding next week, could I use (borrow) your XL1S package?"

Yes, you can, but only if......
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Old March 25th, 2004, 05:09 PM   #13
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Sounds good man, maybe half the price of a rental house is alittle too low, how about 65%? hell i dont know.

Anyway, your on the right track i think, be cautious of who you rent it to and be ready for it when the time comes.

Good luck!
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Old March 25th, 2004, 08:40 PM   #14
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Rental Rates

As far as rentals go. Remember that a rental house does just that. That is their business. If you try to compete with them, you will lose in the long run. I would say at least match what they offer IF there's just no other way but do not go lower especially not half! They can go as low as they are because they have multiple units to rent out whereas you may only have one. They can still make a decent return on 10 units a day at that rate or whatever whereas you will go broke renting just one for that rate or cheaper. You're not thinking about all the other items that they are renting that day which all adds up for them. That's why I will tell someone if pushed that I am sorry but I am not a rental house. Anyway, hopefully you are being hired as complete package with yourself and your gear to make it worth while. Please don't start so low because the only place you have to go from that point is down and believe it or not, those that are giving it away now are setting a dangerous precedent and won't be around much longer.
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Old March 25th, 2004, 09:52 PM   #15
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I wasn't suggesting that someomne try to compete with a Rental House... far from it...

I know a few people who shoot video professionally and occasionally (rarely) they get a job where they need more equipment but not someone to shoot B-rolls.

In those particular cases, instead of just "loaning" my equipment --- after all they will be getting paid --- I was just questioning how and what I should be aware of when renting my equipment out.

If, the insurance angle is covered, (a big "if") I think that I could charge much less for the rental of my equipment and still be in good shape as compared to just letting it sit on the shelf unused?

Naturally this would be predicated upon my not needing it for a job...

Maybe not 50% less than the going rate, but as Rich mentioned --- maybe 35% or 40% less??? I would guess that a person would quickly starve if trying to make a living off renting out a 1-camera system...

If someone could rent the same gear cheaper from a rental house, why even bother renting from someone charging more???
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