Anyone here rent their lenses instead of buy them? at
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Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.

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Old March 6th, 2010, 02:20 PM   #1
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Anyone here rent their lenses instead of buy them?

$28 for 3 days for a lens that costs $1,200 is a great deal and got me wondering...anyone here predominantly rely on renting lenses rather than actually purchasing them? I am sure everyone has their "go to" lenses bought though.
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Old March 6th, 2010, 02:48 PM   #2
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I guess if you're close to a rental shop, it is very nice. - I have to drive 90 minutes to get my lens. Awesome shop in Denver CO.

I did costs comparisons, and was way money ahead renting instead of buying.

In fact, 3 years ago, we sold all of our nikon gear to just rent it all. D300. SB800 24-70 -etc...

However, the 5d is a keeper! We just bought a set of prime lens, 20mm f2.8 50mm f1.4 and a 85mm 1.8 instead of a 24-70, I still think I am money ahead.

We are renting the 24-70 and 70-200 f2.8 is for around $70 for both, all weekend long. You just have to be first come.

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Old March 7th, 2010, 02:41 AM   #3
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I own standard lenses and rent L's when I have a job.

Will probably buy the 24L 50L and 85L when I have the money and rent the other lenses when needed.
Red Epic available for rent, starting at $500 per day, Scarlets, and Lenses available too.
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Old January 13th, 2011, 08:01 AM   #4
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Thats a really good question!! I am in the same boat, I'm trying to decide if renting is more cost effective than buying. I'm guessing that you created a formula, I'm not the best at accounting and math, but I came up with this:
Estimation of # of shoots you have per year x Cost of rental per use
I do not include the tax advantages of renting (I'm no accountant)
Is it greater or less than the cost of buying, also you must think about risk of damage, and re-sale value of the lens.

Anyone else use a formula to decide which is best? Renting vs buying lens
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Old January 13th, 2011, 08:10 AM   #5
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I rent specialty glass, such as super-long L-series telephoto primes,
for the few occasions per year when I need them. Sure wish I could
justify the outright purchase, but renting them is easy and affordable.

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Old January 13th, 2011, 08:36 AM   #6
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I do rent on occasion for certain situations but I would not rent all my lenses. When we went all DSLR I bought a 70-200L 2.8, 28mm 2.8 and the 50mm 1.8mm. We made do with these lenses for a while before making major purchases or renting. When you compare the cost of a the XHA1 investment we were making then it seemed like a deal. As far as being close to a rental shop you don't have to be. We just use and have always been pleased with their quality and service. (I don't think DVinfo has a lens rental company sponsor but if so then check them out as well.)
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Old January 14th, 2011, 04:25 PM   #7
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I've got the 24-105 kit lens and a few manual nikon & pentax primes - enough to shoot most basic stuff - but I generally rent anything else I need. I'm lucky to be about half an hour from though, and if I don't want to drive that far they'll deliver to a local shop about 5 minutes from my house for $15 more, so that certainly factors into the decision. If I had to add shipping to each rental I might feel differently.

I'm sure there's a full formula, taking into account resale value, tax benefits, etc - you could calculate to tell you how many rentals is worth it vs. buying, but I didn't bother with that. The lenses I rented last year alone would run well over $10k in total to buy, so even if I could come out ahead over a year or two by purchasing I have to look at the opportunity cost of outlaying that much money up front. So my basic guideline is that if I don't have an upcoming project that will more than cover the cost of the lens I'm better of renting it when needed. Borrowlenses has really been expanding their video-specific inventory as well, so for me the same applies to things like Zacuto rigs, sliders, etc.
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Old January 17th, 2011, 09:34 AM   #8
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Renting lenses is a very hard question. If you have a place you can trust, with a large invertory, then there is actually no reason not to rent, except if you are busy like me. I baught a used 28-70L, and am very happy with it. Before this I used to rent, and had to compromise at times when the rental place didn't have what I needed. Now I'm free... I have a lens at home, meening I can take any job, anywhere, no matter the notice. Just yesterday I was able to take a job the same day the client called, couldn't do that with rental.
In turms of cost... it really depends on the amount of work you have and the time it takes you to return the investment, and the number of jobs you can't except due to shortages at the rental place.
I do still rent excesories like a rig, monitor, multiple mics (necks and specials), because that's an investment I won't think will return itself, plus (when concerning the rigs and mounting excesories) they are only needed for this type of camera. A good quality lens, on the other hand, can stay with you even after you change cameras, because prosumer interchangeable lens video/cinema cameras are getting more and more popular.
That's my two cents.
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