Try before you Buy!!

It is an exciting time to be a photographer.  New digital cameras and gear are appearing in the marketplace every month.   Vendors are seeing what the others are doing and try to better their competitors by modifying the camera sensor, add video, increase the captured image size by another megapixel or just improving upon the overall capabilities of their cameras or lenses.

Most of us look from afar and wonder what it would be like to shoot with that new prime lens from Canon or Nikon or try out some new gear for personal or business use.  Well, these dreams can come true by renting the equipment.

I recently listened to an episode of one of my favorite podcasts; TWIP or This Week in Photography.   Frederick interviewed the owner, Roger Cicala of  During the interview it came to light that Mr. Cicala website's name is a misnomer.  His company actually has over 2,500 lenses, 120 camera bodies and hundreds of accessories available for rental.

How do you do it? The website has the details but you basically find the item you want, sign up for an account, proceed to their “checkout” and submit your order.   They will validate and process your order and ship it to you via UPS.  When you are done you just ship it back via UPS to them using a new shipping label.  They will let you know if they received it back safe and sound.

How much does it cost? Not as much as you think.  A lot depends on what you are renting and the length of the rental time.  Also, you can pay an optional waver fee which reduces your costs if you were to damage the product.    For example, if you wanted to rent a Canon EOS 5D Mark II Infrared modified camera.  It would run ‘approximately’ $170.25 (waver price) for 4 days with around a $25 shipping charge for 2nd Day Air.  Again, their website provides the specific details on the entire process and associated costs.

So look into the rental option from LensRentals or other reputable groups.  It’s a great option for trying out new gear or for those interested in wanting to try gear before buying it.  Note…  Check out the TWIP website for rental discounts from LensRentalsTWIP is found at