short bio: was founded in 2006 by a Memphis, TN based anesthesiologist who wanted to try camera equipment before he bought it. 8 years later, we are one of the largest and most successful online rental houses with over 50 employees fulfilling thousands of orders every week!



User linh_nguyen asked that we provide a special discount code for todays AMA. Great idea! REDDIT10 will get you 10% off your next order, just leave it in the "Special Instructions" field and we'll apply it.

[Edit] We're out of time for today. Thanks so much to everyone who participated, this was really fun!

If you have any more questions, email them to [email protected]

Comments: 274 • Responses: 87  • Date: 

jseliger42 karma

Thanks for providing so much information through your blog. That resource is unlike any other anywhere on or off the Internet.

Also, I find your posts too short!

LensRentals25 karma

I'll let Roger know you want longer posts. He'll love that!

elihusmails34 karma

I rented a Nikon 70-200 a few years ago and I felt we bonded. Could you tell me if he's still doing well? I've since bought my own but they say you never forget your first love.

LensRentals38 karma

If you have an order number, I can see where he is today.

elihusmails29 karma

Order #55519

LensRentals66 karma

I'm afraid that lens is no longer with us. After 1 1/2 years of faithful service, he was put out to pasture in late 2011 establishing a permanent residence in Denver, CO.

Sdison27 karma

Has his golf swing improved in retirement?

LensRentals49 karma

Dramatically. His handicap dropped 10 points in 3 years.

Diddlebop4 karma

What do you guys do with the lenses that are retired? Do you catch people going through the company garbage?

LensRentals2 karma

All of our old equipment gets sold on

tommcgphoto32 karma

I bought a 17mm TS lens from you guys that is sharper than any other copy I ever used, can I send you all my other lenses for maintenance and adjustments instead of Canon haha?

LensRentals32 karma

We don't currently offer that service because we can't handle more than we have ourselves right now. But we might in the future!

hieuhef25 karma

Not a question, but I wanted to thank you guys for stocking all sorts of gear outside of Canon and Nikon. Being a Sony shooter ain't easy, but you guys take care everyone!

LensRentals29 karma

Thank you for the positive feedback! Over the years there was actually some internal wrestling over that (and other smaller markets). In the end it was decided that even if we don't make as much off of that stuff, we just like the idea of it being readily available, because we dig it too.

MileyCylon24 karma

  • Since you guys are, effectively, a third-party repair service, I assume you don’t have access to any “official” repair guides for lenses or your other equipment. Once you’ve identified a lens as being decentered (or what have you) how do you know what to do to fix that? Are there a few basic optical and mechanical principles that you can just learn and then apply over and over? Or is it trial and error with every new lens model that comes through the door?

  • Once the Sigma 50/1.4 comes out will you do a blog post comparing the offerings in the 50–55mm range? It seems like everyone’s hoping the Sigma will be an affordable alternative to the Otus 55/1.4. (You should throw my $90 Canon 50/1.8 into the mix just for giggles.)

  • How often does Roger’s anesthesiology background come in handy?

LensRentals45 karma

  • As you suspected, the repair department was started from scratch with little to go on. We cobbled together what limited library of technical manuals we could, made some good hires, and started tearing lenses apart. A few lessons were learned the hard way, but the repair team is pretty great at this stuff now. A lot of it is based on intuition; we call Aaron "The Lens Whisperer" because he can often tell you which screw is faulty just from hearing the focus ring grind a certain way.
  • You can count on it.
  • Every time we prep someone for surgery.

hansloas21 karma

What is the most common lens rented?

LensRentals34 karma

It's either the Canon 24-70 or 70-200 IS II. We have so many of those.

poortographer10 karma

Seems about right. How many approximately?

LensRentals30 karma

Hundreds of each.

echo_6116 karma

Have you considered opening a repair service? It appears from many blog posts that you guys beat the factory service teams on quite a few lenses.

Can you order factory parts directly, or do you have to buy them from a third party?

LensRentals20 karma

We have considered it, and eventually we may offer that service, but we currently don't have the capacity to service any other lenses besides our own.

Parts depend on the manufacturer. Nikon parts are right out, which is unfortunate.

CraigularB16 karma

  • How often do you guys get back a completely mangled piece of equipment? Like it looks like someone ran it over several times after throwing it down a rocky cliff.

  • How strict are you on the quality of your rental equipment?

  • What qualifies an item for being retired out of circulation?

  • What have you seen a lot of rental requests for recently?

You guys are awesome!

LensRentals35 karma

We don't get completely destroyed equipment back all that often. Occasionally we do get some cringeworthy returns. We had a bear attack a Nikon D4 and 600mm lens last year:

The mount came back bent on both camera and lens.

We've also had a Canon 50 1.0 come back shattered:

The customer got to keep the lens after it was paid for. It's always sad to see a legend die.

We aren't too strict about cosmetics unless something looks ugly. But we are very strict about mechanical and optical functionality. We have a full tech staff that inspects all lenses using test charts, and thoroughly inspects and resets all cameras. Everything gets checked at least twice before it goes back out on an order.

Assuming it's still functioning properly and hasn't suffered catastrophic failure, our gear stays in stock for two years or 24 rental weeks, whatever comes first. This can vary based on demand. For example, the D700 is still very popular and can't be replaced with new stock. The Hasselblad H4 system broke on almost every rental, so we got rid of all of it before the two years was up. It just doesn't travel well.

Lately, everyone wants the new mirrorless stuff, like the Sony a7/a7R and Fuji X-T1. Canon is still very popular, even the older 5D2. Nikon D800s go out frequently. The 4k Black Magic and the Movi thing are big video requests.

echo_617 karma

Assuming it's still functioning properly and hasn't suffered catastrophic failure, our gear stays in stock for two years or 24 rental weeks, whatever comes first. This can vary based on demand. For example, the D700 is still very popular and can't be replaced with new stock. The Hasselblad H4 system broke on almost every rental, so we got rid of all of it before the two years was up. It just doesn't travel well.

Interesting about the Hasselblad. Was it being shipped in something like a pelican case, or the standard cardboard plus copious foam packing LR uses?

LensRentals11 karma

They were in Pelican cases. I think those camera bodies spent more time at Hasselblad repair than they were on rental (their service is pretty slow, and across the sea). Mostly sensor issues, but occasionally it was something electronic.

csl5124 karma

What was the story on that 50mm f/1.0?

LensRentals9 karma

Yeah, he just dropped it. Super boring. Super expensive.

asad1372 karma

our gear stays in stock for two years or 24 rental weeks, whatever comes first.

What criteria did you use to determine these cutoffs?

LensRentals8 karma

It's not really that strict. It's an average of what we've determined keeps the gear fresh. It maximizes not only our rental use, but also keeps the gear valuable for resale.

njp13115 karma

Can I have a job? I'm an awesome photojournalist just looking for a change.

LensRentals22 karma

Are you willing to relocate to Memphis, TN? I mean, we're hiring.

kermityfrog4 karma

How about opening another branch in Canada or Europe?

LensRentals11 karma

No plans for opening any international locations any time soon; however, if you're near the Canadian border we can ship to a FedEx store in a US border town for you to pick up. Taking the equipment abroad is no problem, it just needs to ship to and from a US address. If you don't live near the border, then use LensRentals Canada, they're way cool.

jimsf13 karma

There is a runaway trolley barreling down the railway tracks. Ahead, on the tracks, there is a pile of Canon gear tied up and unable to move. The trolley is headed straight for it. You are standing some distance off in the train yard, next to a lever. If you pull this lever, the trolley will switch to a different set of tracks. Unfortunately, you notice that there is a pile of Nikon gear on the side track. You do not have the ability to operate the lever in a way that would cause the trolley to derail without loss of life (for example, holding the lever in an intermediate position so that the trolley goes between the two sets of tracks, or pulling the lever after the front wheels pass the switch, but before the rear wheels do). You have two options: (1) Do nothing, and the trolley wipes out the Canon gear on the main track. (2) Pull the lever, diverting the trolley onto the side track where it will wipe out the Nikon gear. Which is the correct choice?

LensRentals27 karma

(3) We push a large crate of Tamron Rokinon gear onto the main tracks. Phew, that was a close one.

bakuretsu2 karma

Awww poor Rokinon! I really like my little Rokinon 8mm fisheye on the NEX-7. Fun little lens at an awesome price (I think $250 or so?) if you don't mind manual focus and aperture. Personally I think the manual lenses are more fun, but maybe I'm a masochist.

LensRentals2 karma

Our quarrel with Rokinon isn't image quality, that is good for the price. The issue is durability. They are mostly cheap plastic inside, even the screws; that low build quality contributes to a very poor rent/repair ratio (almost 1to1). Rokinons/Bowers/Samyangs make more sense for someone trying to own lenses on the cheap than for renting.

echo_6111 karma

If you could only have one body, and two lenses, what would they be?

LensRentals26 karma

Personally, I'd take a 1DX, 85 1.2, and Sigma 35 1.4. That would cover most of what I shoot for the next several years.

digital_evolution8 karma

That would cover most of what I shoot for the next several years.

Which is?

Bonus - what would you go-to gear be of choice for multiple scenarios out there?

I've used your site for two years, over $2,000 spent and no regrets, +1 +1

LensRentals8 karma

I mostly do portraiture and fashion stuff. I should probably rethink my answer, though. I shoot tons of roller derby, too, usually with a 135 and 200 f/2 as well. So if I had to reduce to only two lenses, I'd go with the 24-70 II and 70-200 IS II.

[deleted]2 karma


LensRentals11 karma

Who do you shoot for? I'm league photographer for our local Memphis ladies. I usually take a 1DX or 5D3, three 600EX speedlights with ST-E3 transmitter, and a 35, 85, 135, and 200 with me. I used to use just a 70-200, but I discovered I was mostly shooting at 135, so I switched to primes (mostly because I can--job perks!). I'm shooting Quad City Chaos in Toronto in two weeks, and I'm thinking about shooting without lights (SCARY in the Bunker), just because I don't want to travel with light stands. We'll see. I've shot natural light here at home, but now I use the three speedlights on low power just to give highlight and shape, and a little fill. Worked well at B-Cup this year, so I'd like to keep that up for the rest of the year. I plan on traveling to Evansville and Charleston for D1 playoffs, and, of course, just up the road to Nashville for champs. I like primes for the size and aperture flexibility, but most derby shooters I know prefer the convenience of zooms. Sometimes I'll bring a 50 if I know I'm going to be shooting center track a lot. Usually the 85 is fine, though. I would really only do natural light with a 1DX, maybe a 5D3, unless your venue has plenty of light. In Milwaukee it was ISO 3200, f/4, 1/250 or so. That was pretty decent ambient for natural light shooting. I'd shoot a 6D in that any day. And TTL is totally unnecessary for derby.

Oh man, I could write this comment ALL DAY.

lennox_mcdough10 karma

  • Would you consider setting up a business like that within the EU?

  • AFAIK you don't offer anything for medium format or large format (dig or ana)? Is there no market for that? I would guess since that equipment is much more expensive photographers would rather rent that than buy it.

  • Is there a manufacturer/brand that stands out for its product quality in terms of consistency of optical quality or long-term durability?

  • Can you tell what your major group of clients are: Hobbyists/Enthusiasts, Semi-Pros or Professionals?

  • Is photography to you rather an art or a craft?

LensRentals15 karma

I'll tackle these one at a time.

  1. I would LOVE to go international, if only for personal reason. As far as I know, LensRentals has no plans to go outside the US.

  2. We do currently offer the Pentax 645D system. We used to carry Hasselblad digital but discontinued it after tons of reliability issues. Other MF options are on the table, but not very seriously. There's not enough demand for any LF gear, digital or otherwise.

  3. Zeiss makes consistently high quality, durable lenses. They're worth the money.

  4. Most of our customers seem to be hobbyists and amateurs, but we do have plenty of working pros as clients as well. We've even had some big Hollywood types rent from us.

  5. Interesting question. I view it as a union of the two. I am constantly honing my craft to make better art.

echo_617 karma

Please thank Roger for posting the Sigma vs Canon 24-105mm comparison today!

LensRentals3 karma

Will do, he appreciates the feedback!

echo_616 karma

Do you have an ETA on the Sigma 50mm Art?

LensRentals9 karma

At WPPI they told us April. We'll see.

echo_613 karma

Hope so! That lens looks like it'll be a hot item like the 35mm.

LensRentals6 karma

If it's anywhere near as good, it'll be amazing.

linh_nguyen6 karma

What's the strangest rental story you have? And any summer discounts for the reddit crowd because I am rather curious about the new Panasonic 42.5, heh.

LensRentals19 karma

Well, we had the bear attack, which was entertaining. And the adult industry occasionally rents gear from us. We've had some interesting footage come back on various memory cards. Not usually as interesting as the rap video footage we get, though.

And I'm curious about that new Panasonic, too. I'll be testing that some today.

linh_nguyen2 karma

wait, what bear attack and rap video, haha

LensRentals29 karma

You asked, we listened. Linh Nguyen's requested discount code is now active! REDDIT10 will get any customer 10% off their order.

stevenfrijoles23 karma

REDDIT99 doesn't seem to be working, please fix that

LensRentals39 karma

LR_admin here: can confirm, will never work.



LensRentals30 karma

If you can give me your order number, and your order hasn't shipped yet, we can apply the discount.

TheOneJoe2 karma

How long is the discount good for? I'm going to be starting production on a indie documentary in May.

LensRentals6 karma

The REDDIT10 discount code is good for orders placed up until May 1st. So, place that indie-doc order before then.

LensRentals5 karma

We're out of time for today. Thanks so much to everyone who participated, this was really fun!

If you have any more questions, email them to [email protected]

dwt1105 karma

How would you say you are better than BorrowLenses?

LensRentals24 karma

Roger just came by and wanted me to add something to the list.

Item 6. Roger.

LensRentals24 karma

Let me count the ways!

  1. We're family owned an operated. The Cicalas built this company from the ground up and still run it. BorrowLenses just got bought by Shutterfly.

  2. We have the largest selection of gear available, as well as the largest inventory. We don't have everything, but it's pretty close.

  3. We thoroughly test everything twice before it goes back out on rental. Lenses are tested for resolution and mechanical functionality by trained technicians on ISO 12233 test charts and sometimes with Imatest. Cameras are reset, firmware updated, sensors cleaned, and all functions tested for proper operation. And everything else gets tested as thoroughly as possible.

  4. We offer a shipping program called LensRentals HD. For $79/year, you get free standard shipping for a full year, and half price overnight shipping, for any order you place in that year. Want 40 tripods? Free shipping. Want a crate of bricks? Free shipping. And we use FedEx, based here in Memphis with us, so our shipping is fast and reliable.

  5. Our customer service is impeccable. It's the one thing besides the thorough testing that we take the most pride in.

SodaAnt3 karma

What combination of products you have would best approximate a crate of bricks, just in case I wished to test this?

LensRentals6 karma

The closest thing would probably be an order for 3,000 Canon LP-E6 batteries; although, it would cost you about $51,000 for one day.

dwt1102 karma

Thanks for the reply! Another unrelated question, but lets say you had a D7100 and had to pick a "holy trinity" combo that doesn't cost several thousand dollars, what lenses would you pick?

LensRentals5 karma

Definitely the 35 and 50 1.8s. And for something wider, I don't know. Maybe the 28 1.8? It's not really that wide on DX. I wish there was a 24 1.8.

CookieOfFortune5 karma

Should I rent the 75 1.8, 35-100 f2.8, or 35-100 f2.0 with an adapter for SXSW this weekend?

LensRentals9 karma

Definitely don't get the 35-100 f/2. Those adapters make everything painfully slow. You'll be cursing after all the shots you missed while the camera was still trying to acquire focus. I would personally take the 75, but I like being limited. The 35-100 f/2.8 is a great choice.

Lem2385 karma

Several questions:

-Do you ever offer discounts for rentals in the summer months? -Do you ever have any special deals for people who have rented with you or bought $x amount from you? -If you were using the 5D3 and only had one lens with it, what would it be?

LensRentals11 karma

  1. Not usually. Summers are our busiest time, so discounts aren't usually necessary to drum up business, but you never know!

  2. It never hurts to ask.

  3. Tough call. Probably the 50 1.2.

MrSelfDestruct_XIII5 karma

Long time user here, no questions, just wanted to thank you for the awesome service you provide and the cheapest prices around. You guys need a Chicago office!

LensRentals5 karma

Thank you for being a great customer! I do love Chicago. A branch there would be pretty awesome.

Barrrrrrnd5 karma

I have to say that you guys have the best customer service I have ever experienced. When you made the transition to Fedex from UPS (or vice-versa) I tried to get a lens shipped to the wrong carrier's store. Your CS person re-routed that lens mid-shipment, and sent me a different copy, over night, so that I got it before my trip. She did this all before I even had to ask.

Unbelievable. I shunt all business that I can to you guys whenever someone I know wants to try out a lens. Thanks for being awesome!

LensRentals6 karma

Believe it or not, most of our staff came from various forms of production work and know what it's like to be on the other side; therefore, we deal with our customers in the way we would want to be dealt with.

ericpeeg4 karma

So, what piece of equipment in your inventory do you think more people should experiment with, or learn more about, than it currently does?

LensRentals16 karma

Tilt-shift lenses should be on that list. Expensive, special use, and difficult to master. They make you slow down and take your time, something I would like to see more of in this fast paced digital photography world.

kilgoretrout1114 karma

I accidentally rented a 5dMK2 instead of a MK3 a few weeks ago. Only time i've ever been disappointed when opening one of your boxes! Thanks for all that you do.

LensRentals8 karma

Sorry to hear that, shoot us a pm with your account email and we'll see what we can do.

Luxowell3 karma

Do you see large influxes of people who have no real idea what they're doing? Everyone has to start somewhere, but I would imagine you see a lot of that.

LensRentals8 karma

We do get a lot of calls and emails from people just starting out. Most people want to know what the "best" gear is, but I do my best to guide them to only what they need. We also get plenty of calls from seasoned professionals just looking for second opinions. It's all across the board these days.

ericstc3 karma

I understand you've had difficulty in the past with optical tests on the supertelephoto lenses due to the required working room. How do you ensure that they are in-spec before shipping?

LensRentals3 karma

We do the best we can with test charts of various sizes. We do have some new equipment coming later this year that should let us test everything at infinity, including those big supers. I don't have any more details about that equipment, though.

Ro-bearBerbil3 karma

I rented a few lenses a Canon 6D when taking a vacation last year going to the beach. I noticed in the fine print that the insurance doesn't cover any sand at all. I was extra careful and there was no fuss when I returned the equipment just for the record, you guys are awesome.

I get the issue with small particles potentially severely messing up everything from the camera to the lenses, but I didn't see anything about the tiny particles from color runs being excluded from the insurance. This is even after tons of equipment was ruined from these color runs.

What's all the hate for sand about? :) Is it the insurance company that just hasn't caught up that they shouldn't be insuring the color runs as well?

LensRentals7 karma

We have a blog post about Color Run damage:

As it states at the bottom, we consider it negligence, which isn't covered by the damage waiver.

Lem2382 karma

If you want to shoot a color run, how would you recommend doing this? I have a CPS membership- is it worth just sending it in afterwards or should I just leave my good camera at home?

LensRentals9 karma

I would either get a camera you don't care about and won't have to pay to repair, like an old film body or something, or get an underwater housing or something similar. Or tape the crap out of your camera and lenses and hope for the best.

Or be that guy with the giant supertelephoto blocks away creepin' on everyone.

Lem2381 karma

I would use our 500 (thanks to buying it a couple of years ago from you guys) but I'm thinking it might be hard to run with. :)

LensRentals3 karma

Rent a sherpa! If only we carried them.

TH3_Captn3 karma

Have you ever gotten any note worthy glasses to fix? Like glasses made out of human bone or something interesting?

LensRentals14 karma

Sorry for the confusion, but we only rent camera lenses; however, our company's founder, Roger Cicala, is a huge history of photography nerd and he owns a collection of antique lenses made from various odd types of glass (though no human bone AFAIK). You can find much of his collection featured on his blog, here is a recent article he wrote about the strange mineral Iceland Spar.

HR_8938_Cephei3 karma

I've used you guys in the past, I rented a Canon 17-40 which convinced me to buy one and rented a 300mm f/2.8L IS to shoot a race at Road America. I recommend you to everyone I know!

Anyways I'm just getting into wedding photography now. What would be your one or two must have lenses?

LensRentals7 karma

I shoot mostly primes these days, so for weddings I take a 35 and an 85. But if you're into zooms, the 24-70 and 70-200 are the go to lenses.

rjcarr2 karma

But there are like 10 versions of the 70-200. I'm mostly interested in the 70-200 f/4 IS ... any reasons I should look elsewhere?

LensRentals3 karma

If you want to shoot video, the 70-200 f/4 IS often has trouble with the manual focus slipping. Same with the non IS version. We've had them come fresh from the factory with this issue. If you're just shooting stills, I think you'd be perfectly happy, except in the darkest venues. That extra stop really comes in handy sometimes.

timtooltime3 karma

I've never had a truly wide angle lens before. Which should I try first? I use m43 but loads of adapters. So any lens is under my disposal.

LensRentals6 karma

I'd start with the Panasonic 7-14mm f/4. That's about as wide as you can get on m43 without going fisheye.

misterdhm2 karma

Is there a particular make or model that tends to be more or less reliable than the rest? (i.e. If I'm looking for a camera, which one won't break?)

LensRentals7 karma

Good question, here's a relevant article Roger threw together last summer. tl;dr most of the popular name brand stuff holds up pretty well

GmanKC2 karma

Two questions: 1) Is Roger a CRNA or physician? 2) I have a Zeiss 15/2.8 reserved for later this month - can I take advantage of the 10% REDDIT discount?


LensRentals5 karma

He's a physician. And if you give me your order number, we can apply the discount.

GmanKC3 karma

You guys ROCK - I'll send the order # via email to support. And with that kind of generosity, I'll send my order to buy a CZ100/2MP ZF.2 to Lens Authority later this week if you still have the new one in stock (sorry B&H <g>).

LensRentals2 karma

Glad we can be of service!

enhues2 karma

I'm going to Sedona, AZ next week and am considering renting a TS lens for doing some landscape photos. I've never shot with a TS lens before (save some handheld lensbaby stuff), but most of the photos I take usually involve a decent amount of setup time and manual focusing. Do you think four days is enough time to get a good handle on how to set up good TS landscape shots?

LensRentals4 karma

Yeah, I think that would be enough to get comfortable with it. I would read up about Scheimpflug principle a bit before you get the lens, just to be familiar with what's going on with respect to the tilts.

skinnymidwest2 karma

What do you do with lenses after they've seen their last day? Is there a sacred graveyard for old broken lenses? Also.....could you take a picture of it?

LensRentals5 karma

Well, usually we try to part them out if they're completely dead. Here's a bin of scratched front elements we've replaced:

kaybeesee2 karma


LensRentals5 karma

That is how you would fix that, BUT! Be careful not to overtighten. You can break those collars by going too tight, and if you tighten them unevenly, you can introduce tilt to the barrel, which will affect image quality. When in doubt, just use gaff tape.

bnguyen2272 karma

Thanks for being an awesome company. I rented a Canon 135mm f2.0 from you guys to see what the hype surrounding that lens was and fell in love with it. Saw it on sale at LensAuthority and picked one up for myself!

Then just last week, I rented a 400mm f/5.6 from your company to use for a surf trip in Costa Rica, and as I was shooting with it, I had my camera bag stolen out of our van, which contained my 135mm :(

My question to you guys is: if you had the opportunity, would you ever try to pick up a Canon 1200mm f/5.6 just because?

LensRentals4 karma

Well, we did buy that Sigma 200-500 f/2.8, so anything is possible!

arachnophilia2 karma

but only for canon. what if us nikon users want to rent the bazooka for the weekend?

LensRentals11 karma

No one has rented the Canon version except for the first week we had it. If you wanted to rent the Nikon version, we could consider it. Or you could rent a Canon body and just make the weekend rental fee close to an even $1000.

trippingman2 karma

Are most rentals for expensive lenses, or do the low priced lenses get rented at the same rate?

LensRentals3 karma

Most rentals are for the popular lenses. 24-70s, 70-200s, 16-35s, 100 macros, 35/50/85 primes, etc. 5D2s and 3s are also very popular. The cheaper stuff goes out pretty frequently, mostly from people seeing if they want to buy them.

imscammer152 karma

How do you determine the rental rate of an item?

LensRentals4 karma

We have some fancy, proprietary formula we use that takes into account retail price and demand and little bit of magic fairy dust.

DigitalSpeed2 karma

Hi, just a small suggestion =).

One thing that would be really helpful if you had someone take some real world test shots with the lenses and throw them up so people can have an idea what kind of shots the lenses are able to produce or have a flickr page and separate sets into lens categories.


At least a description on the lenses from your guys's first hand experience on how well they focus at x range in y settings and such. A small tip would be great =).

LensRentals6 karma

We try to add takes to as many product pages as we can. Unfortunately, having the largest inventory means we don't have time to give each product that kind of attention. But for most items, there are usually plenty of sample shots already out in the world. If you ever have questions about a specific lens, give us a call or email, and we'll be happy to tell you what we know.

StackShitThatHigh2 karma

How do you feel about the brand wars? Are there any discernible differences?

LensRentals4 karma

Eh, with actual products, they're all pretty much the same. This year brand X is great. Next year brand Y will one up them. Wash, rinse, repeat. But what does change things in the long term is support. Canon support is better, faster, cheaper than Nikon. And that counts for a lot. If you can't get parts to do some minor repairs yourself, and every repair costs three times the competition, and repair times are three times longer, where do you want to put your money?

LensRentals4 karma

Also, when it comes to brand wars, we are the winners.

GeorgianDevil2 karma

Why is your logo of a guy jacking off and waving at me? I know it's supposed to be an L and an R and camera on tripod but...

LensRentals4 karma

Can't un-see. Oh well, looks like we're changing logos.

ericstc2 karma

Do you have any speculation on Canon releasing a Big Megapixel body (30+ MP) sometime in the next year or two? Will Canon aim to match or exceed Sony's Exmor in dynamic range and color depth?

LensRentals3 karma

Who knows? I don't see why they wouldn't do something to compete with Nikon's D800, but I usually leave the speculation up to the rumor sites.

osivert2 karma

Any reason why you guys don't rent out the Sigmonster 300-800mm? You seem to have everything else except that lens.

LensRentals7 karma

osivert1 karma

Sorry, I meant to say in EF mount!

LensRentals3 karma

I'm not sure why we don't have it in Canon mount. I'll let our inventory manager know, though. Maybe we just needed more demand for it.

Maxion2 karma

Have you thought about opening up LR overseas, in Europe?

There are NO decent rental houses servicing Scandinavia.

If so, hire me!

LensRentals7 karma

Sorry, but not anytime soon. We got burned on our last international experiment, but never say never.

LunaticNik2 karma

Whats the worst damaged lens you've received back from a customer?

LensRentals5 karma

Kind of a tough call. We've had a few that have come back completely destroyed. There was a heartbreaking Canon 50 1.0 with all the glass shattered in it. Or there was the time a grizzly bear attacked a D4 and 600mm.

la-fours2 karma

Any plans on expanding your inventory of medium format bodies/lenses?

LensRentals7 karma

We've considered this quite a few times. We had the Hasselblad H4 system for a while, but it had too many reliability issues to remain viable for rental. We have talked to Phase One, but we're a bit leery to jump into their very expensive system. I would personally love it if we did carry something more than the Pentax 645 system, because I want access to it. But at this time, it's not in the cards.

Lem2382 karma

Is there ever a possibility of renting laptops?

LensRentals7 karma

No, sorry. But you might like or

echo_613 karma

How about more sporting optics? I just placed a rental for a spotting scope from you guys, and would love to order binoculars, and a spotting scope tripod as well!

LensRentals3 karma

We haven't had much demand for spotting scopes and binoculars, but I'll let our inventory manager know there's more interest!

DerekWildstar2 karma

  1. Is the Sigma 35mm really good that you'd go for an off-brand lens? Why?
  2. What would be your top two zoom lenses for the D1x?

LensRentals7 karma

  1. Yes, it is really that good:

  2. If you mean the Nikon D1x from around 2001, probably the Nikon 17-55 and 70-200 f/.28. If you mean the Canon 1DX, then the Canon 24-70 II and 70-200 IS II. Nothing sharper out there in those ranges.

dvflameartist2 karma

Has there been much interest in renting vintage glass? Nikon AIS, Minolta, Canon FD, etc? With cameras like the A7, all these lenses are very much valid again.

LensRentals6 karma

We've had a few people ask about FD glass, but vintage gear presents lots of challenges, mostly in repairs. Parts are hard or impossible to find, and some manufacturers won't service them. It would be hard to keep a consistent stock as well. We have a couple of legacy lenses, like the Nikon 28mm f/1.4 and Canon 50 f/1.0, but I don't foresee us adding anymore unless demand greatly increases. Fortunately, many of the lenses you mention are cheap on the used market.

altmann1 karma

I'm curious if you have any tips on making sure focus range (not sharpeness) is good on a lens. I have an old 50mm 1.8 and I have some attention on whether it's under or over focusing. Maybe it's my own insanity but do you ever test for things like this and what do you recommend?

LensRentals3 karma

Are you referring to front or back focus? We use a LensAlign to test for that and set microfocus adjustment when necessary. We don't do this for rented lenses because there's way too much variability for us to calibrate our whole stock. But a lot of us will personally do this when we take gear home for our own shoots.

altmann2 karma

Good to know. I'll have to see if any of my pro friends have this. That's exactly what I was referring to!

LensRentals4 karma

We also rent them, if you need. Or you could easily set up your own with a yardstick. Or you could try this link:

echo_611 karma

Would you ever expand to Canada? is good, but they don't stock any 3rd party lenses!

LensRentals3 karma

We used to deliver to Canada, but customs was killing us. If we ever do international business again, it'll be with a location/inventory in the country; however, we have no plans for that right now. Sorry.

speel1 karma

Pretty sweet concept I never seen this until now. I recently purchased a t2i and haven't bought any new lenses yet. What would be a neat feature is maybe he I have <insert camera> show me compatible lenses and maybe an example picture showing what the lenses is capable of. But awesome idea I hope you guys make stacks on stacks!

LensRentals3 karma

We do actually have some selectable filters available on our rental pages to help you find lenses that are most compatible with your camera. They're on the sidebar to the left.

practical_lobster1 karma

Do you offer any underwater lenses? I'd love to be able to take photos of my family as we prowl the sand banks together, looking for scraps.

LensRentals1 karma

We do not rent underwater housings at this time (we're considering it); however, our good friends over at Lens Pro To Go do.

atomicthumbs1 karma

Ever have any plans to rent older lenses for film cameras? I'd love to try out a Pentax 67 300mm f/4 ED, but I can't justify paying $1200 for one.

LensRentals2 karma

Sorry, we don't have any plans to offer older film gear. We can't reliably get consistent copies or repairs. But you may want to bug the folks over at Acme Camera Company ( They carry some film gear for rent. I'm sure they'd welcome suggestions for new items to carry.

Ciph3r_1 karma

I was pretty bummed when I moved from within 5 minutes of your Cordova location over to the Nashville area in '08 and lost my savings on shipping. I was stoked to discover that you'd opened a location in Brentwood. When did that occur? Has business done well enough to linger around Nashville? Looking forward to borrowing some amazing glass this summer.

Thanks for the awesome services and content.

LensRentals2 karma

We opened the Nashville location last year as an experiment, so far it's working out.

reddust1741 karma

What wide angle lens should I rent as a beginner for my trip to Europe (London, Barcelona, and Paris) in May?

LensRentals3 karma

What camera body do you have?