Review of LensRentals.com

Rent a DSLR lens
Lens Rentals

There are now several companies dedicated to renting lenses and other photography gear to photographers.  Borrowlenses.com, LensProToGo.com, Lensrentals.com, etc.  These companies charge you a fee for you to rent a lens for a few days or weeks and ship the lens right to your door.  When you're done with the lens, you ship it back to them and pay the rental.  It's a convenient system.

I've never needed to rent a lens before, but since I recently switched from Canon to Nikon, I haven't yet replenished my lens lineup completely.  So a client called and asked me to do a shoot that would require a super-telephoto lens.  Rather than raiding my bank account, I decided to rent the lens.

Knowing that there are several competing companies in this space, I first shopped by price.  Surprisingly, they are all about the same as far as price goes.  The difference between the companies was usually only a couple dollars.

All else appearing equal, I chose Lensrentals.com because I have read their photography articles for several months and have been extremely impressed with their dedication to knowing their gear inside and out.  If you haven't been there yet, go to lensrentals.com/news and you'll find a wealth of gear information that you can't find anywhere else on the web.

Since Lens Rentals had won my trust a bit, I decided on picking them… and I am glad that I did.  Here's a review of my experience.

Benefits of Lens Rentals.com:

  • On the description page of every lens they rent, Roger gives his “real person” review of the lens.  It's a brutally honest review and concise enough that it makes sense.
  • Lens Rentals includes a return shipping label so you won't be surprised with any shipping fees.
  • Gear was in perfect working order.  Exactly what I expected.
  • They offer damage insurance at a pretty reasonable cost.  Made me much more comfortable with the whole proposition.
  • Shipping time to get the lens to me was pretty quick–two days.

The cons:

  • The website is pretty 90's.  It's clunky and hard to use.  As a former owner of a web design firm, it's a total pet peeve.  There were a few times when using the site that I found myself asking, “What do I have to do next?”
  • No RSS feed of the wonderful Lensrentals.com/news feed.  I would really like one.  There is some good stuff there.

Have you tried Lens Rentals before?  Do you prefer another company?  Never rented a lens yet?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.  Some day I might try out the other companies and then I'll review them as well.

8 thoughts on “Review of LensRentals.com”

  1. I love Lensrentals.com and their photography blog. It’s great to hear that you had a positive experience with them too.

    I can add some pros to your list like…

    -They stock Sony lenses and gear which some other companies don’t (I’m Canon but a friend uses Sony and really appreciates that).

    -They email you when they get their gear back so you don’t have to sweat bullets wondering if that expensive lens made it back in one piece.

    -They claim they’ll replace gear with another copy if you’re not satisfied with the copy they send. I’ve never had to take them up on that but it’s nice to know.

    Great company, and great post. Thanks!

  2. yep, used lensrental to try out the olympus 12-60. i am thinking of renting the olympus e5 very soon since i can’t afford that either. 🙂 the experience was great and i would recommend it.

  3. I wish I knew about this 2 years ago Lol The black magic pocket cinema camera for $75 for a whole work week!!! A GH4 with 4K for a whole work week for $88!!!!

  4. Unless the website has been updated since this review, I disagree with the cons. The website was very easy to navigate. I never had to ask myself “what to do next”.

    The customer service is AMAZING. I’ve used them probably 9 or 10 times now, I was stranded in the airport from a overseas trip and was not going to make my order back on time. I got in contact with them and they extended my order for an additional 2 days, free of charge. Another great thing is that they take both credit cards and debit cards. Which might seem like a no brainer but some companies I’ve done business with in the past only accept credit cards. I had to cancel my credit card, 3 days before the transaction of my new order. They got in contact with me imminently and was able to process my new information within maybe 30 seconds.

    I never have a wait time when calling them and have never had any bad experience with the while dealing with customer service via phone. They have a wide variety of lenses and equipment. I’ve rented tripod stabilizers, soft box kits, and many man y many lenses. The coolest feature, in my opinion, about the site, is that at the end of your rental if you love the product so much, you have an option of buying the lens from them at an extremely low rate. Though you would’t be getting a new lens, is defiantly does’t disappoint. As the review above says, it operates great and never have I ever had an issue. I’m sure I’m leaving some things out, but these are just the basics of what this guy missed…

    10/10. Defiantly recommend.

  5. I just had a bad experience with lensrentals. They shipped my Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 AF-S VR II with a loose mount, it really made for a uncomfortable shooting situation at the wedding I was shooting. I told the staff about the problem and initially got a response that they would check in to it and get back to me. I waited a month to hear back until I wrote back today asking if they forgot about my rental. The response was, they had emailed me back weeks ago telling me that it was fine and acceptable for shooting with, and they were sorry that i didn’t get that email.

    I get all my emails. Sorry they are stored in the cloud, so that doesn’t really work for me as an excuse. So not a good customer service experience for me.

  6. I am quite new to the photography industry, I actually love going on safari trips and noticed that everyone that does go on a safari make sure that they have the best camera and lens to capture every beautiful scene in the wild. Now I have once rented a lens at Africa Photographic Services but would like to know if lensrentals.com would be able to have me rent a lens even if I’m all the way in South Africa? Can I maybe have their website URL and would you say that they beat almost any price at the moment?

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