Home » Best Camera Lens Rental Sites

Best Camera Lens Rental Sites

Introduction

Face it, creative equipment is expensive. And budget constraints become a key limitation in many of our creative journeys. Not to mention, not every city has a physical camera shop, much less one offering rentals. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be that way, and there’s an excellent alternative. Rental houses, a submodel of sorts from traditional camera stores. And they’re the ideal way to try an expensive or unusual piece of gear firsthand before leaping to invest. Plus, they’re also a reliable means of picking up new items at a bargain, since many offer buyout options or used marketplaces. As such, it’s no wonder why rental houses and their accompanying sites are a keepsake in the industry, despite the online trends.

Today’s rental companies have made it easier than ever. Most offer local pickup and next-day delivery options with flexible lengths to offer maximum flexibility and little hassle. So getting virtually any lens, camera body, and even support tools like tripods or sliders is entirely pain-free. With that, we’ve taken a look at the options around. And we’ve compiled a list of the best camera lens rental sites on the present market.

 

 

9 – Aperturent

Aperturent-logo

Shipping: the US only

Rental Insurance: Yes, optional

Rental: First come, first serve

Rental Length: 3-90 days

Aperturent has locations in Atlanta, Dallas, and Washington. And they provide a wide range of cameras, lenses, lighting, and video support tools and accessories. Together, totaling 60+ brands in their arsenal primarily focused on the latest releases. They offer a streamlined and more minimalistic approach to renting, where they display recommended accessories, specifications, and user manuals. But, they don’t include hands-on reviews of previous renters. Even so, they have a comprehensive collection of items, many of which are high-end releases. And they’re a solid option if you’re not looking for something from a past generation.

 

8 – Camera Lens Rental

Camera-Lens-Rental-logo

Shipping: the US only

Rental Insurance: Yes, optional

Rental: First come, first serve, or reservation

Rental Length: 1-90 days

Local pickup: Yes

Camera Lens Rental is an Indiana-based rental house providing gear to consumers since 2007. They specialize in Canon, Nikon, Sony, and DJI products. But, they also offer various lighting accessories. Even so, they were the first company to begin renting DJI drones, first starting in 2013. And they now offer the most comprehensive fleet of drones, besting rivals in this regard. As such, they’re the go-to option if you want to add ariel capabilities to your repertoire.

 

7 – KITSPLIT

KITSPLIT-camera-gear-rental-site

Shipping: No. Local pickup only

Rental Insurance: Yes, required

Rental: First come, first serve

Rental Length: 1-90 days

KitSplit is a creative community of 60,000+ photographers and filmmakers. Together, they have hundreds of millions of dollars worth of equipment ranging from cameras, lights, rigging, and support tools. And this communal marketplace connects local creatives and equipment. In many ways, it’s the Airbnb approach to rental houses for photographers. And it becomes a means for creatives using the platform to turn casual unused gear into a viable income source. But for renters, it’s an excellent resource to find nearby equipment. And it’s easy to search too. They also vet each profile to ensure transparency. So it’s a solid option to consider if you want something the same day or you want to connect with local talent.

 

6 – ShareGrid

ShareGrid-logo

Shipping: No. Local pickup only

Rental Insurance: Yes, required

Rental: First come, first serve

Rental Length: 1-90 days

ShareGrid is another excellent resource to find local gear. Here, you can also find local photographers lending their cameras, lenses, drones, and video equipment. And every profile is peer-reviewed to help build trust. But, like KitSplit, gear availability will vary based on your location. So it’s ultimately a resource that’s best for those in large cities rather than small towns. Even so, ShareGrid is an excellent option to find local supplies and connect with like-minded creators. And it’s another place to check first before going to a more expensive agency, especially when you want something the same day.

 

5 – Lens Pro To Go

Lens-Pro-To-Go-logo

Shipping: the US only

Rental Insurance: Yes, optional

Rental: First come, first serve, or reservation

Rental Length: 1-90 days

Local pickup: Yes

LensProToGo is a Massachusetts-based rental house created by pro photographers and filmmakers. And they’re experts in the gear they provide, with quite a deep, intricate knowledge at that. They offer a full range of rentals, including cameras, stabilizers, lighting, audio, and video support equipment. And in total, they supply tools from 120+ brands. Interestingly, they can also ship directly to hotels, great for those traveling without hassling with gear on flights. Other bonuses include a used gear section to purchase discounted items.

 

4 – Pro Photo Rental

Pro-Photo-Rental-logo

Shipping: the US only

Rental Insurance: Yes, optional

Rental: First come, first serve, or reservation

Rental Length: 4-90 days

Local pickup: Yes

Pro Photo Rental is a Colorado-based rental provider with a wide range of photography, videography, audio, lighting, and support accessories. Together, totaling 160+ brands in their whole fleet focused on both new and old releases. They were the first camera rental company to go online in 2007, leading the trend. Like Aperturent, they, too, offer a streamlined and minimalistic approach. But, they up the standard by providing more nuanced products like scrims, flags, silks, and even clamps. Plus, they have a clever fair pricing strategy that goes against the norms. They call it the “Anti-Day Rate,” which incrementally adds a set amount each day rather than the full base rate. Thus, it removes any need for renting longer only to reach a new discount tier. They’re also one of few rental houses that ship gear using Pelican cases, ensuring they arrive safely. Other bonuses include a used gear section to purchase discounted items.

 

3 – Adorama Rental Company

Adorama-Rental-Company-logo

Shipping: the US only

Rental Insurance: Yes, optional

Rental: First come, first serve, or reservation

Rental Length: 3-7 days

Local pickup: Yes

Adorama Rentals is a subdivision of Adorama, a New York-based camera superstore. They offer a full range of still and video equipment from lenses to camera bodies. But, they also have lighting, grip equipment, and even laptops. In total, they supply over 200 brands. So it’s unlikely you won’t find what you’re looking for here. Other bonuses include a Try before you Buy program and long-term rentals.

 

2 – BorrowLenses

BorrowLenses-logo

Shipping: the US only

Rental Insurance: Yes, optional

Rental: First come, first serve, or reservation

Rental Length: 3-90 days

Local pickup: Yes

BorrowLenses, founded in 2007, is a long-standing rental company. They’re dual based, with headquarters in both California and Massachusetts. But, they have nine pickup locations via partners on the east and west coasts, so you can pick up items at your local camera store, if applicable. Otherwise, they offer a wide selection of cameras, lenses, lighting, audio, and production support systems ready for delivery. Most of the products are newer, but each has honest reviews from customers, which pictures showing the possibilities. Other bonuses include a used gear section to purchase available products.

 

1 – Lensrentals

lensrentals-logo

Shipping: the US only

Rental Insurance: Yes, optional

Rental: First come, first serve, or reservation

Rental Length: 3-90 days

Local pickup: Yes

Lensrentals is the largest online rental company in the industry. Based in Tennessee, they offer a full spectrum of photography, videography, audio, support, and lighting tools from all the leading brands, including the main players like Sony, Canon, and Nikon. They also have plenty of offerings from high-end brands like Leica, RED Digital, and ARRI. Plus, they provide both old and new camera bodies and lenses, all with honest reviews from past customers. Other bonuses include purchasing options and a year subscription plan. But, given their mere selection and diversity, it’s clear why they remain the go-to option in the industry. Many rental houses focus exclusively on particular releases. Overall, given they have many niche products that are lacking on rivals. And those products make the difference.

 

What to Look For Camera Lens Rental Sites

Local or Online Rental

If you live in a major city, chances are there’s a rental house nearby offering in-person pickups. Doing so will provide several advantages over online retailers. Firstly, you can save money on shipping fees. Secondly, you can avoid any mishaps that occur while shipping, such as lost or stolen packages. But, if you don’t live in a major city and haven’t access to a local camera store, online retailers are the only means. At least the process will be far more convenient and streamlined than going to a physical store.

Rental insurance

Rental insurance is critical, especially if you plan on traveling with the gear, as it’s impossible to control life itself. And you can quickly find yourself under a sudden downpour or some other circumstance that does irreversible damage to the gear. In these cases, you don’t want to be fully liable for the damage. So it’s wise to opt for rental insurance, especially when renting higher-priced items that would otherwise kill the bank account. The last thing you want is the financial burden of paying full-priced unwillingly. Thankfully, most of the rental companies have rental insurance options as an add-on, so it’s easy to pick it up. But, if you opt for their rental insurance, read the terms and conditions prior as not every provided offers the same coverage.

Reservations

Reserve the items as far in advance as possible. Most of these sites have tremendous turnover, and other photographers will book items for several weeks consecutively. So the further out you can reserve, the better the chances of it being available when needed.

Timing

Give yourself enough time to compensate for delays on arrival. Expect postal mishaps due to inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances. So it’s best to avoid scheduling a rental the day you’re leaving for a trip. Instead, consider renting it a day beforehand. Having an extra day will also ensure you have time to inspect and test the gear for any issues so you can follow up with the provided if needed.