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Review: My Experience With Renting Camera Gear From LensRentals

Lensrentals serves hundreds of thousands of photographers and videographers annually.

I’ve been using LensRentals’ service for a long time. My experience renting with LensRentals has always been very positive. Thanks to LensRentals, I can get the gear I need for very specific photo trips and projects quickly while saving money. LensRentals is one of the largest camera gear rental companies in the US. This article reviews the Pros and Cons of renting camera and video gear from LensRentals. I’ll also describe the benefits of renting with them, including fast shipping, peace of mind through insurance, LensRentals promo codes, and more.

LensRentals Discount Code

You can use my special LensRentals promo code just for being a Skyblue Overland reader. Use the discount code, SKYBLUELENS15 at check-out to receive a 15% discount on your order. It can be noted that LensRentals promo codes don’t apply to the total cost of your order; shipping and insurance fees are not included.

My Experience With Renting Camera Gear From LensRentals

Photo of the first, second and third flatirons in Boulder, Colorado’s Chautauqua Park, using a Canon EOS R5 and RF 28-70mm F2 L USM lens rented from LensRentals.com in December 2020. Photo by Brian Hamilton

Photo of the first, second and third flatirons in Boulder, Colorado’s Chautauqua Park, using a Canon EOS R5 and RF 28-70mm F2 L USM lens rented from LensRentals.com in December 2020. Photo by Brian Hamilton

Renting camera gear is a great option to save money and test new gear, but there are many things to consider. Sometimes, a once-in-a-lifetime event call for an extra special camera and lens. Lensrentals offer all the camera gear needed for such an event without all the price in exchange for an expiration date. If you’re a photographer or filmmaker, you know that photography and videography gear is a huge investment. Purchasing new gear can be stressful at times. Sometimes, you may purchase an item and shortly afterwards you regret it, realizing that you don’t really use that particular piece of gear that often.  We all can’t afford to have an extra special camera and gear with out-of-this-lifetime price tags. That’s where renting a camera or lens comes in.

What if there was a way to not break the bank, not get loaded down with gear that may collect dust, and still get the best possible pictures for that special photo trip or project?

I’ve been renting camera gear for years and renting with LensRentals over the last couple of years. I recently rented a camera and lens for one of my winter hiking adventures in Colorado. I decided to give the new Canon EOS R5 camera and the Canon RF 28-70mm F2L USM lens a try. Since I needed a relatively fast lens for its mixture of near-wide angle and slight telephoto views.

Brand new, the Canon EOS R5 would have set me back $3,899 – however, the rental price through LensRentals ended up being $193.00 total for 7 days! A new Canon RF 28-70mm F2L USM lens costs $2,999, but the rental price through LensRentals was only $127 for 7 days. And that was before the 15% LensRentals discount code.

With this LensRentals review, we’ll be looking at the entire LensRentals experience. I’ll be describing the major pros, including: customer service, camera gear selection, insurance, order process, how to ship with LensRentals, and some additional benefits. I’ll also break down a few cons that I found through my experience renting with LensRentals, including: potential for deposits on all rentals and a higher possibility for specialty gear deposits.

LensRentals: Pros of Renting

There is a substantial list of pros when considering renting photography gear from LensRentals. Here is a list of positives resulting from my experiences with LensRentals.

LensRentals Has Awesome Customer Service

LensRentals will not only work with you to coordinate a pickup if needed but will also help hunt down nearby drop-off points and grant rental extensions as needed, though fees do apply.

While they generally expect you to return your gear on the day you’ve planned, sometimes life happens. In those cases, LensRentals offers a generous Rental Extension policy. There’s a 10% discount on the extension as long as it’s requested before the return date. These extensions are dependent on LensRentals having additional stock to meet the needs of other photographers who may have requested the equipment you’re renting. If you know you’re going to be late, the best thing you can do is contact their helpful customer service center. For maximum convenience, their online chat system allows you to instantly connect with a representative every day from 9 am to 5 pm CST.

My experience with LensRentals’ customer service was awesome. I had a concern on my order, everything was fine on all ends. The communication with them was just simple and easy! They are very knowledgeable about the equipment.

 

Another Photo of the famous flatirons in Boulder, Colorado’s Chautauqua Park, using a Canon EOS R5 and RF 28-70mm F2 L USM lens rented from LensRentals.com in December 2020. Photo by Brian Hamilton

Another Photo of the famous flatirons in Boulder, Colorado’s Chautauqua Park, using a Canon EOS R5 and RF 28-70mm F2 L USM lens rented from LensRentals.com in December 2020. Photo by Brian Hamilton

LenRentals Has A Huge Selection of Equipment

Of all the online rental companies in not just the USA but in the world, LensRentals has the largest selection of gear to choose from. Videographers get just as much choice as photographers here, with most of the latest Blackmagic, Arri, and Red equipment. Underwater photographers will enjoy the selection of underwater housings. Aerial photographers have not only drones but additional batteries and other accessories to choose from. They carry camera bodies and lenses in every format from every major manufacturer, and all the audio, lighting and support accessories needed to cover any kind of shoot, from a family holiday card to a commercial advertising job.

Plus, LensRentals have tons of photography lenses! Are you interested in taking the new Leica APO-Summicron-M 50mm f/2 ASPH. Lens for a test drive but don’t want to pay over $4,995? A week-long rental will run you just under $343. If you’re looking at a lens you’re not entirely familiar with, Roger’s Take (Founder and CEO of LensRentals) offers LensRentals lens reviews on the pros and cons of a given lens as well as additional equipment like teleconverters and batteries recommended for your gear! In the case of the Leica lens, Roger notes that he has some weekend experience. He notes that this is easily one of the most optically perfect lenses he has ever used, if not THE best. He continues to note that if you’re a casual user who really enjoys a 50mm lens, and you aren’t looking too spend that much, and still wants outstanding image quality, the “regular” Leica 50mm f/2 Summicron or the Zeiss ZM 50mm f/2 Planar will be right up your alley.

Interested in doing some wildlife photography during your next trip to the Rockies? You might try the Wildlife Kit for Canon. LensRentals’ Wildlife Kit for Canon includes everything you need to capture great wildlife photos in a variety of scenarios. It includes the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II, Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II, Canon 5D Mark IV, LensCoat LensSack Jr.m a Spare Canon LP-E6N Battery and two (2) SanDisk SDXC 128GB Extreme Pro 170MB/s UHS-1 U3. The Canon 100-400mm II us perfect for capturing wildlife in the distance. Its manageable size, quick autofocus, and clear image quality make it an ideal lens for a safari trip. The Canon 24-70mm II is great choice for pretty much any other photo opportunity that doesn’t require a long zoom. This includes landscapes, and portraits of critters, friends, and family. The Canon 5D IV with a 30.4MP Sensor, Dual-Pixel autofocus, RAW capabilities, and 4K video, LensRentals is pretty sure this camera will cover you from sunrise to sunset no matter what you’re shooting. The LensCoat LensSack Jr. is provided just in case you need a bit of support to get those higher shutter speeds or just want to let your arms rest. It’s perfect for use in a safari jeep or on just about any surface.

Maybe you will be going scuba diving in Tahiti or Hawaii? LensRentals’ Ikelite Canon 5D IV Underwater Camera Kit provides the Ikelite 200DL Housing and Canon 5D IV Kit is a full-frame DSLR, 16-35mm lens, and underwater housing combo that’s waterproof down to 200 feet. Key features include: 30.4MP full-frame CMOS sensor; DIGIC 6+ image processor, DCI 4K capture at 29.97 fps, Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 III lens included, Small Ikelite housing waterproof down to 200 feet. Canon’s 5D Mark IV is the heart of this kit. A 30.4 megapixel sensor and internal 4K capture should give you everything you need for most underwater situations. Canon’s flagship wide-angle zoom boasts a fast autofocus system and an advanced optical formula. Its bright, constant f/2.8 aperture is great for shooting underwater, where it’s often darker than you might imagine. This rental includes the Ikelite DL 28mm and 50mm Port Extensions to accommodate this lens.

Perhaps your next adventure involves a newborn? LensRentals’ Canon Professional Newborn Photography Kit includes the best Canon glass to capture every detail and produce beautiful portraits of newborns and families. It includes: the Canon 50mm f/1.2L, Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro, Canon 5D Mark III, 42 in. 5-in-1 Reflectorand a SanDisk SDXC 128GB Extreme Pro 170MB/s UHS-1 U3. The Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro is perfect for documenting every little eyelash and toenail, while the Canon 50mm f/1.2L is known for rendering flattering portraits that pop. LensRentals chose the Canon 5D Mark III for this package because its amazing low-light capability is great in window-lit environments.

You can check the entire LensRentals camera gear catalog here.



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LensRentals Insurance Options Give You Peace of Mind

LensRentals offers Lenscap protection plans as optional add-ons that limit your liability in the case of a covered event causing damage or total loss of products on your rental. Simply stated, if a covered event occurs to equipment protected by a Lenscap plan, your liability is limited to the lesser of the cost to repair the equipment or 10% of the replacement cost.

In the case of the standard LensCap protection plan, the pre-existing Lensrentals Damage Waiver program is replaced and covers accidental damage to our equipment as long as you can return it to us. In the case of damage, your liability will never exceed 10% of the replacement cost of the damaged equipment, no matter how expensive the repair actually is.

LensCap+ protection plan offers the same protection as the standard plan for accidental damage to the equipment, but additionally protects you against certain situations that make it impossible to return the equipment that you rented. For example, if the equipment is stolen, you’re covered. If the equipment is now at the bottom of the ocean after it fell overboard. You’re covered. Tornado? You’re covered. Did it fall off your helicopter? You’re covered. Just like with the standard Lenscap plan, your liability is limited to 10% of the replacement value of the covered equipment.

The LensRentals Order Process is Straightforward and Easy

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I found the LensRentals website to be streamlined, making it intuitive and very easy to understand. Once on their site, you’re immediately invited to search and select gear. Instead of needing to navigate several windows, the rental prices are immediately calculated with shipping and insurance costs included. I like it that there is no signup required to shop. You don’t have to open multiple windows to find hidden information either. LensRentals lays it all out in front of you!

Billing doesn’t go through until the day the order ships. And with the tracking information provided, you can check on the status of your order during each step of its transit.

Shipping is Fast, Save and Reliable

You can choose from two well-known shipping companies: UPS and FedEx. Both are known for providing quality service nation and worldwide. FedEx 2-day shipping for most orders costs $25 and FedEx Standard Overnight is $38. UPS Ground shipping costs $30 and UPS Next Day Air is $63. It’s worth exploring which company has more distribution centers in your area if you’re not near a major city. While FedEx and UPS are generally careful with all packages, every LensRentals camera and lens delivery comes in a hard case for maximum peace of mind.

Returning The Gear Couldn’t Be Easier!

Return shipping is included in the shipping price. When returning your rental equipment, LensRentals provides shipping labels and instructions both on the box and on the label itself. That way, you can seamlessly return your package without needing to hunt down a printer or other service. If necessary, you can also get in contact with LensRentals to organize package pickup too!

LenRentals Keeper Program Let’s You Purchase The Gear

The LensRentals Keeper program is one of the main benefits that gives LensRentals an advantage over competitors like BorrowLenses. By providing credit towards the purchase of rented gear, it makes more economic sense to take expensive equipment on a test drive. Instead of relying on second-hand reviews, you can test a possible lens purchase on an actual job.

LensRentals’ Keeper program, like everything else about the website, is streamlined for ease. Rather than needing to contact them, you can pull up your rental online for an instant Keeper price quote on eligible (most) items. From there, you can simply select the “Buy Now” button and LensRentals bills the card on file! The purchase price varies based on age of rental equipment.

 

Photo of the famous flatirons, just south of Boulder, Colorado, using a Canon EOS R5 and RF 28-70mm F2 L USM lens rented from LensRentals.com in December 2020. Photo by Brian Hamilton

Photo of the famous flatirons, just south of Boulder, Colorado, using a Canon EOS R5 and RF 28-70mm F2 L USM lens rented from LensRentals.com in December 2020. Photo by Brian Hamilton

LensRentals Has LensRentals HD, An Annual Program for Free Shipping

Once you’ve decided LensRentals is right for you, I strongly recommend looking into LensRentals HD. The HD program offers a service similar to Amazon Prime where, for $99/year, you get free shipping nationwide!

Unfortunately, given the distances and expenses to and from Alaska and Hawaii, residents of these two far-flung states aren’t eligible for the program. However, anyone within the 48 contiguous states can get free standard shipping as well as 50% off on overnight shipping through FedEx and UPS. Regardless of whether you need a single teleconverter or a telephoto prime lens, you get free shipping through the program!

LensRentals Staff Are Incredibly Knowledgeable

In the interest of expediting your rental, LensRentals provides brief yet expert reviews from founder and CEO Roger Cicala. Each review breaks down the value of each potential addition to your kit. The FAQ section also addresses the most common queries from renters, and sometimes there are even reviews from their YouTube channel.

LensRentals also offers equipment-oriented blogs and podcasts covering everything from shutter noise comparisons to more technical posts like field curvature in specific focal lengths. They also post Interviews with staff, experts, and even customers to give you a complete picture of the LensRentals experience.

LensRentals: Cons of Renting

While my LensRentals review and experience has been very positive so far, I want to highlight a few potential disadvantages. Each one revolves around extra money that you may not have budgeted for. That being said, LensRentals reviews are overwhelmingly positive!

Thanks to their wide variety of services and insurance options, LensRentals rarely requires a deposit. 99% of all rentals go through with no additional funds; no card holds, or money taken out only to be returned in 7-10 business days. However, deposits are sometimes required if your identity or address can’t be verified.

Unfortunately, because deposits are so rarely needed, LensRentals reviews don’t always mention them. When they do occur, people may be upset or surprised that they have to put money down. In my experience, when reading through the reviews, unanticipated deposits are a major reason for most of the negative LensRentals reviews.

Conclusion

My experience with LensRentals is extremely positive overall. The company has done as much as it can to make renting photography and videography equipment online a streamlined process with minimal surprises.

I love being able to have professional gear delivered to my door, potentially overnight if need be. And if I happen to fall in love with a rental, the LensRentals Keeper program is the best possible transition to ownership. While you can gamble on not purchasing insurance, I find their LensCap and LensCap+ programs well worth the peace of mind they provide in case of mishaps.

Also, thanks to LensRentals discounts, I can regularly get reduced rentals and shipping charges. After your first rental and, if you rent a few times a year, signing up for the LensRentals HD program is the best way to save. Just 3-4 rentals cover the cost in terms of shipping fees.

While LensRentals’ online reviews are overwhelmingly positive, I’d look carefully at the negative ones. Most satisfied customers don’t bother to leave reviews; problem customers, on the other hand, are quick to critique a service. I noticed that the customers who were surprised by deposits or disappointed by shipping issues beyond LensRentals’ control were quick to place unfair blame on the company.

I hope this LensRentals review has been helpful and you take advantage of the LensRentals promo code, which you can access through this link. Let me know how it works out for you or if you have any questions!

For more information on the LensRentals Process, checkout this video: