6 merits of renting photographic gear over buying

by Matt Golowczynski

Posted on 2016-04-01 (2285 VIEWS)

Most of us would love to own pro-grade bodies and a series of different lenses to go alongside, but the reality is that we can't always justify such purchases – particularly if it’s not intended to be our everyday shooting kit.

Renting presents an economical way to get the gear you want in your hands without the expense of buying outright, and it comes with a range of additional benefits. Here are six top reasons to rent the gear you want.

1) Always get the newest kit
Need a camera that can shoot 4K video? Or fancy seeing how capable the latest AF tracking systems are against moving subjects? Renting allows you to do just this, whether you're planning on switching system, upgrading your kit or simply out of curiosity.

2) Get exactly what you need for a specific occasion
Whether you’re planning on going on holiday and you need a superzoom lens, or you’ve been asked to shoot a wedding and need a pro body and wide-aperture optic, renting gives you access to the kit you need for only as long as you need it. Why splash out three or four figures for a lens if you only need it for a few days? If you know you’ll be limited by your existing kit and don't want to take the risk of it letting you down, renting it instead makes far more sense.

3) Try before you buy
You can begin to appreciate the weaknesses or a camera, lens or another accessory after you’ve used it for a while. Perhaps you discover the camera you’ve long been saving up for is too noisy at higher ISO settings, or a lens is softer than you expected at wider apertures. Whatever the issue, renting lets you test drive your gear of choice without any further commitment, meaning that you can assess the performance to find out if it’s exactly as you expected – and if it is, you can buy it in confidence!

4) Superior protection
If you're taking your gear somewhere unfamiliar, you may require a better level of protection or support than what you’re normally used to. Renting a more suitable bag can help you to carry all the kit you need with the right level of protection, whether it’s something flexible for a trek or a something sturdy for travelling, with additional benefits such as weather protection via an included cover.

5) Broaden your skills and boost your creativity
If you’ve never used a tilt-and-shift lens or a more exotic piece of lighting equipment, you may not have much idea of how it works or how it can affect your photography. After all, how are you supposed to get familiar with something that you can't justify buying? By renting a piece of unfamiliar equipment, you can get used to working slightly differently, learn new skills or hone your technique, and develop a better understanding of what this can bring to your images.

6) No maintenance
Subject to constant use and picking up general wear and tear, the performance of a camera or lens can change over time. Sometimes lenses need to be looked at more closely by a specialist or camera firmware may need to be updated to rectify any potential issues, and this can be a hassle. Renting allows you to leave these issues and all the cleaning and checking to someone else so that all you need to focus on is using it for your photography.



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