By Seth Watson
When some friends asked me to photograph their wedding I knew I needed to rent some gear. I’m a Canon amateur shooter, but for a wedding I was going to need some really nice stuff. I used Lensrentals.com for a wedding last year and my experience was so good that my initial instinct was to rent from them again.
Lensrentals is a great outfit with lots of selection from cameras to lenses, batteries to memory cards. Their equipment arrives in very well-packaged boxes with extra tape to re-tape the box and a pre-printed return address label. The biggest downside is that in order for them to make sure the gear gets to you on time, it requires a couple extra rental days to compensate for shipping time. For me this meant a 4-day rental period. On top of this there’s a fairly substantial shipping charge.
I wanted to rent the Canon 70-200mm f2.8L IS II ($78 4-day rental with insurance), Canon’s new 85mm 1.4L IS ($69.00 4-day rental with insurance), and a Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT ($41.00 4-day rental with insurance). All together with the $35 shipping cost and sales tax it was set to cost me $234.28. Not bad for the gear I was getting, but then someone told me that PhotoPro is getting into rental gear.
So I walked into my favorite camera store 🙂 and asked them about renting and if they had any of the items I wanted. They were friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable, as usual. They had the Canon 70-200mm f2.8L IS II and the Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT, but not the new 85 1.4L IS. They reserved the two items for me. When the wedding arrived the 85mm came in from Lensrentals a couple days early. And man is it a gorgeous lens! My wife wouldn’t let me keep it though! The rental cost for the lens was $98.14 including insurance and shipping.
Friday before the wedding I went into PhotoPro to pick up the other items. Just like they promised they were there ready to go. I filled out the paperwork (including insurance). They even sent me on my way with a cool diffuser that I didn’t have personally, no charge. The lens came in the standard case as did the flash. And they charged me for a 1-day rental even though I picked it up Friday afternoon and wouldn’t be able to get it back until Sunday afternoon. All told it was $40 for the lens and $18 for the flash including both insurance for a total of $62.06. That’s a savings of $74.08 for the same gear!
At the wedding everything worked perfectly and I was able to get some great shots for my friends. If I ever have a need in the future I’ll be checking PhotoPro first.
If you need a special prime lens, Lensrentals might be the best way to go. But if you need one of the staple’s like Canon’s 70-200 F2.8L IS II, walk into Photo Pro and see what they have. You might just save some money and we all like that!
Shot taken with the Canon 70-200 f2.8L ISII rented from Photo Pro