I Dare You!

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I'm considering buying a Canon 5D Mark II camera with Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM Lens. But before I buy, I would like to rent it to try it out.

Where can I rent camera gear online, and have it shipped to me without me putting down a large deposit? This would be within the US of course, and I'm hoping it's not too expensive either. I've seen local shops that rent it for $100+ US dollars per day!

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4 Answers 4

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Two big ones I'm aware of :

Both feel reasonably priced to me, have good reputations (that I'm aware of), and have large selections (esp for Canon). If you're close to one of their physical locations, you may be able to avoid shipping costs.

Some other options:

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I've used Lensrentals.com several times for testing and playing with lenses before purchasing them. Their service is fast and the prices are reasonable. Many times they shipped the lens earlier than planned, so I got an extra day free. Just realize you will need to sign for the delivery, so plan accordingly. –  Benjamin Anderson Jul 5 '11 at 19:05
I have used BorrowLenses and LensRentals; both are excellent. One time FedEx failed to deliver my rental on time, and LR shipped another 1 overnight so I could have it on time (and they extended my rental period for 2 days for free). Excellent service –  Joe Nov 25 '13 at 16:52

As rfusca answered, borrowlenses and lensrentals are probably the most popular. $100 per day for a Canon 5D Mk II LOCALLY is not expensive to me. That is quite reasonable. Lensrentals.com has a minimum of a 4-day rental period, but it will also require you to pay for shipping, but in the end the daily rate will be less then if you rented locally at $100/per day.

It sounds expensive to rent, but renting lenses is a great idea and almost always worth the expense in my opinion. If you are not familiar with a focal length, renting it first is really the only way you are going to be certain that is what you need. If you already have a Canon body I would just rent the lens, and just buy the new body. If you are upgrading from an older body, you will almost certainly find value in the 5D Mk II, being Canon's most popular professional model.

As a side note, my local shop in Minneapolis charges $150/day to rent the 5D MK II, and I use them all the time for lens rentals and find the prices very reasonable.

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I just recently used http://www.thelenspal.com/. If you happen to be shipping to Florida they ship next day via UPS ground which saves a few bucks. They do not charge a deposit.

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I have never rented a lens but planning to rent one and I found following sites.

  1. Adorama: http://www.adoramarentals.com/ OR
  2. Penn Cameras: http://www.penncamera.com/

Good Luck

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Penn cameras is now out of business -- the link redirects to Calumet, who have a rental program, but in-store, not online. –  mattdm Feb 25 '14 at 21:04
And Adorama is also in-store, at least now -- not sure if they ever did online. –  mattdm Feb 25 '14 at 21:05

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