I have been shooting with my T2i for quite some time, and have an assortment of lenses (nothing anywhere near the L's). I recently purchased a T3i bundle (includes the 18-55 IS II and 55-250 IS II), thinking I would keep one body and return/sell (depending on which one I am keeping) the other. I know, it's not really an upgrade from T2i to T3i, but I got a great deal for T3i and lenses, and then some more.

Now that I have two sets of cameras and lenses, it got me thinking. Before selling/returning the extra body and lenses, I was thinking about the road less-travelled (or is it not so less-travelled?), renting the gear - but since renting my equipment to a total stranger is - even if possible - a risky option, I was thinking about leasing my gear to the equipment renting shops, but I have some questions around it -

  1. Are there renting shops that allow individual owners to lease their gear to be rented? I prefer a local shop so I can go drop the gear myself (and make an excuse to check out the other gear), but would also consider mailing if it is a reputed shop. I live around Columbus, Ohio.
  2. Is renting my own gear this way a good idea at all? I will, of course, get the insurance on the gear I will be renting, but what are the drawbacks? I would like to hear any issues faced by someone who did try this.
  3. The T3i and the kit lenses, not being the most sought after body or lenses, would people even want to rent this kind of gear?

Any advice/insight on this is greatly appreciated.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't know for sure, but in my limited experience with rentals, they only do high end stuff, and they'll probably want to own the equipment they lease for insurance, depreciation reasons for a start. \$\endgroup\$
    – MikeW
    Dec 22, 2012 at 8:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Agreed. Rental companies rent to professionals, and so they need the best equipment and they need to be confident of its reliability. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 22, 2012 at 12:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MikeW: You may be right, the depreciation part did not occur to me. I was only thinking about the insurance. Btw, I did see a couple of places like lensrental and barrowlenses renting the T3i body, but all these were online only - that's when I thought about renting my gear. \$\endgroup\$
    – Chait
    Dec 22, 2012 at 17:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Caleb: I did not intend to return just the body, I never hinted that. I don't think the retailer would even accept the partial return. I have my own lenses for the T2i, so if I return, everything in the kit goes back. \$\endgroup\$
    – Chait
    Dec 23, 2012 at 23:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Caleb: None taken - I thought "selling/returning the extra body and lenses" (emphasis added here just to make the word stand out) would mean not just the body or the lenses. Nevertheless, it's all good - sometimes it's good to know what I see is not necessarily what others see too. \$\endgroup\$
    – Chait
    Dec 24, 2012 at 3:53

2 Answers 2


Most cities have one or two photo shops that rent some gear, but selection is generally poor, and I guarantee they won't rent other people's equipment. Too much liability and accounting to make it worthwhile.

This is also the reason why I wouldn't recommend you try renting the equipment on your own—especially since the lenses are not high-end pro lenses (I presume). Most people that have a consumer-level Canon SLR already have a consumer-level lens to use with it. Some would pay some money to rent a nice (read: $1000+) telephoto lens, or an expensive prime, but not to rent another short variable aperture zoom.

You're better off (financially, and stress-wise) selling your old bodies and lenses, and saving the money or putting it towards that nice new 70-200 you've had your eye on :)

I've worked my way from a low-end SLR and lens about 15 years ago to a full pro system by making some good deals on Craigslist. Enjoy the lenses you have, sell the ones you don't use, and save up to buy some good quality lenses you desire. Leave the renting to BorrowLenses, LensRentals, etc.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the your input, @geerlingguy - you did make some valid points. I guess I will be selling the body and lenses I don't intend to use then. \$\endgroup\$
    – Chait
    Dec 23, 2012 at 23:00

would people even want to rent this kind of gear?

No. The two lenses you mention can be bought new for about $200 and $250 respectively, and used on eBay for around $50 and $150. Anyone who can afford an SLR in the first place can probably cover the cost of a lens, and most people will have at least one kit lens like the ones you're interested in renting out.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I recently sold a 18-55 IS II, nearly unused, for $80 and was happy to get that much. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 23, 2012 at 14:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the insight, Caleb. Perhaps I should have been a little more clear, I was more leaned towards renting the body and the lenses together (that is, if it is even an option) than renting the lenses alone. As my other comment suggests, I did see a couple of online places I saw the T3i for rent, that's the reason I even thought about it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Chait
    Dec 23, 2012 at 22:54

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