Where to Rent Equipment: Los Angeles | FD Photo Studio
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Where to Rent Equipment: Los Angeles

Where to Rent Equipment: Los Angeles -wrongron, Wrong Ron, Studio Photography, shot at FD Photo Studio, sharegrid, Samy's, rental stages, rental equipment, Photoshop, Photoshoot, paid photography, modeling, Los Angeles, lensprotogo, History of photography, gear, FD photo studio, fashion photographer, DTLA, borrowlenses, blog

*cover photo is taken by @aestheteandderive. Models @randanelson & @ninanelson.

 

Have a budget camera but want to switch to a more expensive, top line professional equipment? It is always a good idea to test each camera/lens first before spending tremendous amount of money on it. Luckily, in Los Angeles there is at least 4 places you can rent from. Their prices vary, their conditions differ but none the less each place has great deals that you can take advantage of and try out your new soon to be owned toy.

To draw a comparison among 4 rental places let’s pick a camera and lens that we would check prices for. Let’s say you want to shoot a portrait. You are about to get the best what Canon currently offers – Canon EOS 7D Mark II  camera, their true A-list gadget. You also want to get a great lens to shoot portrait – a short telephoto lens with an ideal portrait focal length with which you can easily move in close and take shots with no distortion or move further from the model and  and take full body shot yet still be close enough to communicate with model. You also want to choose the telephoto lens that is a prime lens so you can benefit from wide apertures it offers. So you choose Canon EF 85mm f/1.8.

Where to Rent Equipment: Los Angeles -wrongron, Wrong Ron, Studio Photography, shot at FD Photo Studio, sharegrid, Samy's, rental stages, rental equipment, Photoshop, Photoshoot, paid photography, modeling, Los Angeles, lensprotogo, History of photography, gear, FD photo studio, fashion photographer, DTLA, borrowlenses, blog Where to Rent Equipment: Los Angeles -wrongron, Wrong Ron, Studio Photography, shot at FD Photo Studio, sharegrid, Samy's, rental stages, rental equipment, Photoshop, Photoshoot, paid photography, modeling, Los Angeles, lensprotogo, History of photography, gear, FD photo studio, fashion photographer, DTLA, borrowlenses, blog

Now that you have chosen the desired kit, let’s shop around and get great rental rates.

BORROWLENSES.com

One of first online rental equipment shops, Borrowlenses has great variety of cameras, lenses, gadgets for video and options to purchase used gear.

Where to Rent Equipment: Los Angeles -wrongron, Wrong Ron, Studio Photography, shot at FD Photo Studio, sharegrid, Samy's, rental stages, rental equipment, Photoshop, Photoshoot, paid photography, modeling, Los Angeles, lensprotogo, History of photography, gear, FD photo studio, fashion photographer, DTLA, borrowlenses, blog

Here is a few words about the history of the company:

“Starting with just a handful of lenses in 2007, two best friends – Mark Gurevich and Max Shevyakov – set out to make gear more affordable through rentals. As word spread about our services, Mark and Max made every effort to hire great, local talent who are dedicated to great customer service and deeply passionate about photography and videography. For years since, customers have entrusted the BL team to provide an ever growing selection of cameras, lenses, lighting kits, audio equipment, and production support systems that are suitable for both novices and pros. The most important element of our success has always been our dedicated, passionate, and loyal customers, who we consider to all be “silent partners” of BorrowLenses.com. We have been entrusted by our customers to take us along with them on their photographic and cinematic journey.”

With Borrowlenses you have to rent an item for at least 3 days.

For Canon EOS 7D Mark II the price is  $54 for 3 days, $78 for a week, the price goes lower for more rental days. You also have an optional coverage against damage that costs $8.09 for 3 days. 3 days is enough to test a camera and you want to play it save so you choose 3 day option and add coverage.

For Canon EF 85mm f/1.8. the price is $20 for 3 days, with  $2.15 coverage against damage.

For the delivery there are few options: You can either pick the item for free from their office (only in San Carlos, CA or Waltham, MA), ship to the nearest UPS location or ship it to your home (depending on how fast you want it the shipping cost is $20-30).  You want to ship it to you home though, so you choose home delivery option.

YOUR TOTAL for both with shipping (excluding tax) is $114.20

Pretty good price for 3 day use of professional equipment.

Let’s shop more.

 

SHAREGRID.com

This online store has a pretty unique approach that resembles Uber model. You have a ton of photographers and videographers who own the grid and let you rent it from them. There is no center store, you just pick it up directly from a person. The complication is that if you have multiple items to rent you either drive yourself to that person to get the gear or you order $30 delivery. Let’s check how much our kit would cost to rent here for 3 days.

Where to Rent Equipment: Los Angeles -wrongron, Wrong Ron, Studio Photography, shot at FD Photo Studio, sharegrid, Samy's, rental stages, rental equipment, Photoshop, Photoshoot, paid photography, modeling, Los Angeles, lensprotogo, History of photography, gear, FD photo studio, fashion photographer, DTLA, borrowlenses, blog

You can rent it for as short as 1 day period.

Among multiple offers from various owners I have found Canon EOS 7D Mark II for $40 a day.

There are types of coverage: Damage+Theft, Damage Only or Security Deposit. For the sake of matching the same deal as was at Borrowlenses we will choose Damage Only for $15.50.

Sharegrid charges community fee $6.

Your total for just a camera is $171.50. You cannot just order it. You have to request it form the owner first so he could approve your request first and then you will get it.

For Canon EF 85mm f/1.8. the price for 3 days with damage coverage, community fee and delivery is $70. Keep in mind that you have to order delivery separately for each item since they are at different locations. Once again request it first, get approved by owner, get the gear.

 

YOUR TOTAL for both with shipping is $241.50.

Not the cheapest option. Let’s shop more.

LENSPROTOGO.com

Similar to the business model of Borrowlenses this online shop has a perk of free shipping.

Where to Rent Equipment: Los Angeles -wrongron, Wrong Ron, Studio Photography, shot at FD Photo Studio, sharegrid, Samy's, rental stages, rental equipment, Photoshop, Photoshoot, paid photography, modeling, Los Angeles, lensprotogo, History of photography, gear, FD photo studio, fashion photographer, DTLA, borrowlenses, blog

Here a few words about the company itself:

“We hand draw robots fighting dinosaurs on the cardboard boxes that we ship our gear in when our customers ask us to.

Well… at least that is why our customers say we go ‘above and beyond’. Oh! We also include a special treat in every rental. We don’t want anyone getting a sugar low! Speaking of rentals, we’re LensProToGo! An online, nationwide, photo and video rental company that ships all over the US. We make getting the gear photographers and filmmakers want SUPER easy and safe. They can order online while sitting on their couch and it shows up at their front door, 5 steps away. (Up to 53 steps away if they have a super fancy house.) Even better, we ship everything in Pelican Cases so it’s journey across the states is as safe as can be!

We can even ship to hotels, which is great for those who are traveling but don’t want to carry the gear on the plane. We’re all photographers and filmmakers too so we know the hassle of taking the gear through an airport. And since I mentioned it, it’s a requirement that every person working here is a pro shooter. It’s something we’re extremely proud of. We want to act as a great resource for our customers when they have questions (and boy do we get a lot of them!). To date, there isn’t a question we haven’t been able to answer. We can even answer any questions about Star Wars, thanks to our office nerd, Ben. Just something we like to offer on the side!”

Lensprotogo bases their rates on a 4 day minimum period. Of course you can rent it for 3 days but the price would be the same.  Since the price is the same lets get our kit for 4 day period.

For our kit Canon EOS 7D Mark II + Canon EF 85mm f/1.8, included protection and free shipping

YOUR TOTAL (excluding tax) is $156.00.

Pretty competitive with Borrowlenses but still the second place.

Let’s check the last spot.

 

SAMY’s

Good old Samy’s. Founded in 1976 this store has seen its ups and downs, helped a lot of photographers and videographers to get what they need and has already become a legend. This store still has 4 locations in Greater Los Angeles are that provide the gear to purchase and rent. You pick it up in the store, you return it back to the store, the old fashioned way.

Where to Rent Equipment: Los Angeles -wrongron, Wrong Ron, Studio Photography, shot at FD Photo Studio, sharegrid, Samy's, rental stages, rental equipment, Photoshop, Photoshoot, paid photography, modeling, Los Angeles, lensprotogo, History of photography, gear, FD photo studio, fashion photographer, DTLA, borrowlenses, blog

Here is a little info of about their legacy:

“For over 40 years, Samy’s Camera has been the leader in sales of high quality imaging products and the ultimate resource for the professional and amateur photographer. Knowledgeable sales staff, exceptional customer service, and an impressive up-to-date inventory are the reasons that Samy’s Camera enjoys a loyal following. Samy founded Samy’s Camera in 1976 with a vision for a full service store. This vision is exemplified in all of our locations including our flagship store on Fairfax Boulevard, with three floors stocked with the latest and most exciting selection of photographic, video and electronics equipment available.

Samy’s Camera regularly hosts equipment demonstrations, special sessions with manufacturers, product training, and guest classes – all in addition to our own classes held in our state of the art computer lab at Samy’s EDU. Our EDU blog is a place to find useful information online about classes, workshops and photo trips. It’s also a place to connect to the photo community and see helpful videos from our instructors and friends.”

In order to get the prices for the equipment you would need to call them directly (you can find all numbers here ). They do not provide the insurance but take the deposit instead. Obviously there is  no shipping costs involved since it the in-store service.

For  Canon EOS 7D Mark II  it is $55/day charge and $1500 deposit.

For Canon EF 85mm f/1.8  it is $40/day  charge and $2200 deposit.

YOUR TOTAL for both for 3 days (excluding tax) is $285 + $3700 deposit.

 

 

To conclude our shopping list results here are the winners.

  1. BORROWLENSES.com – $114.20

  2. LENSPROTOGO.com – $156
  3. SHAREGRID.com – $241.50
  4. SAMY’s – $285 (+$3700 deposit)

Hope this information will ease your rental experience and save you a buck. Renting the equipment is a very common practice and a great way to get to know the gear hands-on before you make a final purchase.

 

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