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Renting Camera Gear vs. Buying for Travel Photography
Saturday, March 11, 2017  

Editors' Choice: Best Travel TechWith a three-week media assignment in Europe coming up, I was considering the purchase of a new wide-angle lens for my Canon EOS 70D DSLR camera. A friend I was having coffee with one day said, "Why don't you just rent a lens for the trip?" Hmmm, I had never even considered that before. I did some research on Google and found 

After perusing their website, I found that they had the exact wide-angle lens I was considering buying. The cost to rent the lens (Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM) for three weeks was about $100, a third of what it would have cost to buy the lens new. And, a bonus for me, Aperturent has a location here in Dallas! I placed my order online and scheduled a local pickup. However, will ship to anywhere in the USA via FedEx. If you live in Dallas or Atlanta, you can pick up and return your gear locally thereby avoiding shipping charges.

The day before we were scheduled to depart the USA, I stopped by's Dallas office and picked up the lens. It was packaged in a very strong plastic case with dense foam padding. The case was the perfect size for packing in my carry-on luggage. Both lens caps (rear and front) were also included in the rental. An inspection of the lens revealed a very clean, virtually new-like lens. I could not have been more pleased.

Strong plastic case for carrying the lens

After arriving in Europe, I unpacked the lens and installed it on my camera. The lens performed flawlessly for the entire three-week rental. I am convinced that renting camera gear is definitely a good choice, especially for travel photographers.

Advantages of renting vs. buying

Try before you buy - Renting gear is a good way to have an extended trial period of a product before you spend the money to buy it.

Save money - Renting is much cheaper than buying. Even for a three-week rental, which is extreme, renting is cost-effective.

One-time use - In the case of lenses, you can spend tens of thousands of dollars on lenses that you may only need once, or once per year. It just does not make sense to own such a lens when you can rent one. For example, an African safari would be perfect for a 400mm telephoto lens, but why spend $5,000 to buy one for 10 days when you can rent one?

What if you change gear? - Here is a huge advantage to renting lenses: what if you decide to change from an APS-C or Micro-Four Thirds format to a full-frame format in the future? Any lenses you purchase will be worthless! You will have to buy all new lenses formatted for full-frame use.

And There's More rents a wide variety of camera gear including cameras, lighting, tripods, video gear, etc. The next time you are thinking about buying any camera gear for travel photography, check with first!

For more information, check their website at

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