My experience renting with LensRentals has always been very positive. I’ve been using their service for years and, thanks to them, I can get the gear I need for very specific photo trips and projects quickly while saving money.
LensRentals is one of the biggest camera gear rental companies in the US, so to help you decide if this is the right company for you, I’ve written this comprehensive LensRentals review. I’ll be laying out not only the Pros and Cons but also describing the benefits of renting with them, including fast shipping, peace of mind through insurance, LensRentals promo codes, and more.
Renting camera gear is a great option to save money and test new gear, but there are many things to consider. For that reason, I’ll also cover the main differences between LensRentals vs BorrowLenses, so you can see which company best suits your needs.
In this LensRentals Review, you’ll find:
- LensRentals Promo Code
- LensRentals opinion – My experience
- Pros of renting with LensRentals
- Cons of renting with LensRentals
- LensRentals vs. Borrowlenses
However, for those seeking a LensRentals discount coupon, let’s start with that first.
LensRentals Promo Code
We have good news for you. You can use our special LensRentals promo code just for being a Capture the Atlas reader.
Use this link and the promo code ATLAS15 at check-out to receive a 15% discount on your order. Do note that LensRentals promo codes don’t apply to the total cost of your order; shipping and insurance fees are not included. What better entry point into LensRentals could there be?
LensrentalS Opinion: My Experience
LensRentals has made my life easier when it comes to renting photography equipment. Camera gear rental isn’t always the first thing that comes to mind when you realize that you need a lens for a special project, or when it’s time to buy new gear.
Most photographers go straight to a big-name website and choose the first deal they see, even if they don’t necessarily need that piece of equipment. Yet, what if there was a way to not break the bank, not get loaded down with gear that may collect dust in the future, and still get the best possible pictures for that special photo trip or project?
I’ve been renting camera gear for years and renting with LensRentals over the last couple of years. The first time was in preparation for one of my Iceland Photo Tours. I decided to take an aerial tour to get a birds-eye view of the glaciers and the braided rivers across the Icelandic plains. Since I needed a relatively fast lens, I opted for the classic Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED VR lens for its mixture of near-wide angle and slight telephoto views.
Brand new, it would have set us back $1,899.95 – however, the rental price through LensRentals ended up being $144 total for two weeks! And that was before the 15% LensRentals discount code given to us.
I was so pleased that on our following trip to Costa Rica, we decided to work with LensRentals to pick up a telephoto wildlife combination: the Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS paired with the Sony FE 2.0x Teleconverter. It was the perfect combination for the birds, monkeys, and other abundant yet shy wildlife of Central America.
Brand new, the lens costs $2,498.00 and the 2x teleconverter $548. For this trip, we just paid $291 for the whole setup, with insurance and shipping charges. And before the 15% LensRentals coupon! LensRentals’ prices are hard to beat considering everything that is included in the rental, as you’ll see below.
With this LensRentals review, we’ll be looking at the LensRentals experience in full. I’ll be describing the major pros, including:
- Customer Service
- Camera Gear Selection
- Order Process
- How to Ship with LensRentals
- Additional Benefits
And I’ll also break down a few cons that I found through my experience renting with LensRentals, including:
- Potential for Deposits on All Rentals
- Higher Possibility for Specialty Gear Deposits
Pros of Renting with LensRentals
While there are a couple of cons, in general, I’ve found a staggering list of pros. LensRentals opinions will vary depending on the audience. In general, however, you’re going to find nothing but positive LensRentals reviews. Here’s just a few of the reasons why that is:
The Customer Service at LensRentals is Superb
While they generally expect you to return your gear on the day you’ve planned, sometimes life happens. In those cases, LensRentals offers a Rental Extension policy that’s quite generous.
They offer a 10% discount on the extension as long as it’s made before the return date. Extensions are contingent on them having additional stock to meet the needs of other photographers who may have requested the equipment you’re renting.
If you know you’re going to be late, the best thing you can do is contact their attentive customer service center. LensRentals will not only work with you to coordinate a pickup if needed but will also help hunt down nearby drop-off points and grant rental extensions as needed, though fees do apply.
For maximum convenience, their online chat system allows you to instantly connect with a representative every day from 9 am to 5 pm CST.
They Offer an Enormous Selection of Camera Equipment
Of all the online rental companies in not just the USA but in the world, LensRentals has the largest selection of gear to choose from. Videographers get just as much choice as photographers here, with most of the latest Blackmagic, Arri, and Red equipment. Aerial photographers have not only drones but additional batteries and other accessories to choose from.
Plus, photography lenses galore! Interested in taking the Nikon 400mm f/2.8G for a test drive but don’t want to pay over $10,000? A week-long rental will run you just under $400! If you’re looking at a lens you’re not entirely familiar with, Roger’s Take (Founder and CEO of LensRentals) offers LensRentals lens reviews on the pros and cons of a given lens as well as additional equipment like teleconverters and batteries recommended for your gear!
You can check the entire LensRentals camera gear catalog here.
LensRentals Insurance Options Give You Peace of Mind
LensRentals offers two types of insurance: LensCap and LensCap+.
LensCap covers strictly accidental damage, such as spilling a drink on your camera or dropping it by mistake. So as long as you can still return the equipment, LensCap has you covered.
LensCap+ covers situations where it’s impossible to return the lens, such as theft or falls from an airplane or boat. While slightly more expensive, you’re given additional peace of mind should the absolute worst happen.
Best of all, both types of LensRentals insurance provide worldwide insurance coverage, so you can venture from Canada to Chile without fear. Simple and easy to understand, right?
The Order Process at LensRentals is Straightforward
Navigating through some camera rental sites can be complex and daunting. But with LensRentals, the website is streamlined, making it intuitive and very easy to understand. Once on their site, you’re immediately invited to search and select gear. Instead of needing to navigate several windows, the rental prices are immediately calculated with shipping and insurance costs included.
There’s no signup required to shop, and you don’t have to open multiple windows to find hidden information either. LensRentals lays it all out in front of you!
Billing doesn’t go through until the day the order ships. And with the tracking information provided, you can check on the status of your order during each step of its transit.
They Ship Fast and Safe
You can choose from two well-known shipping companies: UPS and FedEx. Both are known for providing quality service nation and worldwide. FedEx shipping for most orders costs $25 while UPS shipping costs $30. It’s worth exploring which company has more distribution centers in your area if you’re not near a major city.
While FedEx and UPS are generally careful with all packages, every LensRentals camera and lens delivery comes in a hard case for maximum peace of mind.
Returning equipment Couldn’t be Easier!
When returning your rental equipment, LensRentals also includes shipping labels and additional instructions both on the box and on the label itself. That way, you can seamlessly return your package without needing to hunt down a printer or other service. If necessary, you can also get in contact with LensRentals to organize package pickup as well!
The LensRentals Keeper Program allows you to Purchase the Gear
The LensRentals Keeper program is one of the main benefits that gives LensRentals an advantage over competitors like BorrowLenses. By providing credit towards the purchase of rented gear, it makes more economic sense to take expensive equipment on a test drive. Instead of relying on second-hand reviews, you can test a possible lens purchase on an actual job.
LensRentals’ Keeper program, like everything else about the website, is streamlined for ease. Rather than needing to contact them, you can pull up your rental online for an instant Keeper price quote on eligible (most) items. From there, you can simply select the “Buy Now” button and LensRentals bills the card on file!
They offer LensRentals HD, a Yearly Program for Free Shipping
Once you’ve decided LensRentals is right for you, I strongly recommend looking into LensRentals HD. The HD program offers a service similar to Amazon Prime where, for $99/year, you get free shipping nationwide!
Unfortunately, given the distances and expenses to and from Alaska and Hawaii, residents of these two far-flung states aren’t eligible for the program. However, anyone within the 48 contiguous states can get free standard shipping as well as 50% off on overnight shipping through FedEx and UPS. Regardless of whether you need a single teleconverter or a telephoto prime lens, you get free shipping through the program!
The LensRentals Staff is Super Knowledgeable
In the interest of expediting your rental, LensRentals provides brief yet expert reviews from founder and CEO Roger Cicala. Each review breaks down the value of each potential addition to your kit. The FAQ section also addresses the most common queries from renters, and sometimes there are even reviews from their YouTube channel. As an example, you can check the FAQs and specs for the Lensrentals Sony A7RIV.
LensRentals also offers equipment-oriented blogs and podcasts covering everything from shutter noise comparisons to more technical posts like field curvature in specific focal lengths. They also post Interviews with staff, experts, and even customers to give you a complete picture of the LensRentals experience.
Cons of Renting with LensRentals
While my LensRentals review and experience has been very positive so far, I want to highlight a few potential disadvantages. Each one revolves around extra money that you may not have budgeted for. That being said, LensRentals reviews are overwhelmingly positive!
There is a 1% Chance that You Could be Asked for an Additional Deposit
Thanks to their wide variety of services and insurance options, LensRentals rarely requires a deposit. 99% of all rentals go through with no additional funds; no card holds, or money taken out only to be returned in 7-10 business days. However, deposits are sometimes required if your identity or address can’t be verified.
Unfortunately, because deposits are so rarely needed, LensRentals reviews don’t always mention them. When they do occur, people may be upset or surprised that they have to put money down. In my experience, when reading through the reviews, unanticipated deposits are a major reason for most of the negative LensRentals reviews.
Special Gear Might also Require an Additional Deposit
Especially expensive equipment or rentals that they only have a single sample of, may require a deposit due to the difficulty to replace the items. If you intend to rent something like the $80,000 RED RANGER Monstro 8K video camera, you can expect to be charged a deposit before receiving the camera.
Regardless of the reason for a deposit, LensRentals will always let you know beforehand and request permission before running your card. Should you refuse, the rental won’t go through.
LensRentals vs. BorrowLenses
When it comes to LensRentals vs BorrowLenses, you’ll find both companies offer plenty of choices if you’re a Canon, Nikon, or even a Sony photographer. Users of less popular systems are supported by BorrowLenses but not nearly as well as LensRentals. For example, LensRentals shows 69 Fuji X and G mount lenses, whereas BorrowLenses maxes out at 35. Even so, their prices are comparable for most equipment. For example, a 7-day rental of the Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS is $130 for both companies.
One major advantage BorrowLenses has over LensRentals is that in-store pickups are offered in far more locations on both the East and West Coasts, including Seattle, the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New York, and Boston. While LensRentals’ nationwide coverage is impressive, if you want to skip dealing with postal services, you’re limited to visiting either their Memphis or Nashville, TN offices.
In terms of customer service, BorrowLenses is competent and well-run. However, many reviewers praise LensRentals for its support staff’s in-depth knowledge and fast response times. Moreover, their website is super organized, so most people don’t need to ask questions. BorrowLenses also doesn’t offer an online chat window to instantly connect with a representative as LensRentals does.
Overall, I recommend BorrowLenses as a good place to look if you need a piece of equipment right away and there’s no availability on LensRentals, or you live in one of the cities above and don’t want to receive your rental by mail.
My experience with LensRentals is extremely positive overall. The company has done as much as it can to make renting photography and videography equipment online a streamlined process with minimal surprises.
I love being able to have professional gear delivered to my door, potentially overnight if need be. And if I happen to fall in love with a rental, the LensRentals Keeper program is the best possible transition to ownership. While you can gamble on not purchasing insurance, I find their LensCap and LensCap+ programs well worth the peace of mind they provide in case of mishaps.
Also, thanks to LensRentals discounts, I can regularly get reduced rentals and shipping charges. After your first rental and, if you rent a few times a year, signing up for the LensRentals HD program is the best way to save. Just 3-4 rentals cover the cost in terms of shipping fees.
While LensRentals’ online reviews are overwhelmingly positive, I’d look carefully at the negative ones. Most satisfied customers don’t bother to leave reviews; problem customers, on the other hand, are quick to critique a service. I noticed that the customers who were surprised by deposits or disappointed by shipping issues beyond LensRentals’ control were quick to place unfair blame on the company.
I hope this LensRentals review has been helpful and you take advantage of the LensRentals promo code, which you can access through this link. Let me know how it works out for you or if you have any questions!