Where To Rent A Lens Online

Where To Rent A Lens Online


Copyright Yasin TurkogluEver needed a lens but have been unable to afford it? In this post Peter Carey explores how you can have them – by renting lenses.

I admit it.  I like to dream about owning many, many lenses.  It seems I can always conjure up at least one photo to justify purchasing any given lens.  But when it comes right down to it, I’m not a big fan of tying all my money up in glass that sits for months and months at a time.  Sure, having a 600mm pro lens would have been great for a friend’s soccer game, but that would be over $5000 sitting in the corner in my house, collecting dust on the box right now.

So what to do to get my niche lens fix while still maintaining the ability to keep food in the kitchen?   Rent!

I used to live near Seattle, Washington and there has always been a great local shop which rents out a wide variety of lenses.  But now that I have moved further away, it’s a royal pain to head into the city for that one lens, and then to turn around a week later to return it.  And that’s where the joy of the internet and FedEx come in.

Most lens rental sites allow borrowing for a week, month or more.  Rates vary from site to site as well as shipping costs.  What I have found most convenient is the ability to have the lens shipped to a remote location if I happen to be shooting a wedding on the East Coast.  As long as there is someone to sign for the package, I’m set.  Returns are equally as easy with most shops including a prepaid shipping sticker.  Just wrap the lens back in the packaging it arrived in, slap the label on the outside and drop it at the appropriate shipping counter.

A complete review of all online offerings is outside of the realm of this one post.  But don’t let that stop you from chiming in on the comments section with your experience to help guide others.

Below is a list of online rental shops and a sample price, in US Dollars, for a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens shipped to US Zip Code 98236.  I picked this lens as it tends to be quite popular and I happen to use Canon equipment.  No offense meant to any other brands.  Or zip codes. Or Countries. Or currencies.   (Note: With some sites, if that exact lens was out of stock, a comparable weight and value lens was used to calculate shipping as some sites would not allow for shipping estimates on out of stock lenses)

Company 1 week rental Shipping Total Ships Via Insurance Available?
Rent Glass $54 $27.90 $81.90 USPS Priority Yes
Lens Rentals $64 $31 $95.00 2-day FedEx Yes – $9
Zip Lens $60 $31 $91.00 2-day FedEx Yes – $10
Photo Lens Rental $59 $37.72 $96.72 USPS Priority Not apparent
Lens Pro To Go $100 $100.00 3-day FedEx Yes – $10
Borrow Lenses $64 $30 $94.00 2-day FedEx Yes – $14
Camera Lens Rentals $59 $29.99 $88.99 USPS Yes – $9

Do you have any experience with a lens rental company?  Share it in the comments section below!

Peter is an avid photographer who enjoys travel, portraiture and wildlife photography. A travel related blog of his past and current shenanigans can be found at The Carey Adventures.

Read more from our Cameras & Equipment category

Peter West Carey leads photo tours and workshops in Nepal, Bhutan, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles and beyond. He is also the creator of Photography Basics - A 43 Day Adventure & 40 Photography Experiments, web-based tutorials taking curious photographers on a fun ride through the basics of learning photography.

Some Older Comments

  • Lau March 6, 2013 12:48 am

    I have used LensLocker and I am very pleased. Not sure if they work outside UK

  • olga December 13, 2011 02:48 am

    @Alan - google your country, I believe there's such a place in every country in the world.

  • Alan December 3, 2011 06:30 am

    Well, I just wanna add something , is there any international lens rental services besides all in US, Canada, or UK ? Probably there is a lot of international user need it too.

  • tictac September 8, 2011 12:49 am

    Thumbs up for Rentacam and thank you 'just me' for recommending. Dealing with Miro was too easy, it only took 2 emails and then less than a minute in the store!! Thank you!

  • Margie January 4, 2011 01:01 am

    I have used Lens Pro To Go several times. It looks from the list like they are more expensive, but their customer service has been very personable and excellent.

  • Angela January 1, 2011 01:00 am

    I just rented a Canon 24-70 f/2.8L to use over the holidays from borrowlenses.com. I received it within 2 days and it's been perfect. The only drawback is I have to send it back :-) I've not tried any other companies, so I can't compare, but borrowlenses was great for my first rental.

  • Tim December 28, 2010 03:58 am

    Agree with Christy's comments above. I used Rentglass several times a few years ago. It was a great opportunity to try out different lenses when I was just getting started in photography and helped me decided which lenses to eventually buy. The service, shipping and prices are great. My only complaint is that you have to watch the website frequently as the lens you want to rent will come in stock and go out very quickly.

  • Christy December 28, 2010 01:00 am

    I have used rentglass.com several times and I have been very pleased. The service is great, promised shipping dates are always on target, and the prices seems to be lower that the similar websites.

  • Abhishek August 13, 2010 08:13 pm

    @Evert Thanks for sharing the option for a rental in Netherlands!


  • John Hayden June 18, 2010 02:52 pm

    I found a new place called Bay Area Lens Rental, specializing in Sony / Minolta and Mamiya gear. Currently it’s local only to San Francisco, but it’s MUCH CHEAPER than other options.
    Canadian photogaphers have another option: http://www.rentalens.ca. We are significantly cheaper than everything else available to Canadians. Check us out: http://www.rentalens.ca.

    Read more: https://digital-photography-school.com/where-to-rent-a-lens-online#ixzz0rB2ajIvC
    The photography is very simple work.
    Rental Cars America

  • Greg April 13, 2010 02:46 pm

    I found a new place called Bay Area Lens Rental, specializing in Sony / Minolta and Mamiya gear. Currently it's local only to San Francisco, but it's MUCH CHEAPER than other options.


  • just me March 13, 2010 11:13 pm

    Down in Australia, the only sensible place to hire from seems to be www.rentacam.com.au. I could not find anyone else so close to the airport, he does not preautrhorize credit cards or runs any other form of deposit and the 400 f2.8 I hired 2 weeks back looked brand new. Recommend.

  • Josh Norem March 2, 2010 07:42 am

    I'm with BorrowLenses.com -- glad to see some happy customers here! We work very hard to make everyones' experience an excellent one. Also, we just announced 3-day rentals for folks who want to try a lens out for the weekend and have five-star customer service as well. If anyone has any questions or concerns, just let us know. Thanks.

  • Jennifer November 17, 2009 04:19 am

    I’ve used www.fotorentals.com several times in the past and I’ve been very pleased with the service. Give them a Shot

  • Zeeshan Hamid May 30, 2009 01:45 am

    Canadian photogaphers have another option: http://www.rentalens.ca. We are significantly cheaper than everything else available to Canadians. Check us out: http://www.rentalens.ca.

  • Matt December 4, 2008 01:55 pm

    If you are in the mid-west, MJ Memories (based out of Wichita), rents high end Canon L Series lenses. They have good service, competitive prices, and a great selection. There URL is www.mjlensrentals.com

  • Darren October 28, 2008 08:57 am

    I should say - that this thread does contain a number of comments left under different names from the same IP addresses recommending services. I'm pretty disappointed by the underhanded and un-transparent goings on here and am considering simply deleting all comments.

    update - I've deleted the self promotional comments.

  • Darren October 28, 2008 08:55 am

    Eric and Eric - while I don't give out personal details of people who comment I will say that the first Eric comment was left by someone who did recommend another company earlier in this thread. They've also commented on other comments under other names which have no connection to that company. I guess all I'm saying is that the person may or may not be affiliated with another company - but they don't have a history of commenting under the same name in all threads so I'd be a little suspicious of it too.

    A note to ALL commenters - I can see your IP addresses. Please don't comment under different names. You could actually be hurting your reputation with me and if you're proven to be commenting to discredit competitors you'll be banned for the site. There's plenty of business out there for everyone!

  • Eric Martin October 28, 2008 07:43 am


    I am curious as to when you rented a lens from us. We show no record of your name and have thus far only rented to local customers whom we know personally. IF you are a competing rental company, your comment is extremely tacky. We are a relatively new company have a total rental database of 15 customers - mostly repeat from a local photography club. Again - very tacky. Feel free to contact me directly to address your "imaginary rental".

    #2 our company name is East Coast Lens Rental - NOT - East Coast Rentals to avoid any confusion.

    Eric Martin
    East Coast Lens Rental

  • Eric October 28, 2008 06:27 am

    I have used eastcoastrentals and I was not impressed. The lens that I recieved had quite a bit of internal dust and was pretty banged up. Not sure if it was just that particular lens, but I would take caution when renting from them. Thank goodness I really did not need it for my shoot.

  • Brian September 11, 2008 01:35 pm

    Another vote for http://www.photolensrental.com. I have been going to them for a couple years now, when I need an extra Canon Lens. I always get great service... Also, quick response time to any questions.

  • Thomas September 10, 2008 09:48 am

    I am fairly new to photography and rely on a lot of advice. I have rented from some local photographic supply stores but have found that the advice and concern I recieved was geared torward what hey had in stock at the time. http://www.photolensrental.com has given me lots of genuine advice and recommendations and it wasn't always just about lenses. Their prompt easy service has made it a pleasure to do business with them time and time again.

  • Nancy Applegarth September 9, 2008 02:17 pm

    I use http://www.photolensrental.com exclusively. These guys are really great to deal with and I have received lens even quicker than I expected - I won't use anyone else -

  • Missy September 5, 2008 03:36 pm

    I use www.cameralensrentals.com exclusively. Great customer service and great lenses. Barry is a great person to deal with and I will not rent anywhere else. Waiting for my next order as I type this!

  • Melissa Ponder August 29, 2008 08:54 am

    THANK YOU!!! I am so happy to find a place cameralensrentals.com that rents PENTAX lenses. I feel like renting the 200 2.8 just because I can! But, I'll wait for upcoming project. -- Melissa

  • Justin August 28, 2008 10:57 pm

    I have used www.borrowlenses.com on one occasion. I musy say there customer service is excellent. Like others have said there emails are answered very quickly. They have a great selection of Nikon lenses which is why i use them and will keep going back.

  • Dave August 26, 2008 11:18 am

    Anyone looking for a lens in Sydney should try AU Photographer. It's a small operation but they've got plenty of stock and prices are reasonable. I hired a 5D and L-series 100-400mm IS a few weeks ago and the equipment was almost brand new, worked perfectly and only cost $250 for a whole weekend. (You can see the results here, btw.)

    Next - how about an article about the resale value of top-end lenses? I reckon it would be cheaper to buy a pro lens and resell it than it would to rent it for an extended period.

  • James August 21, 2008 10:25 am

    I rented a huge 400mm f/2.8 from http://www.borrowlenses.com a couple of times. These guys are great. I am local to them so pickups are free and only a short drive away. They got a swanky office now, no more third party camera stores to deal through. They even let me play with the 1Ds III while I was hanging out. One day I will be renting that too. My brother rented from them by mail. He lives in Colorado. His experience has been impeccable too!

  • Stuart August 17, 2008 10:28 am

    I've used Lenslenders.com several times in the past and I've been very pleased with the service.

  • Brodie Weeding August 15, 2008 10:34 am

    Does anywhere do this is Australia yet?

  • Tom August 13, 2008 06:25 am

    I use www.BorrowLenses.com exclusively and can say that their customer service is TOP NOTCH! I've used them 5 or 6 times and each time the rental comes out great.

  • Bev August 11, 2008 04:02 am

    I used Borrowlenses.com. I have rented three lenses and one
    1.4 teleconverter. I was very pleased with their service and the condition of the lenses. Borrowlenses emails you when they send the lense, and when they received it back.

    I was not certain about several telephoto lenses so renting
    them helped me decide.

  • Matt Redmayne August 10, 2008 08:15 pm

    I use http://www.calumetphoto.com/ to rent lenses if I am doing something special (in the UK). I've always collected them at one of their stores, so I don't know if they deliver. They've always been very good though.


  • Connie August 10, 2008 06:50 am

    I used lensrental.com and their services were great. They had one of the best rate. Great customers services. They emailed me letting me know when my orders would arrive.

  • Kristin August 10, 2008 05:51 am

    I've heard great things about Zip Lens from a wedding and portrait photographer in Austin, but I haven't used them yet. I can't wait for a project to come up that I'll need to rent something fun!

  • ari4u August 10, 2008 05:08 am

    If you live in the SF Bay Area, try this place...

    Keeble and Shuchat Photography

    I rented the 24-105, 100-400 L lenses and a few macro lenses couple of times before i made up my mind and bought them. The people who work there are experienced serious photographers and less of sales personnel. So you can be sure to get answers for most technical questions you got.

  • Wendy August 10, 2008 02:15 am

    I have used borrow lenses. As others have said, their customer service is excellent! Someone kept the lens I reserved over their allotted time, so it wasn't available when I needed it. They called and offered to send me a comprable but better lens for the same price. For some reason, when I shipped the lens back, fed-ex brought it back to me. They were very understanding, sent me a new lable, and didn't charge me for the extra time I had the lens. Very nice people.

  • Andy August 10, 2008 12:47 am

    Thanks Dabe, thats brilliant, i've been looking for somewhere in the UK to hire lenses, and that company sounds great.

  • paul saulnier August 10, 2008 12:11 am

    in montreal there is LL.Lauseau on St Hubert street ...the biggest store i have ever seen...staff knows what they are talking about ....but some prices are a bit high...but the rentals are not so bad ...check it out...i love going there just to talk shop with them

  • jus'learnin August 9, 2008 11:44 pm

    I used lens rental and I got a 17-55mm 2.8IS, a 200mm
    2.8 L-series, and an XSI Body for 7 days for $231 total. Includes shipping and insurance. I thought it was a great deal, it actually came early, which allowed me extra time to practice with it. I shot my nieces wedding, she was happy and so was I.

  • Evert August 9, 2008 06:27 pm

    For those of you looking for good lenses to rent in the Netherlands or Belgium; Camera Express offers great deals on top class lenses. For instance, Canon L lenses usually go for €25/day and every other day you get a 50% discount. Accessories and insurance also available.

  • Darin August 9, 2008 03:56 pm


    I have Olympus gear too. and guess what!!

    "Jamie Says:

    I’ve used Pro Photo Rental (http://prophotorental.com/Default.asp?c=8417)"

    this place has our stuff!!

  • Ro August 9, 2008 10:21 am

    Thanks for this article! I've often been curious about renting lenses, this is great information and comparison. Would love to hear from more people about their experiences doing this.

    I have yet to rent a lens, my biggest hang-up is the fear that once I get it I wont have anything to shoot and wont get my moneys worth for the week!

  • Zingshots August 9, 2008 09:58 am

    I use Borrow Lenses, they are local to me so I don't have to deal with shipping and they have great customer service!

  • orangeacid August 9, 2008 09:55 am

    Thanks to Dabe. Love the post and site but some links from the perspective of somewhere other than the US would be nice too :-)

  • Steve August 9, 2008 09:44 am

    I've rented from lensrentals.com several times during the last two years and have had excellent experiences each time. Highly recommended.

  • Dabe August 9, 2008 09:17 am

    For those in the UK. I used this place: http://www.lensesforhire.co.uk/ they have a shop in maidenhead but mostly do stuff online. they have alot of gear in stock.

    I rented a Canon 70-200mm f/4L lens for 10 days for £80 quid which tbh is not bad at all

    the website is easy to use and the prices are nice and clear would throughly recommend them!

  • Kenton August 9, 2008 09:16 am

    Here is another good Canadian option -

    And if you live in Calgary or Toronto you can pickup at their stores.

  • Chris August 9, 2008 07:14 am

    I used to rent from Adorama in the city. I could use their website and pick it up in the store and save on shipping. But their prices are crazy high! I tried lensrentals.com for my vacation two weeks ago and I'll never go back to Adorama again. The prices, even with 30 in shipping (it was a 400mm lens), they were cheaper than their NYC competitor. While I can't compare it to the other websites, my one experience with lensrentals.com was a very positive one and I've recommended that site to a friend who is looking to rent a few lenses for his cross country road trip.

  • Jared K. August 9, 2008 06:32 am

    Hi guys-
    I work for http://prophotorental.com and just wanted to respond to a couple of people:

    @Jamie: Thank you for the kind words! We appreciate your business.

    @Alan Nielsen: We are the only US company to do rentals to Canada, although I've also heard great things about Lenslenders (which is based in Canada).

    @Pete Langlois: We've got the 200-400 in stock and ready to go. It is a fantastic lens. One of our clients used it for the National Collegiate Championship Ultimate tournament this spring and fell in love with it!

    @David: We are the only place online to rent Olympus gear. Check us out and let me know if you have any questions.

    For everyone else, here's how our cost would break down into the table shown above:
    A 7-day rental of the 70-200 f/2.8L IS is $100.24 shipped (via FedEx 3-day) We are adding insurance capabilities to our site literally as we speak, and it will be $10 for that lens.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to send me an e-mail.

    Thank you!
    Best regards,
    Jared K.

  • Joe Rocklin August 9, 2008 04:57 am

    I've used lensrentals.com several times, and have always been thrilled with their service and prices. Though, I feel as though spreading the word around about them like this will mean that the lenses I want won't always be in stock if everyone else starts using them :)

  • Alex August 9, 2008 04:10 am

    You used to live in Seattle?

    Glazer's is an awesome place to rent lenses, get supplies, and buy gear. :D.

  • Frank August 9, 2008 03:36 am

    I used Zip Lens. Very good value, nice people, OK service. The condition of the lens I rented was very good.

    My experience: I needed a long lens for a photo project. But if I hadn't done some hand-holding and expediting a week before the ship date, the lense would not have arrived when I needed it, despite my order well in advance. Zip Lens was responsive to my requests, but at that time would not guarantee shipment of a lens on a specific date. In my case, everything turned out OK after a few anxious moments.

    My general advice: for all rental operations, the number of lenses in inventory is important. The lens you order will not be shipped to you until it arrives from the previous renter -- so inqiure about inventory volume for your lens and its availability when you need it. It also may be helpful to have a Plan B ('B' as in Backup) if the lens is critical to your project.

  • Kevin August 9, 2008 03:32 am

    I'm with you David. It sucks that theres no place to rent Olympus $5,000 glass :(

  • Brian Zimmer August 9, 2008 03:05 am

    I recently rented a lens from Borrowlenses (Nikon 105mm) and was very impressed with both the lens and the service.

    Also, if you are a SmugMug customer you get a 5% discount.

  • David August 9, 2008 03:03 am

    Am I the only one out there with Olympus digital gear? None of these rental places have lenses for Olympus.

  • Pete Langlois August 9, 2008 02:50 am

    I need to rent some glass, 200-400 Nikkor would be nice or a 400 f/2.8VR and a TC-14.


  • Peter Carey August 9, 2008 02:34 am

    Alan, Canada was a bit outside of this post, as well as the UK, so I didn't include it.
    However, Lens Lenders is a decent site just for Canada: http://www.lenslenders.com/

    I don't have much experience in the UK. Sorry Espiox. Hopefully someone can chime in.

  • Alan Nielsen August 9, 2008 02:04 am

    What about Canadian rentals?

  • Lori Putman August 9, 2008 01:54 am

    I've rented from Lens Rentals. They are local to me so I was able to pick up and return right at their doorstep! They are extremely knowledgeable and helpful.

  • Amit August 9, 2008 01:54 am

    I rented a 10-22 lens to take some wide angle shots in Greece, from Adorama in NYC. They have a website: www.adorama.com. I thought the experience was great, and they have clean glass.

  • chris August 9, 2008 01:40 am

    I had a great experience with www.rentglass.com

  • Nathan Black August 9, 2008 01:33 am

    I'd also like to put in a plug for the Sony Alpha shooters out there. Check out: http://www.alphalensrental.com/

  • Amy August 9, 2008 01:30 am

    Can not go wrong with www.cameralensrentals.com
    I have ordered from them 3 times now. They have a rent 4 and get 1 free. I used to use a couple of the popular rental places but their shipping prices are outrageous. Especially if you need more than 1 lens. Barry at Camera Lens Rentals is wonderful. They have great feedback on resellerratings.com also!

  • Espiox August 9, 2008 01:28 am

    Can anybody recommend any good UK lens rental sites?

  • Shawn August 9, 2008 01:21 am

    I've used Borrow Lenses... Customer Service has been outstanding! I had an emergency and needed a lens ASAP. I placed an order on the website at 3:00pm on Wednesday and Fed Ex was knocking on the door at 9:00am Thursday morning!!

  • Dana August 9, 2008 01:07 am

    I know Paul, the proprietor of LensProtoGo.com, and many folks in my club rent from him. He offers personal service, and you can always contact him with any questions. He'll even happily help you decide on which lens to rent if you're not sure what you want.

  • Jamie August 9, 2008 01:05 am

    I've used Pro Photo Rental (http://prophotorental.com/Default.asp?c=8417)

    Only good things to say about them, great customer service when I had a problem with their website. I wrote an e-mail and got a phone call back less than an hour later. Shipping included in the price or rental, good prices, good products.

  • Ray August 9, 2008 01:00 am

    I have not rented any glass yet, but I definitely need to start doing it. A friend of mine recommended this place in the Miami, FL area (www.worldwidefoto.com)

    Some lenses are as little as $10 p/day or $60 /week. Not sure if they ship or not, but it is worth a try.

    You can download the Rent list at (http://tinyurl.com/5cds84)

  • Brad August 9, 2008 01:00 am

    I rented from Ziplens for a photography assignment. I rented the Wide Angle Canon lens that costs around 1,000 for a total of 71 dollars for a week. Not bad and it came in handy. Of course now I'm considering purchasing it...

  • AJ August 9, 2008 12:49 am

    I've used Borrow Lenses with good results. I had to change my order after it was placed and my messages were returned extremely fast, often within ten minutes or less.

  • Benjamin D. Bloom August 9, 2008 12:38 am

    I've used ZipLens twice now with great success. I used LensRentals.com for my most recent rental because ZipLens stopped carrying flashes. So far, my experience with LensRentals has been good (good ordering process, fair rates, scheduling, good communication) but I only just received the shipping notice.

  • Kimberly August 9, 2008 12:35 am

    I'm fairly new to the world of SLR and DSLR photography, so I admit I had never heard of this. I purchased my D40 through a local independent photography store. I'll have to contact them to see if they provide this service. If not, the above links will be very helpful. I was astounded at the price good glass costs, so I see this as a great way to try before you buy.

  • A.C. August 9, 2008 12:34 am

    I've used lensrentals.com a couple of times before, and have zero complaints. they're very quick to reply to questions, and everything came just as expected.

  • Bill August 9, 2008 12:33 am

    I rented a 135mm L Canon lens from Oscar at the Lens Depot and was thrilled with the service. It was inexpensive $35 for the week and the process was as simple as the site described it to be. I'd highly reccomend the Lens Depot.

  • Tana August 9, 2008 12:24 am

    My local independent photography store rents lenses. When we were getting ready to sell our house, I rented a good flash and wide-angle lens from them. I had them a couple days and it only cost about $50. So I did business locally and saved money. [I didn't buy my camera there, though.]