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Brian's Photo Blog — Article 205
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My First Time Renting a Lens
Tuesday 20 November 2012   —   Category: Equipment
As I was exploring the Internet recently, somehow — I’m not exactly sure how — I came across an intriguing Micro Four Thirds (µ4/3) lens which I had never heard of before. The Yasuhara company of Japan has produced an ultra-macro lens — called Nanoha — which offers 4x to 5x magnification capabilities. Because the lens has to be so close to the object being photographed, it even comes with its own built-in, USB-powered, LED lighting system, as you can see in the photo to the right.

Excited about this discovery, I started researching where one could buy this lens, and how much it costs. About the only option I turned up was for $500 at B&H Photo. Digging deeper, I also found that I could RENT the lens for a number of days to give it a try, without making that big purchase commitment.

For more than a year I have been seeing ads for lens rental in the photography magazines I have subscribed to, but I had never seriously entertained the idea of doing so myself. This seemed like the perfect occasion, because with a specialty lens like this, it’s hard to know if it would live up to my expectations, and if I would use it long-term, or soon tire of its novelty. Renting would be a good way to take it for a test drive without spending a lot of money. After that, I could decided if it was worth buying or not.

So I headed over to LensRentals.com, which is offering a four-day rental of this lens for $35.25, plus an additional $29 for round-trip second-day FedEx shipping. I placed my order on a Monday afternoon, and they were able to ship it that same day.

The Nanoha lens arrived safe and sound — two days later — on Wednesday. Because my four-day rental would be up on Sunday, I was able to keep it an extra day for the same price, which worked out nicely. But by the time I finish this multi-article story, you’ll see that that extra day didn’t really matter in the end.

All in all, my experience with LensRentals.com was very positive, and I would not hesitate to use their services again in the future. If you are ever hesitant about purchasing an expensive lens, or just need to use one for a short time, rental is a great way to go.

The rest of my interaction with this ultra-macro lens will be covered in four additional articles:
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 205
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