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Renting A Lens from Lenses For Hire

“Get good glass” is a refrain that you hear a great deal from pro photographers. What they mean is a good lens will make more noticeable difference to the quality of your images than a good camera body.

What they don’t mention, but is sort of implied, is that good glass costs good money! I’ve been thinking about a nice telephoto zoom, something like Nikon’s 70-200mm f2.8 VRII. To be honest, thinking about it is probably as far as I’ll get because it’s £1600. Nice though.

But what's this? A company that will hire you a lens for a far more modest sum? Indeed it is! Lens For Hire stock a fantastic range of lens for Nikon, Canon and Sony users. With the Autumn Classic at Prescott Hillclimb coming up I thought that it this could be a great excuse to give their service a whirl.

The whole process is very straightforward: pick a lens, decide when and for how long you want it, pay for it and you’re done.

With delivery and collection factored in the 70-200s were nudging £100 for three days. However the 80-200 f2.8 was a far more reasonable £60. Booked!

The lens arrived as promised the day before the hire started. Really well boxed, in the original Nikon case with instructions and a Hoya Digital UV filter fitted. What a beast of a lens! Hefty is being kind, but it felt like it could take, or indeed give out, a heck of a beating.

I stuck it straight on to the front of my Nikon D7100 and nipped up through the fields to have a quick play about with it. Conditions were a bit hazy, but the autofocus was fast and the backgrounds were lovely and soft when the aperture was set wide.

Off to Prescott on Sunday and I was going great guns: candid shots in the paddock, details of the cars, track action and most excitingly of all the incredible aerobatic display at lunchtime. Then I looked at the rear screen of my camera and saw “(!) Cannot Format Memory Card. Card may be defective. Insert another card.” That’s material for another post, but needless to say I was gutted. And yes, the images have proved to be unrecoverable…

Overall I really enjoyed using the lens. The rental process was very straightforward, there was excellent communication from Lenses For Hire, and the lens itself was a treat to use. (The quality of images it produced were waaaaaaay better than my budget Sigma 70-300 could dream of.) I can definitely see myself using their services again, and would have no hesitation in recommending them to others.

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