Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Review of CameraLensRentals.com

Hello All~

Several posts ago I talked about equipment buying/selling, sharing, borrowing, and renting. Since then I had the opportunity to try out one of the rental joints, Cameralensrentals.com.

I'll save you all the suspense, the experience was good. I placed the order online. Shortly thereafter, they confirmed availability and acceptance of my order. Lens arrived on a Thursday just like they said they would. I ordered a Canon 24-70 f2.8L and the Canon 70-200 f2.8L IS. My official rental period (I chose 10 days) didn't start until the Friday. I like that.

The lenses were wrapped in bubblewrap inside softcases (with UV filters, caps, and hoods) and then packed well in lots of scalloped foam in an appropriately sized box. Also in the box was instructions, an invoice, and a return Fedex label (shipping was part of my original cost).

The price was cheaper or at least on par with the other 1/2 dozen places I shopped and CLR offered a 10% for a first-time user. Not too shabby.

The lenses seemed to be in fine shape, although I expected more out of L glass. They weren't as amazingly or consistently sharp, bright, or fast as I thought they would be. Of course, this is no reflection on CLR. Just on these lenses and perhaps my overzealous expectations.

The day before I was due to ship the lenses back, I received an e-mail reminder from CLR just as they told me they would. The day of shipping I got an email asking that I replace the return label with a new one they were sending via email (apparently to change the shipping from ground to air or express). They wanted the lens back on Wednesday rather than Friday. As long as it was their extra dime, fine by me!

Then I got a call to once again remind me to ship, but it was already happily with the Fedex/Kinko's folk by that point! So, as long as they are happy with the condition the lenses are in when they see them tomorrow (and I believe them to be the same way I got them), I'd have to give the whole experience a big thumbs-up. CLR was easy to work with and did everything they promised. Having said that, I see no reason not to use them again, but I am interested to know how the other rental joints work. So, if you have experience with other photography equipment rental outfits, please comment on this blog and let everybody know about it. Thanks!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Dolar Wedding

Just a quickshot from the end of the ceremony for Michelle and Nate this past Saturday. It was a super laid-back beautiful wedding at the Church of the Beatitudes and a rockin' party at the home of the bride's parents. Nice work, Pat and Mike! (who was the caterer? The dinner was amazing!) Everybody was having such a good time that I went an hour OT because I didn't want to miss anything!

Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Dolar!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

happy couple

Another shot of Chris and Erin (I've got a wedding today, so you'll get some new faces, soon, but aren't these two just a handsome couple!??!!).

Friday, March 27, 2009

finger pointing friday: march 27, 2009

Haven't done one of these in a bit. So today we point you toward great photo info from all around cyberspace.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

sunset at the dawn of love

One more Chris and Erin and a glorious sunset. How can you go wrong with that?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

the wedding of erin and chris

Yesterday was the terrific wedding of Erin and Chris over at the Gold Canyon Golf Resort. Great place for a wedding. Beautiful grounds, gardens, etc. For some formals, the coordinator wisked us off in a golf cart partway up the mountain to get some great images near sunset. Sunset in the desert can be a beautiful thing, but I think it was trumped this time by the beautiful bride and her beaming new hubby!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

first faves from the lineberry rehearsal dinner!

Just a few immediate favorites from Friday's rehearsal dinner for the Lineberry wedding. Mostly the adorable kids, but they always liven up any event. Can't wait for the real thing in just about 13 hours! Congratulations Erin and Chris!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

you can't afford bad photography

Just saw this over at the PixelatedImage Blog and had to filch it.

Friends don't let friends (or relatives) shoot their weddings! Just say no! This is your wedding. This is your wedding on bad photography.

See my article Why Hire a Pro? for lots of good reasons why you are better off with a professional photographer. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

san xavier mission

Beautiful, historic, San Xavier Mission in Tucson, AZ. Amazing!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

a very large group shot

Here's one way to do a very large group shot, compliments of our friends over at Squeeze the Lime...

LIME012 - 800 people groupshot from Lime Photography on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

sharing equipment & equipment rental

Equipment. Camera bodies, lenses, flashes, brackets, remote triggers, lights, stands, umbrellas, softboxes, filters, cases, computers, software, plugins, etc. etc. etc.....

Adds up. Fast and to a high sum. So what's the little guy supposed to do? For starters, most of us do what I did. Start small and trade-up, trade-up, trade-up. It's a little trickier than it sounds because in the age of digital equipment, you have to time your trade-ups, sales, and buys very carefully. Sell too soon and you're not getting all the value out of your gear. Wait too long and the equipment is fast obsolete and worth only pennies on the dollar.

Another appealing option, especially in the current economic climate is some sharing within the community. When all your photographic acquaintances are busy and perhaps feeling competitive, this proves difficult. In tougher times like we are experiencing now, I suspect that many photographers are more idle than they like and their gear is just sitting around, too. In this situation, I think sharing or even renting gear from person to person is an ideal solution.

Between the economy and the influx of newbies because of the relative ease and accessibility of digital, photography as a business is under attack. Working together in the photographic community to foster the maintainance of commerce and quality is one way to preserve our craft and our business. And renting gear from person to person (rather than from the online sources that I will discuss shortly) keeps cashflow in the hands of the photographers.

Of course, another option is online rental of equipment. There are many outlets for renting equipment. Primarily lenses and bodies, but in some cases, lights and other equipment as well.

Some options include:

I've heard good things about all of these. I just placed an order with the last one, CameraLensRentals. I'll post something about that experience in a few weeks after I see how that goes.

And lastly, perhaps the best option of all might very well be a rich relative that likes to spoil you or a winning lottery ticket, or some insider knowledge on the stock exchange!

Please comment with ideas about how we can maintain our business and the quality of our work in these uncertain economic times. Also, any personal experiences with the online rental joints mentioned about or any others that you recommend.