Thread: What lenses do you hire?

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  1. #1 What lenses do you hire? 
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    So I rent my gear out on an occasional, unprofessional basis. I also love lenses... I don't know why and I'm sure like most people here I often stare at glass way out of my budget and dream about buying them. So the thought struck me, why not just start up a rental company and try to justify these purchases by making money off them.

    There also seems to be a gap in the market (at least where I am), where most rental options are various Canon options (which aren't all that great for cinema) and CP.2's and upwards. There isn't really anything for those on super tight budgets who want to work in a more cinema friendly format. So I'd probably start off with some cheaper kits: My Cine-Modded Nikon's, Rokinon's and some CP.2's. I'll also get some various filters, matteboxes, follow focuses and a couple of BM's to start off with. Over time if I do well I'll look at getting some higher end stuff.

    So my question to those who rent often, what do you usually go for? Or what would you go for it were available to you?
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member jambredz's Avatar
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    Remember Canon has the CNE line of glass which is very good. Also the Sony Cinealta line is also very good for the money. So you can consider those options also if and when you get into renting lower end Cinema glass. I for one would rent those from a rental house.
    Darren Scott
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  3. #3  
    I mean, I'd have a long think about this. You'll have to front hefty insurance premiums, constant L&D costs, and people treating your lenses rather roughly. That said, there are tons of lenses to look at:

    - Canon CNE
    - SLRMagic APO
    - Celere HS
    - Rokinon Xeen
    - Zeiss Milvus Cine-Mod
    - Sony CineAlta

    And that's not even counting some of the more specialty "look" lenses out there, like:

    - Uncoated Rokinon Cine DS primes
    - Dog Schidt Trump series
    - Lomo Spherical Fronts
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  4. #4  
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    A buddy owns the Sony Cinealta II set and he gets no rental on them. They're great, but Cooke, Zeiss, Canon are a much safer bet if you want rental, but they are quite expensive as well.

    If you want a cheaper set, you could get a set of Leica R lenses and mod them with gears, you shouldn't have any problems finding a rental house to keep them with.
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  5. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex.Mitchell View Post
    I mean, I'd have a long think about this. You'll have to front hefty insurance premiums, constant L&D costs, and people treating your lenses rather roughly.
    ....and you'll need to make sure the renters have production insurance which is a pain. I've worked for companies that rent gear and it has to be an absolutely catastrophic event for them to file a claim because the jump in premium isn't usually worth just writing it off.
    You need to be available to rent/return the lenses.
    You need to live in an area that has enough demand.
    You need to be prepared for every jerk trying to beat you up on the price. "Can I get a 1 day weekend rental? I want to pick the lenses up thursday night and bring them back tuesday morning"
    You need to compete with Lensrentals.

    That said I used to rent my HVX/35mm adapter combo when it was sitting, which was frequently, and probably made a few grand. This was back in the day and it was in high demand. It was nice to make a little bread off of gear that I was going to own rental or not.

    The thing is, I'm not going to rent a set of lenses from you unless you have something that I can't get easily somewhere else. I can have a set of 6 CP.2s delivered to my front door tomorrow for $1000 week. What can you offer that's better or different than that?

    Sites like sharegrid look pretty cool if you're in LA, but now you're at about 60% the rental price of normal and you're looking at a solid year of rentals to recoup the cost. Definitely a tricky proposal. Good Luck.
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  6. #6  
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    Talking about opening new rental business, I would so much love a camera equipment leasing company like you do with cars. Instead of buying a camera you could lease it with a reasonable price for long tern - but more like you own it not a quick rental you have to run to return. Where I live, the 4.6k + shoulder + EVF + 3x128GB goes around $1500/month. Not a bad price but you could just get the camera after a few months of saving. If it was cheaper it would be super attractive. Don't know the numbers and if it's worth it, I'm just saying it would be nice for people that can't afford to throw 4~5 figures all together but still aspiring to film using this kind of equipment.
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  7. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howie Roll View Post
    ....and you'll need to make sure the renters have production insurance which is a pain. I've worked for companies that rent gear and it has to be an absolutely catastrophic event for them to file a claim because the jump in premium isn't usually worth just writing it off.
    You need to be available to rent/return the lenses.
    You need to live in an area that has enough demand.
    You need to be prepared for every jerk trying to beat you up on the price. "Can I get a 1 day weekend rental? I want to pick the lenses up thursday night and bring them back tuesday morning"
    You need to compete with Lensrentals.

    That said I used to rent my HVX/35mm adapter combo when it was sitting, which was frequently, and probably made a few grand. This was back in the day and it was in high demand. It was nice to make a little bread off of gear that I was going to own rental or not.

    The thing is, I'm not going to rent a set of lenses from you unless you have something that I can't get easily somewhere else. I can have a set of 6 CP.2s delivered to my front door tomorrow for $1000 week. What can you offer that's better or different than that?

    Sites like sharegrid look pretty cool if you're in LA, but now you're at about 60% the rental price of normal and you're looking at a solid year of rentals to recoup the cost. Definitely a tricky proposal. Good Luck.
    Thanks Howie. Yes, these are some things I've put some thought into already - trying to put together a waterproof policy and insurance package so I'm covered if some idiot leaves a kit of lenses on a train (yep, I've heard of that happening). I should have mentioned in my first post that I'm located in Melbourne, Australia. It's not LA big, but theres an increasing number of filmmakers flocking here so I think theres demand to be found. There is certainly demand for those on a low budget, so that's a gap I'd like to fill before taking on the big boys.

    I agree also about a personalised service - the rental houses that I've dealt with don't seem to offer delivery, so that's something I'd like to offer. I'll put some more thought into that though...

    I'm meeting with my accountant this week to get some much needed advice. Thanks to everyone who's suggested something so far, keep them coming!
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