LensRentals has announced that they are merging with another major rental company, LensProToGo. After over a decade of existence, the two rental giants have decided to join forces in an attempt to bring their customers the best rental experience.
Lensrentals, the largest online renting service of photo and video gear, announced that they’re adding of drones and virtual reality (VR) equipment for rental across the US. Starting from today, you’ll be able to rent Mavic DJI Pro, DJI Phantom 4 Pro and DJI Inspire 2, along with the additional equipment. As for the VR gear, Orah 4i and Nikon gear and accessories will be available through Lensrentals.
When a new piece of gear is released, it’s accompanied by a press release. This press release is often filled full of jargon and tech speak. Details that 99% of customers either don’t understand or even really care about. But big numbers and words that are difficult to pronounce look impressive. So, manufacturers include them.
Savvy manufacturers, though, can save a little money on their marketing budget, and the new Random Photo Marketing Generator instead. Created by Roger Cicala and Seb Pearce, you’d swear you were reading the website of one of the well known lens manufacturers. Of course, the text it generates is complete nonsense, but it does sound very good.
The Share Economy has brought the world some pretty interesting business models. The likes of Uber and Airbnb have become a part of daily life now, for many people throughout the world. It’s not something that many people associate with photography gear rental, though. Typically one thinks of companies like LensRentals and BorrowLenses, who meticulously maintain their equipment to ensure they’re always letting out the very best.
But gear rental doesn’t seem to be immune to the share economy. In fact, both KitSplit and CameraLends have pretty much entirely built upon its principles. Today, KitSplit announced that they have acquired rival company CameraLends. This brings both communities together and offers a much larger pool of gear, as well as a bigger customer base.
When I see the phrase “for those of you following along at home” in a teardown article, I know it’s going to be a good one. This is especially so when it’s the first public teardown of such a new and expensive lens. Nikon announced the 105mm f/1.4E back in July to much fanfare. Many photographers who managed to get their hands on one instantly fell in love.
So, what’s caused this teardown now? Is there an issue with these lenses? Nope, it’s simply maintenance and cleaning. For most of us, a few specks of dust aren’t an issue, but for gear hire company LensRentals, the equipment has to look like brand new each time it goes out to the next client. This means regular teardowns and cleaning of their equipment.
Burning man is probably one of the best places in the world to get some exciting photos going. Sadly, not without a price.
Roger Cicala of LensRental tells that after each Burning Man festival he s faced with the task of cleaning (and sometimes scraping) the gear that came back from the Playa. It is not that the cameras are getting sand in them. They are getting dust. And lots of it. If you’ve ever been to Burning Man, you know how all encompassing the Playa can be. And by all encompassing, I mean getting everywhere.
Sadly, everywhere also means inside your camera. Even an hermetically, weather sealed camera would need an occasional card replacement and battery swap. (I think you would know better than to change lenses). But most cameras are not hermetically sealed, and they take some damage.
I got an email the other day that got me thinking. A guy simply asked “How far do I have to stop down a lens to get maximum performance. I’ve heard two stops from wide open. I’ve heard down to f/8. Which is correct?”
I asked him which lens he was referring to, and was he talking about the center point, corners, or overall. He didn’t realize that it mattered. He thought all lenses were the same and had this idea that eventually there was an aperture where the lens was maximally sharp and the corners were as sharp as the center. At this point, I realized there was no way I could tell him everything he needed to know in an email and I decided to write a blog post about it.
As soon as we optically tested the Canon 35mm f/1.4 Mk II lens we couldn’t wait to tear into one for a couple of reasons. One was that Canon has been making a lot of interesting advances in lens mechanics lately, so we’re always excited to look inside their new lenses. Another was that Canon claimed this lens had increased weather resistance and durability. You know I’m pretty cynical about claims like that until I see what’s inside for myself. And finally, well, it’s been really busy all fall and Aaron and I really just haven’t had time to tear apart some new lenses, so we were having withdrawal.
We got a little time this week, so we used it to take apart the new Canon 35mm f/1.4 Mk II. Those of you who like to follow along from home with your own lens go get your #2 JIS screwdriver and a spanner wrench and let’s get to work!
When Lensrentals.com first got the first Canon 5Ds and 5D sr cameras in stock, Aaron and I immediately started screaming that we wanted to take one apart. It turns out we received enough 5Ds cameras to let us have a day with one to do just that. Of course, we don’t expect to find out anything amazing and revealing. We expect it will look pretty much like the Canon 5DIII and 7DII on the inside. But hey, you never know. Plus we’ll be repairing these soon enough, so we might as well find our way around now.
If you want to do some comparisons yourself, you can compare this to our Canon 5D III teardown and Canon 7D II teardown. Or if you’d rather follow along from home with your own 5Ds go grab your screwdrivers and let’s get started!