I dont know why someone didn’t think of this sooner – Or, maybe they did and I have just been living under the proverbial rock and missed it. Rather than purchasing an ultra expensive lens or even a camera for that matter for a photographic trip (such as a Safari to Africa or a trip to your favourite sporting event) you can rent one and have it shipped directly to your destination; then after your trip you can simply send it right back – avoiding all the hassles of airline carry on luggage. Who offers this service? Imaginatively enough its a company called Borrow Lenses.
By way of example: Compared to the costs of renting a 500mm F4 locally in Australia Borrow Lenses are pretty cheap. Normal cost in Melbourne to hire this sort of lens is $700+ per week – Borrow Lenses are less than $300 including shipping to and from your destination.
How Does it Work?
The short version is this: Rent, shoot, return. You choose what you want and how long you want it, and they ship it to you on the date specified with a return label inside the box. When your rental is up you put the lens back in the box it came in, affix the return label and drop it off at FedEx. Once they receive the equipment and inspect it and assuming there’s no damage your rental is complete. Pretty simple and a very useful service for photographers. Definitely something I will be taking further advantage of in the future.