On our most recent trip to Tulum, Mexico (blog post coming soon!), we had a vision for some of the photos we wanted to take. We had specific focal lengths in mind and we wanted buttery smooth bokeh. But, we didn’t own the lenses we needed, so we decided to rent them. Keep reading to find out how we rented, which lenses we rented, and why renting might work for you as well.
1. How we rented
We rented our lenses from BorrowLenses.com. It was super easy, convenient, affordable, and shipping was very fast. They have a huge inventory of photo and video related gear including many top brands. They have very fast shipping options, to all 50 states, and even offer same day pick up at some locations.
What I really like about BorrowLenses is that everyone who works there is very knowledgable about their gear and offer great customer service. When I was having some troubles with one of the lenses, their team of experts really helped me troubleshoot and provided an excellent customer experience.
I would highly recommend renting from BorrowLenses for any gear you may need for a future project. This time I rented lenses, but next time I may need lighting equipment and tripods!
2. What we rented
We rented these two lenses from BorrowLenses:
We chose these two lenses for the following reasons:
- They are the focal lengths we wanted to use
- They are prime lenses and offer sharp image quality
- They are capable of large apertures, providing smooth bokeh
For a lot of our travel photos, we love taking environmental portraits to really showcase the destination. For these types of shots, the 24mm is perfect because it is wide enough to capture the environment. It also allows us to stay close to the subject, perfect for places where space is limited and we can’t stand as far back.
35mm is a widely used focal length for a variety of photos. We wanted to use the 35mm for some portrait shots with smooth bokeh. The 35mm focal length was perfect for full body portraits while still retaining some of the scenery. 35mm also compresses the background more, bringing it closer to the subject to really make them feel immersed in the environment. For comparison, we took the same photo as above but with the 35mm. Notice how the background feels much closer and larger.
There are tradeoffs with using either focal length. In the next two photos, I tried to keep the subject around the same size in the composition. Using the 35mm I had to step farther back, luckily there was enough room for me to do so. However, in tighter spaces this may not be possible, and the 24mm would be required. The subject is roughly the same size in both photos but notice how the surrounding environment differs, especially the plants on the left side.
To give you a sense of the difference in perspective, in the next two photos I stood at the same distance from the subject. You can see how different the perspective is between the two focal lengths. Notice how the subject and background feel much closer with the 35mm.
3. Why renting might work for you
Renting these lenses was a good solution for us since we do not own lenses of these focal lengths with a large aperture. Renting allowed us to achieve the specific compositions we wanted without having to buy the gear. After a few days of trying the lenses, we got a sense of what we liked about each and how to use them to their potential. This is useful for us should we ever need to buy any of these in the future because we already know how they perform!
You should definitely consider renting gear for these reasons:
- You need the equipment for a limited time or for a specific use case or project
- You want to try the equipment before committing to buying
- You want to compare two products before choosing
- More cost effective to rent for a short period of time versus buying
If you think renting makes sense for you, I highly recommend renting from BorrowLenses. We’ve had a great experience renting and will definitely rent there again in the future!
If you have any questions, leave a comment below or message me on Instagram @croissantsandcaviar!
Thanks for stopping by!