I came across Glass and Gear today, a lens rental place. Unknown to me at first, they’re in New Hampshire. I chatted with the owner a bit via e-mail, and am pretty impressed. The 85mm f/1.2 lens is amazing. (For $3 grand, it had better be.) It’s often touted as one of the best lenses for portraiture. (There’s also the 50mm f/1.2 if 85mm is too long.)
I then did some more searching, and realized that there are a lot of lens rental places out there. This place has the “Bigma” 50-500mm lens for just $49 for a week. Much more expensive, but there’s also the 600mm lens if you really need the best of the best. And at $300 a week it’s not cheap, but they even have the Canon 1Ds Mark II body, currently the best camera Canon makes. 16 megapixels, full-frame, for a mere $7,000. (The 1D Mark III is also incredible, but is aimed at sports photographers and the like; it can shoot at an incredible ISO 6400, a self-cleaning sensor, and it can capture so many photos a second that many have referred to it as a “machine gun” camera.) They seem to be the only place with good lighting rigs, too, for studio photography.
There’s also RentGlass.com, which has a Sigma 30mm f/1.4 lens, for a mere $24/week. And the 24mm tilt-shift lens.
Oh, there are also super-macro lenses. It might be worth comparing prices on anything you’re going to rent (and looking for reviews: I haven’t done that yet!), but I was just surprised to learn how much is out there. Of course, being the first ones I found and practically a neighbor, I think Glass & Gear would be my preferred vendor. When the foliage gets a little nicer and I’m home for a nice crisp autumn weekend, I think I’m going to have to try an 85mm f/1.2 to get some good family portraits, and something like the Bigma to finally get some good moon shots.