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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎11-21-2016

Renting Lenses

I will be shooting an event for work next week and would like some advice about possibly renting a lens/flash. 

 

The event is a dinner and awards ceremony for the top donors to our organization. I currently shoot with a Canon T3i and have a 50mm f1.8, Sigma 70-300mm, Canon 28-80mm and an 18-55mm kit lens. I also have a Speedlite TT560 flash.

 

I'm not sure yet if I have the budget to rent a lens for this event, but if I do, which would you suggest?  

Honored Contributor
Posts: 5,927
Registered: ‎11-13-2012

Re: Renting Lenses

How critical is the projext to your work sucess? If you are doing this for the company and results really matter you might want to consider renting a 5D series body and a 24-70 and 70-200 f/2.8 package and 600EX flash.

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X, Rebel T5i, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, MX472, LRCC Classic
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Posts: 11,507
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Renting Lenses

This is the lens you want, Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens.  But If I were you I would consider buying one instead of renting it.  You could sell all the lenses you have to help defray the initial cost.  With the possible exception of the Sigma, you won't use any of the others after you get it. 

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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Posts: 11,507
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Renting Lenses

"...would like some advice about possibly renting a lens/flash."

 

Before this can accurately be answered, you should visit the site and determine exactly what you are going to deal with.  If possible I would try everything possible to avoid using a flash. A fast zoom lens like the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens is a good start.  For the most part forget any prime lens like your ef 50mm f1.8. Although it has the speed, it doesn't have the versatility of the zoom.

 

I have rented in the past but I don't like to.  The top places like LensRentals.com features top gear that is highly maintained.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,861
Registered: ‎12-02-2012

Re: Renting Lenses

[ Edited ]

I agree with Ernie provided you will be close enough with 55mm. I'd think you should be able to be close enough if you are the official photographer.

As for buying the 17-55 I think that's a good idea too. The only caveat there is that if you were planning to go to a full frame body the 17-55 wouldn't be compatible.

I'd be a little cautious about renting a body you have never used before and then counting on it for a big gig without any practice on it. A full frame body would be a lot better in a dim ceremony but if you go that route do be sure to practice with it. If you do rent a FF body you want a 24-70 f/2.8 lens to go with it.

Do you work in RAW? If so I'd use that for the event to help with noise reduction and general post processing flexibility. If NOT I would not choose a big event as the time to give it a try for the first time.

Scott

Canon 5d mk 4, Canon 6D, EF 70-200mm L f/2.8 IS mk2; EF 16-35 f/2.8 L mk. III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art" EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro; EF 85mm f/1.8; EF 1.4x extender mk. 3; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS; 3x Phottix Mitros+ speedlites

Why do so many people say "FER-tographer"? Do they take "fertographs"?
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Posts: 8,488
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Renting Lenses


@mstu33 wrote:

I will be shooting an event for work next week and would like some advice about possibly renting a lens/flash. 

 

The event is a dinner and awards ceremony for the top donors to our organization. I currently shoot with a Canon T3i and have a 50mm f1.8, Sigma 70-300mm, Canon 28-80mm and an 18-55mm kit lens. I also have a Speedlite TT560 flash.

 

I'm not sure yet if I have the budget to rent a lens for this event, but if I do, which would you suggest?  


You cannot go to far wrong with most any of Canon's "L" Series zoom lenses.  Any of the constant aperture zoom lenses would serve you well, with the a standard zoom range like EF 24-70mm f/2.8L lens being the top choice.

I would agree with the sentiment to go with natural lighting, and avoiding a flash a much as possible.  This may require a steadier hand, and higher ISO settings, than what you are accustomed to using.  Your T3i is not the best camera body for low light, so avoid letting ISO exceed 1600.  You may be able to get away with 3200 with non-closeup shots.

I would agree with the caution about upgrading to a new camera body that you are not familiar with.  Unless you shoot in AUTO or P mode, upgrading to a better camera body would require some practice to learn how to use it.  Even with a better body, you will still be in need of a faster lens.

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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
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Posts: 11,507
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Renting Lenses

"I'd be a little cautious about renting a body you have never used ..."

 

Super important!  Surprises are generally a bad thing for a photographer.  Use your T3i and buy the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens and you will be fine.  I shot many, many events with my second shooters using Rebels.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,816
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: Renting Lenses

The EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM is a good idea.

 

The "kit" lens for your camera would have been the EF-S 18-55 f/3.5-5.6.  So you might be wondering if you've already got the 18-55 range... why have a 17-55 range.  It's not the focal length range... it's the aperture.

 

The EF-S 17-55 can provide an f/2.8 aperture at ANY focal length in the range.  The kit lens can only provide f/3.5 (2/3rds of a stop slower) and ONLY at the 18mm end.  As you zoom the ratio gets higher (less light) and by the time you're roughly half-way through the zoom range (somewhere around 35mm or so) the lens' lowest possible aperture is f/5.6.  

 

At f/2.8 lens is 2 stops faster than an f/5.6 lens.  That means it collects literally FOUR TIMES more light in the same situation.

 

However.... when you go to a lower focal ratio, you also lose some of the "detph of field" (particularly at close distances).  This means if you're shooting a group shot, you need subjects arranged to be roughly at the same distance (or use a higher focal ratio.)

 

There's a lot to be said for familiarity.  If you rent get you've never used before (especially if it's "technical" gear that requries some training time and experience to use effectively) there's a good chance you can botch things just because you're not familiar with the gear.  

 

I am not familiar with the flash.  When I use a flash, I use one of my Speedlite 600EX-RT units (a Canon brand flash) but I've also used my 580EX II and 430EX II (both have since been "donated" to familiy members or close friends.)  You can shoot in "Av" mode with the flash and it'll use it as "fill" light.   That means the camera will set the exposure as if there is no flash (to collect ambient light) but fire the flash to primarily light your subject.  There are some menu settings and one I prefer to use is to limit the shutter speed range when doing this.  I set mine to require that the shutter speed be in the range of 1/60th to 1/250th.  This lets the camera drop the shutter speed to as slow as 1/60th... but no slower.  Otherwise the camera can drop the shutter speed so slow that you may get some blurring in a hand-held shot (most people can hand-hold a camera steady enough at 1/60th using normal focal length lenses.)  If the 3rd party flash you are using supports Canon's E-TTL II flash protocol then you may be able to use this mode. 

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎11-21-2016

Re: Renting Lenses

Thanks to all for sharing your input!

While I'd love to purchase a new lens, it's just not in my budget right now. I will definitely keep these lenses on the radar for when I do have enough to make that purchase. I just bought my 50mm prime lens and don't want to sell it just yet. But I will certainly remember I can sell some of the lenses I have to defray costs.

Ultimately I have approval to rent a lens, and I think I will go with the 17-55 mm one to use on my T3i. Eventually I'd like to upgrade to a FF, so I'm not quite sure I am ready to purchase it.

TCampbell -- thanks for your advice on the flash. I have limited expereince with flashes, so your comments are helpful.

I agree on the 18-55 kit lens... it will take horrible photos at this event in the low lighting.
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Posts: 11,507
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Renting Lenses

"Use your T3i and buy rent the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens and you will be fine."

 

This is my advice as you already know.

 

 Second, avoid flash at much as possible.  If flash is the only answer get there early and try it. Learn your settings before hand.  Most new people that use flash for big events end up with over exposed people and black backgrounds.  I have a wedding this Saturday and flash is the only answer.  I don't like it but is what it is.  The ceiling is low and it is white so I will be fine.

 

There is another problem with renting the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens, you will not want to return it ! Smiley Happy

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
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