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  • Writer's pictureDaphne

Gear on a budget

Updated: Apr 23, 2018

In one of my previous blogs (M is for Manual), I mentioned relying on the generosity of friends who allowed me to borrow their equipment. It has been a vital part of my growth as a photographer. In addition to borrowing equipment, below are two potential ways that you can keep your photography budget down while continuing to improve your skills.

Renting Equipment

I've found renting equipment to be very cost effective with regard to my budget. In the past, I have rented a Canon 70-200mm lens to photograph skating events. The rental cost, which depends on the lens and the length of rental, is only a small fraction of the purchasing cost of a new one. For my most recent purchase, a Canon 7D Mark II, I rented it first to make sure that it was exactly what I was looking for in an upgrade.

Lens Examples: According to, the cost to rent a Canon 70-200mm IS II for 7 days (including shipping and damage protection), is roughly $130. According to, the cost to purchase this lens is $2,099, which is not always in a person's budget. I've also rented a 85mm lens for photo shoots. According to, the cost to rent a Canon 85mm 1.4 for 5 days is $114. B & H lists the cost to purchase as $1,599.00. The costs for both of these rentals/purchases are current as of the date of this post.

While I have used several different rental companies in the past, I've found to be the most reliable with regard to receiving the lens on time and the quality of the rental equipment. When I was searching for a new rental company, they came highly recommended from many of my photography friends.

For my most recent purchase, a Canon 7D Mark II, I rented it first.

Purchasing Used Equipment

Another avenue you can pursue is purchasing equipment. Though I haven't personally purchased used equipment, several friends have found it useful and cost effective. In some cases, photographers will purchase a lens and use it a few times and determine it doesn't fit their needs, so they offer it up for sale either through Ebay, Amazon, etc. as gently used equipment. Some photography rental companies will also offer up used rental equipment for sale. B & H has a special used equipment section that lists lenses at varying prices due to condition.

I hope you've found this post helpful. Your comments and questions are always appreciated.

Until next time,


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