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Buyers’ guide

Lenses For Hire Lenses For Hire offers

an extensive selection of optics from marque and independent brands, for Canon (EOS RF and EF), Fujifilm (XF), Nikon (F and Z), Olympus/Panasonic (MFT) and Sony cameras. Its website has good search filters that make it easy to find kit you are interested in. The product offerings also include cameras, tripods, gimbals, panoramic heads, memory cards and speedlights. Orders are taken via the website only – get your order in by 3pm for delivery the next day. If you need

Checking hire prices is easy using the drop-down menu, which shows three to 35 days’ hire. For an idea of costs, a Canon EF 24-70mm f/4 is £72 for a seven-day hire, £50 for three days, £94 for ten days. If you are planning a safari, then the Canon EF 500mm f/4 L IS II USM is £347 for seven days and £589 for 14 days – buying a new one would set you back over £9500. Lenses For Hire prices include insurance, with an £150 excess, but not carriage. You get options for delivery and return when you check out. A next-day courier costs £9, and if you want kit to arrive before 10.30am, this goes to £20. Courier collection is £19, but you can arrange returns yourself, or drop kit off at the company’s Maidenhead office.

kit sooner, give Lenses For Hire a ring. The website has an availability feature and – if you’re one for planning ahead – you can reserve kit 999 days in advance! Deposits for loan kit are generally not taken and Lenses For Hire works on trust, but there are situations when a deposit is needed, so use the website for details.

Fujifilm offers a free 48-hour loan on its X Series and GFX system cameras and lenses. In the X Series, current models in the loan scheme are the X-Pro3, X-S10, X-T4 and X100V. Only the X-S10 is offered in partnership with a lens, but there’s choice of 17 XF lenses as well. With Fujifilm making great strides in medium format digital, perhaps a GFX camera interests you? Currently, the GFX 50R and GFX100 are on offer – at Try Fujifilm

require an extension beyond 48 hours. If you do extend the free loan and then go on to buy any kit that you’ve tried, log on to your Fujifilm Connect account (which you need to set up for this scheme), select Refunds/ Cashback, upload proof of purchase and you’ll get a refund for any loan charges. A live availability function lets you check stock, and you get a live update of any charges if you want a longer loan period.

the time of writing, the 102-megapixel GFX100S is due to be added to the list. Twelve GF lenses and one teleconverter are offered in the scheme. The Try Fujifilm scheme allows for five free 48- hour loans a year, so if you want to try a camera body and lens free for 48 hours, you can use two of your five annual loans for this. However, you still need to pay deposits for both items, plus any extra charges if you


The Flash Centre (TFC) is (as you’d expect from the name) a renowned lighting specialist. With stores in London, Birmingham and Leeds, it offers sales (new and pre-loved) and rental of a very broad range of kit, from still and video cameras and lenses, to speedlights, audio gear, rigs and memory cards. Rental is available from all three stores, with free UK delivery on hires over £150. If you open an account with TFC, you can rent without a deposit, have kit collected on your behalf and delivered wherever you like. But remember, there’s no loss or waiver charge, so insurance is your responsibility. For capture, TFC offers Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Sigma, Sony and Tamron kit in full-frame and APS-C formats, while in medium format there’s the choice of Fujifilm, Pentax and Phase. As a guide, the day rate for a Fujifilm GFX 50R is £90, or £339 for a week. The options are just as broad when it comes to lighting, with continuous lights from Elinchrom, Rotolight and Nanguang, as well as speedlights from Hähnel and pro flash from Broncolor and Elinchrom. A two-head Elinchrom 500 TTL kit is £159.60 for a week’s hire, or £45.60 daily. A downloadable, 11-page rental price list is available from the TFC website. The Flash Centre

 Plan ahead. If organising a trip or shoot, you have plenty of advance warning. If you are thinking of a hire, make sure there’s availability, then reserve kit well ahead of time. Top-end or esoteric items might be limited in numbers, so reserving is a good idea.  An obvious one: read the small print before you click ‘buy’. Some sites have Q&A sections, so check those.  Cost per day comes down with a longer loan period, which is worth bearing in mind when planning your photography. A Fujifilm X-T4, for example, borrowed under the Try Fujifilm scheme for three days (with 48 hours free) is £108. That works out at £36 per day, while a seven-day loan is £130.80, or £18.68 a day.  Once the kit arrives, make sure it is in full working order. Take a few test shots and check what you actually received. There is usually a delivery note (or you might get one via email), so check you actually received what’s listed. If a lens cap, battery or strap is on the delivery docket, but not in the box, report any shortfall, damage or fault immediately. Basically, flag up any concerns as soon as you can.  Make sure you remember the collection day. Set an alarm in your diary, tie a knot in your hanky, ask Alexa, whatever. You’ll probably get an email reminder from the hirer, too. Just make sure the full kit is packed and ready for collection on the day. Couriers are on schedules, so they don’t take kindly to having to wait.  If you are returning kit personally and happen to be running late, make sure the hirer is aware.  Most hirers charge a deposit, so if you want it back, take care of the kit and treat it as if it was your own. Either take out insurance or use the damage waiver option to cover accidental damage in the hire agreement. Also, if you’re aiming to take the kit out of the country, let the hirer know this upfront.  Some hirers have accidental loss or damage insurance in the hire price, so items are covered. Should you have any problems, let the hirers know as soon as possible.

Issue 87 | Photography News 19

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