What Do Numbers Say?
Beyond subjective or opinion-based reasons, there are some solid objective reasons behind renting lenses vs. buy it.
From our price research more than 750 lens the average lens price is over $1100.
If you’ve looked at lens prices you know that they vary widely based on quality and type, but this is a good base cost for the sake of comparison.
Then if you rent a quality lens for a week or so it could range from $50-$80.
Again, certain lenses may be more or less than this, but it’s a reasonable price range for a lens that many people consider renting.
So, if we take these simple numbers You can rent lenses for between 14-22 weeks for the same cost as buying them. So that’s about the same as renting a lens every two weeks!
Now if you rent the same lens every week you should consider just buying it. Not only for the cost, but also for the convenience of owning it.
What this illustrates is that renting lenses as opposed to buying them, is not a bad financial decision.
Just like if you were deciding whether you should buy a year-long membership to a place rather than just a one-time fee; You can decide how much you will use that membership. With this type of decision, you will often find that if you use your membership more than four times, you will save money.
Our example here shows that you need to plan to use your purchased lens more than half a year before it is worth buying rather than renting a lens.
22 weeks of use is a good gauge for whether you should buy a lens.
While this is a good guide for you to use in your decision-making process, it doesn’t mean you should wait until your 21st week of renting before you buy that lens.
If you’ve rented the same lens 3 or more times, it’s a good idea to consider that continuing to use the lens justifies buying it.
Does that mean you’ve spent your money on one of those first rentals? Not all!
Those rentals give you great value at that. Plus, they get you to the point where you know whether you like the lens or not.
When looked at objectively, renting lenses can be a cheaper option for many photographers.