Do you need a camera, lens, or flash for a shot you have in mind (or even a gig) but don't have the photographic budget for it at the moment? Consider renting. Rentals cost less than you might think and are a great solution for equipment that are only occasionally needed.
One such company offering rentals is Samy's (www.samys.com). Examples from Samy's rental catalog:
- Canon 5D MkII. Around $2500 to buy. Rent for $200/day.
- Canon 17-55. $1100+ to buy. Rent for $35/day.
- Canon 24-70. $1400 to buy. Rent for $30/day.
- Canon 70-200 IS. $1900 to buy. Rent for $35/day.
- Canon 50 1.2L. $1500 to buy. Rent for $40/day.
- Canon 580 EX II flash. $445 to buy. Rent for $25/day.
(I'm not a Canon user, so I don't know much about these equipment...)
- Nikon D700. $2400+ to buy new. Rent for $150/day.
- Nikon F6 (most advanced 35mm film camera). Currently selling for $3200 new. Rent for $50/day with a 50mm lens or $45/day for just the body.
- Nikon 14-24 2.8. One of the finest Nikon lenses ever. $1800 to buy new. Rent for $35/day.
- Nikon 17-55 2.8. One of the best DX lenses. Over $1500 to buy new. Rent for $30/day.
- Nikon 24-70 2.8. Finest Nikon lens in the normal zoom range. $1700+ to buy new. Rent for $35/day.
- Nikon 70-200 2.8 VR. One of the finest Nikon tele lenses. A bit less than $2k to buy *used*. Rent for $35/day.
- Nikon 60 2.8 micro AF-D. Great for macro shots. Around $540 to buy. Rent for $18/day.
- SB-800. A flash workhorse. No longer sold. Rent for $18/day.
Other interesting items:
- Medium format cameras, including digital medium format. Can you say Hasselblad? :)
- Lots of monoblocs.
- Fog/smoke machine (Rosco Model 1700). Virtually impossible to justify buying this ($700). Rent for $35/day. Rarindra Prakarsa, watch out! :)
Samy's policy is that a weekend is charged as just one day (if you pick up after 3pm on Friday you can return by 11am on Monday and you'll be charged just one day). A whole week is charged like 3 days (or 4 days for some equipment).
Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with Samy's and I'm not getting anything from this. I also haven't tried their service yet, though I plan to do so when the right opportunity comes along.