LensRentals and LensProToGo Become One

LensRentals and LensProToGo Become One

Two rental giants are teaming up to create the strongest rental company in the United States. Together, they’ll be able to reach 300,000 customers. So what’s going to change?

LensRentals was founded in 2006, as was LensProToGo coincidentally. After over a decade, they'll merge under one roof. Both brands will be running as normal, so customers shouldn’t notice any changes. With combined resources, the companies are not just reaching a larger market. The new private company will be able to offer the most amount of equipment and services than anywhere else in the country. With this arrangement, customers will be able to rent gear on both coasts from the same company.

The announcement was publicized today after the deal was finalized on December 1. It’s worth noting that this partnership has nothing to do with LensRentals acquiring ATS Rentals from Illinois, who distribute nationally. Although I’m sure that gave LenProToGo confidence in the current deal.

“The LensProToGo opportunity allows us to increase our visibility on the east coast of the U.S., and continue to offer a more specialized consultative approach to photography and video gear rental,” explained Drew Cicala, co-owner of LensRentals.

The websites are certainly similar.

Consolidation like this isn’t all that rare, however since this is a partnership and not necessarily a buyout, then we could expect serious competition from this deal. Earlier this year, gear-sharing startup KitSplit acquired CameraLends. It shaped them up to take on Sharegrid. While equipment sharing isn’t quite the same industry as LensRentals and LensProToGo, it’s clear that consolidation is a smart decision to compete in a competitive market.

What do you think? Is anybody a particular fan of one brand over the other? I’m interested to see what else they’ll be able to offer.

Stephen Kampff's picture

Working in broadcasting and digital media, Stephen Kampff brings key advice to shoots and works hard to stay on top of what's going to be important to the industry.

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I usually use Borrow Lenses. Has anyone used BL and these others? Anyone have a preference?

The main reason I prefer Lensrentals is because it allows you to customize the length of your rental. Sometimes I only need something for 2-3 days or less. With Borrow Lenses I'm locked in for a week at minimum. I also prefer LR's packaging. I've gotten some pretty beat up boxes from BL and it didn't instill a lot of confidence in the gear I was renting.

I've used BorrowLenses for 4-day rental so perhaps that's new since last time you used them?

My bad! Just checked and I'm seeing I CAN do a 3 day rental with BL. I will say that when I contacted BL about the boxes, customer service was super helpful and asked me to send in photos of the boxes so they could correct the mistake. LensRentals (and I guess now LensProToGO?) is still my preferred, but I'll def rent from both in the future!

I strictly use LensRentals for this one reason: theft protection. I've never had a problem with stolen gear. But, it gives me that warm feeling of security. No one else seems to offer this protection and it doesn't add much to the rental price. I also like how LR provides strong repacking tape!

I originally used LensProToGo because their physical office was not too far off my commute route so I'd just pick up and drop off the lenses. Once I decided that I didn't want to take the time to get there before their office closed and such, I found BorrowLenses was cheaper and I've used them since. I haven't had any of the "beat up boxes" that Joe mentions above personally, but I've only rented from them twice so far. If LensProToGo can beat BorrowLenses price I'll gladly use them again - I haven't otherwise seen a reason to lock in to one over the other.

Another vote for Borrow Lenses. I've used them a couple of times. Once when UPS screwed up they overnighted what I needed at no cost. I didn't even ask, they just volunteered to make sure I got the lens before my trip. Super service!!

Never tried Lens Rentals.
Have used LensProToGo quite a bit and really like them. They have terrific customer service, in my opinion.
I've also tried Borrow Lenses...they're okay too.

I used ATS until LensRental bought them. ATS's prices were very reasonable and the service was excellent. I have't used LensRentals or LensProtoGo yet. These companies combining may make more equipment available from one rental company but I fear lessening of competition will lead to higher rental fees. Fortunately I normally only rent when I want to try new equipment before purchasing.

I have used Camera Lens Rentals in the past for a few rentals. Never an issue.