Compared to the big photo sites, which live in splendid mansions down in the green valley, TOP is like a poor mountain relation. Mostly, we cannot afford to buy cameras in order to test them and write about them. Borrowing cameras is always a possibility, and some (not all) manufacturers have proven cooperative; but this sets up a de facto relationship that I've always been uncomfortable with.
LensRentals to the rescue.
The World Wide Web is maturing. Not only is it getting more crowded all the time, but more cream is rising to the top. I do intend to do a roundup, one of these days, of the best photo sites on the Web. (I'd tell you exactly where it is on my 1,348-item to-do list, but, scanning down the list, I'm not seeing it just now.) LensRentals is one of them. It's a site worth visiting even if you have never rented a piece of photo equipment and never intend to do so; that registers as pretty high praise for a commercial site, in my view.
I think it worked pretty well when I rented a Nikon D800E and an AF-S Nikkor 35mm ƒ/1.4G for five days and wrote a modest rolling review. Of course, there was a slight problem, and a slight downside...the problem was that the weather was lousy for four of my five days, and the downside was that I got so dazzled by the wondrous Nikonish device that I bought one. Ahem. That is not a regularly reproducible behavior. It is also possibly also not a terribly professional reaction. Reviewers are supposed to be jaded, are we not?
But aside from all that, and up until the point that I smashed a hole in my bank vault and tilted it on end until everything poured out, it went well, I thought.
So, undaunted*, I'm going to try it again. I've just rented a Sony NEX-6 and a Zeiss 24mm ƒ/1.8 E-mount lens for five days. It should arrive next week, which will hopefully dodge the upcoming snowfall in our forecast.
The review period could answer certain burning questions:
- Can a tired old reviewer force himself to learn yet one more bleeping menu system in a mere five days?
- What will a Micro-4/3-loving NEX virgin make of his first NEX?
- How about that lens? (And some of you thought the Coolpix A was expensive.)
- Could Mike possibly be enough of an idiot to buy a review camera again? The idea of renting is to not spend money, not to spend it. Our indomitable reviewer needs to keep reminding his sorry ass of that.
- Will spring ever get to Wisconsin?
And others as well. Stay tuned.
*Or perhaps just doubly foolish.
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Featured Comments from:
Jack: "I can only answer one of your questions: spring will never get to Wisconsin. Summer does come in late June, but there is no spring."
JohnMFlores: "Just be glad that you don't review motorcycles. I bought the first one that I reviewed, an Italian temptress that's still sitting in my garage. It was well north of the D800 in price...."