I used Canon for a long time, but my father has been a Nikon shooter for ages. When it came time to buy a new camera, I was talked instead by the sales person and my father into buy a Nikon. The idea was my dad would share this lenses with me, which was great because his collection is quite big.
Well to this day, my father has never shared any lenses with me. Doesn't matter what he promised. Doesn't help that I live far from him.\
Okay, over the years I've amassed quite a bit number of lenses. All which get good use one way or another. I have a number of friends who are just getting into this world and they have not yet invested in any equipment. A lot like to buy expensive bodies, but cheap lenses (unfortunately).
Well even though I've never offered, I suspect they will want to borrow my equipment soon.
I've grown up with the notion where I'm not exactly prone to say no when a family member or friend asks to borrow something, but a lot people I know don't seem to appreciate that just because I can afford these things, it doesn't mean I don't care if they break it or worse don't return.
Now the question: Do you lend equipment like lenses, flashes, etc., to you friends/family? How do you prevent them from mishandling your equipment even if they are normally very careful? Do you ever just flat out tell them no?
#1. "RE: Thoughts on sharing equipment (lenses, flash, etc.)" | In response to Reply # 0gpoole Nikonian since 14th Feb 2004Wed 06-Nov-13 12:59 AM
My daughter is a pro portrait photographer, but I've got a wider range of Nikon gear. She lives about 500 miles from me. I've occasionally lent her lenses when she had one in for repair. If I felt that I could do with out mine for the expected time period, I would send it to her with no questions asked or conditions specified.
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#2. "RE: Thoughts on sharing equipment (lenses, flash, etc.)" | In response to Reply # 0benveniste Nikonian since 25th Nov 2002Wed 06-Nov-13 01:32 AM
During college, the only way I got to shoot was with borrowed gear. I was able to buy my college sweetheart her own camera, but didn't own anything myself.
Since then, I've "paid it forward" by lending gear to friends and co-workers. With one exception the gear I lent came back in the same condition when it left. The exception was a Gitzo Monotrek, which a friend tried to use as if it was a wooden hiking staff.
"There is no real magic in photography, just the sloppy intersection of physics and art." — Kirk Tuck
#3. "RE: Thoughts on sharing equipment (lenses, flash, etc.)" | In response to Reply # 2Wingman Nikonian since 02nd Dec 2002Wed 06-Nov-13 01:48 AM
I never lend out photography equipment (except to my wife, who takes better care of it than I do!). I depend on my gear far too much to ever take a chance on nasty surprises when I need to do a shoot. I would make an exception for something like the D200 and 18-200 sitting in the back of the camera closet, as I have not needed them for several years. Never would I share any of the stuff I depend on.
#4. "RE: Thoughts on sharing equipment (lenses, flash, etc.)" | In response to Reply # 3mklass Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006Wed 06-Nov-13 02:49 AM
I've lent lenses to our local Nikonians Chapter members when we are on a group outing so they can see if something works for them. I've also lent some equipment to people I know well enough to trust that the equipment will be returned in the condition that it was lent to them.
So far no problem, but my equipment is also insured.
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#5. "RE: Thoughts on sharing equipment (lenses, flash, etc.)" | In response to Reply # 0
All my gear is insured! IF I loan it out, it is to some one I trust.
Someone I trust to return it in the same condition as loaned...or they buy me brand new!
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#6. "RE: Thoughts on sharing equipment (lenses, flash, etc.)" | In response to Reply # 0
There's lending, and then there's lending. My adult kids can use whatever they want - they are both careful and respectful. They grew up around the stuff, and they used it while they were home. I don't know why I'd stop that now that they're older and more responsible. My wife doesn't want to use any of my cameras anyway - besides, it's easier for her to get me to take the pictures in the first place. Some of my other family members wouldn't know how to use most of my stuff, so they wouldn't even ask.
I have a pretty short list of friends (four) who can borrow anything they need. Two of them have at least as much Nikon gear as I do, and I've borrowed from them on some occasions and they've borrowed from me too. One of them I trust enough that he can borrow anything he needs to do a job (obviously he's a pro), even if that means taking it overseas for a while. Of course, it's precisely folks like this that really don't need to borrow much at all - heck most of them have more cameras than I do and at least as good lens and other gear coverage, but on the rare occasions that one of us doesn't have thing X, that's not a problem. They all know how to use the stuff, maybe even better than I do, but certainly as well as I do. If something tragic happens, they or their insurance carriers (or mine) will sort it out. In fact, two of these folks are regular shooting partners, and we specifically plan to pool stuff if we go on a trip. There's no reason to bring three 70-200 VR-I's - and on occasion we've also pooled (a larger herd) of flashes and light stands.
I have two friends who are not top-flight photographers but who I'd trust to ask me if they didn't know what was going on. They are both highly unlikely to have much interest in my primary stuff anyway, and if they want to borrow something like a D100 + 55-200VR, I certainly don't mind that. If for some reason they asked about something else, I'd be careful.
Other folks can use some of my stuff if I'm around. Never tried the 60/f2.8 AFS? Sure you can try it while I'm using the 200/f4. Etc.
And some stuff is a little more forgiving than others. It's a lot easier to let someone use one of my SB-600s (I have three of them) than, say, a 135/f2. It also helps that I have backup for almost everything of even moderate importance; I have three different ways of shooting 500mm, for example.
And finally, there are some folks who should never be touching my stuff. I'd really rather if they didn't even look in that direction. Yes, I'd tell them no in a flash.
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
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#7. "RE: Thoughts on sharing equipment (lenses, flash, etc.)" | In response to Reply # 0
As with other respondents, my comfort level would depend on the what and the who. Few of my friends or family would be the least bit interested.
I did once lend my 70-200 to a complete stranger. I was at a football game, and another photographer was there on assignment. He took his 80-200 out of his bag only to find it nonworking. While I didn't know him, I did know the company he worked for so as a professional courtesy I let him borrow my 70-200 for a few minutes, which was all he needed to get the shots required for his assignment.
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#8. "RE: Thoughts on sharing equipment (lenses, flash, etc.)" | In response to Reply # 0
Lending equipment out, especially high end/pro equipment, is something most people I know are reluctant to do. Mainly because the items aren't insured.
I've never found myself in a position to "lend"my lenses to anyone because I use FX lenses. My excuse is that even if I lent it to this person, they won't be able to use it to its optimum potential.
#9. "RE: Thoughts on sharing equipment (lenses, flash, etc.)" | In response to Reply # 0
It's funny, but the friends that live close to me are not into photography except for one. I would not hesitate to lend him my stuff, he appreciates the value and cost of my gear and I have no doubt he would be mindful to take good care. On the occasion when I travel to photograph with friends, again because of their skills and familiarity with Nikon equipment, I would not hesitate at all to lend them whatever they needed. I guess the bottom line is I have no qualms if I know the person and I feel relatively assured they will take good care of my stuff. Accidents happen and I am not too concerned that someday I may have to bite the bullet and replace something that I didn't damage myself.
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#11. "RE: Thoughts on sharing equipment (lenses, flash, etc.)" | In response to Reply # 0
I lend my equipment to my wife, who I trained and is my second for weddings, and to photographer friends who's work I know and respect. These are people who I don't have to think about mishandling the equipment.
Other friends know how I operate and how serious I am about my work. I think they would be too scared to ask.
#12. "RE: Thoughts on sharing equipment (lenses, flash, etc.)" | In response to Reply # 11espeto68 Nikonian since 28th Aug 2010Wed 06-Nov-13 08:12 PM
+1 on this.
I lend my equipment to my GF and to a couple of friends (flew together in the Air Force), with no problem at all.
They take very good care of their own equipment, so i trust them.
But if, and only if , an accident happens i'm positive they will honor their responsibility.
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#13. "RE: Thoughts on sharing equipment (lenses, flash, etc.)" | In response to Reply # 12sabbey51 Nikonian since 10th Jan 2010Wed 06-Nov-13 11:07 PM
I would, and have, lent my stuff to my adult kids and to my good friends. I know these people; they're at least as careful with stuff as I am. And at the end of the day, it's just a camera or lens - easily replaceable if it is damaged. They would, and have, all reciprocated one way or another.
I have a few pieces on "long-term loan" with a good friend who can't afford to buy stuff, all things which I didn't use much anyway. What are friends for, anyway?
My sister managed to drop my Canon S90 while taking family pictures at my house. It was a great excuse to upgrade to an Olympus XZ-1. Because it was my stuff, I reserved dropping my D80 in the Merced River to myself, in order to do the D7000 upgrade. I haven't managed to either break, or have anything broken, since. I wonder when the D7200 will be out?
#14. "RE: Thoughts on sharing equipment (lenses, flash, etc.)" | In response to Reply # 13Matthew Gregory Nikonian since 18th Oct 2011Fri 08-Nov-13 12:06 PM
The single greatest reason I've acquired MOST of my camera stuff was from experiencing how it worked because others were willing to lend things to me. As a hacker hobbyist, spending a lot of money on lenses seemed frivolous - until I was given the chance to witness firsthand the results!
I loan things out to folks that don't ask - I offer. If you've never been granted the opportunity to nail a shot where a loved one is in razor-sharp focus, and the back and foreground blur into that wonderful creamy haze that fast pro glass provides, you'll probably never 'get' it, and if I can be the catalyst for someone to be bitten by the bug, I want to be - just as others have been for me!!!
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