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 Monday, August 20, 2018
In a recent blog post, the LensRentals team makes a simple request – "Please, don’t take our photography and video gear to Burning Man."
 
Just like Color Run marathons, photographing Burning Man is a great way to ruin [even weather sealed] photography gear. LensRentals warns that damage incurred while using their gear at the cultural event is not covered under the LensCap Protection offered (such damage is considered neglect, not accidental).
 
Want to see what gear looks like when it returns from Burning Man? Check out the blog post for some cringe-worthy pictures.
Post Date: 8/20/2018 8:25:57 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, April 5, 2018
Time and time again, we've stressed the importance of having a structured, reliable method for backing up your images and keeping them safe. In its latest blog post, LensRentals enumerates how videographers can protect themselves from data loss through reliable data transfer and backup techniques.
 
From the LensRentals Blog:
By Ryan Hill
 
Two or three times a week here at Lensrentals.com, we get one of two common support calls. Scenario number one is that someone thought they transferred all of their footage over, but later found that they missed a couple of clips and need us to send them their rental cards back. If we haven’t inspected those cards yet, we’re happy to do that, but if our techs have already inspected them, that’s a problem we can’t solve. We perform a full and secure format at inspection to make sure previous customers’ footage isn’t recoverable on subsequent rentals. Once the footage is gone, the footage is really and truly gone. No amount of file recovery software can bring it back. That’s never a fun phone to call to have.
 
The second scenario is that someone did manage to transfer over all of their footage, but one of the clips was corrupted in the transfer. Typically this realization comes during the edit, after we’ve already formatted the original media. That’s an equally tough phone call. True, sometimes file corruption happens in-camera, but nine times out of ten, the file was corrupted during the transfer from the card to the computer or hard drive. These kinds of problems aren’t something you can avoid entirely. There are inherent risks in working with digital media just like there are inherent risks in working with tape or film. However, there are steps you can take to mitigate that risk and to ensure that, if a problem arises, you’re prepared to work around it.
See the entire article on the LensRentals Blog.
 
Photo Backup Information
 
Post Date: 4/5/2018 11:04:08 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Roger Cicala and the LensRentals team opened up Sony's latest high resolution MILC – the a7R III – to see what weather sealing design improvements have been implemented compared to its predecessor, the a7R II.
 
From the LensRentals Blog:
The Sony A7R III has been out for quite a while. Generally, it’s a superbly popular camera with excellent reviews. We were busy moving to a bigger office, and then catching up from moving when it was released, so doing a teardown wasn’t high on our list of things that needed doing. And the good folks at Kolarivision did an excellent teardown, so we didn’t feel any need to rush.
 
We’ve dealt with a number of water damaged A7 cameras in the past and have a bit more knowledge of where the leaks have occurred, so we wanted to look for ourselves. Plus, we wanted just see all the complicated goodness inside. Now that things have slowed down we decided to take a look.
 
This will end up being a useful post for those of you who need to venture out into the elements with your camera. Sony has, as they said, markedly improved the weather resistance on this camera. They also left a screaming ‘leak here’ gap in the sealing that you can probably address yourself.
See the entire article on the LensRentals Blog.
 
Want to try out a new piece of gear? Give LensRentals a try.
Posted to: Sony News
Post Date: 2/20/2018 12:58:00 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Friday, October 27, 2017
A rented Sony a7S II was dead on arrival when it was returned to LensRentals, so Roger Cicala and his crew (Aaron) disassembled the camera to find out why. Their disassembly demonstrates what can happen when even a "weather resistant" camera is subjected to corrosive sea water.
 
Check out the LensRentals Blog post for the complete teardown.
Post Date: 10/27/2017 10:12:31 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Thursday, October 12, 2017
From the LensRentals Blog:
 
I posted an article about circular polarizing filters recently, letting you see some data I obtained for Lensrentals when they were reviewing which of the polarizing filters were among the best. I concluded that they all polarized light really well. I also said that none of the CPs I tested seemed to cause optical problems at 200mm and under, that some transmitted more light than others, and that you could tell that just by looking at them.
 
Which brings me to Roger’s First Rule of This Blog.
Rule #1: I am not responsible for what someone else says I said. If I say something wrong, I’ll correct it. If they say I said something I didn’t say to drive some click-bait, THEY said it. Not me.
A bunch of people wanted hardness tests, scratch resistance tests, light scattering tests, torque tests, and a 5-year failure rate. I want a pony to ride on my yacht. Sadly, none of the above is happening.
 
A whole lot of other people asked me to test something out of the price range I was examining; mainly they wanted to see how inexpensive filters did. That was reasonable, so I bought a couple of inexpensive CP filters and repeated the tests on them. You will need to look at the last article on the $100-$200 range filters to get some perspective before looking at this.
 
See the entire blog post on the LensRentals Blog.
 
If you're looking to rent gear in the near future, LensRentals is an excellent choice. To support this site, navigate to the appropriate product review and click the Rent button.
Post Date: 10/12/2017 6:24:39 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Friday, September 15, 2017
From the LensRentals Blog:
So, a while back I wrote a not quite complete article on UV filters. To do that, I had to buy new testing equipment and learn to test filters. This was not what I wanted to do when I grew up. But somebody has to do it, and I did get to buy new toys.
 
More importantly, Tyler (Who handles the purchasing) asked me why, many years ago, I chose the Circular Polarizing filters that Lensrentals stocked. A better person than me would have confessed that I’ve never known the first thing about Circular Polarizers; that I just bought the most expensive to be our ‘best’ and the cheapest to be our ‘basic.’ But instead, I just said, “Well, we should do some scientific-type testing and a more thorough evaluation now.”
Read the entire article on the LensRentals Blog.
 
B&H carries Circular Polarizing.
Post Date: 9/15/2017 2:49:29 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Tuesday, September 12, 2017
The team over at LensRentals recently disassembled a Sigma 85mm T1.5 FF High-Speed Prime to see how its construction compared with other prime cinema lenses.
 
From the LensRentals Blog:
We’ve been impressed with the Sigma Cine lenses. We weren’t surprised that they’re generally sharper than classic Cine primes; that’s what we’ve come to expect from Sigma. We were pleasantly surprised by the smoothness of focusing and aperture and the apparent build quality. Since we’d previously done teardowns of the Zeiss 85mm T1.5 CP.2 and Rokinon Xeen 85mm T1.5 lenses, and recently done a teardown of the Zeiss 85mm T1.5 CP.3 lens, we thought taking apart the Sigma Cine 85mm T1.5 would provide a nice comparison.
Read the entire fully illustrated article on the LensRentals Blog.
 
B&H carries the Sigma 85mm T1.5 FF High-Speed Prime.
Post Date: 9/12/2017 9:58:53 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Friday, September 1, 2017
Want to know what happens when you don't take the proper precautions to safeguard your (or your rental company's) gear when photographing an eclipse? If so, you will find the latest LensRentals Blog post to be quite illuminating.
 
In their latest blog installment, LensRentals shows us rental gear returned with holes burned into sensors, damaged mirror box assemblies and melted aperture blades.
 
See the entire post on the LensRentals Blog.
Post Date: 9/1/2017 12:15:18 PM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, July 12, 2017
From the LensRentals Blog:
We’ve had a number of fun, new lenses to test this summer and one I was pretty eager to get to was the Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art, for a couple of reasons. First of all, it’s a 14mm lens that has a wider aperture than f/2.8, and that’s certainly interesting. Second, it’s a new Sigma Art prime lens, and those have been spectacular. So I begged and threatened and got the first ten copies for some bench testing before they went in stock.
 
As always, these are optical bench tests, so take them for what they’re worth. It is not a lens review because I don’t review lenses. That’s what photographers do. I test them, because, well, I’m a tester. Test results should tell you if the lens is worth consideration and further investigation, not that you should run out and buy it. I don’t make any suggestions about what you should run out and buy because I have no idea how you shoot or what’s important to you. But if the resolution is important to you, then read on.
 
As always, these are the results of 10 tested copies; each tested at four rotations with 84 data points. For those who don’t speak MTF, the easy version is higher is better, and dotted and solid lines of the same color close together are better.
Read the entire article on the LensRentals Blog.
 
B&H has the Sigma 14mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art Lens available for preorder. The lens is expected to be available July 14.
Post Date: 7/12/2017 5:53:21 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Monday, June 5, 2017
From the LensRentals Blog (article by Roger Cicala):
Well, I’ve written (with some misgivings because it has a tendency to create rioting in the streets) several articles about protective filters. Articles that say sometimes you shouldn’t use protective filters, and others that say sometimes you do need to use protective filters, and most recently, one showing how cheap filters can ruin your images.
 
Because no good deed goes unpunished, the result of all this has been about 762 emails asking if this filter was better than this other filter. I answered most with I don’t know for sure because I don’t test filters and, of course, everyone asked me to test filters. To which I said no. Life is too short.
 
Even Drew, who I sort of work for, asked me to test filters and write up the results. I told him I’d need at least $1,500 worth of filters to make even a basic comparison, which I thought would end the conversation. But next thing I know Drew was ordering $1,500 worth of filters. I told him I’d get around to it some day.
 
Then Brandon, who sort of works for me, emailed and said he could build a gadget to measure transmission and polarization through filters if I wanted to start testing filters. I told him I’d get around to it some day. Then he said it would have lasers. "Someday" became "right now" because of lasers. We’ve got lots of cool toys at Olaf and Lensrentals, but no lasers.
 
So today I will show you the results of testing a couple of thousand dollars worth of clear and UV filters using a couple of thousand dollars worth of home-made laser light transmission bench and a lot of thousand dollars worth of Olaf Optical Testing bench. So that we get this out of the way now: please don’t email asking me to test your favorite $6 UV filter. I’ve opened up Pandora’s Filter Box with this, and it’s already going to lead to way more work than I wanted to do. I’ll maybe do some testing of circular polarizing filters later, and maybe some testing of variable neutral density filters after this. Maybe not. I’ve got ADD, and I get bored easily. Even with lasers.
 
I like to keep these articles, well, no geekier than they just have to be. But I also want our methods to be transparent. So I’m going to give an overview of methodology in the article and put the geekier stuff in a methodology addendum at the bottom.
See how the filters performed on the LensRentals Blog's full post.
 
B&H carries clear protective and UV filters.
Post Date: 6/5/2017 10:14:50 AM CT   Posted By: Sean
 Wednesday, May 17, 2017
From the LensRentals Blog:
By Roger Cicala
 
Yes, I’m sick of filter articles, too. But I come today not to educate you, but to mock others. Because yes, people continue to try to save a few bucks by putting a cheap filter in front of their $1,000 lens. And also because they buy what they think are good filters off of Fleabay or some used place and these filters aren’t what they think. This can particularly happen when you purchase a brand that makes different filters of differing quality.
 
How bad can it be, you ask? Well, today we’ll show you. Because someone had a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens that had been nice and sharp and then returned it because it suddenly got soft. They were kind enough to return it with their protective filter in place.
See the entire article on the LensRentals Blog.
 
Note from Sean: We've often advised site visitors not to skimp on their filter purchases. From our perspective, it doesn't make sense to invest in an expensive (often L-series) lens just to negate its high end performance with a cheap, low quality filter affixed to the front of it.
 
If you want to protect a lens and retain its image quality, be sure to use high quality filters with it, like B+W XS-Pro filters (our personal favorites).
   
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