Camera Lens Rentals opens its doors

Lenses If you ever need to rent a lens you certainly can’t complain about a lack of options. A few months ago I reviewed 8 online lens rental stores and now we can add the aptly named Camera Lens Rentals to the list.

This new store is strictly Canon with a fair selection of standard, wide and telephoto lenses. They follow the standard rental model. Prices are fairly competitive and they offer an optional damage waiver for a few dollars more. In addition, they are currently promoting a “3 clicks special” where you rent three lenses and get your fourth rental for free.

For their grand opening, they’re offering 15% off your first rental with the discount code GRANDOPEN.

Also, be sure to check out my reviews of competing services Rent Glass and Zip Lens.

40 second tour of a Shutterfly.com photo book

Hot on the heels of our photo book price guide, I’ve just taken possession of another photo book from Shutterfly.com and I have to say I’m still impressed. I ordered three books on Monday and they were received by recipients on both coasts on Friday using standard shipping.

This short video doesn’t do them justice. The books are attractive, durable, and the print and paper quality are excellent. Shutterfly’s online book builder doesn’t require you to download or install anything and provides a ton of layout options including a full-page layout right to the edge that looks spectacular.

Click below to play the video.

Converting Film Negatives to Digital with ScanDigital.com

NegativesIf you’re anything like me, you’ve probably got a shoebox (or maybe even a slightly more elaborate storage system) full of old negatives from your film days. I’ve been casually thinking about scanning some of my old negatives and especially the negatives from my wedding to preserve them. Negatives can be stored for decades but I don’t store mine in anything near ideal conditions. In theory, digital images can be stored forever (assuming you’ve got a good backup process in place… you do backup your files, don’t you?)

The trouble with scanning negatives is that it’s cumbersome and, if you care about the quality, the equipment can be quite expensive. Your average consumer-grade desktop scanner with negative scanning unit will do in a pinch but it won’t match anything near the quality or speed of a dedicated negative scanning machine. And you’ve still got to deal with dust and scratches on the negatives which must be cleaned and inspected and… well, you get the idea. It’s a pain.

So I was pleased to hear about a service called ScanDigital.com (www.scandigital.com) which aims to takes all of the hassle and pain out negative scanning.

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Online Help Choosing a Camera

New digital cameras are being announced at staggering speed, and those of you who might be considering a new purchase may be slightly overwhelmed by the sheer number of options. One way to start is by using the Digital Camera Advisor. This online tool allows you to enter personal preferences about a number of items and attributes, including camera usage, price, brand, and physical and imaging attributes. After you have made your entries, the site offers camera recommendations.

screenshot Digital Camera AdvisorTo start, merely click one of the buttons and then move sliders or click checkboxes to indicate your choices. Unfortunately, the first button–camera usage–is one of the weaker pages, because the choices are so limited. You can choose between action scenes and landscapes, for example, but not nature shots or portraits. Still, take a stab and move forward.

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8 Online Lens Rental Stores Compared

Rentglass packageWhile big chains like Calumet have a great selection including lighting, bodies, and accessories, they don’t deliver and their rates are high. If you just want to try a lens out before you buy a copy, if you are looking for a bargain rental and don’t mind waiting a little while to get it, or if you just can’t rent anywhere locally, then one of these online lens rental shops could be the perfect fit.

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