Canon EF long lens rental Florida US

Discussion in 'Canon' started by Michael C. Smith, Jun 22, 2004.

  1. I'd like to rent a Canon EF long lens to photograph birds at Ding
    Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island, Florida, USA (300mm,
    400mm, 500mm, or 600mm). I prefer to pick up the lens in Florida
    instead of shipping it, as rental fees accumulate during the shipping
    period. If you ship the lens overnight, that's at least 2 extra days
    of rental (in which case a week-long rental may be more cost

    Does anyone know a shop in southern Florida that rents?

    Should no one answer, the following may help someone in the future.

    Harmon Photo, Ft. Myers, FL doesn't rent

    Companies that will rent & ship to your location:

    Aperture Professional, Miami, Florida. Miami is 3.5 hours (per Yahoo)
    from from Sanibel.

    Carousel Studios, Miami, FL.

    Samy's Camera, Los Angeles, California CA.

    Adorama, New York, NY.

    ACECamera manufacturer & rental links; Doug Clifford.

    Michael C. Smith, Jun 22, 2004
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  2. Michael C. Smith

    Bill Hilton Guest

    From: (Michael C. Smith)
    This list is now four years old so maybe things have changed, but worth a phone
    call. One of the companies mentioned is in Miami, but maybe no better than the
    ones you already mentioned.
    Bill Hilton, Jun 22, 2004
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  3. Good find, Bill, thanks!

    Out of curiosity (and a wish to be search engine savvy), how did you
    mine this nugget?

    ...Mike Smith . Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
    Michael C. Smith, Jun 23, 2004
  4. What is a typical rental charge for, say, a 500mm lens?
    I assume you would want insurance too.

    If it is as high I think it is, and considering how wonderful
    a big lens is, might iot not be better to take out a
    loan and just get one? How many days rental before
    you've paid enough to buy it?

    On a separate note, if you never been to Ding Darling, be
    aware that opportunities are hit or miss. I've been to it
    a fair number of times the last couple of years and
    many hours, even a full day can go by with not much.
    But if it is slow at Ding, there are other wonderful
    places to go too.

    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Jun 23, 2004
  5. Michael C. Smith

    Bill Hilton Guest
    I bought Arthur's book on bird photography a few years back and took a workshop
    with him once. I'm on his mailing list and remembered this particular Bulletin
    about rentals, by chance.

    Since you're going to Ding for birds you might enjoy getting his Bulletins
    direct, it's free and there are usually some good tips and pics in them.

    When are you going to Ding? I've shot there in Dec, Feb, March and April and
    wonder if it's very good much later than that (like, now)? You might also try
    Corkscrew Swamp if it's overcast and you have fill flash or Venice Rookery for
    great close-up egret and heron shots in the winter and spring ... Roger C
    (other responder to your post) has a lot of excellent shots from Venice on his

    Good luck.

    Bill Hilton, Jun 23, 2004
  6. Bill, I'm glad you've got a good memory! I subscribed to the
    I'm in Sanibel now (19-26 June 2004). Birds aren't abundant but I see
    something after shooting sunrises and sunsets. I've seen a few
    roseate spoonbill, heron, cormorant, white ibis, brown pelican, and
    hawk. With the limited range of my 70-200/2.8, I have to be close to
    fill the frame. I'm practicing before renting or investing in a long

    I found this USGS page on 1993 seasonal abundance:

    Bird Checklists of the United States
    J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge

    Thanks again for the help, Bill.
    Michael C. Smith, Jun 24, 2004
  7. Aperture Pro's (Miami) largest lens, a 400/2.8 L, rents for $125
    daily, $500 weekly, and a $7,500 deposit. Adorama is $100 daily, $300
    weekly, and $6,500.00 new. Adorama rents a 600mm/f4 (call for price).
    Insurance isn't listed; thanks for the reminder.
    SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed). Need I say more? ;) I hope to get
    one some day. The Canon 400mm f/4 DO is intriguing , only 4.3
    lb/1,940g, light enough for hand holding.
    < 40mm do&item_no=5>

    Is 400mm too short for birding? I can afford (monetarily and
    politically) only one long lens.
    Thanks for you suggestions, Roger. Great images & info on your site![/QUOTE]
    Michael C. Smith, Jun 24, 2004
  8. Hi Walter,

    Thanks for the Merritt Island suggestion.

    Each lens has advantages (focal length vs. weight) but if you could
    only have one additional lens for birding, would you want the
    100-400mm or 500mm? (I have a 70-200mm/f2.8.)
    Michael C. Smith, Jun 24, 2004
  9. Hmmm. That's better than I expected. That's a big deposit though!
    It depends on location. In many places yes, others no.
    For example, look on my site and see the focal lengths used.
    I also shoot with a second body and either a 300 f/4 or
    100-400 f/5.6. But have few bird photos on the site
    are with the shorter focal lengths (maybe one or two).
    The images are about 40% 500mm + 1.4x TC, 55% 500mm straight,
    and 5% other (lower FL and 500mm+1,4x+2x). So I use the 500
    most of the time. While I've taken many images with
    other lenses, the 500mm ones always seem better.

    You might consider also the 300 f/2.8
    as you can add a 2x and get 600 f/5.6. Or, as an intermediate
    the 300 f/4 and you can add a 1.4x and get 420mm f/5.6 (cheapest
    solution to get started).
    Also check out used lenses.

    Keep in mind that hand holding a 400mm f/4 lens may be possible,
    but only for a short time, and you'll quickly become unsteady.
    Try adding a weight to your longest lens to make it weigh
    what it would with a 400mm f/4 and see how long you can hold
    it up. I often wait many minutes pointing at one bird hoping
    for some particular action. I can't imagine hand holding that

    Also, with any big lens be prepared to add the cost of tripod
    and head to hold the lens. If you go 500mm you need something
    like a good carbon fiber (or much heavier aluminum tripod).
    I found the qitzo 1325/1328 the minimum for the 500 f/4.
    I had a gitzo 3021, but it wasn't quite up to the task.
    Then a good head able to carry the weight. A wimberly
    really helps follow action with a big lens (if you rent,
    you will still need all this too). The gitzo +
    wimberly plus plates will run somewhere around $1200-1500.
    (I know, its discouraging...I just went through this the last
    couple of years). Large format lkandscape is cheap in comparison!
    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Jun 25, 2004
  10. These are great lens and tripod ideas, Roger! Thank you for your time.


    ...Mike Smith . Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
    Michael C. Smith, Jun 25, 2004
  11. Michael C. Smith


    Feb 9, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Fort Myers
    Big Glass Lens Rental South West FL, Sanibel, Captiva

    I know this is an old post but if anyone needs a lens to shoot at Ding Darling or any other place on Sanibel and Captiva. I have lenses for rent, Including a 400mm 2.8 Canon. Pretty much anything you would need for bird photography on Sanibel Island or even anywhere in South West FL
    nickad, Feb 9, 2012
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