I’m a fan of Lens Rentals. I use Lens Rentals to audition a lens before I buy. Sure in theory I could do that locally but only in theory. There are just two camera stores with any significant inventory left in my metorplex and to leave with a lens you will have had to pay for it. Or I can drive into San Francisco and hours later still have to buy a lens to see if it’s worth keeping. At least one of the Bay Area stores charges a hefty restocking fee – so no.
Renting and spending a quality weekend or even a bit longer kicking a lens around a bit (metaphorically) is a very good thing. Also there is that vacation which somehow requires a really long or really wide lens that you don’t want / can’t begin to afford once the fun is over.
And I’ve become a fan of Roger Cicala’s lens reviews and lens vivisections.
Now add to all that an new site, LensAuthority.com which appears to be the place that LensRental sells off their no longer needed lenses. All the lenses I looked at were used, had a short description of what used meant to that particular lens and rated. You will not find the absolute latest and greatest there but you will find lenses recent, well maintained lenses for a fair price, shipped quickly and I suspect, given everything else I know about the company, the will arrive just as they were described.