Ziplens

A few weeks ago, I posted about a new rental lens service called Ziplens. Unlike Rentglass, Ziplens had the two lenses in stock that I was hoping to try, so I placed an order to rent them for a couple of weeks. The lenses have come and gone back, and I must say, the whole process was amazingly simple and effortless.

The lenses came well packed, with simple instructions on how to return them. Both lenses were in great condition, clean and free from any knicks or scratches. Returning was even simpler… just pack the lenses back in the same boxes, wrap up in the enclosed plastic wrapper, making sure to place the return label on the top, and then, the really sweet part – leave them at the door for the postman to pick up. No calling for a UPS pickup or having to make a trip to the post office. I received both a prompt return reminder and a notice when the lenses reached home. I also learned that while I enjoyed shooting with both lenses, I’m glad I didn’t buy them.

The two lenses I tried were the 60mm 2.8 macro and the 24mm Tilt/Shift… both are quite pricey lenses. The 60mm was a nice lens, but for some weird reason I found it had a bigger noise problem than any of my other lenses.

The 24mm Tilt/Shift lens was a different story. This is a brilliant lens, and I really fell in love with it. Here’s an example shot:

But, I really need something a little less wide for my food shots. You can’t tell, but I’m about as close as I can get to the glass here. Since returning the 24mm, I’m borrowing the 45mm Tilt-Shift from a friend, and it’s pretty much ideal. While I’m still trying to figure out the whole tilting and shifting thing, it’s fun to play with. More on that lens in future posts.

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  • http://www.mattbites.com matt

    How fun! I wish I had all the money in the world to buy every single lens I could on a whim, but alas, that ain’t the case.

    Can’t wait to hear more about your experiences with the 45mm TS. You should play with the 90mm TS too if you can get your hands on it.

  • http://www.myplateoryours.typepad.com Christine

    Thanks for the info — sounds like a great way to try new stuff. Keep us posted on the tilt/shift? What is it exactly?

  • Swain

    Tilt-Shift Lens.

    I own the TS-90mm and it’s pretty much the only lens I use for still life any more. I use it on my canon 5D so if you don’t have a full-size sensor camera, the 45mm is a better choice. The ability to control DOF or complete focus is really amazing. It did take sometime to learn the lens, but well worth the investment.

  • http://www.lifebeginsat30.com jen maiser

    Thanks so much for such a thorough post. I am anxiously awaiting my rental lens from Ziplens which I rented after reading this post. Can’t wait!

    Been loving your site for the past few months.

  • http://marriedwithdinner.com Anita

    I’m not so sure about ZipLens. They seem to have some rather curious business practices.

    I placed an order for a lens on June 6. Although their site said the lens was in stock, somehow they shipped it out to another customer.

    They apologized for the snafu and said the lens would be back in stock in 10 days, shipped to me in 14. Best of all, they’d give me free shipping to compensate for the hassle. Nice enough recovery, I thought.

    But 14 days later, not a peep from them. So I emailed to check in, found out the lens was ‘delayed’, with no further explanation. They offered me a free week’s rental in compensation.

    A month after my original order, I emailed again. They said to wait another week, and that my whole order would be free, thanks for my patience, yadda yadda.

    I basically gave up at that point, but had been too busy to check into other options.

    Today, 7 weeks after the original order, I get this email: “We will not be able to fulfill the order for the 17-85mm. This lens has been stolen as part of an internet fraud scam. We will have to cancel the order.”

    It seems to me that a legitimate business would have insurance to cover such an event, or at the very least would be replacing a critical piece of inventory.

  • http://www.BorrowLenses.com BorrowLenses.com

    Pardon the shameless plug, but we rent lenses, camera bodies, accessories, filters, etc. as well. Check us out at http://www.BorrowLenses.com.

    Thanks!

  • http://www.ziplens.com ZipLens

    Hi There,

    Just browsing through some of our links and noticed the post above. The incident happened over a year ago but I still feel it’s important to respond.

    Anita,

    I am very sorry for the frustrating experience you had with us, waiting so long for your lens and then having your order cancelled.

    We value all feedback from our customers. In fact the negative experiences help us improve the most. Since your post we have added considerably to our inventory and customers now rarely need to wait more than 7 days for an out of stock item. We also have better contingencies for late/non-returned items.

    If you ever do decide to try renting from ZipLens again we are confident your experience would be a positive one. Either way thanks for trying us in the first place.

    Yours truly,

    Janice Cullivan
    Co-Owner