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The Lens

Lens, Camera, Video, Lighting and Drone Rentals

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December 2016

Budget Combinations

25 days ago 100 Views

We all want to save money in the photography/video industry, but most of the time saving money means sacrificing quality. Yes, many times, the more expensive an item is the better the quality, but there are some great combinations and options that can help you save some money and still produce great results. You can save money in most areas and here are a couple of combinations to help get you started.

If you are going to get some nice landscape photography done and the Canon 5D Mark IV Camera is out of your price range then you can definitely give the Canon 60D Camera a shot and pair it up with the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Lens. Another nice wide angle lens, that may be more budget friendly, is the Canon EF-S 10-22mm F/3.5-4.5 Lens. No matter what way you decide to mix and match these options you are going to get a satisfying result.

If you are doing some professional video work and can't afford a Cooke 25mm T2.8 miniS4/i Cine Lens then you can give the Rokinon Xeen 24mm T1.5 Lens a try, which is definitely a great runner up I am sure you will be satisfied with!

No matter which area of equipment you decide to dive into, The Lens Depot has you covered on all ends! So go ahead and check out the options that work best for you and your budget!

The Lens Depot Best Of 2016 Staff Picks

28 days ago 211 Views

This year has been an exciting one for new photography and video equipment. At The Lens Depot, we're fortunate enough to get a lot of hands-on time with the latest and greatest equipment. This year, we've asked some of our team what their favorite piece of equipment was in 2016.

Oscar - DJI Phantom 4 Pro

The Phantom 4 Pro is a an awesome upgrade to the already awesome Phantom 4. The greater degree of manual exposure control and the new larger 1" sensor makes a big difference for both video and still capture. The additional sensors and improved Intelligent Flight Modes make flying the Phantom 4 Pro even easier than before. The improved Lightbridge system in the remote controller has considerably less video lag and interference than any of the other DJI drones we've seen to date. Overall the Phantom 4 Pro is a great drone for pilots of all skill levels.

Magda - DJI Osmo Mobile

At first, the Osmo Mobile may seem a little silly, but it's actually a lot of fun to use! It's incredible how stable the footage is - I've shown video shot with it to friends and they didn't believe it was taken with a smart phone. The ActiveTrack and Panoramic modes are also very impressive.

Tom - Nikon D500

With full-frame cameras being popular among photographers (myself included), I had pretty much given up hope that Nikon would release another "pro" style DX format camera. The Nikon D500 may have taken a long time to finally arrive, but it was definitely worth the wait. The new autofocus system is incredibly fast and tracks very well. The viewfinder is large and bright for a DX format camera and I love that the focus area coverage takes up almost the entire viewfinder - something I've missed in full-frame cameras. I'm also very impressed with the low light performance, both from an ISO and autofocus perspective. Couple all of that with 10 fps and you've got a very solid sports & action camera.

Jordyn - GoPro HERO5

My favorite new product of 2016 is the GoPro HERO5. Being able to use the new GoPro for most general use without the cumbersome housing from previous models makes it a lot more fun to use. The LCD touch screen makes setting up your shot and changing settings just as easy as through the GoPro Capture app without the need for a smart phone. The electronic stabilization also does a great job and gives very smooth footage. The

James - Fuji X-Pro 2

I've been in love with the Fuji X system since the original X100 came out years ago. I've always liked the simple approach the bodies have and the outstanding image quality. One thing I loved about my X-Pro 1 was that it required me to actually think about my shots again (a feeling I only got when shooting film). So needless to say, I had been anticipating the X-Pro 2 for quite a while and Fuji definitely delivered! The new 24.3MP X-Trans sensor is an excellent improvement and provides great detail, color, and pretty amazing high ISO performance. The new autofocus system is super fast and has come a long way from the original X-Pro 1. My favorite feature is the hybrid viewfinder. This is one of the biggest things that attracted me to the Fuji system and the new hybrid viewfinder is even better than ever. It's bigger, brighter, and the new overlay mode in the optical setting is very useful.

Michael - DJI Mavic Pro

My favorite product of 2016 is definitely DJI Mavic Pro. I'm still relatively new to drones, and this is one of the first that I wasn't very intimidated by when I flew it for the first time. It's amazing how much DJI was able to cram into such a tiny package. Being able to shoot 4K with such a tiny drone opens up a whole new realm of creative possibilities. The remote control is very comfortable to hold and is very intuitive to use. The intelligent modes are incredible, and I'm a big fan of the tripod mode to get extremely stable footage similar to that of a gimbal. The only drawback right now is that we can't keep them in-stock because they've been so popular to rent!

Peter - DJI Osmo X5

My favorite product of 2016 has to be the DJI Osmo X5. The number one thing that really impresses me is the stabilization. It’s so impressive how the gimbal manages to literally eliminate even some of the roughest movements giving you a completely perfect image. The type of quality it gives you is almost unreal from such a small device. I have very shaky hands which means whatever stabilization I use it must be adequate enough to help eliminate some of my movements and the DJI Osmo X5 does exactly that. Another great thing is that it accepts MFT Lenses, so your not truly losing out on that true camera feel. A camera that gives me amazing quality, stabilization, & features, but is light enough to hold comfortably for long period of time is definitely a winner in my book.


That wraps it up for this year. We'd love to hear about your favorite product of 2016. Send us an e-mail and let us know what your favorites were from 2016!

Why Use A Drone?

1 month ago 131 Views

The popularity of flying a Drone with HD camera capturing capabilities has skyrocketed over the past couple of years! Not only is it used to capture different cinematic moments in amateur and professional settings, but it is also used for work purposes like thermal imaging for reporting and analysis of variations of places and objects. Drones open up a wide variety of possibilities in film making. You no longer have to charter a helicopter, because now the aircraft is in your hands. Great for establishing shots and wide fly over shots which will open up a whole new feel to your next project. We offer a variety of Drone Rentals here at The Lens Depot and they are easy enough for anyone to fly with the DJI Go App that comes with a beginner mode for those just starting out!

Take look at the DJI Phantom 4 Drone, it has the ability to record in 4k and full HD at 120fps. It has a top speed of 44mph that is achievable in sports mode and also has obstacle avoidance sensors to help prevent you from crashing into objects. This is an amazing drone for most situations, but if your on the run and need something quick and light to carry around, then the DJI Mavic Pro Drone is definitely the answer! Extremely light and small enough to to fit in the palm of your hand, this drone has many of the great features that the DJI Phantom 4 Drone has, but in a smaller form factor!

With so many options available, don't be afraid to dive into the drone market. These drones can be flown by beginners and the DJI GO App will make taking a drone up for the first time very simple!

Tips to Navigating our Site

1 month ago 163 Views

This week we decided to do a little housekeeping and go over some tips on navigating our website.

My Account

Once you place your first rental, your account is automatically created using the email and password you entered. Under the My Account section you have access to Account Dashboard, Account Information, Address Book, My Orders, Newsletter Subscriptions, Loyalty Rewards and My Payment Data. Here you can change your password, update your billing and shipping address, view past orders, update payment information, view your earned loyalty rewards and check order status.

Discount Codes

We run different promotions throughout the year. Always check the yellow bar at the top of the home page for current promotions and coupon codes. Make sure that you enter the appropriate discount code and hit “apply coupon” before you complete your rental.

Custom Rental Periods

We offer rentals from 1 to 28 days. You can also reserve equipment up to 8 weeks in advance! Once you add an item to your shopping cart, you can select your Start Date and End Date and the site will calculate your cost for the days selected. You cannot select a Saturday or Sunday as a start date or end date. Also, if dates are grayed out, that means that there is not enough equipment available for those dates.

Loyalty Rewards

One of the best perks in renting from us is our Loyalty Rewards program. You automatically earn 5% back on every completed rental! Your rewards can be used towards a future rental or towards a purchase of any of our Items for Sale. From the shopping cart page, look under “use credit” and login, go back to the shopping cart, then you will see the maximum amount of credit you can use towards your rental. You can choose to use the maximum amount or enter a specific amount. Be sure to hit “apply credit” before you complete your rental.

Hope these tips make your next rental experience quick and easy. We can always be reached via email or phone if you have any questions or need help placing your next rental order with The Lens!

Cool Audio

1 month ago 168 Views

Audio is one of the most important factors on any film set, but for most people it is one of the biggest headaches! Most times your on camera audio is not enough. We rent a variety of products at The Lens Depot to help you achieve the best audio. The Rode NTG-2 Shotgun Microphone Kit, can be used for indoor and outdoor applications. It definitely comes in handy when you run into situations where a Lav Mic may not be ideal and you need crisp clear audio. The rental comes with a windscreen to block out that harsh wind noise you get from recording outside or air conditioning vents when recording inside. You can mount it on your camera or with the Aluminum Boompole With Internal XLR Cable it can extend out over your subject. If you need to use the boompole, but don't have the extra hand to hold it, you can rent the Avenger C Stand With Arm Grip and mount it!

You may not know this, but we also carry a Sennheiser Wireless Handheld Microphone System which comes in handy in an interview situation. Lose the cord and look more professional! The receiver plugs right into your camera or your audio recorder. If you have a sit down interview and want to be hands free, you can rent the Sennheiser Wireless Microphone System.

After you select your mic consider picking up something like the Zoom H4n Audio Recorder or the Tascam DR-60D Audio Recorder, which will give you several options in controlling your audio output and give you room to record multiple channels of audio as well.

New Item - Sony A6500

1 month ago 165 Views

This week we've added one of Sony's newest mirrorless cameras the A6500. On the surface, the A6500 shares a lot with the A6300. While that is certainly true, Sony has made some key upgrades and additions.

The A6500 shares the same 24 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor from the A6300, along with the awesome 425 point phase detection system. The biggest change here is the addition of Sony's 5-axis image stabilization similar to that found in the A7R II and A7S II. The continuous shooting capability is still the same 11 fps (8fps with live view shooting), but with a much larger buffer of 300 JPEG or 107 RAW images.

The video capabilities remain the same, which were excellent for such a compact camera. Internally you can shoot 4K video at up to 30fps and 1080p video at up to 120fps. Bit rates can go up to 100Mbps (you'll want a fast SD Card to do this) in 4K, 50Mbps in Full HD, and the ability to shoot in S-Log 2 or S-Log 3. If you have an external recorder like the Atomos Shogun or Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q+, you can also output uncompressed 4K 4:2:2 8-bit video to the recorder.

Another welcome change is the addition of a touch screen. You can now simply tap a point on the screen to place an AF point. This should make operation of autofocus for both video and stills much easier instead of navigating through focus points with the control wheel.

The A6500 is compatible with our full range of Sony E Mount Lenses or select Nikon or Canon lenses (with some limited functionality) with the addition of a Metabones Adapter to convert the lenses to Sony's E-Mount. The A6500 is available to rent now!

4k Options

2 months ago 172 Views

Want to stay ahead of the game and start shooting in 4k? 4k is becoming extremely popular and relevant in media and that means it is also becoming extremely popular among camera makers. What makes shooting in 4k so special? Higher resolution, the ability to crop an image without losing Full HD quality, and stabilization options. With so many options to choose from when it comes to shooting in 4k, this is now the perfect time to get shooting! Here is a list of some of the 4k options available at The Lens Depot for you to rent today!

Sony Alpha a6300 Camera writes internal 4k at 30, 25, & 24fps. This camera is extremely popular, affordable, and light weight.

Sony Alpha a7S II Camera writes internal 4k at 30,25, & 24 and also has an extended ISO range of up to 409,600!!! This is a powerhouse! Pair it up with a Metabones EF to Sony E IV Adapter and use with your favorite Canon Lenses!!

Black Magic Ursa Mini 4.6k Camera EF The Ursa Mini is special because it can capture 4k in Raw Uncompressed Format at 60, 30, 24fps. This is a powerhouse that accepts Canon Lenses due to it's EF mount so you have great compatibility in that area. When you want the most out of shooting with 4k, then the Ursa mini is the way to go!

All of these 4k camera options are available to rent at The Lens Depot today! Visit our Cinema Camera Section and discover even more options!

Customer Spotlight: KEJ Productions

2 months ago 489 Views

We have a number of talented and interesting customers all across the country and we think it’s time to shine a spotlight on them. Every month we will be spotlighting a customer and ask them to share their special talents and experiences in the photography and video world. This month we talk to Kaleb & Elaine of KEJ Prodctions from Orlando, FL.

Tell us a little about yourself and what you do?

We are Kaleb and Elaine - the husband and wife duo that make up KEJ Productions. We specialize in wedding cinematography and life event stories. We filmed our first wedding about a year and a half ago and it’s been quite the awesome ride since.

How did you get into photography and/or video?

We both have a strong background in audio engineering and live production - it’s actually how we met! We fell into videography by accident really. We were producing a couple videos for church and a close friend of ours asked “you guys can film our wedding right?” We thought “uh, yea!” After filming and editing the wedding we realized just how much we enjoyed it and realized this was something we could excel at together. That was the beginning of KEJ Productions!

Where are you located?

Our office is right smack downtown Orlando, however we find ourselves all over. We’re traveling a lot next year which is pretty cool.

What are some of your favorite hobbies/interests outside of photography?

We’re both musicians so we like to sleep. In all seriousness, we’re the biggest nerds ever. If we’re not editing, we’re listening or playing music.

What is your favorite thing about being a photographer/videographer?

Providing heirlooms is by far the most rewarding part of wedding videography. We’ve done a lot of cool things with our careers prior to KEJ, but we both agree that not much has topped what we’ve been able to be a part of this year. Wedding days are incredibly intimate, and it’s such an honor that our clients trust us and invite us in to this space to capture what will be seen and revisited for generations.

What is your least favorite thing about being a photographer/videographer?

BACKLOG and storage. 4K is cool till you have to store it somewhere!

What is your current favorite piece of rental equipment?

We tend to stay on the ground to tell most of our stories, however, when we see the need for aerial footage, the Phantom 4 is our go to rental.

If you were going to a deserted island and could only bring one camera & lens – what would it be?

Sony A7RII with the Canon 24-105mm f/4L and pray an adapter washes up on shore.

Where can people follow you or find your work online?

We can be found at Connect with us on Facebook. Our Instagram features our latest work and same day edits at @KEJProductions. You can see our latest full highlight reels on our Vimeo page.

Last, and most importantly – what is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

A local shop called “Kelly’s” makes this killer homemade ice cream called “Blondie”.

Thank you Kaleb & Elaine of KEJ Productions for taking the time to participate in our Customer Spotlight Series! We hope you enjoyed it. We've included some of Kaleb & Elaine's work below:

Easier With A Rig

2 months ago 152 Views

Getting a Glidecam HD 2000 or a DJI Ronin-M Video Gimbal may seem like the only tool when it comes to getting your video stabilization ready. Many times when you are out on a shoot you realize holding either of those pieces of equipment can become physically demanding, resulting in several breaks in between scenes. There is a solution out there that you may not know we carry here at the Lens Depot!

One of those Solutions is the Glidecam X10 Vest System. This can be used with the Glidecam HD 2000 or the Glidecam HD 4000. It is a special rig because it completely takes the load off of your arm and evenly distributes the weight throughout your upper body. You can go for hours with this on if you'd like. Combined with the stabilizer, it covers you on all axis's meaning you can run, climb stairs and even jump and still keep a nice smooth shot all the way through!

The solution for the DJI Ronin-M Video Gimbal comes through the Easyrig MiniMax Camera Support System (Supports 4.4-15.4lbs) & Easyrig Cinema Vario 5 Camera Support System (Supports 11-38lbs). The Ronin becomes physically demanding on your arms after using it for for a scene or two, resulting in having to place it back on the stand in between scenes. To relieve the load of the system, these two rigs take the weight from the top of the rig giving you full motion and use of the rig without feeling it in your arms. The weight gets distributed through the vest for hours of shooting power!

Both of these rig systems are available to rent now at The Lens Depot. You can pair them up or rent them separately. These rigs are a must have at your next shoot and will also give you a more desirable shooting look. You can take a look at all of these options and more in the Stabilizer section of the website!