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The Lens

Lens, Camera, Video, Lighting and Drone Rentals

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DJI Introduces the Phantom 4 Pro

20 days ago 150 Views

DJI had a big announcements this week by unveiling a brand new addition to their ever-growing Phantom lineup. The Phantom 4 Pro+ improves upon the already stellar Phantom 4 drone with some welcome additions. The biggest change to the Phantom 4 Pro+ is a brand new 1-inch image sensor, a first for DJI. This brand new sensor allows still images up to 20 megapixels and 4K video at up to 60 frames per second. Video is now captured at a 100Mbps bitrate over the original Phantom 4's 60Mbps.

The body is very similar to that of the Phantom 4, with some key improvements. There are now vision sensors in both the front and rear of the craft, with new infrared sensors on the left and right sides. This also improves the ActiveTrack feature, allowing pilots to select between trace, profile, and spotlight modes. The improved battery also allows flight times of up to 30 minutes, the most of any DJI drone. Last, the remote now features a built-in 5.5" 1080p screen, reducing the need to provide your own phone or tablet and simplifying the pre-flight process. This will also help improve latency and video lag.

The DJI Phantom 4 Pro is expected before the end of 2016 and can be pre-ordered here. Stay tuned for updates on when the Phantom 4 Pro+ will be available. Below is a video preview from DJI.

The DJI Mavic Pro Has Arrived!

1 month ago 135 Views

Our first batch of the DJI Mavic Pro drones have arrived. We've put together a brief overview of what's included with our rental package along with a few tips before you fly!

The DJI Mavic Pro can be rented here.

New Item - Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III

1 month ago 242 Views

For many photographers, the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II is part of their "holy trinity" of lenses along with the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II and EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II. The latter two were both updated by Canon in the last 5-6 years. The EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II is certainly no slouch, but Canon has revamped this classic range with the new Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III.

Announced alongside the EOS 5D Mark IV, the EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III has a completely new optical design with updated coatings. The new optical design improves the edge and corner sharpness while also improving the light fall-off in the corners at wider apertures. This should be a welcome addition and allow the camera to keep up with higher resolution sensors like the Canon 5DS & 5DSR and even beyond. The new coatings also help minimize flare and ghosting in very contrasty lighting conditions.

Physically, the lens is slightly larger than its predecessor. Both utilize the same 82mm front diameter, but the overall diameter of the barrel is slightly thicker and longer on the new lens (5 inches vs 4.4 inches). The new lens is also slightly heavier at 1.74 lbs vs 1.41 lbs from the version II.

Want to give the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III a try on your next shoot? It is available for rent now!

The Cooke Look Comes to The Lens Depot

2 months ago 245 Views

We have continued to expand our line of video rental equipment to meet the demands of our customers. We are very proud to announce the addition of Cooke Lenses to our line of Cinema Lenses. Cooke lenses are world renowned by director's of photography across the world for their robust build quality and what people call the "Cooke Look." We have added the Mini S4/i line of Cooke cinema lenses with focal lengths ranging from 18mm up to 100mm.

Lens Technology

All of the Cooke Mini S4/i lenses offer an aperture of T2.8, allowing them to be smaller and lighter than the traditional Cooke S4 lenses. There's no sacrifice in image quality and the lenses are still able to provide the "Cooke Look" - a sharp, subtle, smooth rendering that provides dimensionality and high contrast. They can easily handle resolutions of up to and beyond 4K.

All of the lenses come equipped with /i technology. On compatible cameras, this allows continuous remote readout of focus, t-stop, and depth of field settings. This information can all be recorded digitally and synced with timecode, streamlining both the production and post-production process.

Coated or Uncoated

All of the Cooke Mini S4/i lenses come with multi-coated elements that you would expect from a modern cinematic lens. This increases sharpness and contrast, while reducing flare and reflections. Cooke also recognizes that some videographers would like lenses with an "older" look that is a little softer in contrast, and have uncoated elements that can provide this look. We will be offering the option of ordering your Cooke Mini S4/i with Coated or Uncoated elements. If you are planning on ordering the uncoated version, please give us some lead time to make the optical switch The difference is very profound, and each can provide a unique look. Here is a demo of the differences between the two:

Cooke MiniS4 Uncoated vs Coated 2 h264 - Jeremy Benning from Cooke Optics on Vimeo.


As of right now, all of the Cookie Mini S4/i lenses will be available for rent in the PL Mount. These will mount on any video or cinematic camera equipped with a PL mount, but they can only provide the /i metadata information to cameras that utilize the /i Technology. We do offer a PL Lens to Sony E-Mount Adapter that will allow you to utilize the lenses on cameras like the Sony FS7 or Sony A7S II. Cooke did however recently announce they will be offering interchangeable mounts for Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Micro Four-Thirds. These are not yet available, but we are planning on adding these as they become available. We'd love your feedback on which mounts you'd like to try the Cooke lenses in!

The Cooke Mini S4/i lenses are available to rent now in the following focal lengths:

Cooke 18mm T2.8 miniS4/i Cine Lens Rental
Cooke 25mm T2.8 miniS4/i Cine Lens
Cooke 32mm T2.8 miniS4/i Cine Lens
Cooke 50mm T2.8 miniS4/i Cine Lens
Cooke 75mm T2.8 miniS4/i Cine Lens
Cooke 100mm T2.8 miniS4/i Cine Lens

ikan DS1 Beholder Overview

3 months ago 404 Views

We've recently added a brand new video gimbal, the ikan DS1 Beholder Gimbal. It's a 3-Axis gyro stabilizer able to support large DSLR cameras in the range of 1.5-3.7lbs, such as the Canon 5D Mark IV, Canon 7D Mark II, Panasonic GH4, & the Sony A7s II. This gimbal is powered by 3 x 2600mAh rechargeable batteries, for a total run-time of 2-3 hours of continuous usage. It also features a 5-way joystick on the handle of the gimbal that offers complete control over the Tilt/Pan axis making it one of the most versatile gimbals to hit the market.

3/8"-16 Thread Mount

The thread mount is located at the bottom of the gimbal as seen in the picture above and is great for mounting the gimbal onto equipment like a Video Monopod and Fluid Head 500 to achieve beautiful jib like shots! You can also use it with Kessler Cineslider 5ft and get a perfect pan/tilt using the 5-way joystick featured on the gimbal handle, or you could use the Handle extension that comes with the gimbal when you rent it from The Lens Depot.

USB Power Options

Having USB power built right into your gimbal adds more variety to the options you have when operating the gimbal. A great way to utilize the USB power option located on the gimbal handle would be to grab a Panasonic GH4 Camera, then using the Panasonic Image App on your smart phone your phone can be used as a live view monitor (with various control options) without worrying about draining your phones battery.

Operating Modes

Follow Mode: follows hand movements, joystick can control up and down, and panning movements.

Lock Made: lock camera onto subject, joystick can control up and down, and panning movements.

Inverted Mode: The gimbal can be operated upside down to achieve low to the ground shots.

Briefcase Mode: Briefcase mode allows you to hold and operate the gimbal at a horizontal angle.

The Ikan DS1 Beholder is a great tool for any videographer that will give you a ton of different options going into your next shoot. For any shooter that is looking for something a little different, lighter, and isn't looking to run a heavy camera and lens setup the Ikan DS1 Beholder will definitely give you a new way to maneuver through your next shoot. The Ikan DS1 Beholder is available to rent now!

Images provided courtesy of ikan Corporation.

New Arrivals: September 2016

3 months ago 222 Views

Since the beginning of September, we've added a few new items to our inventory. In case you've missed some of them, we've put together a handy rundown of a few of our latest and upcoming arrivals.

Ikan DS1 Beholder

Gimbals and other stabilizers have become extremely popular with videographers. The new Ikan DS1 Beholder is an easy to use gimbal aimed specifically at the Mirrorless and DSLR shooters, supporting capacities of 1.5 to 3.7lbs. For shooters that are looking for something a little smaller and lower-profile than a DJI Ronin-M, this is definitely a nice alternative. The Ikan DS1 Beholder is available to rent now

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV & BG-E20

Canon's highly anticipated EOS 5D Mark IV has arrived. Highlight features include an all-new 30.4 megapixel sensor, Dual Pixel AF in live-view, and DCI 4K video capture at up to 30p. This camera just arrived on Friday and is already available to rent now! Lucky for existing 5D Mark III users, the camera uses the same media (CF & SD cards) and batteries (LP-E6N). We also have the brand new battery grip, the BG-E20 available for pre-order.

More Additions to the Osmo Family

DJI has been rapidly expanding their Osmo lineup and we've added some of their latest offerings. First up is the DJI Osmo X5 Handwheel. This allows precise control of the focus, aperture, and zoom for the Osmo X5 Pro and X5 RAW (at this time it is not compatible with any other Osmo units). The DJI Osmo X5 Handwheel is available to rent now.

Next is the Osmo+ Gimbal & Camera. This uses the same camera as the recently released Inspire1 Z3 and brings zoom capability to the Osmo. This is expected towards the end of the month and is available for pre-order.

Last is an interesting addition to the Osmo family, the Osmo Mobile Gimbal. This is an interesting addition that will add the power of the Osmo platform to just about any smartphone camera. This is also expected at the end of the month and is available for pre-order.

Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS

One of the most popular telephoto focal length/aperture combinations finally comes to Sony! The Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS joins Sony's G Master series of lenses for the E-Mount system. This lens is ideally-suited for handheld shooting of distant and fast-moving subjects, but it also works great for portraits. Best of all, this lens is available to rent now.

That rounds up some of our latest editions. With the fall approaching, there is bound to be more new equipment just around the corner so stay tuned for more new arrivals. We also love your feedback! If there's something you'd like to see us add, send us an e-mail and let us know!

Unboxing: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

3 months ago 210 Views

The wait is finally over! The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV has arrived! We did a quick unboxing video when the cameras arrived, you can check it out below.

The Canon 5D Mark IV is available to rent starting today! You can rent it here.

Stream Your Event Live with the Teradek VidiU Pro

4 months ago 354 Views

Live video streaming through the internet is something that has been growing with popularity over the last decade. Previously even the simplest video stream required a capture card, special software, and quite a bit of technical knowledge. This week we've added an item to make streaming easily accessible to just about anyone with an internet connection, smart phone, and HDMI capable camera - the Teradek VidiU Pro.

The VidiU Pro is a small box measuring at just 4.7" x 3" x 1.2" and 6oz. It has a cold mount shoe on the bottom, making it easy to mount to the top of most cameras, camcorders, or other mounting accessories. All you have to do is connect your video camera through the HDMI port and you're ready to start streaming. The audio will be picked up directly from the HDMI source, but you can also feed a 3.5mm line in audio source.

The VidiU Pro can connect wirelessly to a router or wired through an ethernet cable. If an internet connection is not available, you can also connect to your smart phone or a mobile hot spot and stream via 3G/4G/LTE. In situations where the connection is poor, you can even pair bandwidth from multiple sources with up to 6 data connections to maximize the stream output with ShareLink (optional subscription service, not included with the rental). The VidiU Pro is controlled easily through a compatible iOS or Android device with the VidiU app. Once you're connected, the VidiU Pro can natively stream to some of the most popular streaming platforms like Facebook, YouTube, LiveStream, UStream, and Twitch. You can also stream to your own private server via Wowza's Streaming Engine. You can start, stop, and monitor your stream directly from the VidiU Pro app.

The VidiU Pro has a built-in lithium battery that allows you to stream tether free for up to 2 hours. If you'd prefer, an AC adapter is also included for extended streaming. You can also record your stream in H.624 directly to an SD Card for back-up purposes or to distribute later via other services. Please note, this only supports up to 32GB SDHC cards and the recording will be split into 4GB files similar to most popular DSLRs.

With the wide variety of streaming platform options, you can easily stream your live events including (but not limited to) meetings, public speakings, youth/high school sports, church services, weddings, family reunions, and a lot more! We did a test stream to Facebook Live and the setup was very simple. Here is an archive of the live stream:

The Lens Depot Test Live StreamTest Stream with the Teradek VidiU ProPosted by The Lens on Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Stay tuned, we will be doing more live streams in the future! We'd love your feedback of what you'd like to see for our live streams, send us an e-mail to with what you'd like to see. The Teradek VidiU Pro is available to rent here.

New Items - Additional Inspire 1 Options

4 months ago 297 Views

The DJI Inspire 1 is one of our most popular drones because of its versatility. Unlike the DJI Phantom 4 and Phantom 3 drones, the Inspire 1 is easily up-gradable and allows for expansion as DJI introduces new cameras. This week we've added two of their latest offerings in the Inspire 1 family.

First up is the Zenmuse Z3 package. The sensor of the Zenmuse Z3 is identical to the one found in the Osmo X3, Inspire 1 X3, and Phantom 4's camera. The big addition is the ability to zoom - a first for a DJI drone. The Z3's 7x zoom consists of a 3.5x optical and 3x digital, giving an equivalent of 22mm to 77mm focal length. Zooming is accomplished by either a digital display on the DJI GO app or by holding the C2 button underneath the remote and using the left control wheel. The ability to zoom opens a whole new realm of creative possibilities. We were able to do a brief test when we received the camera. You can check it out below!

Next up is the Zenmuse XT. DJI has partnered with FLIR, one of the leaders in thermal imaging technology to offer an aerial thermal imaging solution. This is primarily used for industrial applications such as surveying, inspections, agriculture, and search and rescue. Video and photos are captured at 336 x 256 in MP4, 8-bit JPEG, Radiometric JPEG, or 14-bit TIFF. Temperature reading can be done from the center of the frame with an accuracy of +/- 10 degrees Celsius. Scene analysis can be done in a variety of Palette options including White Hot, Black Hot, Fusion, Rainbow, Glowbow, Ironbow, Sepia, Color, Ice Fire, and Rain. This package will be offered as a dual operator package, allowing for one user to operate the craft while the other operates the camera. We've also captured some test footage of the Zenmuse XT 9mm camera.

Like most other DJI drones, you will need a MicroSD card to capture your video and images. You will also need a smartphone or tablet with the DJI GO app installed and a USB cable that corresponds to your device. Each package includes two DJI Intelligent Flight batteries, but we also rent additional batteries if needed.

The DJI Inspire 1 Z3 can be rented here.
The DJI Inspire XT FLIR can be rented here.

New Item - Kino Flo Select 30 LED 2 Light Kit

4 months ago 373 Views

Lighting is an essential part of almost any video or photo production. Having a light that works in a variety of lighting situations is extremely helpful, and this week we've added one of our most versatile lighting solutions yet - the Kino Flo Select 30 LED 2 Light Kit.

Kino Flo lights are very well renowned by both video and still photographers for their soft and even illumination. Most of the Kino Flo kits we offer like the Diva Light 400 and 4 Foot Bank use fluorescent bulbs. While the quality of the light output is great, you do have to specify if you need daylight (5500K) or tungsten (3200K) bulbs for your project. The Kino Flo Select LEDs offer a variable color temperature range from 2700K up to 6500K that is flicker-free and does not shift when dimmed. In addition, the Select 30s also offer control for green and magenta shift to help better match other light sources.

The control unit for the Select LED 30 is mounted on the back of the fixture, but it can also be detached and can control the light from up to 25' away with the included extension cable. Like the Kino Flo 4 Foot Bank, the Select LED 30 has a built-in barn door design, ball and socket Baby Mount, and is very light-weight for such a large fixture, allowing it to be mounted in a variety of situations. In terms of power output, the Select LED 30 is also very comparable to the 4 Foot Bank with an output of 2470 LUX at 3 feet, compared to the 4Bank's 2599 LUX at 3 feet.

Due to its size and weight, the Kino Flo Select LED 30 will only be available for pick-up at our main office in Orlando. The kit includes 2x fixtures, 2x mounts, 2x balasts, 2x 90 degree grids, and 2x 25' extension cables. If you don't already have them, you will need stands - we recommend our Avenger C Stands.

The Kino Flo Select LED 30 is available to rent today!