View Full Version : Classic RF rental - would it work?

02-07-2007, 14:35
I tossed off this idea in response to a reply to my classified ad -- but then I got to thinking, "Maybe it's not such a crazy idea..."

Here's the concept. Probably many of us have RF cameras that we don't use very often. Also, probably most of us have a mental "wish list" of cameras we'd like to try -- but not necessarily spend the money to buy.

So, what if we set up a system on RFF where people could rent out their seldom-used RFs to other people who wanted to try them?

Just sketching out the idea, I imagine it might work like this:

-- Participants would have to be registered RFF members.

-- Rentors ("cameralords"?) would list what they have available, its full value, the deposit amount (I'm thinking maybe 1/3 the full value?) and the rental amount.

-- If I've got a camera you'd like to rent, you contact me and we set up a transaction: you send me the deposit, rental amount, and shipping amount via PayPal; I ship the camera to you via insured post.

-- If Something Bad happens to the camera while it's in your custody, you PayPal me the balance of the full value.

-- Otherwise, at the end of the rental term, you ship the camera back to me via insured post and I refund your deposit via PayPal.

-- People who abuse the system get ruthlessly exposed and excoriated on the RFF "rental forum."

This idea might sound risky to some people -- but when you think about it, it doesn't really seem any riskier than sellling or buying a camera from an online classified or eBay. (If anything, it's less risky, since the amounts involved typically would be smaller.)

So what do you think? Is this nuts, or might it be fun and useful?

02-07-2007, 15:09
Hey, as long as there is some form of standardized rental fees and shipping methodology I'd be more than supportive.

Kim Coxon
02-07-2007, 15:17
I don't think I would take part in a "camera rental" scheme. Not against the idea but just not that interested.

However, what I would find very interesting would be a lens "swap" scheme. It could be a good way to try different lenses and the "swap" would get rid of all the problems of deposits, Paypal etc.


Al Patterson
02-07-2007, 15:28
Seeing that some folks around here appear to buy and sell every few months, one could argue that this site is ALREADY a classic RF rental outfit...

02-07-2007, 15:29
Funny, I thought about this the other day. One reservation/concern I have is the handler in between the loaner and the renter, i.e., the shippers. The odds of something being lost or damaged may be low but it does happen, and if it happened to one of my cameras I would not be happy. This is different than shipping with an eBay sale or purchase: if you sold something and a shipping problem occurred, then, well, you wanted to get rid of it any way and you'd work out a settlement. If a shipping problem happened on something you bought, well, you never had it anyway and a settlement would be worked out (I am scary near this predicament right now). But if you've owned something for awhile, and you lost it in a rental situation, well, that's disheartening...just because I do not use a camera much does not mean I do not enjoy owning it and seeing it and using it if even occasionally. There is an emotional tie. Thoughts?

02-07-2007, 16:31
The real only down side has been mentioned. A lot of OLD Classic gear that may or may or may not work with next roll. AND how about insurance for loss damage?

Most Photography Stores that rent, require a FULL Price Deposit + daily fee.

But this may blossom into a workable deal.

02-07-2007, 16:45
I think it's a good idea but the stress of coveted gear being in transit at someone elses whim may be too much for some of us. Within countries it could work but country to country would rule it out for me! Oz is a long way from anywhere! :)

02-07-2007, 17:02
I think the only way it will work is if the refundable deposit is the full replacement value of the camera, plus 25 percent. Otherwise it gets too stressful.

02-07-2007, 17:53
I think I like Kim's swap idea best - if you're holding one of mine then I'm holding one of yours. Cameras or lenses. That's the only workable system I can see.


02-07-2007, 18:31
Sounds too risky to me.

Mainly, I wouldn't want to risk something happening, even only minor wear-and-tear, to something I own during the rental period, so I would very unlikely to ever offer up anything for rental.

Being a renter seems less risky but frankly if I want to try something out, I just find someone selling whatever it is (like Gid's Bronica RF645 and two lenses) and just buy it. If I don't like it, I just flip it -- this is usually close to a break-even deal everything I go for it.

02-07-2007, 18:46
I like the idea but don't think I'd want to play. My worry would be as a renter--I do take good care of the gear I use but still sometimes things break. I would be too worried about that happening to some one else's beloved gear. And that would inhibit how I would use it.
If I lived somewhere that there was a camera rental store, that would be a different scenario: I doubt the commercial places have any emotional investment in the gear they rent.
I would love to do it if the gear came from a commercial establishment but not if it's some individual's prized classic RF.
Not a bad idea, but, in my opinion, fraught with danger.

02-08-2007, 09:04
In theory it's great. In practice it will get messy.

I'd prefer to meet up with other RFF members personally (on a group meet) and get my grubby mitts all over other's equipment that way. I wouldn't mind taking other stuff along for others to try out for the few hours too, but to be honest I get a sick feeling in my stomach everytime I see someone touch a camera I own.

Blame my upbringing, but slippery fingers guys....

02-08-2007, 11:58
I checked "No way..." only because I don't want to end up behind bars for stealing a 50 year old "junk".

02-08-2007, 12:20
How about insurance? 1/3 deposit of the value is only 33%. If the camera breaks, and it might, who is going to cough up the rest of the dough? Besides, who will appreciate the camera before it gets rented out? I think this is fraught with danger. I can't bear the loss of 2/3s of my Bessa R, M2 or (heaven forbid) my R-D1. And my insurance company won't take kindly to my renting out a camera to a stranger (perhaps even abroad) and then knocking on their door for money because the camera got broken (accidentally, because of age, in a raging fit, etc).