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01-23-2016, 08:50 AM   #1
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Sharing economy - Lenses

Even before I was a member on here, I was traveling with my K10D. I was going to a wildlife refuge, but hadn't brought with me my tele lens. Couldn't borrow any locally, so had to make do with what I had. Since then, I always wondered what it would be to have an "exchange" for photographers to share lenses.

Other than getting some prototypes for how it would work, I haven't done much research (trust was a big barrier to overcome). But now that companies like AirBnB, etc. operate really well in the sharing economy, wanted to survey my fellow-pentaxians:

- Would you ever share your gear? What would it take you to do so? (assurance, etc.
- Would you ever want to share gear temporarily (shooting a wedding)?
- What do you currently use to borrow lenses?

Looking forward to your perspectives before I go full-force with this idea. Thank you!

01-23-2016, 09:12 AM   #2
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Moved to proper area. General Discussion is for non photo related topics only.
01-23-2016, 09:30 AM - 1 Like   #3
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I suggested on here a few years back that we investigate this idea. I wondered if the Forum could serve as the sponsoring organization. There are, of course, multiple issues to work through: insurance, transportation, trust, terms, etc. But, yes, I hope someone figures out how to do this.
01-23-2016, 11:24 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaman Quote
- Would you ever share your gear?

No, I don't think lens communism might ever work. Reason? When something "belongs" to everybody, in the end nobody really cares.


I'd probably borrow my lens to a good friend (after some education training how to treat a lens), but never to an unfamiliar stranger.

01-23-2016, 11:52 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by sholtzma Quote
I suggested on here a few years back that we investigate this idea
Thank you for that validation, sholtzma! These are the same issues I was investigating as part of startup way back in 2008! The biggest issue was insurance back then. Now, with companies like AirBnB, Uber, the insurance seems to be doable, as long it's scalable.

---------- Post added 01-23-16 at 12:53 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by zzeitg Quote
I'd probably borrow my lens to a good friend (after some education training how to treat a lens), but never to an unfamiliar stranger.
Thank you for your perspective, zzeitg!
01-23-2016, 06:17 PM   #6
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One of the ways this might start is small-scale and local. For example, a group of PF members was going to meet locally (but weather washed it out) and bring along a variety of lenses for each other to try. Had that happened, and had we felt comfortable with the members, perhaps we could have offered a borrowing service. When someone needs my Sigma 180 macro, they borrow it for a week. When I need someone's DA 560, I borrow that for a week.....
01-23-2016, 06:59 PM   #7
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I sometimes share lenses with a local Pentaxian. He is a old pro and a good guy so I don't mind helping him when he needs to borrow a lens.
01-24-2016, 05:52 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by sholtzma Quote
When someone needs my Sigma 180 macro

I'd consider buying this lens in case that you don't need it any longer

01-24-2016, 06:53 AM   #9
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Good, 'cause one's for sale in the Marketplace.... :-P
01-24-2016, 07:01 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by sholtzma Quote
Good, 'cause one's for sale in the Marketplace.... :-P


Oh, thanks. I'll check that.
01-24-2016, 07:04 AM - 1 Like   #11
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The thing with lenses is that they're so fragile. One inadvertent bump, and it may mean that it is no longer the same old lens, even after a repair. And a repair would take weeks, if not months, with no guarantee that it can be brought back to the previous state.

And to many of us, a glass, especially a beloved one, is too personal to be shared. It is not just a piece of metal and glass, it may also house memories. I remember vividly what glasses I used during my daughter's first stage play. For a stranger to drop that "metal and glass" beyond repair would be too "painful" and hard to accept. Dropping it myself would cause me a sleepless night or two, how much more if others would?

So, no. I may be a bit selfish, but I probably wouldn't share my glasses.
01-24-2016, 07:09 AM   #12
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Sure I'd share--if I had a firm basis for confidence in the borrower. To be honest, I'd have misgivings about lending anything to me but there are a number of PF members in whom I have more confidence.
01-24-2016, 10:02 AM   #13
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The traveling 50mm lens has a decent record. Two lenses disappeared over about 6 years, but the lens has been to everywhere there are Pentaxians. An enthusiastic post to the thread is the only entry requirement, and the only cost is shipping it to the next person. A lens cap I supplied lasted a couple of years and through dozens of users - my own lens caps vanish faster than that. The most interesting part of this project is the photos, which I think are a lot better than you'd expect for a lens that honestly described might sell for $25.

I think you could get it to work with some reasonable precautions. I wouldn't expect to make money on it.
01-26-2016, 09:20 AM   #14
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There are some lenses I would share, and there are some I wouldn't. Some lenses are expensive, but replaceable (insurance helps), but some lenses are simply difficult to find in a good condition (say, old Soviet Jupiter 3). Because of that, I might share my pentax 50 1.7, which I use the most, but I wouldn't share the Jupiter. I would be willing to share some of the autofocus lenses I have (I am biased towards old lenses )
01-26-2016, 09:57 AM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaman Quote
- Would you ever share your gear? What would it take you to do so? (assurance, etc. - Would you ever want to share gear temporarily (shooting a wedding)? - What do you currently use to borrow lenses?
I also may also come across as selfish, but I would not share my gear. I don't have a disposable income to replace something that would get damaged. Insurance is only as good as what the borrower says it is. No one would take care of my equipment as well as I do. Even shipping would be a gamble for damage. I only have a few lenses, and use them frequently, so would miss them if not in my possession.

As far as what I currently use to borrow lenses; nothing. I buy them outright when I can afford them.

I also would not feel comfortable borrowing equipment, as I'd be terrified something would happen to it, while in my care!

Last edited by csa; 01-26-2016 at 10:23 AM.
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