BL Blog

Posts by: BL Cambot

Meet BorrowLenses.com – Jo DeGuzman

Photographers
At BorrowLenses.com we have some incredible people behind the scenes that help make us the best online camera and lens rental service. This post is the first of a series to introduce you to members of the BorrowLenses.com team who tap into their passion for photography, videography and the arts daily in an effort to provide you the best service possible Today we’d like to introduce you to Jo who leads our front desk team and is often fielding customer service calls.

In case you have yet to walk into our headquarters this is Jo, our Front Desk Manager. Jo and his team make sure your orders are ready for pick up and take calls to help customers. Whether you have questions about your order, equipment, accessories, etc. Jo’s team is there to provide answers. In fact they pride themselves on tackling any question you have for them to help you get the most out of your gear and lens rentals.

What’s your role here at BorrowLenses.com?
I am the Front Desk Manager.

Are you also a photographer and if so what is your expertise?
I am a photographer, but I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a “pro”. I love to shoot, photo and video, whatever it is. I like to push the boundaries of what I shoot, taking the unconventional approach to my subjects. I once had a photo shoot using black light. Light in itself is a beast to manipulate but shooting with a black light was really challenging. My expertise? I would say it is video. I like capturing not just a moment, but moments. Video allows you to feel emotion through time. I like having that extra dimension in my work.

Have you shot with all the cameras at BorrowLenses.com?
Pretty much. We are a little spoiled here, sometimes we are forced to shoot with a 1D Mark IV instead of a 5D Mark III. Who can complain about that? But having access to all this gear allows us to be educated and being educated here is really, really important. We get tons of questions, whether its on the phone, or people that walk in. We have to be ready to answer anything that is thrown at us. I enjoy having access to all this gear, but at the same time, I enjoy teaching people what I’ve learned.

What can you say your experience as a photographer brings to your role?
Going back to the last question, I enjoy teaching people what I’ve learned. Working with all this gear, I’ve run into pretty much every problem you can encounter during a shoot. Why is there a black bar across the photo when using a flash? Why doesn’t this camera not auto-focus in video? Why does the camera stop recording after 10 seconds of recording? And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Being here allows us to work through the problems so that you don’t have to. I’m not the only one that possesses this knowledge, my team does as well. When I’m out on a shoot, I’ll ask the Front Desk team to come along with me. That way we can all learn together. When the time comes one way or another I or a member of my team can answer even the most challenging questions for our customers.

Of the thousands of customer service requests we receive a month what have been some of the most rewarding problems you’ve helped resolve?
I can’t name one specifically, but what I find most rewarding is seeing and helping our customers grow I enjoy knowing that I’ve helped someone learn more about photography and/or videography. One day, a customer walks in renting a Canon Rebel T1i to shoot a friends music video, a few months later, they are renting Sony FS100’s to shoot a big name artist. That is the most rewarding part: the progression. When our customers grow, we grow. There’s nothing more satisfying than feeling like you’ve helped someone. I’m not a parent, but I’m sure that’s what it feels like when you impart knowledge on someone and you see them succeed with the knowledge you have given them.  Seeing that growth, that’s the reward.

What one thing would you like BorrowLenses.com customers to know about Customer Service that perhaps they might not know?
We’re not here just for the paycheck, it’s more than that. The BorrowLenses staff is a community of photographers and videographers. We’re not just a website where you can rent gear from, we’re a resource you can learn from. I’d even compare it to a sort of school. You call here and no one will turn down a question. If they don’t know the answer, then someone else here will. Iron sharpens iron. And that’s what we do here on a daily basis. We are a wealth of knowledge at your disposal.

BorrowLenses.com is now on Pinterest

BL News Cool Stuff

Follow BorrowLenses.com on Pinterest.  We have boards that will inspire you, help you learn, choose the right tools, and view/order the latest gear! Whether you are new to photography, or are interested in video, we’ve curated amazing resources for you to view and share.

Follow BorrowLenses.com on Pinterest

Follow BorrowLenses.com on Pinterest

In the near future we will be inviting you to feature your best work on Pinterest. Check in for more details here and on our Facebook, Twitter and Google+ pages for invitations to share your best photos & videos.

Visit BorrowLenses.com on Pinterest

Adobe CS6 and Lightroom 4 bogging down your computer?

Tips & Tricks

If you’re a photographer, chances are that you spend a lot of computer time ploughing through the Adobe Creative Suite and Lightroom. Chances also are that you’ve also spent a fair amount of time tearing at your hair as you wait for that filter, or that export, or some other function to wrap up.

What you may not know is that it might not be Photoshop or Lightroom that’s slowing your computer up. Here are a few tricks to help speed things up for you.

1. Close those browser windows and tabs. Do you really need to be checking your Facebook and Twitter feeds while editing photos and videos? Didn’t think so! We have all fallen victim to the Social Media gods, but a little resistance from a “hashtag” here and a “like” there will help you focus on whats important: color splashing and adding a vignette to all your photos!

You probably never noticed, but multi-tabbed browser windows eat up a lot of system memory. The photo above is a screenshot of my computers activity. More than 1GB allocated to internet browsing! If your computer is running 8GB of ram or less, then you should close those tabs and allocate as much memory to your editing software as much as possible.

2. Add more Ram. This is probably the cheapest and single most efficient way to speed up your computer. You’ll not only see a significant decrease in render time, but you’ll see the overall performance of your computer get a boost. If you own an i7 MacBook Pro or a PC equivalent, you should be able add up to 16gb of ram into your system. I did it to my MacBook Pro. It’s not even the top of the line model, but it was still able to pop in 16gb of ram without a hitch. Ram prices are at an all-time low, I picked up 16gb for less than $150 from Amazon.

3. Upgrade to an SSD (Solid State) Hard Drive. Although SSDs have gone down in price, they are still a good ways away from being cost-competitive with traditional spindle hard drives. With that said, they do provide significant performance gains. Computers will boot noticeably faster, will come out of sleep almost instantly, and will read and write files with greater speed.

How many times have you tried to open up a multi-layered .psd and found yourself staring at the screen, waiting for that status bar to reach its end? Check out the example below. A 128gb SSD was installed on this PC and scored the highest possible score, 7.9, on Windows Performance scales.

One draw back though, is that you won’t have nearly as much storage space to store your data. Those who do upgrade to an SSD choose to run their OS and Applications from the SSD, and store their data onto a separate hard drive.

These are just a few ways to get a performance boost out of your existing hardware, without having to drop the dough for the latest and greatest from Apple/Dell/HP/whatever. Regular maintenance and policing of the contents of your drive also helps.

Windows users can run Check Disk and remove temporary files to help with performance issues, while Mac users should run Disk Utility every so often as well. Another tip for Mac users: keep your Desktop clean and as file-free as possible. Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that does help.

Got a tip of your own? Leave it in the comments below!

Canon 5DMarkIII Review by OliviaTech.com

Gear Talk

We spent a day with OliviaTech testing out the capabilities of the new Canon 5DMarkIII. We took it into a full production setting to shoot a music video and then into her studio to compare the ISO sensitivity, rolling shutter, and aliasing vs its predecessor, the Canon 5DMarkII. Check out the video review below and her full write up here.

Longer video clips available for you to download at Canon 5D Mark II vs Canon 5D Mark III Video Clips.

Travel Photography Tips from John Batdorff

Tips & Tricks
John Batdorff

John Batdorff

This is a guest-post from John Batdorff II, a renowned travel photographer and friend of BorrowLenses.com. John is known for his landscape and travel photography, workshops, books and popular photography blog. He has traveled all around the world and, as part of our Tip of the Week series, shares his top tips on what to do if you’re planning a photo trip abroad. Take it away John! 

Over the years I’ve learned a few things about travel photography. First and foremost, preparation is critical, and second, nothing ever goes as planned. Managing expectations, mitigating potential problems, and being flexible are key ingredients to ensuring a great experience. Here are few of my tips for planning a successful photo trip: (more…)

One Fisheye to Rule Them All!

Gear Talk

After spending some quality time with Canon’s newest L-series lens, the EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM, we can safely say it is the undisputed king of the fishes. It’s so versatile that it replaces at least five other lenses: the Sigma 8mm, Peleng’s 8mm, Tokina’s 10-17mm, Canon’s own 15mm and the Zenitar 16mm. It covers the same focal length as all five of these lenses (for the most part) while being sharper across the zoom range, delivering crisp, contrasty images that are to be expected from a lens bearing Canon’s lofty “L” designation. With this lens in your bag, there’s little reason to consider another fisheye lens, regardless of what camera body you are using. (more…)

A Guide to Canon and Nikon Lens Gobbledygook

Gear Talk

Every Canon and Nikon lens has a model name infused with a string of semi-confusing acronyms that describe the features and technology found in the lens itself. Knowing what these acronyms stand for will make deciphering a lens’s name much easier, helping you to choose the lens with the specific features are you looking for. Let’s get started!

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Best Wide Angle for a Crop Sensor Camera

BL News

At BorrowLenses.com we get a lot of phone calls from potential customers with questions regarding which gear to use for certain types of photography. Of those calls, one of the most prominent is “What is the best wide angle lens to rent for landscapes?” The answer is there are plenty of great lenses to choose from, but which lens is best depends heavily on which camera body you are using. When we ask people what camera they have, the majority respond that they are shooting with a crop-sensor body, and this affects lens selection in a significant way. Crop sensor bodies from Canon include the 10-60D, Rebel series and 7D. On the Nikon side there are the D4/5/6/7/8/90, D7000 and D300 series.

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A Letter to Canon and Nikon

BL News

Hey Canon and Nikon – BorrowLenses.com here.

You might remember us from several large orders over the years.  And there have been quite a few repairs too (looks at the person reading this). Anyway, we’re writing today to let you know we are ready for whatever big announcements you have under wraps to be unwrapped. Go ahead; unwrap them.

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First post dedicated to you…our AWESOME customers.

BL News

We’ve been pondering what our first post should be regarding for some time now. There are so many topics to cover; photo techniques, lens rental recommendations, how-to videos, and lots more. But then one day we were in our kitchen staring at the wall of amazing customer letters and it hit us – none of this is possible without you, our AWESOME customers. From the very first order four years ago first order of a Sigma 15mm Fisheye, to our 90,000th order of, ironically, a Sigma 15mm Fisheye, you all have helped make Borrowlenses.com what it is today.

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