Just to recommend a couple of photography companies that have given me excellent service recently:
LensesForHire, as you might guess from the name, hire lenses through the post. Last month I needed a wide-angle lens, so booked one through their site – you can view real-time availability for each lens, which is convenient – and arranged for it to arrive the day before my shoot. This all went smoothly, but the courier company failed to find me: “you weren’t in – silver door, right?”; I was waiting in all day, and I have a white door. I emailed LensesForHire at 18:30 to explain about this, and ask what the procedure was.
I got a phone call at 19:00 saying they were doing their best to sort it out, but their courier’s emergency number wasn’t answering. They’d try to get the lens to me very early the next day, or at least get me an address to pick it up from. But if it didn’t work out, they’d of course refund me everything. The lens arrived first thing the next morning, and everything went swimmingly after that.
Their prices are pretty good, their website is honest, friendly and nicely written (they don’t quote international courier prices because they’re ‘an impenetrable mystery’) and they worked after hours to solve my problem. Can’t ask for more than that.
Jack the Hat
Jack the Hat have twice proven themselves a cut above. A couple of years ago I ordered some cheap cabling so I could experiment with off-camera flash, and I asked whether they could check over the kit to make sure it was what I needed. They emailed the same day to say it wouldn’t work quite as I wanted, and gave me full details on the correct kit – which they didn’t sell. They then cheerfully cancelled my order.
Last year I needed a white backdrop in time for the weekend. I ordered one from them, mentioning that I needed it in a hurry, and that since there were postal strikes I was happy to pay the extra cost to guarantee it. They immediately sent it special delivery, and insisted on covering the difference. It arrived exactly as promised.
So, yes: LensesForHire and Jack the Hat come highly recommended.