Rental houses are an indispensable resource for photographers, both for professionals who need specific gear for a job, as well as amateurs looking to try out the latest and greatest lens for a weekend before deciding to buy it. But Film Objektiv, a new, online rental house, sees things a bit differently: Every camera it rents shoots film, and the shortest rental period is one month.
Film Objektiv’s primary goal is to get film cameras in the hands of more people, perhaps those who otherwise wouldn’t think to try them. The company’s rental inventory includes a selection of classic cameras from Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Mamiya, Hasselblad, and even Polaroid and Lomography. Film Objektiv also wants to make sure it is supporting photographers working on more involved projects. As such, cameras can be rented for either one or two months — no longer, and no shorter.
A typical digital camera rental could be hundreds, or even thousands of dollars for a month — prohibitively expensive for many photographers. While a few of the higher-end cameras in Film Objektiv’s library fetch around $300 per month, most go for close to $50, and a couple are as cheap as $16. Renters will also have to pay a deposit (in the form of a credit card hold) that will be refunded upon return of the gear.
If the pricing seems mysteriously low and perhaps too good to be true, well, there is a catch, if a small one: Film Objektiv requires every customer to submit five photos and write at least 100 words for a blog post on the company’s website. The 100 Words project, as it’s called, will help Film Objektiv grow beyond a basic rental house as it seeks to create a true community around film photography.