Most Popular Photography and Videography Gear Rented in 2017

As we put in our final weeks of 2017, it’s important to reflect on all the exciting things that happened over the year, and focus on what we can do even better for 2018. As always, we like to put a bow on the year and share with you our most rented gear of the year. 2017 was our biggest year ever, and so, let’s go through some of the equipment that was the most rented of 2017.

Most Popular Photography & Videography Gear of 2017
1 Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II 11 Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS
2 Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II 12 Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro
3 Canon 5D Mark III 13 Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II
4 Canon 5D Mark IV 14 Canon 85mm f/1.2L II
5 Sony Alpha a7S II 15 Canon LP-E6N Battery
6 Sony NP-FW50 Battery 16 Nikon D750
7 Canon 50mm f/1.2L 17 Sennheiser G3 Wireless Mic Kit -Freq A
8 Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM 18 Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS
9 Canon 6D 19 Canon 35mm f/1.4L II
10 Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L 20 Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L III


As you could guess if you’ve seen this type of data in the past, a lot of our gear rented is more practical than anything else. Not much has changed from previous years, with the 24-70mm and 70-200mm’s of the world taking the cake as the most popular gear for the year. And the margins are pretty significant. While I can’t divulge actual sales numbers, I can say that the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II and Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II out rented every other lens three times over, and are our two most popular items by a significant margin. Another surprise is that the Canon 5d Mark III is still renting at the same level as the Canon 5d Mark IV, proving once again that cameras from nearly 6 years ago are still incredibly capable machines. Finally, Sony out rented Nikon this year and is slowly closing the gap to Canon.

But the most surprising information above might come from the Sony NP-FW50 Battery in 5th place. Yes, the Canon 85mm f/1.2L II, Nikon D750, and all of Sigma’s Art Series lenses were beat out by a battery. If nothing else, it’s a humbling reminder to us at that we serve a huge utility purpose within the industry, and a reminder to everyone else that the Sony mirrorless systems still have a long way to go in terms of battery life, and at least one backup battery is almost a requirement when using the Sony systems.

However, we also like to focus the spotlight on some of the new equipment put out into the wild, and highlight some of the new products that seem to have the most hype within the industry, so list below, is the most rented new gear from 2017.

Most Popular New Photo & Video Gear of 2017
1 Panasonic GH5 11 Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro 4.6K (EF)
2 Sony Alpha a6500 12 Sigma Cine 18-35mm T2 (Canon EF)
3 Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 SP Di VC USD G2 13 Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 X Power OIS II
4 Sony Alpha a9 14 Easyrig Minimax
5 Fuji X100F 15 Freefly Movi Pro Handheld Bundle
6 Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 DG OS HSM Art 16 Sony E 18-110mm f/4 G PZ OSS
7 Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS 17 Sony FE 85mm f/1.8
8 Canon 6D Mark II 18 Canon EOS C200 EF Cinema Camera
9 Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II 19 Fuji GFX 50S Medium Format Mirrorless
10 Sony FE 16-35mm f/2.8 GM 20 Sigma 135mm f/1.8 DG HSM Art


For reference to the changes, I’ve also attached our table for the most popular gear released in 2016 from the article we put together last year —

Most Popular New Photo & Video Gear of 2016
1 Canon 5D Mark IV 11 Blackmagic Design URSA Mini 4K (EF)
2 Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM 12 Sony FE 85mm f/1.4 GM
3 Sony PXW-FS5 XDCAM w/ FS RAW Upgrade 13 Fuji X-Pro2
4 Sony Alpha a6300 14 Sony Cyber-Shot RX10 III
5 Canon 1DX Mark II 15 DJI Focus Wireless Follow Focus System
6 Nikon D500 16 Blackmagic Design URSA Mini 4.6K (PL)
7 Sigma 20mm f/1.4 DG HSM A1 Art for Canon 17 Nikon D5
8 Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT 18 Manfrotto LYKOS Bi-Color LED
9 Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM A1 Art for Canon 19 Fuji X-T2
10 Canon 80D 20 DJI Osmo Pro Gimbal w/ Zenmuse X5 Camera


Does anything on these lists surprise you? Think we’ll see any surprises for the upcoming year? Let us know what you think in the comments below, and stay tuned for another article where the staff of Lensrentals goes through and lists their favorite new pieces of equipment for 2017 later next week.



Author: Zach Sutton

I’m Zach and I’m the editor and a frequent writer here at I’m also an editorial and portrait photographer in Los Angeles, CA, and offer educational workshops on photography and lighting all over North America.

Posted in Equipment
  • Thanks for the rent for the camera Nikon d750 the price is also good

  • I think I have 8 or 9 batteries for my a7sii.

  • Michael Clark

    Products introduced late in the year have an inherent disadvantage compared to products introduced earlier in the year. The D850 only shipped the last four months of 2017. Many of the products on the “New products” list started shipping in the first quarter of 2017.

  • Mirrorless has just one real benefit (at least to me) – focusing accuracy without necessity to calibrate lenses. I personally can’t wait to see a Canon FF mirrorless, but until then I don’t see any problem shooting a DSLR.
    Nikon’s glass is as good Canon’s, and the D500/D850/D5 are superb photography machines, trusted and reliable. There is no point to rent / test them, I guess people are simply buying those cameras. The mirrorless are relatively new to the market and likely to cause more questions among photographers (will it overheat / blend / etc… :), thus more rentals for evaluation purposes.
    Canon is a separate story – it just gets the job done (see the 5dmk3 stats) 🙂

  • David Gibson

    I find that fascinating too. And the 5D iii is hot on the used market (as I understand it). I considered a new 5D iv, but wound up with a used 5D iii (for landscape photography, primarily).

  • OSCE-NYSE General

    Yeah, after hearing all the crap wrong with Sony camera’s, they’re renting before taking a risk of buying it.

  • Tomas Ramoska

    Because EF mount are industry standard today just look how many video cameras use EF mount.

  • Talys

    But they have a superb catalog of lenses that fit many general and specific purposes and budgets, excellent reliability, great battery life, and a problem-free tool that is just great for getting work done. I would take utility over sexy innovations (nearly all of which I wouldn’t use anyways) any day every day of the week.

  • Canon doesn’t really have any innovative products either but is all over the list.

  • Zen

    Look at Sony mirrorless offerings. Now look at Nikon mirrorless offerings. If they had such innovative products this list would be very different.
    Canon is still able to be comfortably on top due to the huge user base and brand name. But things will eventually change for them too if they keep on the current path.

  • bartolyni

    It’s a shame how badly Nikon is doing…Where did they really go wrong?

  • Rick

    it would be curious to see either the percentages or numbers associated with the rankings. for instance is there a huge dropoff after position 5 for instance.

  • The D850 is a pretty incredible camera, and will likely climb the ranks for next year.
    I think one underlying thing that people aren’t recognizing is that people are renting the Canon systems for both photo and video. Nikon is still pretty far behind Canon in ways of video tech, especially when the 5D systems grading compliments the C200/C300 cameras so well, whereas Nikon has no other big video systems to really partner well with their D850.

  • beach

    What surprises me is the almost complete absence of Nikon – and that the ONE Nikon that made it is the D750. It’ll be interesting to see where the A7RIII and the D850 end up on that list next year.

  • Matti6950 .

    Just a thought: perhaps The R is what everyone loves and owns, but the A7S is what some ppl ‘need’ in some cases. Making the 7S a good rent and the R a good buy. I personally would never see myself buy A7S, but i could see myself borrow it (rent) if i truly need.

  • David Bateman

    Very interesting list. Thank you for not just listing lenses or cameras but overall rentals. I also like the new stuff list. Not surprised that GH5 tops it, as it out in March and had longer rental available time than other items. I am very surprised that the GFX is not higher for the same reason.
    Since this was a solar eclipse year we can assume people don’t care about burning holes through Canon gear, but wanted to keep other stuff safe. Only joking.
    But what I also think is interesting s the 7S sony is on the list and not the 7R sony which the net raves about.
    Reality and internet discussion do seem quite different.

  • Those are “work” rentals most likely. There is nothing better for a working professional than a pair of 24-70 and 70-200, plus whatever reliable camera with a decent ergonomics and battery life. Next year I bet we’ll see a lot of D850 rentals here.

  • It’s very interesting people still love the 5dm3 in spite of the 5dm4 existence. A real photography workhorse.

  • obican

    For every Sony gear you rent, you’d also rent 5 batteries.

  • Matt

    Oh, yeah, the Sony battery makes perfect sense. I was just saying the fact that a Canon battery still ranks above anything Nikon is probably more surprising.

  • Ralph Hightower

    On whimsy, I want to rent a Canon EF tilt-shift lens to play with for a week. But my rentals have been for practical purposes, a practice round at The Masters Golf Tournament and the Solar Eclipse.
    Got any good suggestions on which TS-E lens to rent?

  • Arthur Meursault

    18 of the top 20 rentals are Canon or Sony. It’s probably a trade secret but it speaks loudly to a Pareto like distribution. Maybe – maybe not in dollar terms but likely in rentals.

  • Samuel H

    Thanks for sharing this. It tells me that people like Canon, and people like zoom lenses. I must be very weird. XD

  • Ally Aycock

    Honestly, the battery makes sense. The Sony a7S and a7R models are extremely popular for video and the battery performance is pretty subpar compared to Canon and Nikon. We send two FW50s with many Sony cameras because the battery performance is so poor.

  • Athanasius Kirchner

    These are very interesting lists, Zach. Thanks for sharing, and for providing forum warriors with fresh gasoline for their flame wars 😀

  • Athanasius Kirchner

    I’d say it’s the latter, definitely. The X100F is finally refined to the point of almost perfection, and more people are tempted by it than ever before.

  • ¯_(?)_/¯
    They carry plenty of Nikon and Fuji stuff. It’s not really their fault if they’re not renting at the level of Canon and Sony.

  • Arthur Meursault

    Blues Brothers, “What kind of music do you usually have here?” Oh, we got both kinds, we got country and western.

    Lens Rentals, “What kind of photo rentals do you usually have here? Oh, we got both kinds, we got Canon and Sony.

    (Sorry Roger – I had to do it.)

  • Matt

    It wasn’t just the Sony battery. A Canon battery shows up one slot before Nikon’s first and only appearance on the list. Lensrentals customers did not use Nikon this year.

  • John Dillworth

    Bit surprised by that Fuji X100F being in there. Thats a pretty niche camera. I wonder if that is people needing it for something specific or they want to try before they buy?

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