Podcast Episode

The Lensrentals Podcast Episode #19 – How Lensrentals Reached a Million Orders

Published March 2, 2020

Each week Roger Cicala, founder of Lensrentals.com, hosts conversations about the art and science of capturing images. From photography to videography, film, history, and technology, the show covers a wide range of topics to educate and inspire creators of all kinds.


How Lensrentals Reached a Million Orders

In 2006 Roger went on an Alaskan cruise and had to pay big bucks for a lens he knew wouldn’t be very useful to him after he came home. Thus an idea was born, and now 13 years later here at Lensrentals, we’ve fulfilled over 1 million orders! Listen in as Roger, Ryan and Erik walk you through the history of Lensrentals.com, and how it went from running out of a garage and spare basement, into the largest rental house in America.
Watch our video celebrating our millionth order.


Enter our Millionth Order Giveaway

0:30 – Ryan Hill is joined with Roger Cicala and Erik Morrison

1:00 – Ryan introduces Erik to the podcast and Erik explains his position within Lensrentals.com

2:30 – Ryan and Erik give an overview of when they got started at Lensrentals.com

4:00 – Roger talks about how he came to creating Lensrentals

5:00 – Roger talks about how he discovered that lens rentals were unavailable in smaller markets

7:00 – Roger discusses how he considered shutting Lensrentals down multiple times within the first year

10:00 – Roger shares how he went from working out of a spare bedroom and garage to getting his first office space

11:20 – Talking profits in the early years of Lensrentals, and how so much of the income went back to gear acquisition

12:10 – How Roger transitioned from being a doctor to being a business owner

13:40 – Roger talks about how they went from Canon exclusive to Nikon and Canon, to now.

15:00 – How Lensrentals attracted photo and video graduates as employees and how that’s an advantage

18:20 – BREAK

19:00 – How Lensrentals started to transition into video equipment and how the Canon 5d Mark II pushed the video market

24:00 – How Roger thought the Canon 5d Mark II video features were a fleeting fad

25:30 – How keystone products like the Movi M5 changed the video market for Lensrentals

26:20 – How Lensrentals became customer driven on the gear they carry

28:40 – Roger discusses how he had to delegate more of the business responsibilities to others

32:45 – How Lenrentals has evolved into small order to larger orders as well

33:50 – Erik discusses the VIP orders department

37:50 – Erik asks who Ryan and Roger thought was the most exciting rental customer for Lensrentals

41:00 – How the staff of Lensrentals gets to see rental orders increase as businesses grow and thrive

43:00 – How the future is going to shape Lensrentals and their inventory


The Lensrentals Podcast is a production of Lensrentals, founded by Roger Cicala. Our production staff includes Drew Cicala, Ryan Hill, Sarah McAlexander, SJ Smith, Julian Harper, John Tucker, and Zach Sutton. Other contributors include Roger Cicala, Joey Miller, Ally Aycock Patterson, Joshua Richardson, and Philip Robertson.

Thanks to Jacques Granger for our theme song.

Submit a topic idea, question, or comment, leave us a voicemail at 901-609-LENS, or send us an email at podcast@lensrentals.com.


Author: Lensrentals

Articles written by the entire editorial and technical staff at LensRentals.com. These articles are for when there is more than one author for the entire post, and are written as a community effort.

Posted in Podcast Episode
  • dave holliday

    congratulations, Roger! out of curiosity, what were the contents of the one-millionth order?

  • Athanasius Kirchner

    What an amazing story, Roger. I remember the bitter days of Drew taking over the business parts of the business ?

    It was all for the better, though – you are doing what you love, and sharing it with us through this blog! Thanks for keeping it alive and interesting over the years.

  • Ralph Hightower


  • Hey Guys!!! Congratulations!!! You are the best!!!

  • Nicholas Bedworth

    That was quick… You told me the story would be simply unbelievable, and so it is! Congratulations on translating a great idea into a solid business that supports the community way in every way.

  • Tig Tillinghast

    Thank you, LensRentals, all of you, but especially Roger, who will always be the Uncle Roger of this generation of photographers. You’ve helped us not just with equipment, but with a better sense of humor.

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