LensProToGo.com – Mini Review

Last month I rented lenses for the very first time…ever! Thanks to my experience with LensProToGo.com, it probably won’t be my last.

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I had friends and family visiting throughout the month of May and I was planning on taking lots of pictures. Considering the itinerary of places we were planning to go, I would be taking different types of pictures ranging from portraits, landscape and wildlife. For the Canon 50D, the Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8 IS zoom lenses would cover all of the focal ranges that I would be expecting to take. With the prices of good lenses reaching $1000+, it was a no brainer to go the rental route.

First off, the company caters specifically to Canon and Nikon dslr cameras. The website and online reservation system are pretty user friendly. When you click on the brand of camera, Canon or Nikon, you are given a list of lenses that they carry. The page indicates if the item is in stock with a simple yes or no. Yes – they carry the lens and there is at least one copy in stock. No – they carry the lens but all copies of the lens are currently out of stock. If the item is not in stock, you’re encouraged to call and speak to a customer service representative to reserve for a future date or you can leave your email to be notified when the item becomes available. Pricing and rental time are also provided on the page. Shipping price in both direction is already included in the price. A big surprise is no tax.

After the order is placed, you will be notified via email when the order is shipped and provided the tracking number. All shipping is through FedEx and is 2 day shipping. Overnight shipping is also available for those who need the lens immediately but you will need to speak to a customer rep to reserve the lens. All lenses are shipped in pelican cases to avoid any damage while in transit and the actual rental period starts when FedEx electronically confirms delivery or attempts delivery. The package also includes the return shipping label that you will use when you return the lens.

The lenses that I rented were both in working order but did show signs of wear which is typical anytime you rent. They came with both front and rear caps. I was a little disappointed they didn’t come with UV filters and the 17-55mm didn’t come with a lens hood. With the cost of repairs, you would think they would provide those items to prevent accidental damage to the glass. This was a minor con since I like to take good care of my gear.

Towards the end of the rental period, they send an email reminder when the lens is due and also give you an option to extend the rental period. To return the lens, just repack all items in the pelican case and the box that it came in, stick the return shipping label on the box and drop it off to FedEx. The transit times to and from LensProToGo do NOT count toward the rental period.

Overall, my first online rental transaction with LensProToGo was quite positive and I will definitely use them again in the future.

You can check out their new blog and follow them on Twitter.

Skype For the iPhone/iPod Touch

This past Monday, the long rumored Skype App for the iPhone and iPod Touch was released on the App Store. The app is a free download and in my opinion is a solid initial release.

To use the voice feature of the App, you need to be connected to a WiFi Network. From my limited use of the app, the quality of the connection is pretty good. Just like the desktop version, this will really depend on the Wifi network you are on. Even with my crappy internet connection at home (2MBp down), I still had a good connection while testing it out with fellow skyper Corey Harris. You can make a call on the Skype app via the standard head piece, the speakerphone or the wired headphones. Unfortunately, it does not work with bluetooth. Hopefully that will be available in a future release.

Just like the desktop version, Skype to skype calls are free and skype to landlines and mobiles can be made for a small rate.

For the chat feature, you can send an IM while connected to Edge, 3G, WiFI or GPRS. You can also receive IM’s as long as the app remains open.

Below are a few screenshots of the Skype Application.

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I’m Baaaack!

As the title of this post indicates….I’m baaack! Did you miss me?

I was using the new Sweetcron platform but got bored of it and decided to switch back to a WordPress powered blog. The WordPress install was simple enough and succeeded with flying colors. The only problem was, I couldn’t restore any of my old database from my previous install. At first, I was pissed since I lost about a year and half worth of posts. But after a few days, it actually became a blessing in disguise.

Let’s be honest, the content on the site was a bit lacking. I wasn’t really posting much and the things I was posting were boring as heck. It just became to oriented about my daily happenings. Boring stuff, right?

To make a long story short, I’m starting with a clean slate. Expect a more balanced blog covering my personal happenings, technology and my new passion – photography. Look out for new posts soon!