8 Places to Find Camera Equipment Rentals in New York City
New York City is the epicenter for a lot of the world’s most compelling art, fashion, design, and events. If you’re planning a production, whether at a Peerspace or other shoot location, chances are you’ll occasionally need some additional gear to get the job done. Therefore, we’ve put together a useful list of reliable and comprehensive vendors for camera equipment rentals in New York City. Whether you need additional softlights to blanket a cyclorama for a car, or you want high-speed lenses for shooting on a rooftop at night, the following vendors will be able to help you get it.
Manhattan: 50 W.17th St. New York, NY 10011
Brooklyn: 370 19th St. Brooklyn, NY 11215
If you’ve rented gear in the New York area before, you may or may not be aware that Adorama has moved into a vastly expanded space in Manhattan and also opened up an 18,000-square-foot shop in Brooklyn. ARC rents a full range of still and motion cameras, lighting, and grip equipment. They’re a one-stop-destination for all sorts of shoots. Rentals are generally due back by 9:30 a.m. One of their specials, however, is that if you rent on Thursday after 4:30 p.m. (or on Friday) and return by noon on Sunday, they’ll only charge you for one day. Please note that they close at 2 p.m. on Friday, and they’re closed on Saturdays.
Manhattan: 546 West 48th St. New York, NY 10036
Queens: 43-10 21st St. Long Island City, NY 11101
Like Adorama, Scheimpflug has a second location outside of Manhattan in Queens. “Flug,” as they’re known in the industry, is probably the biggest rental shop in New York and tends to get out in front of technology, so they may give you ideas for doing things on your shoot that you hadn’t thought of. In addition to cameras and lighting gear, they rent trucks, vans, pop-up tents, heaters, and generators. They have everything for still camera shoots as well as film and video productions. For convenience, they’re open seven days a week.
3. CSI Rentals
Manhattan: 133 West 19 St. New York NY 10011
Brooklyn: 154 Bogart St. Brooklyn NY 11206
CSI’s second location is in Brooklyn, in case going in and out of Manhattan will slow you down. They have tons of gear, including computers, iPads, specialized gear for shooting on the beach, and more. Their rental discounts go beyond the standard, lower weekend rate. You can get 25% off the day-rate if you rent for less than four hours and you can get single-day rate if you pick-up after 3:30 p.m. and return by 9:30 a.m. two days later. Like many rental shops, CSI sells their used gear, so if you get attached to what you’re working with, be sure to ask how much they’d charge to keep it! Beware that they close at 1 p.m. on Fridays, and they’re closed on Saturdays. Their Manhattan location is open on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
43 West 22nd St. New York, NY 10010
FotoCare is a smaller shop, with more of a focus on still photography, where you’re less likely to be dwarfed by the full-scale film and TV production rentals going on around you. They’ve been around for 50 years though, so you can be sure they know what they’re doing. The service is outstanding — always willing to answer questions — and they have hundreds of different cameras to ask about. They offer a number of rental options including daily, weekly, and weekend rates. On weekends, if you check out on Friday after 3 p.m. and return by 10 a.m. on Monday, they just charge you for a one-day rental.
Tribeca: 368 Broadway New York, NY 10013
Brooklyn: 325 38th St. Brooklyn, NY 11232
K&M is packed tight with gear, both for sale and rent. Like FotoCare, they’ve been open for decades, and their staff has character. Regular customers get attached to them. Pros into analog cameras come in to talk shop. What people are learning about them is that they just opened a large rental warehouse in Brooklyn. Their weekend special is one billing day for Friday after 3 p.m. through Monday 10 a.m. If you rent for a month, they’ll just charge you for nine days.
118 West 22nd St, 2nd floor, New York, NY 10011
If you’re an indie video production looking for some camaraderie, you might want to try Hello World Communications. In addition to renting gear, they’re an active production and post-production house, producing local TV spots, commercials, event videos, and more. And while they don’t have as much gear as other vendors, you’ll find they’re more affordable than the larger rental houses. They’re also open seven days a week, and you can get a weekend rental for a single-day rate if you return by Monday at noon.
7. Focus Gear
225 West 39th St, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10018
Similar to Hello World, Focus Gear specializes in customer service and lower prices for smaller, independent video productions. They have about 25 different kinds of cameras, ranging from GoPros to Arri Alexas, and a wide variety of grip and lighting equipment. As with most rental shops, they have a cut off time for returns of at least 30 minutes before close.
Peerspace doesn’t offer gear itself, but many of the spaces listed on it do. If you’re already booking though Peerspace, check with your host to see if they have the gear you need. Or, if you’re searching, check the descriptions for a space that offers it. You’ll save time and stress by avoiding transportation, parking, and late fees.
Renting equipment is all about having options, so you can blow people’s minds without needing to invest a ton of money. You show up with the right stuff in one of the magical locations you can book through Peerspace, and half your work is done. So double-check your prep list, and make sure your rental doesn’t turn into a missed opportunity!
Beginners tip: plan your shoot a week or two in advance if possible and call around. Most rental houses encourage their customers to get insurance, so you’re not on the hook for completely replacing damaged or lost gear. With an abundance of time, you can find good deals on insurance without worry.