A little while ago a reader emailed me about renting camera gear. Honestly, I thought that it was possible in Korea, especially for foreigners. I know it is a silly notion because these services are very common in the West, especially in the US. However, it never crossed my mind until someone emailed me about it.
With some research I have found a few places that you can rent gear. A special thanks goes out to the SPC for their informative posts on this, they were really helpful.
Probably one of the larger shops and by that I mean, it has the most selection. from the comments on the Seoul Photography Club forum, it seems that you have to make a reservation through their site and then pick up your gear from either their Hapjeong or Gangnam location. Their site looks great and there is literally tons of gear to rent. Also a lot of videography gear as well.
For the Canon users out there, this is a decent site. It has a decent selection tripods, video cameras, DSLRs, and gear to go with them. Sadly, they have a limited selection when it comes to brands namely only Canon for the DSLR cameras and lenses. What makes this site stand out is the fact that they offer 3 different lens “sets” at affordable prices. There is the zoom, prime and tilt shift sets. All of these sets are comprised of the Canon L series lenses which are their premium lenses. Also from the looks of things, they off taek-bae or quick service delivery options.
For those who do not live near Seoul, Camedia Square is located in Haeundae near the Haeundae Grand Hotel. This offers the usual assortment of cameras, lenses, camcorders, tripods, etc. While they offer a few different choices for DSLRs, their lenses are all Canon.
So there you have it a short list of the places that I have found online. Now, this is not a complete list but it is a start. Your local camera shop may rent out gear but many don’t. In many cases these shop don’t speak much English, so it is best to have a Korean friend help you. Also be sure to have your alien registration card or passport ready as they will no doubt need it for the rental.
The benefit of using services like these is that when you want to test out a specific lens before you buy, you can. It will give you an idea of what you can do with it before you drop major cash on a lens or camera that you might not like or use. For professional gigs, you may need a lens to shoot sports or portraiture. When I was shooting for the AFC Champions League, I would have loved to have known about these places in order to have used the huge/expensive pro lenses.