Renting Camera Gear in Korea

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.

SLR RENT

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.

JTOS

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.

CAMEDIA SQUARE

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.

Comments

  1. Pingback:Photo & Travel Links: Aug 26, 2011

  2. Justin Howard Reply

    I had a very good experience with SLR Rent in Hapjeong. They have a fantastic selection of gear on offer as you have mentioned. If I were buying a lens in Korea I would almost certainly try it out at SLR Rent first. For lenses like, in my case, the 70-300mm VR where I can’t justify the purchase but want to use it occasionally nonetheless, it is great. I was also able to renew over the phone as well!

    As an additional tip Jason, can I also recommend that you test the lens out before signing and paying for it. Similar to if you were purchasing a second-hand lens; test the blades and take some test shots.

  3. Juan Reply

    Thanks for the rental place in Haeundae! Wish there was something closer in Ulsan. We went there last week and rented a prime and macro lens. They seem to have decent stock. Just a note on the location. CamediaSquare is in the Ocean Tower, next to the Grand Hotel. They are on the 19th floor room 1914. Also don’t forget to take your passport. I did not have mine and my ARC was not enough. So they had to chat to my school to send faxes for approval.

  4. WYS Reply

    I used SLR Rent last year to rent a D700 and 70-200mm f2.8 VRII and their service was great. I reserved the gear a couple of days in advance and picked it up with no hassle. The bare D700 body I choose to rent ended up coming with the battery grip, 3 fully charged batteries (1 in body, 1 in grip, 1 spare), a 32gb CF card, a usb card reader, and a carrying bag. One thing to know before hand though is that you need to leave your passport with them for the duration of the rental, applies to both foreigners and residents. This is a pretty common practice in Korean rental business and isn’t just SLR Rent’s policy.

    Also choosing the rent the 70-200m f2.8 VRII was great decision and I purchased it after renting it.

  5. Jennifer You Reply

    This was so helpful! Thank you!

  6. Marco Reply

    Very helpful. Right now I’m trying to get in contact with them on Facebook but they no reply. I hope to receive an answer soon.

    Thank you.

    • Jason Teale Reply

      Awesome. Also check and see if they have a cell or Kakao number. A lot of these places use Kakao more than anything.

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