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The purpose of this program is to generate content about photography gear that is either very common or very new and exciting - basically, to help ensure that if people are searching for answers to their questions about photographic gear, that Photography Stack Exchange shows up with relevant information. We want to make it easier for people to find answers to the questions they are interested in.

I'm currently looking for 3-6 participants in this photography gear rental reimbursement program who want to rent equipment in the month of July.

If you are interested in this program but don't think you have time in July to rent, experiment with, and write about the equipment you have in mind, please wait until a future round. I'll put up a new meta post at the end of July or beginning of August asking for applicants for the August round.

The basics:

  • For each round, I am looking for 3-6 users. The total number of participants will depend upon interest and the equipment people request. In the event that we have far more applicants than spots, participants new to this program will take precedence over those who have already received a grant. You can, however, apply to this program every month as long as you fulfill your site activity requirements for each round you are selected for.
  • General budget per person is a maximum of $400 (USD: rental + shipping, if necessary.)
  • You're responsible for adhering to the terms and conditions of the standard rental agreement of whatever retailer you choose to rent from.
  • This program is open to all users who have a reputation score of 300 and above. There are no geographic limitations other than residing in a country that PayPal serves; as long as you agree to everything listed below and have access to either a physical store or an online retailer local to you, you can enter.

The details:

  • Each user selected will rent equipment using his or her own credit card and shipping address. All equipment rentals must be pre-approved by Stack Exchange (via the form you use to enter into this program and the email you will receive from Stack Exchange confirming your participation if you are selected).

  • Each user will choose a product(s) from a physical store or online retailer of his or her choice, for a period up to three weeks, budget permitting. Stack Exchange will cover the cost of the rental, any applicable taxes, and the cost of shipping between you and the retailer (if you are renting online). We will not cover any additional insurance purchased, any damage fees or late return fees. It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with and abide by the terms and conditions of the company you rent from.

  • Every rental will require a minimum amount of activity in exchange for reimbursement of rental costs. This will vary depending on the complexity of the gear and duration of the rental; for example, renting a Nikon D3 kit for a week will require a greater amount of site participation (questions asked or blog posts written) than renting a ring flash for two days will. The minimum will be asking three questions or writing one blog post, but I reserve the right to adjust these amounts. Either way, if you are selected for participation, you'll receive an email from me telling you what your minimum site requirements will be.

  • Reimbursement will be done by PayPal; you must scan and email your rental receipts to me (laura@stackexchange.com), and you will be reimbursed after the return of the rental equipment and after you have completed posting your questions and/or blog articles. Please include links to your questions and/or blog posts when you send me your receipt.(You'll need to contact rfusca or jrista for access to the Photo.SE blog.)

To sign up:

  • Fill out this form. (And make sure your email address is accurate!)

  • All users who are selected to participate in this beta round will be contacted via email by Monday, July 2, 2012 (at the latest).

Please don't hesitate to submit your feedback at any point in the process.

  • Bummer on two notes: Don't have 300 rep, and am planning a gear rental for a Yellowstone photography trip in september, haha. – AndyML Jun 25 '12 at 18:17
  • @andyml there's a good chance this program will still be running in Septbember, so you have time to earn a little rep and figure out exactly what gear you'd like to apply for. ;) – Laura Jun 27 '12 at 12:16
  • Are there any more slots for this month? I would like to rent a lens, but I'm not sure if there would be enough money...it would come out to around $500 for the Canon 300mm f/2.8 L II lens. – jrista Jul 3 '12 at 17:45
  • @jrista yes. Email me what you're looking for and we'll talk about site activity requirements. – Laura Jul 3 '12 at 17:53
  • Well, sigh...I think I'll have to hold off again. The birds are becoming pretty scarce these days. I think there are usually a bit more this time of year here, however Colorado is riddled with some massive fires. We've had a ton of smoke in the sky the last couple of days, and I was out for hours without seeing more than a couple blackbirds. I think it would be a waste of StackExchange money to rent this month. I'll keep an eye out for greater numbers of birds, and rent the month they seem to be out in force again. – jrista Jul 5 '12 at 4:07
  • I've thought about trying this for a while, however since actual photography seems to be out, I think this month might be an ideal month to rent the LensAlign from LensRentals. Its pretty cheap...I think the shipping cost is about three times the rental cost for four days. Anyway...is that something you would be open to this month, @Laura? I have several lenses that I can align, both zooms and primes. I could write a nice blog about lens alignment with before/after photos and an explanation of how the tool works and its ease-of-use. – jrista Jul 5 '12 at 4:10
  • @jrista: if you do that, I'd be interested to see how you think it compares to this or this. – mattdm Jul 11 '12 at 18:26

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