I’ve added a simple new feature to the Duclos Lenses website that allows visitors to see a short list of rental houses that have specific lens models available for rental. At a time when our industry is at a moral deficit, this new feature is tiny gesture, a modest attempt at helping the businesses that have been so kind to us over the last twenty years. If you’re a rental house or have friends at rental houses, read on and help spread the word!
As I said, it’s a very simple feature that wouldn’t usually require an entire dedicated blog post, but we want to get the word out and encourage rental houses to utilize this new feature as much as they’d like.
When Duclos Lenses was founded in 2002, we had no interest in getting into the production rental business. After a few years, we began to collect a few unique lenses such as our brand new (at the time) re-housed Tokina 11-16mm, a set of PL mounted Super Baltars, a complete set of Zeiss ZF.2 Cine-Mod primes, and a beautiful set of Leica R Cine-Mod primes. All of these items seem common at any half-decent modern rental house. However, back in 2007, these were not common or popular sets of lenses. We spent a few years doing casual rentals. Sometimes serving cinematographers. Sometimes sub-rental to rental houses. But it was always a sort of side-hustle for us. We never had dedicated rental agents or anyone to hold customer’s hands. We quickly realized that by offering lenses for rental, we were stepping on the toes of some of our most loyal service customers – the rental houses. After only a few years, we decided that we would formally end our weak attempt at a rental division and stay out of that side of the industry for good. I strongly regret letting go of some of those lenses mentioned a moment ago, but hey… You live, you learn. This is why I’ll never sell my Mamiya Sekor-C lenses 😉
Moving to current-day, our industry is in the middle of one of its lowest moments in the last few decades and we feel that there’s an opportunity for us to help our customers, not least of which are the rental houses that serve the entire motion picture community. We’ve found that while our visitors are browsing our website product pages, it’s not uncommon for them to ask us if the lens they’re viewing is available for rental. We inevitably inform them “we’re a cinema lens service and sales organization and don’t offer rentals”. We usually refer the to a rental house if we’re aware of their current inventory, but that’s merely one step away from “let me google that for you”. This is where our new rental house referral widget comes in.
The feature will allow rental houses to browse our lens product pages and submit a request to have their website featured on that page so that visitors to the Duclos website can quickly and easily see where they can find a specific lens for rental. A link to submit your rental house is located in the bottom right of every lens page. Simply click the link to submit your rental house and we’ll do the rest! Each product page will allow up to three rental house links. I’ll consider increasing the quantity of available slots if feedback on this new feature is positive.
The goal of this blog post is to spread the word and encourage rental houses to submit for products that they want to promote. So please share it with your rental house colleagues so that we can populate those rental referral slots throughout our website. Once again, thanks for reading this far about a feature that, quite frankly, we should have incorporated into our website long ago. Furthermore, drop a comment with any other features or recommendations you might have.
If you’re a rental house, head on over to http://www.ducloslenses.com and submit your house!