A Great Lens on a Budget

by jessicaturner on February 7, 2009

If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you know I like taking pictures with my Canon Rebel XT. At the tender age of six months, Elias already knows what to do when I am holding the camera in his face.

Almost since Elias was born, I have been wanting a f 1.4 portrait lens for my camera that would take great photos, without a flash, in low or poor light situations, but it just hasn’t fit into our budget. Well, I found the perfect temporary solution!

ZipLens is an online Nikon and Canon camera lens rental company. They are a small family-owned business that offers a variety of lens at an incredibly low-cost. So if you are:

  • wanting to test-drive a lens before buying it
  • going on a vacation
  • wanting to try something new
check out ZipLens. I got a lens to try out their service for two weeks and have been blown away by their customer service. They send the lens packed perfectly and you keep everything so you can simply send it back in all the same package – totally stress free! Plus it is very reasonable – my lens was under $40 a week, including insurance.
Since I had to go out of town, I haven’t gotten to play with my lens a ton yet, but mama is going to be playin’ this weekend. :) Here are a few shots I have taken (Matthew took the one at the top of the post). These shots are totally unedited – straight out of the camera – and they would have sucked without this great lens!

Ziplens is offering 10% off any rental just for my blog readers – yippee! Just type in TURNERBLOG on your order. I encourage you to check them out – they are such a great, affordable resource. I know I will use them again.
I have several mini photo shoots planned over the course of the next 10 days, so you will be seeing lots more great pictures thanks to my ZipLens lens. 

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Sandra February 7, 2009 at 2:05 pm

What a fabulous idea! Those pictures are great. I’m going to Ziplens right now! I stumbled upon a great website about digital photography that has a blog…http://digital-photography-school.com/
Check it out!



Miller Racing Family February 7, 2009 at 2:57 pm

The photos were wonderful. I love the ones in the bathtub and on the changing table. Look forward to seeing more photos.


Brooke February 7, 2009 at 3:40 pm

This is a wonderful lens for low light, and a great price. We love it for taking pictures of our 1 year old.



Alyson February 7, 2009 at 3:56 pm

I so enjoy reading your blog but have been disappointed with the amount of “advertising” and “referrals” you are doing in the past few months. Seems like you are more interested in getting your referral swagbucks, our votes to get your Southwest gig, or whatever. I really enjoy just hearing about your day, your family (cutest little boy ever!), your friends, ideas for scrabooking, etc. without feeling like you are recommending something just for you to get a deal. Sorry if this isn’t your intention, but it does feel like that. Maybe it is just time for me to move on and spend my time on someone else’s blog that doesn’t include so much marketing. Have a good weekend.


Angie Smith February 7, 2009 at 4:22 pm

quite frankly, if that post had been a conversation, i wouldn’t have heard a word. that kid got ROBBED.

gap is not top of my list anymore.



Anonymous February 7, 2009 at 9:28 pm

What mm lens is it that you rented?

I am shopping for a new lens for my Nikon.


Kristi February 7, 2009 at 11:07 pm

I’ve read your blog for awhile (we have babies almost exactly the same age, 2 days apart maybe?). Anyway, the Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens *is* a great lens, from what I’ve read. However, did you know you can get the Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens for about $80? I mean, you can *buy* it for that. It doesn’t open quite as wide as the 1.4, and I’ve heard it’s not *quite* as good of quality, but for the price… I have the 1.8, and it really is a nice little lens! Mine focuses well and is generally sharp. I too love taking pics in natural light with no flash. BTW, I enjoyed the photos you shared! Have fun with your shoots this weekend! 😉 Just wanted to let you know abt the 1.8 lens if you hadn’t heard of it already. :)


Kristi February 7, 2009 at 11:11 pm

Oh, I see the above commenter mentioned the same f/1.8 lens. If you’d like to see some pics taken with it, I have some posted on my blog, on the Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 entries.


surfmomma4 February 7, 2009 at 11:54 pm

Those pictures are amazing..and I like all the referrals that you give..please don’t stop, in this economy we need all the help we can get to make our $$ go farther..you go girl..


whitney February 8, 2009 at 1:22 am

I was going to let you know about the canon 50mm 1.8 lens as well, but it looks like I was beat to the punch. I have the lens and think it was the best $89 I’ve ever spent. I, like you, haven’t found a way to fit the 1.4 into my budget, but after getting the 1.8, I wouldn’t change it. You might give it a try. It seems to me like you like portraits that are pretty close up, so I think you will like the 50mm. Because you are putting it on a rebel, it does have a magnification factor which makes it more like a 75mm which is a bit “close” for some situations, but for everyday pictures of Elias, I think it will serve you well.
I have several lenses myself, but here are a few links that have photos that came only from the 1.8 lens.


Jessica Turner February 8, 2009 at 2:16 am

Alyson – thank you for your comment. As my blog has grown, I have had opportunities to share products with my readers. I only share about things that I really believe in/use and am very selective with what I write about. I just got home from a great blog conference and know that there are certainly other blogs out there that don’t talk products.


Jessica Turner February 8, 2009 at 2:18 am

Thanks for all the suggestions about the 1.8! I will check it out further. :)


ShellyJ February 8, 2009 at 2:54 pm

great photos… I saved and saved for my 50mm 1.4 … totally love it! hope someday you can get your too :)


Rebecca Louise. February 8, 2009 at 10:05 pm

Elias has the most amazing and bold eyes. The lens certainly shows them off. I hope you’re having a fun weekend =] xxx.


Anonymous February 9, 2009 at 12:14 am

just another plug for the canon 1.8- it’s an amazing lens for everyday use and i never take it off my rebel… i’ve had fantastic results with it!


Becca February 9, 2009 at 3:14 am

oh my goodness – what great pictures! :-) I just stumbled onto your blog and love it! I’m looking forward to reading more –
oh ps – I have almost the exact same pictures of my little girl in the same bathtub! haha :-) love it!


Jessica@MomFuse February 9, 2009 at 5:25 am

Aww.. your little boy is adorable! Great pictures! I have twins that are 7 months old and like to pose for the camera too!

Look forward to reading more of your blog and seeing more photos of your little one!


Kelli February 9, 2009 at 5:35 am

This is awesome!!!!! I am so glad that you told us about it!


Rachel February 15, 2009 at 6:09 am

Wow, what a great place! I’ve never heard of them before but I’d definitely like to try it. I would really like a new lens for my Rebel but dh thinks I won’t like it or use it. This would be perfect to try out a lens inexpensively.


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