Film Objektiv was founded on the idea that the best way to keep film alive is to get more film cameras into more people's hands. But anyone can get a cheap, second-hand 35mm film camera online. Film Objektiv wants to increase the fun of analog for everyone by providing experiences that people would otherwise never have access to. So how do we do that?
We build a system based on loaning out the coolest cameras at extremely low cost. Because the concept is to be self-sustainable, the little that Film Objektiv does make goes back into growing the program.
Film Objektiv makes just enough from each loan period to cover its costs, the occasional repair, and the slow build-up of its product catalog over time. The nominal added fees help cover everything from insured shipping to the small cases we ship in so film gear travels safely to and from our users while remaining easy to pack. Want to know more? Read on to see How It Works or check out projects done through Film Objektiv through our 100 Words blog.
How It Works
There's a process to this, but it's simple enough. Film Objektiv is a community of all those who partake: everyone receives, and everyone gives. Everything below aims to make this process as clear as possible. Want to rent something? Here's what you should know...
Project-Based Rentals of High-Quality Gear
While many cameras offered by Film Objektiv can be classified as affordable, you will find a limited selection of models that are bargain-priced at a camera shop. That's because it's less cost-effective to rent a cheap camera for a long period of time, let alone to pay for shipping and insurance on top of that.
On the other hand, we don't do short-term rentals for the same reason: it's not very cost-effective. Nor is it too smart: anyone can rent a camera for a day or two if that's all they require; but that rarely leads to quality results that can be seen from longer-term projects where film can really help create something amazing.
For this reason, we rent some of the best tools in one- or two-month increments, a timeframe that makes it a fraction of the price of either buying or even renting the gear from a local shop, not to mention that a lot of this gear is hard to find at a rental shop to begin with. Meanwhile, one or two months isn't a lifetime, but the time period allows for projects to be more fully realized. It's also just a starting point and could be extended in the future. We're a community: everything is on the table if enough people want it.
How to Rent
Choose Camera with Dates, Then Check Out
Have a project you want to work on with a camera from Film Objektiv? Head over to the rental area, pick your camera and the one or two months you'd like to use it, add the deposit (for rentals over $50/mo.) for the camera to your cart, and check out. Your camera will get to you within a few days of the start of the month and will be expected to be returned to us by the last day of your rental period.
The Fine Print
TL;DR, Deposits, Payments, Returns, and 100 Words
Transparency is key in this process, so here's the fine print in clear, not-so-fine-print English.
Every renter is required to read this entire section (sorry!). But here's the basic summary of how this works:
All rentals are for one month or two months. Shipping times occur during this period, so you can expect to receive your camera anywhere from the 3rd through the 6th of the month, and will likely have to return it between the 26th and 29th of the same month (or the next), depending on where weekends land within your shipment date and what shipping/rental option you choose. So technically, a one-month rental might only translate to three weeks of time with the camera due to shipping.
You pay for two things with every rental: the rental time for the camera rented, and a deposit in your cart for the gear you're renting (you can only rent one camera at a time, but some rentals offer additional accessories). Deposits are not required for rentals under $50, however.
For longer projects, we currently allow up to two consecutive months for one camera. Orders for more than one camera or for more than two months will be automatically cancelled without prior arrangement for special circumstances.
Within one month of the end of your rental, you need to complete the 100 Words assignment (see more below).
That's it! But of course, read on for details.
Deposits based on the replacement value for a similar product on a well-respected used market are required for rentals over $50 to ensure return of the cameras, protection of the cameras, etc. The nice thing about a four-week rental is that a credit card can be used, and the deposit is refunded to the card (in many cases) by the time your bill comes anyway (less $50 until the 100 Words assignment is complete). You are responsible for planning your finances accordingly, but you have the power to do that.
Normal wear and tear is expected over the years (light seals, shutters breaking after so many actuations, etc.). But if a camera comes back abused, we reserve the right to withhold funds up to the repair costs or replacement of the gear if needed.
The checkout process and notifications may be confusing, so read this part: If you reserve a rental more than one month in advance, you can complete checkout without placing a deposit. Paying for the rental will reserve it for the month(s) you select. However, you must then be sure to make the deposit payment three days before your rental start date for your order to not be canceled. In the future, we hope to streamline this process and include it in the checkout process.
Please keep in mind deposits vary per camera/kit between a couple hundred dollars to thousands. Deposits are listed as their own item and can be added to the cart individually for each corresponding camera.
While the deposit is refunded upon return, what will not be refunded to your card are shipping charges plus the final payment amount listed as the monthly rental price. These charges cover insured shipping in addition to a the cost of the rental. This amount varies because camera values (and subsequent insured shipping costs) vary quite a bit. Most cameras end up costing as little as less than $1 to about $8 per day on the high end.
Cameras should be returned by the last day of your rental period. It's up to the renter to figure out shipping times and speeds for returns. Late returns will be assessed a $10 per day penalty that will be withheld from the refund of the deposit. If your shipper promised delivery by a certain date and couldn't deliver, email us with proof and we'll work with you. But this helps us put on some pressure so the next person gets his or her rental on time. Keep in mind that shipping does cut into posted rental dates. See our Shipping + Handling, Returns + Exchanges, or Late Shipments pages for more details.
This is perhaps the most important part of Film Objektiv. We're here to build a community around film. In exchange for the awesome deals on these long-term rentals that will help you complete your projects with great gear, we require a selection of your images from your project along with 100 words to describe what you accomplished with this opportunity. The images remain 100% yours, but we get to use them in a blog post as well as in the occasional promotional social media/Instagram post (to promote your story). The Film Objektiv blog will feature your stories and images so everyone can share in the excitement of what's being created here.
There are only three rules for this blog post. It has to be at least 100 words long (no limit for those who want to go longer). It has to include at least five images (they can speak for themselves or can be submitted with captions). And it has to be submitted within one month of the return date of your rental. By submitting your 100 Words assignment, you guarantee that the images submitted were shot by you and that you are the sole owner and rights holder for the images and text shared with us.
If your 100 Words assignment is not in by this time without notice, a final $50 of withheld funds will not be returned and will instead go toward a fund for securing other pieces of gear for future Film Objektiv rentals. Additionally, you will not be able to participate in future rentals with Film Objektiv for the next 12 months. We see the 100 Words as an integral part of the experience. We hope you agree in its importance.
Didn't get great images from your shoot with your rental gear? Write a few sentences about your experiences and what you learned! Show us your blank shots! That's all part of the process -- we're here to share and learn from each other. Don't be afraid to show your failures as much as your successes. Success stories are great, but they can also get boring. You can't grow without the occasional failure.
Fine print with respect to 100 Words:
We consider ourselves quite open. Censorship is the last thing we want with respect to the 100 Words stories. While we do hope to publish every story we get, we do feel a moral and ethical obligation to ensure the published content is not unnecessarily harmful, cruel, etc. While we don't screen projects that Film Objektiv gear will be used for before we send our gear out, we do reserve the right to screen stories that we receive for 100 Words and to withhold publication of any articles indefinitely. We also reserve the right to proof and/or edit a story as necessary through a typical editorial process. A rental through Film Objektiv in no way guarantees or promises a publication on the 100 Words blog.