U.S.-based LensRentals has announced an expansion to its photo equipment rental service that allows photographers to purchase the gear they've borrowed. This gives renters a try-before-you-buy option and lets those who have become enamored with their rental equipment keep it forever.

The Keeper program was detailed yesterday by LensRentals, which says any eligible item will include a starting purchase price that is based on how old the item is. A credit that takes into account how long an item has been rented is applied to that price, resulting in the final figure at which a photographer can buy and keep it forever.

According to the company, most of its available gear is eligible for purchase, but items that are hard to replace quickly aren't offered - though LensRentals does encourage customers to inquire about any item on the site that doesn't appear with the Keeper option, as it might be available anyway. 

Users can see how much an item will cost by logging into their account and viewing their current rentals. Items that are eligible will feature a 'Buy Now' button alongside the unit price. Alternatively, users can also get an estimated price for gear they haven't yet rented if they're considering jumping straight into a purchase.

There are some stipulations, including that rental credits up to only 7 days are applied to the purchase price, and fees from past rentals can't be used to reduce the price of a product. There is a two-week window during which a purchased item can be returned, and an option for buying the original retail box, as well.

LensRentals has all the FAQ available on its blog.