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Thread: Lens Hoods

  1. #1
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    Lens Hoods

    I have noticed that some photographers use lens hoods and as many do not. Can some one help with the value of these hoods and why the different shapes.
    Peter

  2. #2
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Lens Hoods

    Oh dear. Oh dear. He's asked the question!

    Peter - Don't worry ...................

    This is one of those questions that starts wars.

    You will get half the world telling you that it's only purpose is to stop stray light hitting the lens and causing flare and you can use it or not use it depending on the circumstances

    And the other half will tell you that it does that, but it is also an essential part of protecting the front of your lens and that you should never, NEVER, take it off.

    So, just light the blue touch paper, retire to watch the sparks fly and then make up your own mind.

    As for the different shapes and different hoods for different lenses. Cynics might say that's to get you to spend more money. But, and more realistically, different lenses have different fields of view. What you don't need from a lens hood is that it shows at the edges of your photographs. So a hood for a longer lens would be a disaster on a wide angle lens. So, you get different shapes and sizes.

  3. #3
    ktuli's Avatar
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    Re: Lens Hoods

    Wow - I never knew it was such a hot button issue. But honestly, Donald's post seems like a rather effective fire extinguisher.

    I'm not going to argue one stance or the other, but will simply state that I am in the former camp and only use my lens hoods for reducing flare as conditions warrant.

    Or sometimes when I want to effect the third reason for lens hoods, which is to "look" more professional or to give someone camera envy... Hahaha! Just kidding!

    - Bill

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    Re: Lens Hoods

    Hmmmm... now I'm curious as to which fabulous photographers here use a lens hood and those that do not. I usually have one on, but I don't count cuz' I still no nuthin'.

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    Re: Lens Hoods

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Oh dear. Oh dear. He's asked the question!
    And the other half will tell you that it does that, but it is also an essential part of protecting the front of your lens and that you should never, NEVER, take it off.
    And then there are people who say that for some lenses (e.g. 18-200mm Nikkor) it is actually saver to leave the hood off. I have an 18-200 and mosttimes I do use the hood, so I am not a firm believer of this apparently.

    Ken Rockwell on Physical Damage Hazard
    The hood can make it more likely you'll damage your lens.
    In the old days of manual metal lenses we worried about marring the paint on the front of the lens barrel. A filter or hood would prevent that.
    Today the most delicate part of the 18-200mm is the zoom assembly. The front of the lens is only very delicately attached to the rest of the lens. Knock the front of the lens too hard and you can destroy the whole thing.
    You could crack a zoom cam or pinion which then knocks the lens out of alignment and requires expensive repairs.
    Having a big hood sticking out only makes it more likely you could knock and damage your Nikon 18-200mm.

  6. #6
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    Re: Lens Hoods

    I don't use a hood for protection, but I do for image quality. Go and do yourself a test this w/e, take identical shots with a tele, normal and wide lens, with and without hoods. You'll soon see the difference with flare, colour intensity etc. Nobrainer.

    The point Ken is trying to make I guess is if you've got a hood on you're actually more likely to knock it because the thing sticks out a mile. Statistically maybe that's true, but I quite successfully manage to navigate my way around with a 150-500 at 500m WITH hood and I've never knocked it. I suspect most people who have made that sort of investment are sufficiently blessed with the gift of sight to be able to be careful.

  7. #7
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    Re: Lens Hoods

    I fell once carrying my camera around my neck with 70-200mm f/4L IS lens AND LENS HOOD mounted. The hood hit the pavement propelled by my approximately 220 pounds (100 kilos) of pure muscle (well there just may be a tad bit of fat around some of the muscle these days). The hood which was a round generic screw-in model, disintegrated but the lens was unharmed. I credit the hood for saving the lens. I always use a lens hood on my lenses - shooting either indoors or out.

    Occasionally lens hoods will be counter-indicated. This is so when you are trying to use the built-in camera flash (at least on Canon cameras) and a relatively large lens and hood (such as the 17-55mm f/4L IS). The lens hood will cast a shadow at the bottom of the frame by blocking the light from the flash.

    However, if you can afford the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS, you should be able to afford a hotshoe flash and learn to use it off camera.

    Additionally, although lens hoods are designed specifically for the individual lenses; EF lenses are designed for those lenses mounted on full frame cameras. You can often get better flare protection, better physical protection and have no vignetting problems when using a smaller lens hood with an EF lens on a 1.6x camera. I once saw a chart describing which lens hoods for EF lenses can be interchanged.

    I will most often use a Canon OEM lens hood on my 70-200mm f/4L IS lens but, I can get away with a round, screw-in generic hood and use that when traveling. It protects as well against flare, doesn't vignette and as I described above, does a great job protecting the lens from damage.

    Lens Hoods
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 26th April 2011 at 12:10 AM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Lens Hoods

    The petal-hood vs. the cylindrical hood thing generally has to do with wide angle vs. telephoto.

    Hoods, if they're too deep, can actually impinge into the frame, and cause vignetting, particularly at the corners. That's why petal hoods have cut outs at the corners, but still shade the lens with the petals. Cylindrical hoods are good for telephoto lenses, where the field of view is relatively narrow, so the edges of the hood won't show up in the image. Generally speaking, the wider the lens gets, the less useful a hood is at either shadow or physical protection, because it has to be shallower not to intrude into the frame.

    My 8mm circular fisheye has to go bald when I shoot with it. Even the lenscap collar can impinge on the frame.

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    Re: Lens Hoods

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Oh dear. Oh dear. He's asked the question!



    And the other half will tell you that it does that, but it is also an essential part of protecting the front of your lens and that you should never, NEVER, take it off.


    Wow - who said that?

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    Re: Lens Hoods

    Quote Originally Posted by Gingerbaker View Post
    Wow - who said that?
    Well, Antonio said "Instead, always - yes, I mean always - use the lens hood. Even at night."

    and i've learnt to agree with him; some while back I was inside Magdalene Chapel doing some HDR. There shouldn't have been a problem with flare - it was pretty dim in there - but the end result suffered quite a bit.

    HTH

    Peter

  11. #11
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    Re: Lens Hoods

    I tell my friends and family, "if you see someone shooting without a lens hood, they likely beginners and could benefit from some basic education".

    The hood's primary function is to keep incident light from striking the lens (and degrading the image) - protection is a worthwhile secondary benefit. I've personally found that a hood keeps my fingers from accidentally touching the lens/filter and leaving a smudge.

    Glenn

  12. #12
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    Re: Lens Hoods

    I usually carry at least one in my bag for the 70-300mm lens. I usually have at least four lenses when I am traveling for the day and my bag is not suited for carrying more than one lens hood and it's a bit awkward to leave them on the lenses.

  13. #13
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    Re: Lens Hoods

    I'm a member of the party of "always the hood"
    but now I'd like to ask to you another question about hoods.
    I've an ef 17-40mm f/4 used on a crop camera (50D), but obviously the lens hood (EW-83E) is designed for FF camera.
    So, sometimes I found useful to have a "bigger" petal shape hood in order to better preserve from flare.
    the lens hood serie EW-83 is designed for 77mm diam. lenses as my 17-40mm.
    Does someone of you use another EW-83x hood on a 17-40? I mean, an EW-83J (designed for 17-55 f/2.8) fits on 17-40mm?
    and what about a EW-83H or EW-83D?
    Have ever tried to fit these on a 17-40mm?
    many thanks in advance for the help
    N

  14. #14

    Re: Lens Hoods

    Bought a Canon T3i about three weeks ago. Bought a second hand 55-250 and the 18-55 kit lens. Had read the forums and decided to hood both of them. At the time no one in my area had any Canon hoods. I bought aftermarket petal hoods that the camera store guy said wouldn't make any difference if it was petal or cone shape. Back home I did my research and both required the cone type hood as recommended by Canon. Ordered them online and stuck the petals in a drawer. Luckily the aftermarkets were cheap moneywise. It may be that the design does not make much difference but I'll go with what the maker says next time.

  15. #15
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    Re: Lens Hoods

    G'Day
    It appears to be an interesting topic and I have come to the conclusion that the effect of a hood is more important than protecting the lens.
    What I omited to include in my origional thread was that I took a photo with a lens hood on, I have lost it since, however I was using a 18 - 55 lens at the 18 range and ended up with a frame around two sides of the photo, not a bad effect.
    Again my memory resurfaced and I recall having, many many tears ago, a rubber hood on an old Minolta. The advantage here is that you can leave it on and roll it back when required.

  16. #16
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Lens Hoods

    Quote Originally Posted by ICE HEART View Post
    What I omited to include in my origional thread was that I took a photo with a lens hood on, I have lost it since, however I was using a 18 - 55 lens at the 18 range and ended up with a frame around two sides of the photo, not a bad effect.
    Peter - That was a case of having the wrong hood for the lens. That's why there are so many different models out there. And, in my view, if you're going to use them, then use the lens manufacturer's model (which is usually more expensive!), because it's built specifically for the job.

  17. #17

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    Re: Lens Hoods

    use the hood it will help flare/contrast in many situations and it will save you smudging the lens.

    really why would you not use it? (apart from flash shadow)(or you are ken rockwell shooting with a nikkor 200mm trying to make some clever point about lens design )

  18. #18

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    Re: Lens Hoods

    I have painted all my lens grey white, even my nifty 50, found the biggest hoods I can possibly find that fit the lens, the nifty fifty has a 4inch hood painted jet black, and strut my stuff past as many other photographers that I can find at events to make then green with lens envy....

    David

  19. #19

    Re: Lens Hoods

    And I thought I was the only one who used red nail varnish and masking tape to paint a red ring around my lenses. Those black plant pots you get at garden centres get the most ooooh value. You can even cut them into nice petal shapes but watch your fingers on the modelling knife - blood is surprisingly difficult to get off a coated lens.

    Always remember to wear more than one camera and make sure that it is strapped to the groin with a medical truss. This holds the lens in the erect position so that you are always ready for action. The other camera should be worn around the neck so that the camera nestles enticingly on ones beer gut. The camera bag cannot be big enough. This item, more than any other, shouts out your photographic masculinity. Remember it has to have as many pockets as Stings fishtail parka and room to stap a Honda Civic to the side incase you need to do an emergency dash to the store for more lens hoods. It must fit every lens in the Canon line up, 6 speedlites and and a tripod for each day of the week oh and enough room for a complete line up of Gary Fongs flash harder stap ons.

    Now for the hat. This must be as ridiculous as possible or you will stand no chance of getting a good shot. The brim should be wide enough to put half of mexico into the shade a lanyard with a woggle and made from the same material as an army issue jock strap.


    Well that just about does it. You are ready...oh and dont forget the 3/4 length jungle shorts, white knee socks and jesus sandals. The shorts must be large enough to turn a complete circle in without them moving. The pockets also need to be big enough to jangle your loose change in when you are sat on the front row of the hooters bikini contests.

    Well happy shooting.

    By the way I do use lens hoods....I even have a black rubber one

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