Lens hood alternative for 200-500

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by rwa757, Dec 1, 2017.

  1. Does anyone see any advantage/disadvantage to replacing the provided lens hood with the metal screw in from B+W? A couple of pluses that come to mind are it looks to be less bulky and may be able to screw into a circular polarizer thus allowing ease of use. Having said all that, I'd be interested in hearing from others who have tried it.
  2. I assume you are talking about this one: B+W95mm Screw-In Metal Telephoto Lens Hood #960 ?

    Seems rather short to me; I am sure there is a good reason lens hoods for tele's are as long as they generally are (and the ones for zooms are probably the shortest so as to not vignette at the widest zoom setting). I'm not buying a lens hood for how it looks but for what it does. If that shorter B+W does the job (which I doubt), then by all means, get it.

    As to metal vs plastic: on impact metal will bend (and can possibly be worked back into correct shape) whereas plastic might crack (possibly fixable with superglue/epoxy). Metal may transfer more of the impact energy onto the lens (and in the case of a screw-in hood damage the filter threads); the bayonet-mounted plastic original one might simply get knocked off; especially if the impact is sideways.

    Personally, I am glad that Nikon went away from lens hoods that screw into the filter thread in favor of bayonet-mounted ones. Granted, use of a polarizer becomes tedious; but then, I don't use one on the 200-500.
  3. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Totally agree. Bayonet-mounted hoods are faster to work with. And I have no interest in adding any polarizer onto an already-slow f5.6 lens to lose another couple of stops.
  4. Interesting, I didn't know they sold them.

    I'm sure it's smaller in use, but it's not obvious to me that there's a way to reverse it for storage, making an already long lens longer in a bag. The hood on the 200-500 is certainly a bit bulky, but I actually value having a flexible plastic hood acting as a bumper between my lenses. You can always slot something under it if you're short on space. See Nikon Wednesday 2017: #42. If you're disconnecting them to fit them in a hotel safe, I can vouch for the fact that the 200 f/2, 200-500 and 70-200 hoods all nest in each other. :)

    As Dieter says, I suspect a longer hood is longer for a reason. I had a metal hood on my 500 f/4 AI-P, and it was permanently bent out of shape (not by me); the plastic hoods on my other lenses are lighter, and they've all behaved fine. And I'd find a bayonet hood much quicker to deploy (which matters to me for the 200-500, which I've tended to use when I've suddenly spotted wildlife) - and I'd rather scuff a bayonet than a fine filter thread if it takes a whack. I was driving through Yellowstone a couple of months back, and had to do an emergency stop at night when a deer walked out in front of me - my entire camera bag, with the D810 and 200-500 loose on top, slid into the foot well. (After that I hooked the seatbelt through everything.) Everything seemed fine, but I'd have expected trouble if the impact had been taken by something cantilevered off the filter ring.

    Nikon's solution to polarisers on big lenses is to use rear drop-ins. I really can't be bothered for the 200-500 - I've not checked, but ones that big weren't cheap when I last looked, and it's easy enough to colour-adjust small areas of sky within its tiny field of view.
  5. I normally like shorter metal hoods for smaller zooms, such as the 24-70 or even 70-200 and 80-400. But the hood that comes with 200-500 seems right given the weight and size of the lens. If anything, I may try a rubber hood some day. For now the lens' side benefit is perfect balance to use as a barbell. ;)

    Re circular polarizer: No need for wildlife - in fact counter-productive as it takes away 2 light stops.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
  6. Thanks to all for your insight. You have convinced me to stick with the lens hood provided by Nikon.
  7. I agree. Although it's easier to get away with using off-brand lens hoods for telephotos than with wider lenses, the "butterfly" hoods provided by the OEM are less likely to vignette and will provide maximum shade. I think this is especially true for zoom lenses.

    HOWEVER, there are often nearly exact clones of the OEM shades from the internet. On eBay, search for the NIkon part designation (e.g., I think the HB-71 for your lens). Because Nikon more often supplies lens hoods, there are fewer clones than for Canon lenses, however. If you're lucky, some work in Google™ may find some
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
  8. I guess if you shoot only DX and get quite close to axial sun problems, you could use a longer hood, as vignetting won't happen for about another 100mm 'further out'. However, short of making a velco-type attachment, I've not seen one for sale anywhere.

    There was a paper-template website somewhere, that gave an origami-like plan to make DIY hoods. I guess they've done the maths to ensure a perfect shadow shape.
  9. Even black paper can be quite shiny, though - you'd have to be a bit careful with origami!
  10. Yup I went ahead to order a rubber lens hood (Promaster) and it arrived today. Shorter than I thought but the retracting feature is nice. Take a look:
    Gary Naka and Andrew Garrard like this.
  11. Not quite sure why you are asking about an alternative hood. If because you are not fond of the rigid quality of the hood, look at this hood which I have used for years on my 400/2.8. Reason I bought it is because the 2 part hood for the 400 is a grade A pain in the ass to assemble and disassemble and this one is so much easier. It also has the advantage of folding flat and taking up no room in any carry bag I use for the lens.

    Camera Soft Hood - Large

    It is rigid enough to stand the lens with a D4 body upright lens to the ground.

    Edit - there is a medium sized one that might be better suited for the 200-500 that is lower cost.

    aquatech lens hood | B&H Photo Video
  12. Just to pile on... I much prefer the bayonet style mount to screw and as others have said, this is already a slow lens so very rarely use a polarizer. Actually, in the roughly 18 months I've had this lens I'd guess I've used a polarizer about 3 times. If a polarizer is needed I much prefer an insert as on the 400 f/2.8. For that matter, I'd like to see the 70-200 and and others use an insert.

    I think the rubber hood that Mary posted a great comparison of looks a bit on the shallow side.

    BTW, I like the concept for the Aquatech. It seems like it'd be a bit of a pain to use each time vs a plastic hood but could also come in handy.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2017

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