Lens hood necessary?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by chris_shawn, Aug 11, 2004.

  1. Recently when watching TV I realised that professional photographers
    often have a lens hood at the front of their lens. I don't own a lens
    hood yet, so I would like to know:

    - Is a lens hood good in general or only when you have sunlight/light
    from a side angel (that you want to avoid)?
    - Is it a "secret trick" of pro photographers to have the lens hood
    attached always or is that just a stupid idea of mine?
    - Are there any benefits/disadvantages of a lens hood?

  2. Think of it as a baseball cap on a sunny day, only for your lens. Makes it easier to see, improves contrast, reduces glare, etc. Don't leave home without it. I always use it, indoors and outdoors, with or without a flash.
  3. Pros PJs usually shoot with a wide angle zoom and a telephoto
    zoom both of which have many elements and tends to flare
    easier than primes in adverse lighting conditions. Having a
    hood may or may not help but I can't think of any disadvantage of
    having them.
  4. One of the very few accessories that will actually make a difference to your photography.
  5. Using a dedicated hard plastic hood is also good lens protection, too. I've had many times where the hood protected the front of the lens from knocks, impacts or debris.

    Also, when you're shooting, it's difficult to tell just when unwanted sunlight will hit the front of your lens. But it's something you don't have to think about as much if you are always using a lens hood.
  6. I will buy hoods for my lenses and am really looking forward to it. Thanks for your help!
  7. Light,strikes your lens at many angles,besides the angles we desire for image formation.This scattered light,robs you of sharpness,contrast & color saturation.You can never have enough "lens shading".
  8. Lens hood is necessary! (for me) <br>
    The secret trick is photographers use hood instead of UV filters.<br>
    The hood protects the lens from sun but also from external things <br> that can scratch a lens. This protection comes with no <br>degration in photo, a UV filter can't claim that.
  9. I use both a lens hood and a UV filter. A lens hood will not protect against wayward fingers, liquid, or any small object in your camera bag anxious to get to know your front lens element well.

    If you purchase an inexpensive UV filter then you will suffer degredation. But if you use the best filters made by vendors such as B+W or Heliopan you will be just fine.
  10. Chris,

    you are asking two different questions in your post:

    In the Title: " Lens hood necessary? " Answer: no it is not, you can use your camera without a lens hood; you can even snap pictures without a lens attached, or with a lenscap on etc. The world will not end if you do, the pics may be useless, though. So: a lens hood is not necessary! Are you clear on that now?

    In the Text: "Is a lens hood good in general or only when you have sunlight/light from a side angel(sic) ..." A hood gives many advantages, so YES, it is good to use always. Now I do not know whether an "angel" (as you write) at your side might mitigate the effect of a missing lens hood. I am not much into angels; are you? Does anybody else have photographic experience with those creatures of God?
  11. I don't know why prior poster had to be philosophical about this.<br>
    So.. oxygen is not necessary to us, we might all die, but it's not necessary... cute.<br>
    Chris, I'll make it short for you, YES, Hood is necessary.
  13. I have a Canon EOS 10D with a 28-105mm lens with its hood on. The only time I don't use the hood is when I need to shoot at 28mm using the built-in flash, because it will create a shadow in the picture.

    Other than that, I keep it on my lens all the time.

  14. And if you have buyers remorse paying for some of the more expensive hoods, take a close look at it after a year or so of heavy use and your remorse will go away. most of my hoods have some pretty nasty scratchs on them from bumping things and those would end up on my lens body instead of a 60 dollar hood.
  15. I have about 25-35 different lens hoods. It is one of the most important accessories for photography. Color saturation will be improved and flare will be reduced. A lens hood can also save your lens from damage when dropped if you are lucky.
  16. I use a hood and a _quality_ UV filter (B+W)
    I use the hard hood that is dedicated to my lens, I don't like the soft collapsable rubber ones that they try to sell you at kits or wherever.

    Nice thing about the genuine hoods (Canon anyway) is that they reverse mount over your lens and give added protection to the lens barrel when you are putting them in your camera bag or from your camera bag to your dresser (if you don't keep them in a camera bag all the time) and thus they help prevent scuffs from appearing on the lens barrel as well.

    It also looks more proffesional.
  17. There are times when I don't bother. Like when I'm shooting dusk landscapes with weak sidelighting and such. Or available light indoors.

    Also, there are times when it might be beneficial not to make your huge "here-I-am-to-take-your-soul"-looking SLR with 70-200/2.8 appear even more huge. My Sigma 28-70/2.8 sure looks bizzare on my EOS 3 whenever the hood is attached. There is a slight risk of intimidating the subject... ;-)
  18. I've ALWAYS used hoods, and they all look beat to crap! I never use UV filters and have managed to keep my greasy fingers of my lenses for over 40 years. Some of them are that old! And I still shoot profesionaly. I've never owned a zoom and have no desire for one.
  19. and have managed to keep my greasy fingers of my lenses for over 40 years.

    While it has never happened to me - I have heard of cases where a minimum wage (or slightly above) security guard at an airport or other tourist location has gotten greasy fingers on a lens when inspecting it to make sure you don't have a SCUD warhead hidden inside.

    Also, this is probably a matter of style and bad practice on my part - but I stick the lens cap in my rear pocket when shooting - and occasionally have had dust etc. transfer from that to the UV filter. It blows off with a blower just fine, but some lenses are recessed and more difficult to use a blower brush on. So for me - the UV filter makes it easier to keep the lens clean with my bad back pocket habit.
  20. "This protection comes with no degration in photo, a UV filter can't claim that." --John Bauer

    Neither can a hood claim this because both are inanimate objects.


    Using a lens hood or if necessary a hand or hat does more to reduce image degrading flare and ghost than removing a UV filter. Lenses know as problematic for flare and ghost will out perform those known for excellent flare and ghost control even with a UV filter installed if strong, direct light like sunlight is kept out of the lens.

    Dust on the surface of either a lens or filter can cause a considerable flare and sometimes ghost so removing a filter is no panacea. If you have to clean a lens often you are probably better off with a UV filter on that lens as it&#146;s usually easier to clean a filter than a lens. Much of this debate is rational not reason. There is nothing righteous about not using a UV or other filter for protection. It&#146;s a choice, nothing more.

    As far as protection I&#146;ve seen a both a hood and a filter save a lens. In my case it was a filter, in my fathers case it was a hood that did the saving. Replacing a hood or a filter is less expensive than replacing a lens. In both cases a hood and UV filter was in place.

    Once the light source is actually in the frame, day or night, it&#146;s usually best to remove the filter.

    I recommend using a lens hood almost all the time. Sometimes a lens hood reduces the free working distance of a macro lens and here I&#146;ll often take the hood off. Some macro lenses have their own built in hood some don&#146;t. You do what works best in a given situation. On some lenses I'll ignor the built in hood as a screw on or snap on hood may provide better protection.

    One might say a lens hood is not necessary but most of the time one is for me.


    Dave Hartman.
  21. I use hoods and filters (occasionally removing the filter for a "special" shot) -- except for my 35-year-old Micro Nikkor, which has a small front lens element that is deeply recessed in the lens body.

    Well, that's the lens I dropped on our driveway last year, bending its threaded ring!

    When using a tripod, I walk around and look for light shining on the lens, and use my hand (or gray card) to block light if necessary. Sometimes I use a gadget called "the FlareBuster" that slips into the flash shoe. It holds a card on a flexible stalk.

    "Brandon's Dad'

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