Lens hood - do you use one?

Started Feb 18, 2013 | Discussions
pannayar
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Lens hood - do you use one?
Feb 18, 2013

One of my (bought used) camera came with a lens hood.  Some reading suggests it can prevent glare/flare.  I am curious to know how (much) people use these...  If you have one, is it just collecting dust in the drawer or is it a 'must have' for you on outdoor photo trips...?

Pitbullo
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Re: Lens hood - do you use one?
In reply to pannayar, Feb 18, 2013

I use lens hoods, both to prevent glare, but also for protection of the front element. The only negative thing about a lens hood is that the camera gets longer when it is in use. Other than that, all positive!

Some use UV filters for protection, much better to use a lens hood.

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Barrie Davis
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Yes, I use one.
In reply to pannayar, Feb 18, 2013

So should you, and you should use it all the time...

Only under rare circumstances do I take off a lens hood while shooting, for instance, if it throws a shadow from the built in flash.   
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MPrince
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Re: Lens hood - do you use one?
In reply to pannayar, Feb 18, 2013

Yes, of course, and not just when shooting outdoors.

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HEA-45
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Re: Lens hood - do you use one?
In reply to MPrince, Feb 18, 2013

I rarely use a lens hood for my landscape shots. The main reason is the incompatibility with my graduated filter set (which I use constantly.) The second reason is simply a lack of necessity; experimentation has shown that hoods make little difference (with a careful shot setup.)

As a side note, I designed and prototyped several inexpensive lens hoods (for personal use) that were compatible with my filter holder. But the lack of necessity prevented further spending for a production model.

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Barrie Davis
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Re: Lens hood - do you use one?
In reply to HEA-45, Feb 18, 2013

HEA-45 wrote:

I rarely use a lens hood for my landscape shots. The main reason is the incompatibility with my graduated filter set (which I use constantly.) The second reason is simply a lack of necessity; experimentation has shown that hoods make little difference (with a careful shot setup.)

The hood exists to remove non-image-forming light from the periphery of the image.

Non-image-forming light is that part of the light passed by the lens which is inside its circle of coverage, but outside the rectangle of the format frame.

This light is always deleterious of image quality.. (reduces shadow contrast).. even if not noticed a lot of the time.

This superfluous light reduces shadow detail, and does so by two independent mechanisms..

1) ... by bouncing between lens elements and creating flare which transfers highlight illumination to shadow zones.. (ameliorated but not removed by efficient lens coatings)

2) ... by spilling unhindered onto the wall of the sensor chamber, and from there reflecting to the sensor itself. All sensor zones receive this light, but it affects the shadows most, as in (1) above. Again, it is ameliorated by painting the surfaces with matte black paint, but the absorption process is not 100% effective.

Preventing this non-image-forming light from entering the lens in the first place, by means of a good hood IS 100% effective.. The closer the edges of the hood crop to the image zone itself, without actually appearing in frame, the better. That is why the ideal opening of a lenshood is a rectangle of same aspect ratio as the sensor, that is, NOT a circle.

(Petal hoods are the compromise they have to be to provide some hooding on zoom lenses, which is most critical at the wide end. The ideal hood for a zoom lens would vary its acceptance angle in synchrony with that of the optics... but the best we have so far are the adjustable professional hoods made in bellows form..)

Final point:- It is particularly important to fit an efficient close cropping hood when using filters, despite any inconvenience.

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Mark B.
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Absolutely always...
In reply to pannayar, Feb 18, 2013

pannayar wrote:

One of my (bought used) camera came with a lens hood. Some reading suggests it can prevent glare/flare. I am curious to know how (much) people use these... If you have one, is it just collecting dust in the drawer or is it a 'must have' for you on outdoor photo trips...?

I never leave home w/o them   I don't use the fill flash as a main source of light, so blocking the flash with the hood is not a concern for me.  It's always on - indoors or out.

Mark

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hotdog321
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Re: Lens hood - do you use one?
In reply to pannayar, Feb 18, 2013

I shoot professionally and use rigid lens hoods 100% of the time on all my lenses. Most people don't realize that a lens hood is an essential part of the lens itself. It reduce lens flare, increases contrast and provides terrific protection.

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Bob Tullis
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As little as possible, but yes
In reply to pannayar, Feb 18, 2013

I always have the hood in tow in case the front element cannot be placed in shadow (it's own shadow, or a shadow from something blocking the light (like a tree during the day).

Note the position of the sun in the following - with the sun just behind the left shoulder, not necessary.   But with sun in front of right shoulder, necessary.   There's a lot to consider sizing up a shot, and if the potential for side light on the front element isn't one of the things that automatically come to mind in the process, you're better off using a hood routinely than selectively.   As well, if your shooting style means mounting a hood has you missing opportunities. . .

A hood has a specific purpose (lens protection being a side effect), and it should be used when it has purpose (but there are NO negatives regarding exposures in using one  when there is no purpose).



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PhD4
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Re: Lens hood - do you use one?
In reply to pannayar, Feb 18, 2013

pannayar wrote:

One of my (bought used) camera came with a lens hood. Some reading suggests it can prevent glare/flare.

It's not just "some reading" suggestions.... It is the reason they were created, are available & supplied with most lenses.

Mine are always with me (when I have my backpack), and stored mounted backwards on their respective lenses.

Lens flare can be an issue in may situations, so having the hood on allows me to concentrate more on composition and less on where the sun is.

I have no built-in flash, and I don't shoot much indoors without controlled lighting situations.

So for me... mostly just outdoors.

Many will cheer the whole "lens protection" thing, but I find even better lens protection is to keep my camera from bumping things.

Which isn't very hard to do.

I am curious to know how (much) people use these... If you have one, is it just collecting dust in the drawer or is it a 'must have' for you on outdoor photo trips...?

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sensible
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Re: Lens hood - do you use one?
In reply to PhD4, Feb 18, 2013

i personally do not use lens hoods. while i understand the benefits ,they are generally too bulky. only one on a beercan

but when i think on it, i wonder why to use these petal shaped

types. look impressive but  why the open spaces between petals?

seems like you are limiting the shading benefit

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mgd43
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Re: Lens hood - do you use one?
In reply to sensible, Feb 18, 2013

I always use a lens hood to prevent flare and to protect the lens. You may have to remove the hood when using the pop-up flash as it could cause a shadow. That looks like an aftermarket hood so check that it doesn't cut off the edges at wideangle settings.

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joejack951
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Re: Lens hood - do you use one?
In reply to Barrie Davis, Feb 18, 2013

Barrie Davis wrote:

(Petal hoods are the compromise they have to be to provide some hooding on zoom lenses, which is most critical at the wide end. The ideal hood for a zoom lens would vary its acceptance angle in synchrony with that of the optics... but the best we have so far are the adjustable professional hoods made in bellows form..)

Nikon's 28-70/2.8, 17-55/2.8, and 24-70/2.8 lenses all make efficient use of their deep, fixed (relative to the moving front element) lens hoods by way of their optical and mechanical designs. The lens is most extended at the wide angle, preventing the lens hood from causing vignetting at that angle of view. The lens then retracts as the focal length moves towards 50mm equivalent (35mm on the 17-55) effectively making the lens hood deeper and then only extends slightly at the switch-over to telephoto. While not perfect due to the slight extension at telephoto, this design allows for much more shading by the lens hood than a typical zoom hood which moves with with the extending front element or is fixed with a non-moving front element. Because all the extension happens with the hood, there's no surprise when the lens is longer than you thought (as has happened to me with the 24-120/4VR at full telephoto).

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Bob Tullis
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Re: Lens hood - do you use one?
In reply to sensible, Feb 18, 2013

sensible wrote:

i personally do not use lens hoods. while i understand the benefits ,they are generally too bulky. only one on a beercan

but when i think on it, i wonder why to use these petal shaped

types. look impressive but why the open spaces between petals?

seems like you are limiting the shading benefit

Such cutouts are there so the hood doesn't show up on the corners of the exposure.  If you take note, telephoto and telezoom hoods are deeper (and usually don't have cut outs) than hoods on the wider angle lenses.   It's easier to thoroughly sheild a front element that utilizes a narrower FOV than a wider one.

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PhD4
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Re: Lens hood - do you use one?
In reply to sensible, Feb 18, 2013

sensible wrote:

i personally do not use lens hoods. while i understand the benefits ,they are generally too bulky. only one on a beercan

but when i think on it, i wonder why to use these petal shaped

types. look impressive but why the open spaces between petals?

seems like you are limiting the shading benefit

Well the petal shape is because the camera sensor is rectangular, not square. The field of view is wider at each side, so a shorter "petal" would be less intrusive on your image. This is mostly a problem for wider angle lenses.

If the camera sensors were square, then a round hood would be more popular.

How often this would even become an issue for you depends on what you are shooting and with which lens.

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hotdog321
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Petal shape answer.
In reply to sensible, Feb 18, 2013

The petal shape is an optimized shape that allows superior shading for the lens. The corners of the rectangular camera format fit in the "cut" sections of the petal, while the long sections shade the sides. The petal shape is most often used with wide angle lenses, but it also appears on telephotos like the Canon 70-200 f/2.8.

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Art Jacks
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Re: As little as possible, but yes
In reply to Bob Tullis, Feb 18, 2013

I would miss many of my shots of something similar to your first shot if I was deciding to to put the lens hood on or not, my lens hoods are on permanently, whilst not adding anything to a shot where they are not needed by the same mark they are not having any detrimental effect, then should I turn around and the shot of a lifetime appears I have my camera ready for the type of image where the lens hood is essential.

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Bob Tullis
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Re: As little as possible, but yes
In reply to Art Jacks, Feb 18, 2013

Art Jacks wrote:

I would miss many of my shots of something similar to your first shot if I was deciding to to put the lens hood on or not, my lens hoods are on permanently, whilst not adding anything to a shot where they are not needed by the same mark they are not having any detrimental effect, then should I turn around and the shot of a lifetime appears I have my camera ready for the type of image where the lens hood is essential.

Did you note the direction of the sun/shadows in the shot you referenced?

Did what I said contradict what you find necessary for your practices?

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DonA2
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Re: Petal shape answer.
In reply to hotdog321, Feb 18, 2013

I went from a skylight filter add on, primarily to protect the lens, to no filter and a petal type, bayonet mount, hood.  Actually provides better protection from knocks and of course lens flare.  The hood reverses on the lens for storage but even without reversing it the lens cap can still be snapped on.  I now leave the hood deployed.

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Hank3152
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Re: Absolutely always...
In reply to Mark B., Feb 18, 2013

Mark B. wrote:

I never leave home w/o them I don't use the fill flash as a main source of light, so blocking the flash with the hood is not a concern for me. It's always on - indoors or out.

Same here.....hood always on, especially in a crowded environment........since I don't have a built-in flash the external flash is never a problem.......

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