should I be shooting with a lens hood or no lens hood indoors?

Started Dec 6, 2013 | Discussions
SteveCooper
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should I be shooting with a lens hood or no lens hood indoors?
Dec 6, 2013

Hi,

Should I be shooting with a lens hood or no lens hood indoors? How about if I'm using a hot shoe  flash or off camera flash?

I have read that using a lens hood may improve contrast.

Opinions?

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confyushis
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lens hood all the time ...
In reply to SteveCooper, Dec 6, 2013

SteveCooper wrote:

Should I be shooting with a lens hood or no lens hood indoors?

i would use a lens hood at all times and at all locations.

How about if I'm using a hot shoe flash or off camera flash?

i would use a lens hood with all on-/off-camera flash unless the light is blocked by the hood of a longer lens.

I have read that using a lens hood may improve contrast.

yes, a lens hood improves contrast.

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SteveCooper
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Re: lens hood all the time ...
In reply to confyushis, Dec 8, 2013

thank you, I thought that was the case, but I read a review by someone whose first name starts with a "K" that said (and I quote) "lens hoods are for wimps"- that the lens coatings were sufficient- I thought that was crazy.......

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VIRTWO
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Re: lens hood all the time ...
In reply to confyushis, Dec 8, 2013

It would be nice if you can post some pictures (if possible) taken indoors, with and without hood. That will make the point more clear.

I personally use hood all the time now (someone on DPR advised to use it) but previously I did not used it all the time. Now, when I see pictures with and without hood taken indoors at different time, I really cannot make big difference between them. Well that may be possible because I have just started into photography.

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jtan163
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Re: lens hood all the time ...
In reply to SteveCooper, Dec 8, 2013

SteveCooper wrote:

thank you, I thought that was the case, but I read a review by someone whose first name starts with a "K" that said (and I quote) "lens hoods are for wimps"- that the lens coatings were sufficient- I thought that was crazy.......

You could try both approaches and see how it works for you in the conditions you shoot in.

I don't know for sure, but I think a lot of these "thou shalt.."/"thou must..." type rules are averages across lots of scenarios.

If you're shooting in reasonably similar conditions most of the time, then just try out both approaches and see if either approach yields better results in your target viewing media.

Then you can choose - for those conditions - on actual first hand experience and knowledge.

Personally I take a lot of K's opinion as questionable and it appears inconsistent to me.
I find his site occasionally useful for finding specs and if I'm really bored, light entertainment.

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Josh152
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Re: lens hood all the time ...
In reply to VIRTWO, Dec 9, 2013

VIRTWO wrote:

It would be nice if you can post some pictures (if possible) taken indoors, with and without hood. That will make the point more clear.

I personally use hood all the time now (someone on DPR advised to use it) but previously I did not used it all the time. Now, when I see pictures with and without hood taken indoors at different time, I really cannot make big difference between them. Well that may be possible because I have just started into photography.

A lens hood will stop stray light from entering the lense and washing out the picture. If you are indoors and don't have strong light source shining stray light into the lens it won't really make a differnce. However it will still protect the lens and shooting with the lens hood on all the time is a good habit to have.

For reference while outside, this video show the difference a lens hood can make.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSiZ99NcKu4

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Craig Gillette
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Re: Depends
In reply to SteveCooper, Dec 9, 2013

If using flash, especially the on camera flash, the lens and  lens hood, can intrude into the light path from the flash.  This will cause a pretty distinctive shadowing in the lower portion of an image.  Not as likely to prove a problem at longer focal lengths or higher shoe mounted flashes.  Still, worth checking, especially at wider focal lengths or big, fat, fast lenses.

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tocar
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Re: should I be shooting with a lens hood or no lens hood indoors?
In reply to SteveCooper, Dec 11, 2013

Lens hoods were mainly used outdoors for preventing stray side lights from going into the lens and causing flares.  With new improved lens coatings the lens hood became less useful except for really bright lights hitting the edge of the lens.  Now the lens hood is used mainly to protect the lens specially if you're not going to put a lens cap during a shoot.  Using the lens hood indoors is overkill for regular shooting with flash but might be different with off hot shoe shooting and multiple flash use.  On shoe/in camera flash use you will see the lens hoods ruining the pictures.

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nymphaeles
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Re: should I be shooting with a lens hood or no lens hood indoors?
In reply to SteveCooper, Dec 19, 2013

A lens hoods protects the front of a lens, that's a fact. My own experience is that there have been so many time I swung the camera and the lens hood hit something hard enough that it caused serious scratches on the hood. Just last week, my camera hit the corner of a desk with the lens hood in reversed position. That hit broke a UV filter, but luckily the lens survived. Had the hood in the right position, I wouldn't lose an expensive filter. I say have the lens hood on at all times, it may cause you some inconveniences, but it would save your expensive lens and UV filter.

I don't have the expertise nor the scientific equipment to test and prove that a lens hood would do you shots better. In my opinion, stray light is stray light, it can well be both indoor or outdoor. And since you want to put your hood on for protection, why not keep it on for both indoor or outdoor shots?

Just my two cents.

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Parry Johnson
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Re: should I be shooting with a lens hood or no lens hood indoors?
In reply to SteveCooper, Dec 29, 2013

I shoot with a lens hood whenever I can, indoors or out for all the above reasons.  However, while using a built-in flash, there will be a shadow caused by the hood in any wide-angle photo (usually with focal lengths less than 28mm FX or 20mm DX), so if I'll often just take off the hood rather than getting caught up in the moment and forget about the vignetting.  It's just something to think about.  Remember that in that case most of the light will come from the flash, and it therefore won't create flare, so using a hood defeats the purpose.

Of course, this doesn't apply to a hotshoe-mounted flash, as there would then be enough clearance to avoid the hood shadow.

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Mark B.
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Re: should I be shooting with a lens hood or no lens hood indoors?
In reply to SteveCooper, Dec 30, 2013

The only time I would shoot w/o a hood is if I'm stuck using the built-in flash indoors, when the hood will create a shadow.  Other than that, the lens hood is properly attached at all times when I'm shooting.

Mark

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Bronze Age Man
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Re: lens hood all the time ...
In reply to Josh152, Dec 31, 2013

Lens hoods reduce flare from edge lights that degrade contrast. There may or may not be such light sources but generally that is not where you are looking. Lens filters as protection are for wimps. The 'K' guy likes them and the dots of internal reflection they add to pictures, I never use them.  I do use hoods for physical protection from objects and light rain.

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MichaelVadon
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Re: should I be shooting with a lens hood or no lens hood indoors?
In reply to SteveCooper, Dec 31, 2013

The main advantage of a lens hood is protection of the front element.  It puts space between the front element and everything else.  This is especially handy when working close quarters and crowds.

The main disadvantage is when you want to switch lenses.  You have to put the lens back in the bag and it usually doesnt fit in the bag with the hood on thus requiring an extra step.  If you have to change lenses quickly lets say during a sporting event or a wedding then the hood presents a problem.

As for contrast and picture quality, I believe the protection of the front element is the greater reason for using the hood.

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nkistrup
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In reply to Bronze Age Man, Dec 31, 2013

Bronze Age Man wrote:

Lens hoods reduce flare from edge lights that degrade contrast. There may or may not be such light sources but generally that is not where you are looking. Lens filters as protection are for wimps. The 'K' guy likes them and the dots of internal reflection they add to pictures, I never use them. I do use hoods for physical protection from objects and light rain.

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Agreed!  It only comes off for attaching/detaching filters & a thorough lens cleaning w. ROR.

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Josh152
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Re: lens hood all the time ...
In reply to Bronze Age Man, Dec 31, 2013

Bronze Age Man wrote:

Lens hoods reduce flare from edge lights that degrade contrast. There may or may not be such light sources but generally that is not where you are looking. Lens filters as protection are for wimps. The 'K' guy likes them and the dots of internal reflection they add to pictures, I never use them. I do use hoods for physical protection from objects and light rain.

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Appreciative student of the late Joan Wakelin. 39+ years later still enjoying it!

Which is basically what I said....

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Osvaldo Cristo
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Re: should I be shooting with a lens hood or no lens hood indoors?
In reply to SteveCooper, 11 months ago

SteveCooper wrote:

Hi,

Should I be shooting with a lens hood or no lens hood indoors? How about if I'm using a hot shoe flash or off camera flash?

I have read that using a lens hood may improve contrast.

Opinions?

  1. To use lens hood as mechanical protection for the lenses is a big BS, IMO. Its primary function would be avoid direct light on lens surface
  2. From my twelve lenses, I think eight have hoods. All of them are near to crap as they are too small to offer real protection against light direct hit on the lens surface except the hood for Nikkor 80-400 AFD VR. Perhaps the hood for Nikkor 85 f/1.4 can be worth something, but when I am using it usually the light more deliberated so no need for the hood also
  3. The biggest joke is the hood for Tokina 35 f/2.8 Macro - actually a two mm ring!!
  4. I prefer by far to avoid glare positioning myself carefully or protecting direct light hit with my hand or cap. It is not always convenient, mainly when shooting action indoors with a lot of artificial light sources but the hoods at the same circumstances usually are also unuseful
  5. Definitively direct light hit on the lens glass surface will bill a toll on contrast. It will be worst in poorer coated lenses. Unfortunately lens hood are near to nothing IMO, so take care positioning yourself with more care and eventually shadowing it with your hands, a cap, a piece of paper, anything is better than the usual hood.

Best regards,

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Colin Franks
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Re: should I be shooting with a lens hood or no lens hood indoors?
In reply to SteveCooper, 11 months ago
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Rexgig0
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Re: should I be shooting with a lens hood or no lens hood indoors?
In reply to SteveCooper, 11 months ago

I am equally clumsy indoors and outdoors; a hood is the first line of defense against impacts and scrapes.

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