Advice to a New Owner #4: Wear a Hood

Started Dec 23, 2001 | Discussions thread
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Steadman Uhlich Senior Member • Posts: 1,123
Advice to a New Owner #4: Wear a Hood

That's right get that hood out and put it on.

One of the things you will typically see if you ever get to watch a portrait pro working with his $1800 Hasselblad (cheap compared to a D30!)...is his/her use of a lens hood.

These items may seem like a real waste of money to a beginner. If you are not familiar with them, they seem like a hassle to put on and take off, they can make the lens cap hard to put on...they get in the way...they make it inconvenient to put the camera back in the camera bag...they cost extra (and with Canon hoods that extra can be about $30 a hood!) and they get lost....and they stick out front...snagging things.

OK...all of that is true. So why put up with it?

Because it is generally chosen by real pros because they know it works wonders and it is a cheap piece of equipment.

The obvious reason is to prevent lens flare from a low sun (shooting afternoon softball/soccer/football anyone? Yeah..it works for that.

But it also works indoors too. That is where you will see a portrait pro using a hood in his studio. Why? To increase contrast that is why...most of the time.

So...if it is good for them..and it is relatively cheap...and it improves images...and it doesn't take batteries...and no instructions are needed...

Go get one.

Now..if you are a real beginner...just make sure if you are using a wide angle lens that you get the "appropriate" hood for it. Yes you can buy an inexpensive rubber hood at the camera store (I use them on my 50mms) but if you put a inappropriate hood on a wide...you will see darkening around the image in the viewfinder...that "vignetting" is what you want to avoid. Newer lens hood designs "perfect" hoods are designed for the angles you need optically...so pick one from the manufacturer if you can.

As for myself, I never buy a lens without also buying an appropriate hood.

Good Light to You,

Steadman

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