Lens Hood for the 50mm f/1.4
the lens hood protects more than it helps image quality (I primarily use hoods outdoors or when in crowds). It will reduce some flare but I don't think the 50 f/1.4 is prone to flare. My guess is that your washed out colors comes from something else, perhaps your camera settings or how you import your photos. You might post one or two and I think you will get many helpful suggestions (and a few not so helpful).
OK, not so purely a hobby.
|AF4_2483 Surfing the Serengeti by DaveInHouston|
from Hot Air Balloon view
|Peregrine Falcon by Psychic1|
from Best Wildlife Photo of the Week - 4