lens hood, why?

Started Apr 4, 2003 | Discussions thread
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dimage Contributing Member • Posts: 983
Search Intenet with "Lens Hood Flare"

The primary reason for a lens hood is to prevent "flare" which is any form of unwanted light bouncing around inside the lens that makes it to the film/sensor.

If there is a bright light source that while not in the field of view, but that can still strike the front surface of the lens, some of the light will get into the lens, bounce around and find the film/sensor. At the least the flare will reduce the contrast of the image, and at the worst it will totally ruin the picture.

The other BIG reason for lens hoods is protection. I use my hoods almost 100% of the time, indoors and out. When I am changing lenses, I will often put the hood on (I keep them reversed on my lenses) and take the lens cap off (thus I don't have to keep swaping lens caps when swapping lenses). Stored on the lens reversed, they give some added protection to the lens if it is dropped.

IMO, it is pretty silly to buy a "protection filter" compared to a lens hood. There are so many things that a lense hood will protect you from that a filter will not. Other than getting in the way of a flash (which only happens with internal flashes), a lens hood can only help a picture, where a "protection filter" can only hurt.

Just a quick search of the internet turned up the following explainations of why to use a lense hood to prevent flare (searched on "Lens Hood Flare")

http://www.ephotozine.com/techniques/viewtechnique.cfm/recid/205

http://www.adorama.com/catalog.tpl?op=article_012703

http://www.vanwalree.com/optics/lenshood.html

David Hood wrote:

Can anyone post a sample where the lens hood made a difference?

What situation demands a lens hood? Sun perpendicular to the lens?
Sun overhead?

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