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BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

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Photography Question 
Fred Hofstaedter

member since: 5/2/2007
 

Lens Hoods


Are lens hoods necessary, and do they work? Thank you!

6/6/2007 4:36:40 PM

 
doug Nelson
DougNelsonPhoto.com

member since: 6/14/2001
  Better to have it and not need it. Under some lighting conditions, it won't matter, but in some situations, it may make all the difference. For light from above, or from an angle to the front of you, you need the hood (shade). It's also a good habit to have one on for protection of the lens. Have you ever seen video photogs at news events without a hood? Their hoods are rectangular because they do the job of shading better. Zoom lenses are hard to shade, so the hoods for these are, at best, a compromise, allowing shading at wide and narrow angles of coverage. It's better, I think, to use a hood.

6/6/2007 4:50:35 PM

 
Ariel Lepor
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/8/2005
  Often, if (sun)light hits the lens, any dirt on the lens will be highlighted. Ghosting and other stuff from the light can also occur. A lens hood, in many situations, blocks the sunlight from the lens yet doesn't interfere with the field of view. It is a good investment if you shoot outdoors.
They are not always necessary. If the light is behind you or if you are in a controlled situation, it is probably not needed. Even if there is light hitting a clean lens, you probably won't notice much of a horrible problem.

Lens hoods aren't expensive, so, like Doug said, might as well get one.

Ariel
ScrattyPhotography Blog

6/6/2007 5:06:13 PM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/14/2005
  The Sigma EX lenses that I use 90% of the time come with hard plastic lens hoods. Sigma calls it a "perfect hood". It is petal shaped, to maximize the shading without vignetting at the corners. I use them whenever I use the lenses.
A couple weeks ago, I was at the zoo with the family. There is a huge oak tree that all the kids climb when they pass it. While helping my daughter down, my 70-200mm f/2.8 fell out of my camera bag and landed hood-down on a large root. The hood cracked, but protected the $800 lens. A little super glue, and the hood was good as new.
Chris Vedros
www.cavphotos.com

6/6/2007 8:25:29 PM

 
Ariel Lepor
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/8/2005
  You mean, it was good enough to use. I'm sure you would rather have a new one. ;)

6/6/2007 8:36:31 PM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/14/2005
  No, unless you look really close, you can't tell it was cracked at all.

6/7/2007 10:26:23 AM

 
Ariel Lepor
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/8/2005
  Was there a special glue for plastic?

6/7/2007 10:40:05 AM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/14/2005
  Nothing special, just Super Glue, available at drugstores, hardware stores, etc. I like the Super Glue Gel, because it stays where you put it and doesn't drip.

6/7/2007 12:27:36 PM

 
Virginia A. Ross
virginiarossphotos.com

member since: 1/8/2003
  I had the very same thing happen to me, Chris, with a one-day-old digital wide-angle lens. I dropped mine in the street, with camera attached. Both were saved by the plastic lens hood, which bore the brunt of the impact.

I superglued mine back together, also.

6/23/2007 7:47:16 AM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/14/2005
  Ooh, I bet your heart skipped a beat on that one! Glad to hear the camera and lens were okay.

Chris A. Vedros
www.cavphotos.com

6/23/2007 7:55:00 AM

 
Virginia A. Ross
virginiarossphotos.com

member since: 1/8/2003
  Yup. I forgot I had the camera on my lap when exiting my car; down it all went, smack onto the pavement. I had to let some time go by before I allowed myself to first, turn the camera on to see if it still worked, and then to look through the lens & check that out.

A close shave, as they say....

6/23/2007 8:09:52 AM

 
Paul S. Fleming

member since: 4/27/2008
  Fred, I shoot with a D-70 with several different lenses. I have found that if I use the flash on the camera, (When I forget my SB-600) I get shadows at the bottom of my images with either the petal hood or a rubber one. This might be something you should be aware of. I also dropped my camera and the petal hood saved the day...and my lens and camera. Happy shooting. "ps"

6/27/2007 11:04:36 PM

 

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