Lens Hood necessary? useful? when to use?

This is a discussion on Lens Hood necessary? useful? when to use? within the Digital Cameras, Lenses & Accessories forums, part of the PHOTO FORUM category; I have a nice lens hood that came with the 55 -200 mm Nikon lens that I bought for my Nikon D 5000 camera. It ...


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  1. #1

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    I have a nice lens hood that came with the 55 -200 mm Nikon lens that I bought for my Nikon D 5000 camera. It looks slick but is kinda bulky and is in some ways "just one more thing" to be carrying around.

    This question is for your pros and advanced amateurs. Is a Lens hood really useful to you? Under what conditions do you use it and how often do you use it?

    One issue i have is I can't (I don't think I can anyway) have a filter on my lens with the lens hood also in use. Or can I?


    David


  • #2
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    Good question. I have one too, and it sits at home in the box.
    I pack two things wherever I go: A gun and a camera. You probably don't want to end up in front of either one.

    If you like me, like my facebook!

  • #3
    R0B
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    If the lens hood screws on like a filter then no you cant add more filters, if it like twists on leaving the filter ring free then you can

    I always use mine, much harder to damage the front of your lens, and supposedly increases contrast and reduces flair

    Rob
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    Sony A77, A200, Grips for both, 16-50 f/2.8, 50mm f/1.8, 18-70 f/3.5-5.6, 70-210 f/4-5.6, 2 flashguns.

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  • #4
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    I think I need a bigger bag.
    I pack two things wherever I go: A gun and a camera. You probably don't want to end up in front of either one.

    If you like me, like my facebook!

  • #5
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    I use a hood outdoors in sunlight. I typically do not use it in overcast conditions nor do I use it indoors.

    Most OEM hoods go on over the body and twist to connect. They don't use the filter threads and thus you are still free to use filters. The down-side is that polarizing filters need to be twisted to an optimum angle to block reflections and with the hood installed it's a bit hard to twist the polarizer.

    The OEM hoods are designed specifically for the lenses they are intended for (e.g. when you see the "tulip" style lenses, the cut-aways in the hood are there to avoid the lens being able to see the hood in the shot (which would cause vignetted corners). They also generally can be removed turned backwards and re-installed back onto the lens for storage in your bag (they make the lens a little wider... but at least the lens isn't any longer.)

    There are some 3rd party "universal" hoods. Most of these thread-on via the filter threads on the front of the lens. The caution I'd give is that those hoods aren't made with the optics of the lens in mind. Depending on the lens, it may actually be able to capture the hood in the corners of the frame (probably not what you'd want). Usually they'll be fine at any telephoto length (on a zoom) and just have problems at the wide-angle lengths.

    While the primary purpose of a hood is to avoid the problems caused by bright light hitting the objective lens (or an installed filter) which can cause lens flare and/or exaggerate the effect of any dust particles or smudges on if the lens is not perfectly clean, the secondary purpose of a hood is that it keeps things just that extra few inches away from the glass on the end of your lens. It reduces the possibility that something might touch the lens (such as your own fingers) and smudge or dirty the lens -- and also safeguards the glass against mild bumps (it probably wont save you against any severe bumps or crashes.)

    If you're shooting with bright light sources (e.g. the sun) in front of the lens then the hood will probably make a noticeable difference. If the bright lights are at your back then the hood makes no difference (because the sun or other brilliant light isn't directly hitting the glass) but many prefer to use it for the secondary purpose of acting as a guard to keep things from touching the glass.
    Tim Campbell

  • #6

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    IMHO, a lens hood becomes more important as the length of lens decreases. I never use one (don't have one) for my 28-300 but always use one for my 10-20. My lens hoods allow adding filters but the only filter I typically use is a 'daylight' to protect the lens' glass.


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