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To Use a Hood or Not To Use a Hood...

Brian Moody , Jan 21, 2007; 02:25 a.m.

Well My first Post. Maybe a simple one but here it goes. Been reading this post for two years now. You have all taught me a great deal; thank you. Started with a 20D and a few lenses and now have upgraded my gear to L lenses, a 580EX, portrait lighting and have my eye on the 5D.(I may not have a wife after but....) So my question...My L lenses came with hoods. Is there a right time and a wrong time to use the hood on a lens, ie. outdoor/indoor, low light/bright light, shooting indoor portraits? Thank you in advance for your thoughts....Brian


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M Barbu , Jan 21, 2007; 03:07 a.m.

I always use my hoods.

Peter Meade , Jan 21, 2007; 03:24 a.m.

I use the hoods all the time, both indoors and outdoors. They will provide a measure of protection for the front element against bumps and optical protection against flair.

Top tip, start talking to your wife about the number of times you need a second camera body and how well the 5D complements the 20D. It establishes the need and softens the blow.

Worked for me ;-)

Johnson D. , Jan 21, 2007; 03:40 a.m.

I guess one "wrong" time would be if you want to use your built in flash and the hood causes a shadow. I take them off or reverse them when I'm not using certain lenses in order to save space. I consider something that takes up more space than necessary as being "wrong". That's about it for me. I pretty much keep them on otherwise.

I'm not sure what you are getting at with indoor/outdoor/portrait question. Hoods prevent stray light from entering the lens and offer some protection of the front element. If you don't think either will be a problem, then I guess it wouldn't be necessary but I wouldn't say it's wrong.

Sean R , Jan 21, 2007; 03:41 a.m.

There is a chance for flare in every situation with light. Even controlled studio setups may have some side-reflection kick in. In journalism, a stray indoor light may cause it.

For that reason, I always use my lens hoods. Never leave home without them.

James Colwell , Jan 21, 2007; 05:20 a.m.

The right time to use a hood is when you're taking photos. The wrong time is when you want to fit the lens in a small bag, then you reverse the hood.

Beau Hooker , Jan 21, 2007; 07:31 a.m.

I totally agree with all the "hood users" out there. Occasionally I'll be watching some event on "tee-vee" and see a photographer shooting something (usually photojournalists) and waving their Canon DSLR around with a 70-200mm f/2.8L IS lens on it - with no hood. And I can't help thinking, WTF? They make lens hoods for a reason. ;-) BTW, they also help protect your lenses as well as keep the flare down. I always use a hood, personally. Good luck!

Yakim Peled , Jan 21, 2007; 07:59 a.m.

>> Is there a right time and a wrong time to use the hood on a lens.

Wrong time? Only when you try to shoot extreme macro and the lens hood prevents you from getting closer to your subject. Right time? All other times.

Happy shooting, Yakim.

Robin Sibson , Jan 21, 2007; 08:20 a.m.

Well, that's a clear enough message about using hoods, and I agree. But which hood? I'm probably not the only person that has some doubts about how effective the EW-83E hood is - it is certainly very bulky and clumsy - and replacing it with an alternative for 1.6-factor use on the 17~40 and 16~35 has almost become standard practice. What's less well-known is that even on the 10~22, you can almost get away with using the EW-83H instead, and only very minor surgery would be required to eliminate occlusion completely. Another interesting option is to use the ET-67B hood on the 100/2.8USM. Much neater than the ET-67, and probably quite adequate in most circumstances.

Dan Mitchell , Jan 21, 2007; 12:17 p.m.

I'll be a bit of an exception, but only a bit.

I generally do use the good in most outdoor situations, mostly to avoid lens flare from the sun.

In other outdoor situations I tend to most often use the hood if I don't need to work quickly. However, if a shot is quickly evolving - especially if the light doesn't demand the use of the hood - I don't bother.

I almost never use the hood indoors, unless lighting challenges demand it.

I agree that a hood can provide additional protection for the lens, especially for those who carry their camera unprotected. I generally don't carry my camera that way - it is usually in a pack or a bag of some sort and I take it out for the shot, so the camera protection value of the hood is not so critical for me.


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