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Petal vs. round lens hoods

Arnold Silvernail , Jun 24, 2007; 12:10 p.m.

I've tried searching here for an answer to this question but to no avail. It's a newbie question, so please excuse me if it's stupid. What's the advantage of a petal style hood vs. a round hood? I have noticed that petal style hoods (4 blades) are positioned vertical and horizontal to the camera body. I assume this is so you can take a picture vertically or horizontally with one of the petals always being directly overhead so as to block out the light source from above (to prevent glare or CA?). But what if the light source is 45 degrees to the subject where the petal style hood is at its minimum protrusion. Wouldn't a round hood work better at all light source angles provided both style hoods have the same depth? I'll thank you in advance for your responses. I've posted other questions here before and you have all been very helpful. Thanks.


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Mendel Leisk , Jun 24, 2007; 12:25 p.m.

Start with a petal hood designed so that at all points around it's circumference the outer edge is projecting as far as possible. To revise it to be circular all of the petals would have to be trimmed off, back to the low points.

Any time you have a square or rectangular picture the petals are more efficient. only with a round picture (say with a fisheye lens) would there be no advantage to the petals.

Jim Karthauser , Jun 24, 2007; 01:12 p.m.

a general rule is that round hoods are for lens where the front rotates during focusing, i.e EF-S 18-55, and petals are for lens such as EF-S 10-22 where the front does not rotate. Petals give the most coverage that they possibly can without showing in the photograph, and round hoods do as well, but as they are designed to rotate with the front of the lens, there are, and cannot be a specific 'corner' to the hood as it will sometimes show up at the edges of the photograph, depending on what position the front of the lens is in.

with regards to what is better, it depends what lens you want to use it on. For maximum benefit, always buy the dedicated hood for your lens.


Harry Joseph , Jun 24, 2007; 02:13 p.m.

The thing I don't like about the petal hoods is that they are made out of plastic. I worry that one day I might step on one by mistake. The circular hoods, the rubber collapsible types are very convenient for travel, but not as good as the petal hoods from what I understand.

Robin Sibson , Jun 24, 2007; 02:37 p.m.

Petal shape stops mattering once you get to a reasonably long focal length. The ES-71 hood for the 50/1.4 is round, but it is a bayonet hood that could have been made petal-shaped.

Mark U , Jun 24, 2007; 02:59 p.m.

Here's an excellent article about hoods that answers your questions and gives a lot more information too:


Jon Austin , Jun 24, 2007; 04:32 p.m.

Hmm ... some interesting and "creative" responses here ... very imaginitive.

My understanding is that petal hoods are required for wide lenses, to prevent vignetting in the corners. "Round" hoods (no corners cut out) are for longer lenses, where the field of view is small enough that vignetting is not a concern.

Mendel Leisk , Jun 24, 2007; 04:53 p.m.

Lessee: I've got Canon lens hoods for a 50mm f1.4: it's round, and a 70-200 f2.8 L IS: it's petal design.

Michael Ziegler , Jun 24, 2007; 07:06 p.m.

Mendel, yes my 70-200 also, a number ET-86. My 100-400 has a round hood number ET-83C

Chris JB , Jun 24, 2007; 07:39 p.m.

`Hmm ... some interesting and "creative" responses here ... very imaginitive`

I gotta agree with you there Jon, lens design and vignetting is the way I`ve known it and mainly for wide angle or the widest end of shorter FL zooms. I do use a Sigma 15 30 which has a permanant fixed petal hood, this lens improves significantly by putting on the aux round hood when used on a x1.6 crop body eg 20d/30d as the FOV is different, flare is reduced and contrast improves, so I`ve found that some lenses can use both without vignetting because of the crop factor.

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