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Lens hood necessary?

Chris Shawn , Aug 12, 2004; 02:19 a.m.

Recently when watching TV I realised that professional photographers often have a lens hood at the front of their lens. I don't own a lens hood yet, so I would like to know:

- Is a lens hood good in general or only when you have sunlight/light from a side angel (that you want to avoid)? - Is it a "secret trick" of pro photographers to have the lens hood attached always or is that just a stupid idea of mine? - Are there any benefits/disadvantages of a lens hood?



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Peter Smirnoff , Aug 12, 2004; 02:46 a.m.

Think of it as a baseball cap on a sunny day, only for your lens. Makes it easier to see, improves contrast, reduces glare, etc. Don't leave home without it. I always use it, indoors and outdoors, with or without a flash.

Leslie Cheung , Aug 12, 2004; 03:15 a.m.

Pros PJs usually shoot with a wide angle zoom and a telephoto zoom both of which have many elements and tends to flare easier than primes in adverse lighting conditions. Having a hood may or may not help but I can't think of any disadvantage of having them.

Dave S , Aug 12, 2004; 03:34 a.m.

One of the very few accessories that will actually make a difference to your photography.

Peter Phan , Aug 12, 2004; 04:10 a.m.

Using a dedicated hard plastic hood is also good lens protection, too. I've had many times where the hood protected the front of the lens from knocks, impacts or debris.

Also, when you're shooting, it's difficult to tell just when unwanted sunlight will hit the front of your lens. But it's something you don't have to think about as much if you are always using a lens hood.

Chris Shawn , Aug 12, 2004; 06:04 a.m.

I will buy hoods for my lenses and am really looking forward to it. Thanks for your help!

Steve Levine , Aug 12, 2004; 06:42 a.m.

Light,strikes your lens at many angles,besides the angles we desire for image formation.This scattered light,robs you of sharpness,contrast & color saturation.You can never have enough "lens shading".

John Bauer , Aug 12, 2004; 06:51 a.m.

Lens hood is necessary! (for me)

The secret trick is photographers use hood instead of UV filters.
The hood protects the lens from sun but also from external things
that can scratch a lens. This protection comes with no
degration in photo, a UV filter can't claim that.

Peter N , Aug 12, 2004; 08:34 a.m.

I use both a lens hood and a UV filter. A lens hood will not protect against wayward fingers, liquid, or any small object in your camera bag anxious to get to know your front lens element well.

If you purchase an inexpensive UV filter then you will suffer degredation. But if you use the best filters made by vendors such as B+W or Heliopan you will be just fine.

Frank Uhlig , Aug 12, 2004; 11:31 a.m.


you are asking two different questions in your post:

In the Title: " Lens hood necessary? " Answer: no it is not, you can use your camera without a lens hood; you can even snap pictures without a lens attached, or with a lenscap on etc. The world will not end if you do, the pics may be useless, though. So: a lens hood is not necessary! Are you clear on that now?

In the Text: "Is a lens hood good in general or only when you have sunlight/light from a side angel(sic) ..." A hood gives many advantages, so YES, it is good to use always. Now I do not know whether an "angel" (as you write) at your side might mitigate the effect of a missing lens hood. I am not much into angels; are you? Does anybody else have photographic experience with those creatures of God?

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