How important is a lens hood?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Harlen Ng, Jan 26, 2004.

  1. Harlen Ng

    Harlen Ng Guest

    I'm curious on how important is a len hood. These are
    the ones attached to the end of the camera lens. Are there
    special situations that it is really needed? Most camera
    lens are multi-coated and having a hood attached extends
    the length of the camera lens.

    Thanks -
    Harlen Ng, Jan 26, 2004
    #1
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  2. Harlen Ng

    Jeremy Guest

    "Harlen Ng" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I'm curious on how important is a len hood. These are
    > the ones attached to the end of the camera lens. Are there
    > special situations that it is really needed? Most camera
    > lens are multi-coated and having a hood attached extends
    > the length of the camera lens.
    >
    > Thanks -
    >


    Estremely important. The lens must be shielded from off-axis light, or you
    risk veiling glare. You should use a hood even at night. You paid a lot
    for an excellent lens--it would be a shame to cripple it's contrast by
    failing to use a hood.

    It is entirely possible that a cheap lens, used with a hood, will have less
    flare than an excellent lens, used without a hood.
    Jeremy, Jan 26, 2004
    #2
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  3. Harlen Ng

    J. A. Mc. Guest

    On Mon, 26 Jan 2004 07:36:17 -0800, Harlen Ng <> found
    these unused words floating about:

    >I'm curious on how important is a len hood. These are
    >the ones attached to the end of the camera lens. Are there
    >special situations that it is really needed? Most camera
    >lens are multi-coated and having a hood attached extends
    >the length of the camera lens.
    >
    >Thanks -


    As long as you love 'sunspots' ... don't bother.
    J. A. Mc., Jan 26, 2004
    #3
  4. Harlen Ng

    David Guest

    "Harlen Ng" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I'm curious on how important is a len hood. These are
    > the ones attached to the end of the camera lens. Are there
    > special situations that it is really needed? Most camera
    > lens are multi-coated and having a hood attached extends
    > the length of the camera lens.


    It really depends on the individual lens and your situation.

    If the light source is to your back, for the most part you don't need one.
    However, if the sun is overhead or slightly in front of you, lens flare can
    ruin your shot.

    Some lenses are more prone to flare than others.

    And some photogs have used lens flare on purpose for effect. Personally, my
    philosophy is to avoid it. I'll add it digitally later if I think it will
    enhance the shot.

    Dave
    Earguy
    David, Jan 26, 2004
    #4
  5. Harlen Ng

    Roger Guest

    On Mon, 26 Jan 2004 07:36:17 -0800, Harlen Ng <>
    wrote:

    >I'm curious on how important is a len hood. These are
    >the ones attached to the end of the camera lens. Are there
    >special situations that it is really needed? Most camera
    >lens are multi-coated and having a hood attached extends
    >the length of the camera lens.
    >
    >Thanks -


    I use a lens hood whenever possible. For all the light shielding
    reasons already mentioned and for sheer lens protection from bumps and
    finger prints. On a more rigid lens, like sturdy zooms or very durable
    single focal length, that might be used on a (D)SLR a hood can save a
    lens from serious damage in a collision with car/revolving doors and
    other fast moving object (e.g. the ground). On my very compact P&S,
    Contax T3, the hood doesn't offer the same kind of collision
    protection because the basic lens isn't really robust enough. However,
    there is dramatic improvement on an already good lens when hooded and
    used in the bright sunlight. It's standards equipment on that camera,
    especially when outdoors.

    I prefer hoods for protection over filters.

    Regards,
    Roger
    Roger, Jan 26, 2004
    #5
  6. "Jeremy" <> wrote in news:xJaRb.26316$i4.16345
    @newsread1.news.atl.earthlink.net:

    > Estremely important. The lens must be shielded from off-axis light, or you
    > risk veiling glare. You should use a hood even at night. You paid a lot
    > for an excellent lens--it would be a shame to cripple it's contrast by
    > failing to use a hood.
    >
    > It is entirely possible that a cheap lens, used with a hood, will have less
    > flare than an excellent lens, used without a hood.
    >


    If it is extremely important - I assume you use a zoom hood not to
    ruin your tele pictures. Right?


    /Roland
    Roland Karlsson, Jan 26, 2004
    #6
  7. Harlen Ng

    Jeremy Guest

    "Roland Karlsson" <> wrote in message
    news:Xns947CBD66EF011rolandkarlssonchello@130.133.1.4...
    > "Jeremy" <> wrote in news:xJaRb.26316$i4.16345
    > @newsread1.news.atl.earthlink.net:
    >
    > > Estremely important. The lens must be shielded from off-axis light, or

    you
    > > risk veiling glare. You should use a hood even at night. You paid a

    lot
    > > for an excellent lens--it would be a shame to cripple it's contrast by
    > > failing to use a hood.
    > >
    > > It is entirely possible that a cheap lens, used with a hood, will have

    less
    > > flare than an excellent lens, used without a hood.
    > >

    >
    > If it is extremely important - I assume you use a zoom hood not to
    > ruin your tele pictures. Right?
    >


    I don't use zooms, only primes. My digicam has a 38-86 zoom and I DO have a
    lens hood affixed. My 35mm lenses all have hoods. I have a 85-205 zoom for
    the 35mm camera, but I don't use it,as it has too much veiling glare and
    poor contrast. It, too has a hood, but the quality of the glass was just
    not up to par.

    Since I've begun using hoods, my photos all have benefitted from higher
    contrast and more saturated colors. I would suggest that, for the little
    bit of money spent, use of a hood has the best bang for the buck in
    improving one's images. Hoods and tripods are the two accessories that are
    essential, in my view.
    Jeremy, Jan 26, 2004
    #7
  8. Harlen Ng

    DHB Guest

    Totally agree with the use of lens hoods for all of the reasons thus far
    mentioned but here is fuel for thought:

    If my understanding is incorrect, I hope other more knowledgeable people
    on this news group will politely let me know.

    Since I own a DSLR (Canon Digital Rebel/300D) which has a smaller sensor
    than standard 35mm film, it's made me rethink the lens hoods I use when I
    use 35mm lens on this camera.

    Since this DSLR has a FOV crop factor of 1.6x, that means that a 50mm
    has an effective FOV of an 80mm lens. Would it not also be wise to narrow
    the angle of acceptance of the lens hood to more closely match "effective
    FOV" of this lens when used on such a DSLR?

    In most satiations the 35mm lens hood designed for the lens by the
    manufacturer would be best but with a DSLR with a FOV crop factor of 1.6x, I
    think a longer lens hood should be considered when shooting pictures with a
    bight light source unavoidably close to your subject in order to minimize
    the possibility of unwanted light entering the lens.

    Personally I have used extended lens hoods without vignetting. After
    all if a 100mm lens has a FOV of 28 degrees why use a lens hood with a 50
    degree angle of acceptance? Would a lens hood with a 30 or 35 degree angle
    of acceptance perform better in most situations?

    Just my 2 cents but it makes me wonder if others out there with
    specialized lighting needs have not also done this?

    Respectfully, DHB

    "Roger" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Mon, 26 Jan 2004 07:36:17 -0800, Harlen Ng <>
    > wrote:
    >
    > >I'm curious on how important is a len hood. These are
    > >the ones attached to the end of the camera lens. Are there
    > >special situations that it is really needed? Most camera
    > >lens are multi-coated and having a hood attached extends
    > >the length of the camera lens.
    > >
    > >Thanks -

    >
    > I use a lens hood whenever possible. For all the light shielding
    > reasons already mentioned and for sheer lens protection from bumps and
    > finger prints. On a more rigid lens, like sturdy zooms or very durable
    > single focal length, that might be used on a (D)SLR a hood can save a
    > lens from serious damage in a collision with car/revolving doors and
    > other fast moving object (e.g. the ground). On my very compact P&S,
    > Contax T3, the hood doesn't offer the same kind of collision
    > protection because the basic lens isn't really robust enough. However,
    > there is dramatic improvement on an already good lens when hooded and
    > used in the bright sunlight. It's standards equipment on that camera,
    > especially when outdoors.
    >
    > I prefer hoods for protection over filters.
    >
    > Regards,
    > Roger
    >
    DHB, Jan 26, 2004
    #8
  9. "Jeremy" <> wrote in
    news:v8dRb.26473$:

    > I don't use zooms, only primes. My digicam has a 38-86 zoom and I DO
    > have a lens hood affixed. My 35mm lenses all have hoods. I have a
    > 85-205 zoom for the 35mm camera, but I don't use it,as it has too much
    > veiling glare and poor contrast. It, too has a hood, but the quality of
    > the glass was just not up to par.
    >
    > Since I've begun using hoods, my photos all have benefitted from higher
    > contrast and more saturated colors. I would suggest that, for the
    > little bit of money spent, use of a hood has the best bang for the buck
    > in improving one's images. Hoods and tripods are the two accessories
    > that are essential, in my view.
    >


    You are absolutely right.

    Unfortunately most here use some kind of zoom camera
    or they use a DSLR with a zoom lens. In both cases
    lens hoods are awkward, and in many cases for the
    compact zoom camera they are near to impossible.

    I have tried to figure out how to use one for
    my Canon G2 - but with no success.


    /Roland
    Roland Karlsson, Jan 26, 2004
    #9
  10. Harlen Ng

    Jeremy Guest

    "Roland Karlsson" <> wrote in message
    >
    > Unfortunately most here use some kind of zoom camera
    > or they use a DSLR with a zoom lens. In both cases
    > lens hoods are awkward, and in many cases for the
    > compact zoom camera they are near to impossible.
    >


    My Ricoh RDC 5000 comes with an excellent lens hood, that matches the camera
    body color scheme. Results are dramatic on sunny days! Too bad all
    digicams don't come with matching hoods.

    Most of my other gear is 35mm SLRs, and I use all Pentax prime lenses, all
    with their matching hoods. I have an Olympus Stylus and a Yashica TLR,
    neither of which have lens hoods, but I don't use them much.

    I became educated about lens hoods only a few years ago, and I am amazed at
    the improvement they make in my images. I only recently became aware that
    hoods are equally essential at night--as there is plenty of off-axis light
    from street lights, etc., that can get into one's lens and cause flare or
    glare. Now I use hoods at every opportunity.

    Strange thing is that all of my Pentax primes came with matching hoods,
    EXCEPT for the normal 50mm lens that came bundled with the camera--and that
    happens to be the prime lens that I use most! Go figure . . .
    Jeremy, Jan 26, 2004
    #10
  11. Harlen Ng

    Charlie Self Guest

    Jeremy writes:

    >I became educated about lens hoods only a few years ago, and I am amazed at
    >the improvement they make in my images. I only recently became aware that
    >hoods are equally essential at night--as there is plenty of off-axis light
    >from street lights, etc., that can get into one's lens and cause flare or
    >glare. Now I use hoods at every opportunity.
    >
    >Strange thing is that all of my Pentax primes came with matching hoods,
    >EXCEPT for the normal 50mm lens that came bundled with the camera--and that
    >happens to be the prime lens that I use most! Go figure . . .


    Hoods are handy outdoors in many instances, indoors when the ambient light is
    scattered, and worse than useless in other situations. I had a Pentax 35mm SLR
    with a long zoom on it: the only time you could use the lens hood indoors was
    from 28 to about 40mm. Otherwise, it looked as if someone's thumb and a couple
    fingers were casting shadows in the photo. That's the joy of a pop-up flash, of
    course, more than a real problem with the lens hood.The flash is so low the
    light gets blocked. My Dimage 7i has a pretty decent lens hood that I
    sometimes remember to take along.

    Most of my shooting is indoors, though, with studio flash, and ideally I have
    no scattered light, doing framing and focusing off the model lamps for the
    flash units. When there is outside light, I slip the hood in place.

    Charlie Self
    "Character is much easier kept than recovered." Thomas Paine

    http://hometown.aol.com/charliediy/myhomepage/business.html
    Charlie Self, Jan 26, 2004
    #11
  12. So I would assume that you would want to block light coming in from all
    angles. However, one of the hoods I have has 4 "fingers" or
    protuberances if you will (two prominent ones on the top/bottom, & two
    lesser (almost miniscule) ones on each side). This is for the Canon
    28-135 IS ESM lens. How does this compare with a cylindrical hood?

    --
    Dale G Elhardt
    Cypress Ca
    "Said one cannibal to another "Does this clown taste funny to you?"
    http://home.comcast.net/~laxet/
    the Legend of LAX, Jan 27, 2004
    #12
  13. Harlen Ng

    DHB Guest

    the Legend of LAX,
    I also have the same lens & the EW-78BII
    plastic hood that your referring to. This lens hood was likely designed
    this way for several reasons:

    <1> It's most important to limit the angle of acceptance from where the
    strongest offending light normally is, above caused by the sun. This is in
    part why 2 of the 4 "fingers" are longer. Also since this hood can be
    installed 180 degrees apart, the upper & lower "fingers" need to be the same
    length since either might end up on the top or bottom.

    <2> The side fingers are likely smaller for 2 main reasons, because of
    the aspect ratio of the film/sensor size & there is less likelihood of light
    entering the lens from the side.

    <3> As to why it's not rectangular in shape as some dedicated lens hoods
    are. I suspect that it's computer designed to provide any reflected light a
    way out of the hood rather than funnel it into the lens. Aesthetics may
    also be responsible for this design.

    As for what I have experimented with using my Digital Rebel/300D: My
    lens of choice in many situations is my least expensive & fastest lens I
    thus far own, a Canon 50mm f1.8 II. This lens has a 52mm filter thread
    which I use a HOYA 52S 3 position rubber lens hood on.

    According to HOYA the acceptance angles or Angle Of View (AOV) for this
    size hood are 60, 41 & 29 degrees depending on how far it's extended. Even
    with it fully extended I note no noticeable obstruction on my 50mm lens.

    Canon's 85mm lens has an 28 degree AOV & due to my DSLR's 1.6x FOV crop
    factor, their 50mm lens which has a 46 degree AOV acts much like an 80mm
    lens. On occasion I have used black felt lined filter extension tubes as a
    crude home made lens hood & have had very good results combining them with
    the HOYA extendable rubber hood noted above.

    Have yet to sit down & do the math as to what length filter extender
    tube should be best for which lens/hood/DSLR combination yet but I have
    begun to experiment with 1" & 1.5" tubes.

    Respectfully, DHB


    "the Legend of LAX" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > So I would assume that you would want to block light coming in from all
    > angles. However, one of the hoods I have has 4 "fingers" or
    > protuberances if you will (two prominent ones on the top/bottom, & two
    > lesser (almost miniscule) ones on each side). This is for the Canon
    > 28-135 IS ESM lens. How does this compare with a cylindrical hood?
    >
    > --
    > Dale G Elhardt
    > Cypress Ca
    > "Said one cannibal to another "Does this clown taste funny to you?"
    > http://home.comcast.net/~laxet/
    >
    DHB, Jan 27, 2004
    #13
  14. Harlen Ng

    Chris Hoopes Guest

    "Charlie Self" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > Hoods are handy outdoors in many instances, indoors when the ambient light

    is
    > scattered, and worse than useless in other situations. I had a Pentax 35mm

    SLR
    > with a long zoom on it: the only time you could use the lens hood indoors

    was
    > from 28 to about 40mm. Otherwise, it looked as if someone's thumb and a

    couple
    > fingers were casting shadows in the photo. That's the joy of a pop-up

    flash, of
    > course, more than a real problem with the lens hood.The flash is so low

    the
    > light gets blocked. My Dimage 7i has a pretty decent lens hood that I
    > sometimes remember to take along.
    >
    > Most of my shooting is indoors, though, with studio flash, and ideally I

    have
    > no scattered light, doing framing and focusing off the model lamps for the
    > flash units. When there is outside light, I slip the hood in place.
    >


    The only time I have problems with shadows from a lens hood is using my
    19-35mm (77mm filter) with the pop-up flash (which a rarely use). I usually
    don't have a problem since I use a flash on the hot shoe, usually at an
    angle. If I need to take a picture where the lens hood will get in the way,
    I take it off. Otherwise, it is always on my lenses.
    Chris Hoopes, Jan 27, 2004
    #14
  15. Harlen Ng

    cwvalle Guest

    "Harlen Ng" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I'm curious on how important is a len hood. These are
    > the ones attached to the end of the camera lens. Are there
    > special situations that it is really needed? Most camera
    > lens are multi-coated and having a hood attached extends
    > the length of the camera lens.
    >
    > Thanks -
    >


    You certainly look more professional with one of those weird butterfly lens
    hoods over the end of a 8x zoom.
    thnakfully they are usually bayonet, or half the cameras would have 'em
    mounted incorrectly
    ;>[
    cwvalle, Jan 27, 2004
    #15
  16. Harlen Ng

    Charlie Self Guest

    Chris Hoopes responds:

    >> from 28 to about 40mm. Otherwise, it looked as if someone's thumb and a

    >couple
    >> fingers were casting shadows in the photo. That's the joy of a pop-up

    >flash, of
    >> course, more than a real problem with the lens hood.The flash is so low

    >the
    >> light gets blocked. My Dimage 7i has a pretty decent lens hood that I
    >> sometimes remember to take along.
    >>
    >> Most of my shooting is indoors, though, with studio flash, and ideally I

    >have
    >> no scattered light, doing framing and focusing off the model lamps for the
    >> flash units. When there is outside light, I slip the hood in place.
    >>

    >
    >The only time I have problems with shadows from a lens hood is using my
    >19-35mm (77mm filter) with the pop-up flash (which a rarely use). I usually
    >don't have a problem since I use a flash on the hot shoe, usually at an
    >angle. If I need to take a picture where the lens hood will get in the way,
    >I take it off. Otherwise, it is always on my lenses.


    Yeah, well...I got it backwards. My problems came at 28mm to about 40-45mm, and
    the longer zooms were OK, except that theon-camera flash wasn't powerful enough
    to light a whiteboard at more than 8'.

    Charlie Self
    "Character is much easier kept than recovered." Thomas Paine

    http://hometown.aol.com/charliediy/myhomepage/business.html
    Charlie Self, Jan 27, 2004
    #16
  17. "cwvalle" <> wrote in news:VtnRb.10023$wt2.8514
    @newssvr24.news.prodigy.com:

    > You certainly look more professional with one of those weird butterfly lens
    > hoods over the end of a 8x zoom.


    Those hoods are optimized for maximum wide angle.
    For normal or tele position they are next to
    worthless. Hoods for zooms are questionable.


    /Roland
    Roland Karlsson, Jan 27, 2004
    #17
  18. Harlen Ng

    Leonard Guest

    Roland Karlsson wrote:
    > "cwvalle" <> wrote in news:VtnRb.10023$wt2.8514
    > @newssvr24.news.prodigy.com:
    >
    >
    >>You certainly look more professional with one of those weird butterfly lens
    >>hoods over the end of a 8x zoom.

    >
    >
    > Those hoods are optimized for maximum wide angle.
    > For normal or tele position they are next to
    > worthless. Hoods for zooms are questionable.


    Depends. Look at a 28-70/2.8 L. When zooming out to 70mm,
    the front element moves backwards into the lens body,
    effectively lengthening the hood.

    Also, consider a telephoto zoom like a 100-300. At 300mm
    it would be useful even to have a hood that only gave
    100mm 'worth' of shading, but in fact the hood for that
    lens is likely to do even better, because at 100mm the
    outer half of the front element isn't being used. This
    effectively widens the angle of acceptance of the hood
    at the wide end, and narrows it at the tele end. You
    probably won't get perfect coverage but it's a lot better
    than nothing.

    - Len
    Leonard, Jan 27, 2004
    #18
  19. Harlen Ng

    Leonard Guest

    DHB wrote:

    > Personally I have used extended lens hoods without vignetting. After
    > all if a 100mm lens has a FOV of 28 degrees why use a lens hood with a 50
    > degree angle of acceptance? Would a lens hood with a 30 or 35 degree angle
    > of acceptance perform better in most situations?


    Certainly if you are shooting with the sun 45 degrees away, you'd expect
    to be better off with a 35 degree hood than a 50 degree one. In less
    extreme circumstances it may be difficult to see a difference.

    An interesting experiment would be to shoot a uniform test target
    with a 28/2.8 or 35/2 wide open, with the EW-65, ES-65 and ET-65
    hoods and see what the vignetting (if any) is like.

    - Len
    Leonard, Jan 27, 2004
    #19
  20. Harlen Ng

    JIM Guest

    > "Harlen Ng" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    > > I'm curious on how important is a len hood. These are
    > > the ones attached to the end of the camera lens. Are there
    > > special situations that it is really needed? Most camera
    > > lens are multi-coated and having a hood attached extends
    > > the length of the camera lens.
    > >


    If you like contrast in your pics, don't like flare or ghosting you don't
    induce yourself, you need a hood! Built-in camera flashes and some on-camera
    flashes will cause a half-moon shadow to appear at some focal lengths with
    those all encompasing zoomies. All that tells you is either don't use those
    next-to-worthless flashes w/zoomies at those focal lengths or, if you are
    really interested in improving your flash work, get your flash off the
    camera or at least on a flash bracket higher above your lens.

    The only time I take a pic without a hood attached is when I have added some
    oversized filter and can not attach the hood. Even then, I try to shade the
    lens in some other way.........

    Shoot'em up, natural light, flashlight, no light, Agfa, Fuji, Kodak and all
    the rest will love you for it!!

    Jim
    JIM, Jan 27, 2004
    #20
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