The Hood

Nope, not the neighbourhood, but the lens hood.

Look at this picture of a group of students here in Mono, Ontario at a recent workshop:

See what I see? Apart from the fact they are all quite rightly aiming their flashes behind them onto walls, I am struck by the fact that they all have their lens hoods on.

  • A lens hood means you get more contrast, since no stray light gets in from the side.
  • If you use a filter, this is especially noticeable.
  • Less flare too (the worst case of contrast loss).
  • And finally: a lower chance of damage when you knock your lens into things (as you will).

So my mini-lesson for today: always use the lens hood that comes with your lens. It has to be that one – the shape is designed to avoid vignetting, i.e. dark corners.

Oh. Yes, it can increase the circle of shade that you get from the lens when using your popup flash. But you do not use that popup flash anyway, do you? Please tell the speedlighter that you don’t!

4 thoughts on “The Hood

  1. I was struck by the fact that everyone was holding the camera correctly.

    I’m getting into the habit of putting the hood on for most sessions. I’ve started doing this for protection since I’ve taken off the filter I was using for protection only. After reviewing some detailed examples of picture quality with and without the filter, I decided I’d rather use a hood to keep stray fingers off the lens.

    • Agreed on all that. Holding the camera – hey, they’re my students, what can I say! 🙂 Also filters: like you and most other pros, I do not use them. Yes, you do need to own them: in a sandstorm, snowstorm, on the beach, you put them on. Otherwise, not.

  2. This is a funny coincidence. Yesterday I got frustrated trying to figure out which hood fit onto one of my lenses, and in response spent a few minutes labeling them all for which lenses they fit. And today you do a post about hoods.

    I’ve only started using the lens hoods over the past few years, but can really see the difference, specifically keeping out flare. I have hoods for all my zooms, but not for my primes, specifically 50/1.4, 28/1.8 and 85/1.8. Should I get them?

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