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10-21-2007, 05:23 PM   #1
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What purpose does a lens hood serve?

Do all lenses have a lens hood that can be purchased to go with the lens and what is the purpose of one and do I need one? Thanks!

10-21-2007, 05:48 PM   #2
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Not all lenses have hoods, and some don't recommend them.

For example, the Pentax 10-17mm fisheye doesn't recommend using them. You'd actually see the hood in the picture.

The main purpose of a lens hood is to block some of the light rays, so you don't have any lens flair.
Where the reflection of the light is visible in the picture.
You can see it quite visibly at the top, just right of the center in this photo.

and follow the trail down

I've bought collapsible rubber hoods for most of my lenses which didn't come with them.
They use the filter threads to stay on.
10-21-2007, 07:03 PM   #3
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The other use is to protect the lens. A solid hood, metal or plastic, offers great front element protection. As Stu says, they will make a big difference in reducing flare and reflections from bright lighting or the sun. IMO don't shoot without them if the lens can take a hood.

Last edited by Peter Zack; 10-22-2007 at 01:41 AM.
10-21-2007, 07:55 PM   #4
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In addition to preventing flare and protecting your lens, they also eliminate non-image forming light which helps to boost contrast. Lens hoods are a must IMO.

10-21-2007, 08:39 PM   #5
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I wouldn't necessarily call them a must.

I'm abut to retire them on a few of my lenses for the winter and start using my fast caps instead.

found here
Fast Cap | Demo Page

It's just a little too tough to mess around with lens caps and hoods when your knee deep in snow with the snowshoes on.
Not to mention they're a little hard to find when you drop them
Cold weather where I'm required to wear gloves makes it worst.
10-22-2007, 01:09 AM   #6
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Fortunately, almost every lens that I use on a daily basis uses a 49mm thread and I carry around an old Vivitar rubber hood that I picked up used from KEH and just swap it from lens to lens.
10-22-2007, 02:19 AM   #7
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My 16-45, 28-70, 70-200 and 70-210 all have lens hoods. It's by far the most useful on the 70-200 (and is also by far the largest). On the 16-45 it's pretty ineffective due to the amount of light it can actually cut down on at anything other than 16mm. The 28-70 is no better in that regard, and the 70-210 uses a plain cone-like design as opposed to the petal hoods on the others.
10-22-2007, 05:36 AM   #8
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Your shooting style will also determine how useful a lens hood might be to you. If most of your pictures are taken while the sun is at your back, then you probably won't notice a big difference in your pictures when you use a lens hood. But if you prefer backlit or sidelit situations, then a lens hood can make a dramatic difference for you. The key thing is to keep light from striking the front element of your lens, whether by turning away from the sun or by using a lens hood to shade your lens. Personally, I use lens hoods on all my lenses except my fisheye. I consider them a "must".

10-25-2007, 03:27 PM   #9
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In the case of the DA limited the hood is where you put the lens cover.
10-25-2007, 05:38 PM   #10
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I dropped my K10D w/Tamron 28-75 attached 1st week of ownership. Just slipped outta my hand when it hit the corner of the house I was rounding... fell about 3 feet. It went down lens first. The bottom of the camera body cracked but lens hood saved the lens ... just a skuff on the hood.
10-26-2007, 07:22 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by little laker Quote
Not all lenses have hoods, and some don't recommend them.

For example, the Pentax 10-17mm fisheye doesn't recommend using them. You'd actually see the hood in the picture.

The main purpose of a lens hood is to block some of the light rays, so you don't have any lens flair.
Where the reflection of the light is visible in the picture.
You can see it quite visibly at the top, just right of the center in this photo.

and follow the trail down

I've bought collapsible rubber hoods for most of my lenses which didn't come with them.
They use the filter threads to stay on.
I do get simillar flair with my DA 18-55, with cpl on, hood on, and sun out of frame, it's quiet irritating
10-26-2007, 07:35 AM   #12
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FWIW, a luminous landscape article on flare, I found this pretty clear and consistent with my experience:
Flare-01-11-01-03

mentions the pentax 43 and talks about hoods too
10-26-2007, 07:42 AM   #13
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FWIW, a luminous landscape article on flare, I found this pretty clear and consistent with my experience:
Flare-01-11-01-03

mentions the pentax 43 and talks about hoods too
11-03-2007, 06:58 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by momof4 Quote
Do all lenses have a lens hood that can be purchased to go with the lens and what is the purpose of one and do I need one? Thanks!
I have an old rubber lens hood. It collaspses so I can leave it on the lens when I stick it back in the camera bag. It screws into the filter threads, and has threads in in so one can use a filter if needed.

I need to try to find at least another one in 52mm. Anyone have a source for them? The double filter threads are a requirement.

Also, can someone give me some info on hood shapes? What makes sense on say a 35-70mm zoom? On a 28mm prime? On an 80-200mm zoom?
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