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View Poll Results: Lens hoods are...
Essential and the only way to look like a professional photographer. 2228.95%
Essential in the great outdoors. Occasionally needed indoors. 4559.21%
Occasionally needed in the outdoors. Look very silly indoors. 79.21%
Mostly pretentious accessories for those with low self-esteem. 22.63%
Voters: 76. You may not vote on this poll

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09-06-2009, 08:19 PM   #16
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The only time I can honestly say that a hood is a bad idea is when using the onboard flash with certain lenses (say the 18-55 kit). The hood casts a shadow...

Steve

09-06-2009, 08:29 PM   #17
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I seriously thought you mistyped when you wrote "look like a professional", but I see that you meant it.

I use hoods 100% of the time, and it has nothing to do with the look. I actually like the look of many lenses better without the hood, but the fact that it will improve the image and protect the front of my lens dictates that I use 'em.

Since I never see other photographers (except in Yosemite), there's no one to know whether I'm "looking professional" or not, maybe I'm just trying to convince myself .
09-06-2009, 09:21 PM   #18
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I didn't answer the poll because the correct answer wasn't listed: a hood is *always* helpful any time there is a light source near the field of view, whether indoors or outdoors. It is never "essential", though - the camera will indeed take a picture with or without it. It will just be worse if there is a light source near the field of view. and you aren't using a hood, and this has nothing to do with whether or not you happen to be indoors or out. i'm imagining somehow the laws of physics and the behavior of the lens magically changing depending on whether there is a roof or walls? Would screened in porches count as indoors? How about greenhouses? The mind boggles.

I'm also trying to imagine what possible advantage there would be in removing my hoods just because I'm going inside, though. Seems like an awful lot of trouble to go to just because you're worried someone might think you're being pretentious. Even if they didn't help at all indoors, it's still unnecessary work to remove them, and I couldn't possibly be bothered.
09-06-2009, 10:10 PM   #19
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Actually, I really HATE being noticeable in a crowd of people and I like it better when people DON'T notice me taking pictures, but sometimes the hoot is absolutely necessary to use outside. Otherwise, flare and strange light will ruin your pictures.
Sometimes, I wish I had a 70mm f/2.4 or 77mm f/1.8 over my 50-135mm, but the range is very useful (along with the wide angle 50mm).

Did I mention I really despise being noticeable while taking pictures?

09-07-2009, 12:51 AM   #20
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I haven´t voted in the poll because the possible answers are so massively biased towards the thread starter´s stated point of view...

I have hoods for all my lenses & they are always used unless I´m using the onboard flash, as they can cast shadows. When the camera is not in use they are stored reversed on the lens & when I use the camera it´s easier to put it on properly than stow it somewhere & risk losing it, regardless of whether or not there´s likely to be glare. Also, I have mine attached to protect the front element, they´re extremely valuable for this. So yes, even indoors (if there´s enough light) the lens hood will be attached.

But it is true that lens hoods certainly impress all those 400D/450D & kit lens owners, but that´s due to Canon´s money-grabbing policy of providing hoods as expensive optional extras, whereas I regard them as a more-or-less essential part of the lens, like a lens cap.
09-07-2009, 03:38 AM   #21
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How I would love to throw away the hoods to save space and look more discrete. But I won't because:

1. They actually do improve IQ, both indoors and outdoors.
2. They protect the front element from bumping into stuff.
3. On a rainy day, the front element won't get wet.

I guess I could go without on some rare occasions, but then I stand the risk of losing them. Better to just leave them on.

Didn't answer the poll as the alternatives were slightly biased.
09-07-2009, 05:23 AM   #22
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If it came with a hood then I use it if not then I don't. I have an old Takumar f4/300mm with a built on slider hood that gets flair anywhere I use it if you don't pull the hood out. jim
09-07-2009, 07:00 AM   #23
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If you want good photographs, use the freakin' hood--It's not an optional fashion accessory.

09-07-2009, 07:07 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by dadipentak Quote
If you want good photographs, use the freakin' hood--It's not an optional fashion accessory.
it can be both, depending on what you use. even if you don't intend it to be.
09-07-2009, 07:56 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
it can be both, depending on what you use. even if you don't intend it to be.
I consider the Pentax 50mm rectangular hood to be a fashion statement. I use it indoors once in a while instead of a rubber hood, and only because of the way it looks. To the OP, the retro-look rectangular hood doesn't say I'm professional, it says I'm different.

For the people saying only use the hood that came with the lens, I use 50mm lens hoods on 28mm and 35mm lenses. The 50mm hoods may actually provide more shade than the original hoods, which were designed not to vignette on 35mm cameras

I use a "standard" (as opposed to wide or telephoto) 49mm hood on my 100mm macro lens, and I'm reasonably certain that it provides more shade at close-focus ranges, because it travels with the barrel, as opposed to the original hood which is stationary.
09-08-2009, 08:52 AM   #26
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My lens hood is on at all times, not just outdoors, but also indoors. Though you could argue it is unnecessary indoors, it also acts as a protection for the front element as I do not use a 1A or comparable filter unless necessary to cut haze or in really wild conditions.
09-08-2009, 10:09 AM   #27
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I use my hood almost all the time. Whether or not it is essential may be debatable but I have had inside shots shots come out bad because of light coming in from a window that may (and I say MAY) have been prevented by having the hood on. The hood can cause problems when using the flash. The petal type hood that comes with the kit lens can cause an ugly shadow at the bottom of the frame sometimes in flash shots although I haven't noticed problems using fill flash outside although it may be that I have just been lucky with those shots. For me its hood on except for flash shots.
09-08-2009, 12:36 PM   #28
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So, I'd say the consensus bottom line is this:

Q: When is a hood useful?
A: Only when the lens cap is off.
09-09-2009, 01:03 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
For the people saying only use the hood that came with the lens, I use 50mm lens hoods on 28mm and 35mm lenses. The 50mm hoods may actually provide more shade than the original hoods, which were designed not to vignette on 35mm cameras
This is absolutely correct. On my K200D, I use a hood that came with my Nikkor 85mm f1.8 on my Pentax-A 50mm f1.2, and it works like a champ. Definitely sharper images at all apertures. No vignette issues at all. It does look a little funny when my hood is bigger than my lens though.

With the cropped sensors that we are dealing with, I would argue that we'd all get better IQ if we use hoods designed for longer focal lengths when using lenses designed for FF cameras.
09-09-2009, 01:20 PM   #30
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The Super Tak 135mm f3.5, 150mm f/4.0, 200mm f/5.6 hood fits my Super Tak 50mm f/1.4 and 55mm f/1.8 just fine, with no vignetting on my 1.6X crop body.

It also fits over the lens when placed backwards, so it does look goofy, but works a treat. Definitely less flare, even with the light source in the frame.
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