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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, 11:19 AM   #1
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Lens hoods and use thereof. (take 2)

I understand that they have their place, and maybe I'm just being cynical, but to me seeing a hood anywhere other than outdoors screams "I'm trying to look professional" -- and I think even pros (or semi-pros) fall victim to this mentality. Of course, I could just be jealous because I (mostly) went the old-school route and don't have a lot of lenses with hoods. What does the forum think?

09-06-2009, 11:33 AM   #2
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I generally walk around with my camera slung over my left shoulder, and with a big lens the hood offers a lot of protection to the lens from getting a battering.

I do take them off when they're not needed, but mostly they stay on.

( I voted the first option because I want to look 'professional' )
09-06-2009, 11:38 AM   #3
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I always use a hood because 1. they are always screwed into the lens, and 2. because I am a badass photographer.

seriously though, given what they can provide, there is no reason to not have a lens hood attached at all times. of course this is coming from a prime lens user, (the only lenses you can use to be both cool and a "professional") so I don't have to deal with those gianormous hoods, and of course those fugly petal hoods.

hoods are the best "cheap insurance" you can have for a lens and the only downside is the insane cost of these modern flimsy hoods Pentax offers you. even if they do feature a cool rubber bumper...
09-06-2009, 11:46 AM   #4
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Use a hood because it is an important lens accessory and it will improve your pictures, not because you’re trying to look like a professional.

Yes I use them all the time.

09-06-2009, 11:54 AM   #5
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There is a reason why hoods exist. Sort of like shoes for our feet. Not absolutely essential. Silly in certain situations. Essential in others. For some they are a fashion statement. For most, just a part of life.

To reiterate the benefits:
  • Reduces flare from off-axis light. Two of my lenses are useless outdoors without one.
  • Protection of the front element

Steve
09-06-2009, 11:59 AM   #6
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Only Pentax Hoods!

Not only do I always use a hood, I only use the correct, original fitting Pentax hood. Sometimes they cost more than the lens, but I look like pro

Actually, I do have a hood for almost every lens I have and I use them outdoors and when brightly lit indoors. Contrast IS better with a hood.

Most of mine are new aluminum round hoods.
09-06-2009, 12:33 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by amateur6 Quote
What does the forum think?
I think your opinion that hoods are an attempt to look professional is misguided and unwise.

Stray light can interfere with contrast, indoors or out. I always use a hood. In fact I use the same hood for all my primes (28, 35, 50 and 100mm), a rubber collapsible 49mm hood for standard lens. It cost me eight bucks. I'm currently replacing the hoods on my 16-45, 18-250 and 55-300 with a single 3-stage 67mm rubber hood, which will take up far less room in my bag than three large non-collapsible hoods.

Rubber hoods are rather ugly and utilitarian looking. I'm definitely not using them to look professional, but going without a hood is never an option for me. Rubber hoods are inexpensive, shield your front element from stray light and bumps, are very compact and allow easy access to a CPL, so why not use one?
09-06-2009, 12:53 PM   #8
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I like taking against the light shots so mostly need a lenshood, I also use Cokin Gradual grey filters so have the Cokin square hoods which clip onto the filter holder.


Last edited by smcPixellie; 09-07-2009 at 04:03 AM.
09-06-2009, 01:35 PM   #9
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Not to be dismissive, but I believe you're being pretentious by insinuating that lens hoods make you look pro and is the reason why you'd put them on. That's just rubbish.

I have hoods for all my lenses, and use them all the time because they make a difference to the result, indoors or out. Consider the indoor lightglobe that's shining at just the right angle to cause flare - this can ruin a perfectly good photo, flashlit or not.

Outdoors it's indispensible, day or night. Extended night exposures demand a complete blockout of extraneous light shining tangential to the front element of the lens, otherwise purple blotching ruins the exposure. I won't even bother explaining why it should be used in the day.

I know why I use the hoods, and if others want to think that I just have them on to show off, good for them...
09-06-2009, 01:44 PM   #10
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As I said somewhere else on this forum today, I use all the time on all lenses.
09-06-2009, 02:05 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Not only do I always use a hood, I only use the correct, original fitting Pentax hood. Sometimes they cost more than the lens, but I look like pro

Actually, I do have a hood for almost every lens I have and I use them outdoors and when brightly lit indoors. Contrast IS better with a hood.

Most of mine are new aluminum round hoods.
I totally agree, use the original Pentax lens hood designed for your Pentax lens.

These Pentax hoods will not cause vignetting and will usually fit multiple Pentax lenses, with the same sized filter thread. The K, M & A series hoods had the lenses they were designed for printed on the front and the filter size on the back.

If you are looking on eBay make sure you check the pictures carefully, so you don’t end up with a hood that has the wrong filer size.

Phil.
09-06-2009, 02:12 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Not only do I always use a hood, I only use the correct, original fitting Pentax hood. Sometimes they cost more than the lens, but I look like pro

Actually, I do have a hood for almost every lens I have and I use them outdoors and when brightly lit indoors. Contrast IS better with a hood.

Most of mine are new aluminum round hoods.
I agree with Phil and Monochrome on the hood issue. If there is and advantage to have one, and I believe there is, I want it. I also want a hood designed specificially for the lens I'm using to get the maximum benefit. This means an original Pentax hood even if it costs more. Like geauxpex below, the only one of my lenses which doesn't have a hood is the A 100/2.8 macro. The front element is so deeply recessed a hood is not necessary.

Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 09-07-2009 at 02:39 AM. Reason: typo
09-06-2009, 04:50 PM   #13
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Yep -- I use 'em all the time too (except maybe on my Tamron 90/2.8 macro where the front element is soooo recessed). Indoors I often use off-camera lights, and I certainly want to avoide flare from that.
09-06-2009, 04:57 PM   #14
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I use hoods just about all the time, too.

I don't buy into that BS about "only Pentax hoods", though - I have some cheap rubber ones that don't cause vignetteing and fit perfectly well.
09-06-2009, 06:05 PM   #15
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I use hoods whenever I have them. For lenses that were designed for full-frame cameras, I try to extend their hoods with either black paper or other tricks whenever possible.

Flare is great when you want it, but absolutely sucks when you don't. Hoods combat flare. Why wouldn't I use one?
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