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Genuine Pentax Lens Hoods Nomenclature
Posted By: Vranx, 10-02-2010, 01:12 PM

The second hand market for Pentax lenses is a lively one and from time to time, enthusiasts may have encountered the situation to find a matching light hood for a particular lens or pairing a hood with a lens. Besides checking on Boz Dimitrovs' online bible of Pentax items, the following could help identifying lens hoods by partly deciphering the Pentax nomenclature for their 24x36 light hoods.

Pentax hoods have been named with a system of letters and numbers since the late SMC Takumar/early K mount era. Except for the most recent bayonet mounted hoods, the code can be explained quite easily.

The first two letters indicate the material of the hood:

RH = rubber hood
MH = metal hood
PH = plastic hood

After the separating dash, the next letter often indicates the outer shape of the hood:

S = square
R = round

Please note that this letter seems to be not always in use, some zoom lens hoods are omitting this one (because they are round anyway,supposedly).

The following letter (in some cases directly behind the dash, see above) tells about the angle of view covered without vignetting, but not consistently (any additional helpful input here is greatly appreciated!):

A = wide angles/wide angle zooms
B = light tele/standard zooms
C = long zooms of the 70-200 range
D = ever used before the bayonet hood era?

Finally, the numbers at the end indicate the filter ring size on which the hood fits in millimeters. This can be the real filter ring diameter (p. ex. 58) or the diameter of the hood to be pushed on (p. ex. 60).

Bayonet mounted hoods do, as far as I know, feature always three letters after the dash, the first one tells the shape, the second one is B for bayonet and the last one reflects the angle of view lettering. The final numbers give the filter ring in mm, as usual.

Maybe someone can enlighten me about the two main points still not answered properly:

1) Are the hoods that omit the shape-indicating letters those to be pushed, not screwed onto a lens or what is the reason for skipping that letter?

2) How is the zoom range/angle of view lettering organised?

I hope you may find this helpful!
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04-25-2013, 03:31 PM   #2
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Are hoods really needed with the excellent modern coatings? Does anyone have any empirical data?
01-12-2014, 09:25 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by mike_berger Quote
Are hoods really needed . . .
If you've ever driven an automobile with a dusty or dirty windshield and with off-axis, incident sunlight (or bright lights at night) you have a pretty good idea why a hood is a good thing to use. It's impossible to describe the difference in lose of contrast without having identical comparison images in hand but it's there. It would be presumptuous to assume you'll always have pristine glass in the field and it's a real PITA to keep it that way.

I've since misplaced the links, but a few years ago there were some excellent web posts illustrating this point.
Here's one excellent example from this forum:
About Lens Hoods IMPORTANT!

It's easy enough to generate one's own empirical comparison data with available gear and personal scenarios. I've done that and IME the results favoring hoods are so compelling I found no reason to keep the test images for future reference.

Reluctance to use a hood is a fine way to ensure kit lens quality images from star quality lenses.

Last edited by pacerr; 01-12-2014 at 09:39 PM.
01-12-2014, 10:08 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by mike_berger Quote
Are hoods really needed with the excellent modern coatings? Does anyone have any empirical data?
Very much so. They help prevent the problem instead of mitigating it, as coatings do.


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01-15-2014, 03:45 PM   #5
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I lost my lens hood off of my Pentax 16-45 about 3 years ago. It never fit well, although all my other Pentax and Sigma lens hoods fit very well.

I priced it out up here in Canada and was shocked to find the price from Pentax Canada was $ 75. Needless to say my 16-45 has gone hoodless for 3 years now...with no apparent affects.

Now that Ricoh has taken over, perhaps I should check again to see if prices are lower.
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