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08-03-2010, 11:27 PM   #1
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What does a lens hood do?

I have the Pentax K-x with the 18-55mm and 55-300mm. Should I buy the lens hood for them what does it do? What kind should I buy? Would one lens hood fit both lenses?

08-03-2010, 11:44 PM   #2
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For me, the main advantage of the lens hood is for outdoor shooting with some sunlight. The hood reduces drastically the risks of flares in your photographs.

Some lenses are more affected by flares than others. For example, the design of the Tamron SP90 is such that you do not need a hood. But the hood of the 18-250mm is very useful.

Hope that the comment will help.
08-03-2010, 11:59 PM   #3
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Main purpose for my use, is to stop flare. When the sun is at a sharp angle to the front of your lens, it can reflect on your lens glass and cause glare spots on your photo.
The are very useful in bright sunlight,( Unless shooting straight into the sun of course

An example of glare, not a good shot by any means but the glare spots are obvious.
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08-04-2010, 01:23 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by matsui255 Quote
I have the Pentax K-x with the 18-55mm and 55-300mm. Should I buy the lens hood for them what does it do? What kind should I buy? Would one lens hood fit both lenses?
As said before, lens hoods prevent flare in many (not all) cases.
It cannot prevent flare if you point the camera directly to strong light sources.

Flare is an effect where direct light coming in from strong sources (the sun, street lights at night etc) reflect between the different lens elements of the lens.
So flare can be prevented by avoiding that light to hit the lens, as such a hood is a shade for the lens.

Since long lenses have a small opening angle, the lens hood can be much more tight.
Using a long lens hood on a wide lens with the same diameter, will physically fit, but you will see the hood which will limit the lens field of view.
So, yes, you can use a wide angle hood on a long lens with limited use. But not visa versa.

Another reason why people (like me) use hoods, is to protect the lens front element from scratching.
You may use a filter for protection, however good filters are expensive and can introduce even more flare or negatively impact IQ.

I hope this helps you understanding.

- Bert

08-04-2010, 03:19 AM   #5
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Hoods also increase contrast somewhat, because black absorbs [edit] light (doesn't reflect it), and this can have an effect on your shot. Those little wimpy tulip hoods don't do much in this regard, though.

Last edited by Ira; 08-04-2010 at 09:11 AM.
08-04-2010, 07:12 AM   #6
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Did you buy 2nd hand, cuz I think those lenses should come with their own hoods.
08-04-2010, 08:03 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by billtin59 Quote
Did you buy 2nd hand, cuz I think those lenses should come with their own hoods.
The K-x kit lenses are DA L. They do not come with a lens hood.
08-04-2010, 08:15 AM   #8
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The other advantage of hoods (aside from reducing flare and increasing contrast) is providing some protection to the lens.

08-04-2010, 09:06 AM   #9
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Where could I buy one for cheap? There are so many and I want to get the right one. Can anyone help, please!
08-04-2010, 09:14 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by matsui255 Quote
Where could I buy one for cheap? There are so many and I want to get the right one. Can anyone help, please!
1) They're all cheap enough.

2) Go to B&H photo, using the link on this site, and do a search for your lenses. (You need different hoods for your two lenses.)

3) Put the lenses in your cart/basket, even though you don't plan to buy them, unless you want spares.

4) A list of accessories will appear below each lens, with the appropriate hood for that lens.

5) Buy the hoods, not the lenses, unless you want spares.

6) Use your wife's or mother's debit card, not yours.
08-04-2010, 09:18 AM   #11
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That's a good way to find the official hood. But they are often unnecessarily expensive. So then go to Ebay and do a search on your lens and the word "hood" and find people selling imitations that work just as well for much cheaper. Having seen the official hoods on B&H, you'll know if you've found a good imitation or not.
08-04-2010, 10:22 AM   #12
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Hoods make the lens and camera look goooood!
2 types of hoods are copies of the original for the 18-55mm and 55-300mm, and you can find them at ebay. All coming from Hong Kong or China though so you have to wait at least 15 working days before you get them.

PH-RBA 52mm: Lens Hood Ph-Rba Pentax SMC DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II - eBay (item 390223960380 end time Sep-02-10 21:02:07 PDT)

PH-RBG 58mm: Lens Hood for Pentax smc DA 55-300mm f4-5.8 PH-RBG 58mm - eBay (item 380255607634 end time Aug-30-10 23:09:23 PDT)
08-04-2010, 09:10 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by billtin59 Quote
Did you buy 2nd hand, cuz I think those lenses should come with their own hoods.
No, they don't come with hoods (not the kit lenses), although I think they should. You can get 3rd party hoods for those two lenses. I bought a couple in the last 2 weeks. You need a different hood for each lens. Do a google or ebay search on "18-55mm Pentax hood" and another for "55-300mm Pentax hood" and you will come up with the items you need. From Pentax, they are expensive. I hear that the 55-300mm item is $41 from Pentax. I got mine today (3rd party) from Asia. It's solid plastic (I hear you should stay away from the rubber ones as they deteriorate). They started appearing around a month ago. Before that, you had to do without or buy from Pentax for the 55-300mm lens. That one is 58mm, the one for the 18-55mm is 52mm.

Besides preventing flare, the hoods afford significant protection to the lens, assuming you don't keep a filter on the lens. I've seen quite a few posts stating that a camera or lens was saved by it's hood when the camera fell or was bumped.

QuoteOriginally posted by GerryL Quote
Hoods make the lens and camera look goooood!
That too!
QuoteOriginally posted by GerryL Quote
2 types of hoods are copies of the original for the 18-55mm and 55-300mm, and you can find them at ebay. All coming from Hong Kong or China though so you have to wait at least 15 working days before you get them.

PH-RBA 52mm: Lens Hood Ph-Rba Pentax SMC DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II - eBay (item 390223960380 end time Sep-02-10 21:02:07 PDT)

PH-RBG 58mm: Lens Hood for Pentax smc DA 55-300mm f4-5.8 PH-RBG 58mm - eBay (item 380255607634 end time Aug-30-10 23:09:23 PDT)
The 2nd link there is the exact same hood I received today, at the same cost. Several sellers are selling that same hood. Look closely at the photo and you will see that they designate it LH-RBG. Seems OK, but the plastic is a lot thinner than that of the hood on my 18-55mm, that I bought from fotodiox_gear (seller) at eBAy. That cost me $7.77 + $3 shipping, from Wisconsin, and it arrived in ~3 business days. Nice hood. It seems a lot sturdier than the one for the bigger lens, although it is tulip shaped and the other is not. I saw a tulip shaped one for the bigger lens the last day or so on eBay selling for $8.49 shipped from Asia. It may be better, assuming you're OK with the tulip shape.

Last edited by Muse; 08-04-2010 at 09:21 PM.
08-05-2010, 04:59 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
That's a good way to find the official hood. But they are often unnecessarily expensive. So then go to Ebay and do a search on your lens and the word "hood" and find people selling imitations that work just as well for much cheaper. Having seen the official hoods on B&H, you'll know if you've found a good imitation or not.
It's not the official one. It's Pearstone brand, and it looks quite good. (I just got one.)

I don't even think B&H SELLS the official one.
08-05-2010, 06:02 AM   #15
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They get in peoples faces- sometimes.

I shoot without a hood occasionally to achieve flare. Obviously there is the chance of the photo being virtually ruined, but it doesn't happen too often.
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