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03-21-2013, 06:55 PM   #1
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lens hood

dumb question of the day. i have never used a lens hood before. when and why is one used? told you it was dumb.
thanks in advance,
charlie

03-21-2013, 07:01 PM   #2
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it increases the contrast of the lens, it lets you walk with the lens on rain without getting the front element wet..

that's why i use it
03-21-2013, 07:01 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by chashub Quote
dumb question of the day. i have never used a lens hood before. when and why is one used? told you it was dumb.
thanks in advance,
charlie
I keep one on all the time. They offer some degree of protection to the forward element. Their primary use is to prevent flares.
03-21-2013, 07:03 PM   #4
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It decreases stray light that can cause the image to look grayer (contrast issues), decreases the changes of abberations and flare, and protect the lens.

03-21-2013, 07:36 PM   #5
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I honestly used to think people were just using them to look "pro". Well, maybe they are, but the real reasons are outlined above. The hood doesn't need to be made of carbon fiber or anything special. It just shades the front of the lens against light. Ideally the shape of the hood blocks all the light that is just out of the photo. With a zoom lens, that has to be a compromise at the longer end. Older lenses may come with hoods designed for the wider field of view when the lens was used on a film camera. On APS-C digital, you can use a longer hood if you want. I like a hood that's easy to use - maybe reversable for storage or one that takes a lens cap on the end.
03-21-2013, 10:10 PM   #6
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There are several discussions going on about lens hood:

Pentax-M 50mm f1.4 at f1.4 sharpness fix.

Metal Hood Shape
03-22-2013, 04:41 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by chashub Quote
when and why is one used
Put it on and never take it off, it will improve most of your pictures and will provide lens protection to boot.
03-22-2013, 04:54 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by kerrowdown Quote
Put it on and never take it off, it will improve most of your pictures and will provide lens protection to boot.
This. Couldn't have said it better.

03-22-2013, 06:33 AM   #9
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it doesn't seem like many people use rubber hoods. I would think that would be easier to use, as you just flip it forward from the storage position vs physically changing the plastic one from storage to useable position. is there something else about rubber hoods I don't know?
03-22-2013, 06:42 AM   #10
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Why to use one: It blocks stray light rays from outside the lens' angle of view hitting the sensor, thus improving contrast and helping to control lens flare.

When to use one: Always, because stray light rays are always present.

This article has a couple of illustrations you might find helpful: Understanding Camera Lens Flare
03-22-2013, 06:45 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by PBandJ Quote
it doesn't seem like many people use rubber hoods. I would think that would be easier to use, as you just flip it forward from the storage position vs physically changing the plastic one from storage to useable position. is there something else about rubber hoods I don't know?
I have a couple of rubber lens hoods, and use them for lenses I own that didn't come with lens hoods. They work just fine, but don't offer much in the way of protecting the front element of the lens in the event of a mishap.
03-22-2013, 06:53 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by PBandJ Quote
it doesn't seem like many people use rubber hoods. I would think that would be easier to use, as you just flip it forward from the storage position vs physically changing the plastic one from storage to useable position. is there something else about rubber hoods I don't know?
Rubber lens hoods are looked upon as cheap alternatives to the plastic or metal lens hoods. But there is one advantage that 'solid' lens hood don't provide the convenience. I don't know if anyone take snapshots of scenes while riding on the tour bus. I know most people don't because the shots usually are crappy anyway. With rubber lens hood, I can press the lens closer to window glass, and I can get some nice shots from the bus.
03-22-2013, 07:09 AM   #13
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while most of the main points have been addressed, one thing has not. how do you know whether the hood you are using is "optimal" for the lens you put it on.

there is a spread sheet which i uploaded some time ago called hoodcalc. this takes sensor format into account and calculates the maximum hood length based on hood diameter, focal length, and sensor format.

while it works, it needs some explaining, and a few hints, because the length it calculates is from the center of the front element, not the edge of the accessory screw threads.and the diameter you need to enter is the actual diameter of the hood, again not the accessory screw diameter
03-23-2013, 07:52 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by kerrowdown Quote
Put it on and never take it off, it will improve most of your pictures and will provide lens protection to boot
I also buy a lens cap to fit the hood...
03-23-2013, 03:55 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
I honestly used to think people were just using them to look "pro". .
And not using one make you look really amateur!

Seriously all above are good reasons, very few reasons ever not to.
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