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07-21-2013, 11:10 AM   #1
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What's more useful, a hood or a filter?

Sorry if this topic has been beaten to death, but I'm searching for answers and coming up a bit short.

As a general rule, what item would be more useful to a beginner: a lens hood, or a C PL? I'm using a K-01 with an M 50 1.7 and FA 50 1.7. Of course, the filter would be primarily for outdoor use--I was thinking of the Marumi DHG MC CPL PL (D) 49mm, which is only $34 on @m@zon.

If there are specific instances where one is better than the other, I'd love to hear them! This forum is a terrific resource and I love learning from all of you folks

07-21-2013, 11:13 AM   #2
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A hood is always good to have when shooting outdoors, as it increases contrast and reduces the likelihood/severity of ghosting & flare. A CPL is good if you're shooting a high-contrast scene that includes the sky, or if you're trying to shoot through glass.

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07-21-2013, 11:20 AM   #3
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A hood can be really cheap as well, just look on eBay for the fold down rubber hoods which should be fine on the 50mm lenses. Cpl is a bit more of an investment.
07-21-2013, 11:20 AM   #4
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Get an inexpensive rubber hood first ... J

07-21-2013, 11:21 AM - 2 Likes   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fat Albert Quote
Sorry if this topic has been beaten to death,
It has.......

First, hoods and filters do completely different things, although they do overlap in some areas.
Second, always use a hood. Always. Especially with older lenses like your M where the coatings are not as good at resisting flare. The hood will make a noticeable difference.
Third, where we usually see the hood vs filter debate is in people trying to prove one or the other is better at protecting the lens. I won't re-open that debate, use what you want.
Fourth, A CPL performs a specific job, it reduces reflections and glare from non-metallic objects. It can also darken skies and boost contrast/color in some cases. But unless you are shooting water or trying to boost a light blue sky a CPL has little value and costs you at least a stop of light. Use it when you need it, don't when you don't.
Fifth, get a hood. Get a cheap 49mm rubber fold out for like $5 if you don't want to spend much. It will be the best $5 you ever spent. If you need a CPL then get a CPL but it does not do the same thing as a hood.
Sixth, get a hood.
07-21-2013, 11:29 AM   #6
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Hmmm...I was under the impression that a CPL would enhance an image the way my Maui Jims enhance my eyesight...I guess that's not the case then.

A hood it is! I'll check out some other threads to see what hoods are best for my lenses.
07-21-2013, 11:45 AM - 1 Like   #7
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+1 for hood, never leave home without 'em, lenses look naked if their missing.
07-21-2013, 11:50 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fat Albert Quote
a CPL would enhance an image the way my Maui Jims enhance my eyesight..
That is not a wrong impression, a CPL does much the same thing that polarized sunglasses do. But like you would not always wear sunglasses you don't always need a CPL. And a CPL works best at 90 degrees to the sun, differ from that and the effect changes. Also, on ultra wide angle lenses (roughly 20mm and wider on APS-C) you can get weird looking skies using a CPL because the sky itself is not all the same color and if too much of it is in the picture parts will be really dark and other parts really light.

In short a hood is always useful, a CPL is often useful. When I use a CPL I have the hood on as well. When you use a filter like a CPL the additional air/glass interfaces can cause additional lens flare and the hood helps to eliminate that.

07-21-2013, 12:23 PM   #9
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Hood, it also protects the lens in case of drops.
07-21-2013, 12:33 PM   #10
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Going to get this bad boy here...

Sensei 49mm Screw-on Tulip Lens Hood LHSC-49 B&H Photo Video
07-21-2013, 12:35 PM   #11
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Unless you are shooting close-up with camera-mounted flash, there is little reason not to use a hood. Just get one that shades well without vignetting. A polarizing filter can increase color saturation and simplify textures by removing light-source reflections. Sometimes that is useful. Sometimes adjustments in post production work better than a polarizer.
07-21-2013, 12:38 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by civiletti Quote
Unless you are shooting close-up with camera-mounted flash, there is little reason not to use a hood. Just get one that shades well without vignetting. A polarizing filter can increase color saturation and simplify textures by removing light-source reflections. Sometimes that is useful. Sometimes adjustments in post production work better than a polarizer.
So far I've never had to use the camera-mounted flash, which is a testament to how well the k-01 handles low-light situations. Is there a certain hood shape that is advantageous over the others?
07-21-2013, 12:38 PM   #13
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A lens hood can always be improvised by shading the lens with a free hand or hand-held opaque object like a pamphlet in such a manner that the hand or object is outside the field of view. There is no good way to improvise a polarizing filter.

That said you'll probably use a lens hood much more often than a polarizing filter. It really depends on the situations you will be shooting most often.

Either one is a good investment and I don't think you will regret having bought one over the other to begin with.
07-21-2013, 01:05 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fat Albert Quote
Is there a certain hood shape that is advantageous over the others?
There are three types of hoods (that I can think of):
1) Regular round ones
2) Tulip shaped ones
3) Rubber folding ones

The sensor on the camera is not square so the reason for the tulip shaped hoods is to maximize the amount of hood that can be used without vignetting. If the hood is too long it will start to show in the image, this is called vignetting. The tulip shape is shorter on the long axis of the sensor than it is on the short axis. So from a perspective of the maximum hood I guess you could say tulip is better but only if oriented correctly. Newer lenses have matched hoods with bayonet mounts so they only go on correctly. Screw on tulip hoods can be mounted incorrectly so you need to watch that.

The folding rubber ones look tacky but are the most flexible, the same hood can be used on a 28mm and a 50mm lens, just fold it differently.

The old style round hoods were matched to the lens and marked to indicate the lens they were intended for. The problem is that those markings were for a film camera which has a larger 'sensor' than the one in your camera so the markings are not valid any longer. You can use a longer hood on the same lens for an APS-C camera than you would for a film or FF digital camera. Sigma supplies two hoods with some of its lenses, one for full frame and the other for APS-C.

Also be aware that some hoods/lenses will block the light from the on board flash, this results in a weird shadow. I don't think you should have a problem with your lenses and a properly matched hood but on larger lenses it can happen.
07-21-2013, 02:40 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fat Albert Quote
So far I've never had to use the camera-mounted flash, which is a testament to how well the k-01 handles low-light situations. Is there a certain hood shape that is advantageous over the others?
The statement about the flash is of course very loose, because you can use a flash to create an effect.

Shape on the hood really depends on the focal length, for wide angle you need a wider hood so you've less material to work with so they need to be very efficent.
So for wide angle you often see tulp hoods to optimize the effect but for long lenses you often see round hoods, they are so long that the are more then effictive enough so they can have a simpler shape.

For 50mm you can go for round or rubber hood.
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