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08-16-2009, 11:23 PM   #1
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Hood for 50mm prime lens?

Hi there,

I read a review on the FA 50mm 1.4, and noted the following:

QuoteQuote:
Countless reviews on the FA1.4 complaining about it being "a little soft wide open". This is the reason why. Once I installed a nice lens hood, the lens became much sharper wide open. Almost as good as a FA1.7 (a lot bigger though with the hood). Pentax is partly to blame for this because they don't include lens hoods with the 50mm's, as a result, most people run around without one and they complain "the lens is a little soft wide open".
This got me thinking about getting a hood. I've got/am planning to get the following 50mm lenses:
- Super Tak 1.4
- Pentax M 1.7
- Pentax M 1.4
- Pentax FA 1.4

My questions:
- Can everyone verify that quoted statement?
- Do hoods need to be custom made for a particular lens? I assume an incompatible hood would produce vignetting?
- Is there a hood that can be used for all these lenses? If so, where can I get them from?

Thanks a lot!

08-16-2009, 11:37 PM   #2
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Any 49mm thread hood will fit on the the ones you listed, and will likely not cause vignetting. I use a hood that was originally designed for a 135mm lens - and it doesn't vignette. That hood probably is the longest I've seen for a 49mm filter thread. So you can just do a search for a "49mm telephoto hood"
And yeah, hoods are good. They help you a bit with contrast and detail, and obviously flare (though SMC coatings cope with that surprisingly well) - I've seen a test somewhere on this forum that shows some pretty significant difference in sharpness between using/not using a hood.
08-16-2009, 11:41 PM   #3
iht
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Hey Mr. pbo - it's you again! You must be the quickest replier on this forum!! I'm you should be studying or something!

Thanks for that. Great. I've got that hood, so I'll have a go at using that.

Cheers.
08-17-2009, 12:03 AM   #4
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Well, I'm done with studying for now until September But the fact that it's still summer hasn't changed...

08-17-2009, 12:22 AM   #5
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Oops, wait up. Are you using those 50's on your ME? I'm not sure how they'll behave with a 35mm camera vignette-wise. I know they do just fine on DSLR.
08-17-2009, 05:19 AM   #6
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Oh no, I'll use it on the *ist DS. Thanks for checking.

So can you confirm if using a hood does actually make the lens sharper?
08-17-2009, 06:01 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by iht Quote
Oh no, I'll use it on the *ist DS. Thanks for checking.

So can you confirm if using a hood does actually make the lens sharper?
I doubt anyone can or rather has definitively confirmed whether using a hood adds to sharpness. I think reduction in flare and possible added contrast can look like added sharpness, but I know of no test that can confirm this. your best bet for a hood for all of these lenses for use on a Pentax digital, is the Takumar 135mm 3.5 hood. it will fit all of your lenses being 49mm threaded and will not vignette on a digital. this hood can be found on ebay pretty much all of the time for rather cheap (the 135 3.5 is a common lens) so this is what I would recommend.

here is what it will look like compared with a Takumar 'standard' lens hood for 50 and 55's. (note, this is with the 55 1.8 (m42 Takumar) not 50, but that is irreverent given the subject.)

08-17-2009, 07:31 AM   #8
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My favorite hoods have always been/continue to be the collapsible rubber type, for some reason out of fashion nowadays.

08-17-2009, 09:33 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by iht Quote
This got me thinking about getting a hood. I've got/am planning to get the following 50mm lenses:
- Super Tak 1.4
- Pentax M 1.7
- Pentax M 1.4
- Pentax FA 1.4
All of them? Why?

Anyhow, it is true that hoods can increase sharpness, at least indirectly - they actually improve *contrast*, which improves the *appearance* of sharpness if not necessarily the actual measured resolution (some ways of measuring sharpness take contrast into account, others don't). But the extent to which the hood actually makes a difference depends on where the light source is relative to what you are shooting. If it's close to the frame, flare is a big problem, and a hood helps a lot. The further your scene is from the light source, the less of a problem you'll have with flare, and the less the hood helps.

QuoteQuote:
- Do hoods need to be custom made for a particular lens? I assume an incompatible hood would produce vignetting?
Custom made, no, but they have to be basically the right diameter & length. Too far are in one direction produces vignetting; too fsr off the other way and it is isn't very effective.
08-17-2009, 11:47 AM   #10
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Hoods also provide valuable protection for lens front elements, increase contrast, reduce flare, basically use 'em all the time.
08-17-2009, 01:00 PM   #11
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On my FA50 f1.4 I just use the hood from an old 135mm Tak, works like a charm. Wouldn't know if it increases sharpness or contrast as I've never used the 50 without it. Maybe I should try...........
08-17-2009, 02:19 PM   #12
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Hmm, I am torn. It's huge, but if it helps to get better pictures...
08-17-2009, 02:28 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by impact Quote
Hmm, I am torn. It's huge, but if it helps to get better pictures...
not as big as you think. remember that its mounted to a Takumar, which is pretty dang small even compared to the FA. that's also a istD that its mounted to, which is a small camera. it will basically double the length of your lens though. not sure about the FA, but for a Takumar or an M series lens, yea.

just FYI I actually use the standard lens hood because I don't like the look. even on my non-multi-coated Auto Takumars.
08-17-2009, 05:36 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by impact Quote
Hmm, I am torn. It's huge, but if it helps to get better pictures...
Try a folding rubber hood. "Not huge", folds into & out of position in a fraction of a second, protects your lens like a rubber bumper in either position, looks great (IMO), & can be had at outlets like Adorama & B&H for just a few bucks.
08-17-2009, 05:42 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by raymeedc Quote
Try a folding rubber hood. "Not huge", folds into & out of position in a fraction of a second, protects your lens like a rubber bumper in either position, looks great (IMO), & can be had at outlets like Adorama & B&H for just a few bucks.
There are even versions now that folds in 3-stages.
You can extend or fold depending on how much bright the sun is or the light source is.
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