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09-06-2009, 10:50 AM   #1
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Lens hood - when is it necessary?

Is the purpose of the hood to prevent vignetting? Are there certain situations I should keep it on?

Some reviews say that using the hood will help sharpen the image. I don't understand the mechanics of it, but on my DA* 50-135, is it worth keeping on at all times, or only in very bright situations?

Thanks.

09-06-2009, 11:01 AM   #2
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the purpose of the hood is to help reduce stray light from entering the lens and causing flare and loss of contrast. the added contrast from using a hood gives the appearance of a sharper image. I don't have the 50-135 so I don't know the size of the hood, however I would say that unless its a nuisance in some manner or prohibitive to your photography there is no reason to not use it. its like the old saying "cheap insurance". it can also serve as protection for the lens (particularly the front element) in certain situations. I use a hood on all of my lenses and fail to see why one wouldn't use a hood if one has one to use.
09-06-2009, 11:12 AM   #3
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The hood is pretty long, and I get a lot of stares (good ones!) - but because it's a faster lens and if I use it indoors (ie. in an indoor market, with some ambient exterior light entering), would it still be best to use a hood?
09-06-2009, 11:20 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by esman7 Quote
The hood is pretty long, and I get a lot of stares (good ones!) - but because it's a faster lens and if I use it indoors (ie. in an indoor market, with some ambient exterior light entering), would it still be best to use a hood?
it wouldn't hurt. if there is not much of a chance of strong stray light causing flare (in the situation you described, the SMC coating should be more than enough) then sure, you wont need it. but you will never encounter a situation in which the hood will cause vignetting or loss of light. (that I am aware of) its designed to block stray light only, so even in darker situations it will cause you no trouble. you can flip the hood around backwards to "store" it on the lens correct? I know this is typical of most bayonet mounted hoods. thats what I would do in your situation if you are getting more looks than you'd like. its really a common sense thing, if you feel there is a chance for strong flare, or may need the protection of the front element that the hood can provide, use it. if not, don't. I only use primes (my only zoom has a built in hood) and the hoods for my lenses screw on and are rather small, so they are always on.

09-06-2009, 11:26 AM   #5
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Guess I'll just keep it on then if it can't hurt.

Thanks for your help.
09-06-2009, 11:29 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by esman7 Quote
Guess I'll just keep it on then if it can't hurt.

Thanks for your help.
not sure how much I helped, but no problem.
09-06-2009, 11:35 AM   #7
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In a confined space like an indoor market, the hood will be serving primarily as protection.
09-06-2009, 11:41 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
In a confined space like an indoor market, the hood will be serving primarily as protection.

or as a convienent means of bumping into everyone and having to deal with a lot of people giving you dumb looks for annoying them with your oversized and pretentious equipment.

09-06-2009, 12:22 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
or as a convienent means of bumping into everyone and having to deal with a lot of people giving you dumb looks for annoying them with your oversized and pretentious equipment.
that's a cross we have to bear.
09-06-2009, 01:32 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
In a confined space like an indoor market, the hood will be serving primarily as protection.
Would the same apply at an indoor concert at night? Or is that a time when you're better off getting all the light you can get?
09-06-2009, 01:36 PM   #11
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For me, all the time, all lenses for all the reasons above.
09-06-2009, 02:10 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by betamax Quote
Would the same apply at an indoor concert at night? Or is that a time when you're better off getting all the light you can get?
Photography is not about gathering all the light you can get, it's about selecting the light you want to gather. What you don't want (most of the time) is flare - it can ruin perfectly good images. There's no good reason not to have a hood on in any situation.
09-06-2009, 04:12 PM   #13
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would you then reccomend hoods for lenses that don't come with them? Ie. 50mm FA 1.4?
09-06-2009, 06:18 PM   #14
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Btw, just took my camera out and it was raining... lens hood saves my ass as it protected drops from hitting the front element.

Of course a k200d w/ bg3 and a DA* 50-135mm - one fully weatherproofed package... way to go Pentax

Just from this aft:
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09-06-2009, 06:54 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Photography is not about gathering all the light you can get, it's about selecting the light you want to gather.
Deep.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
There's no good reason not to have a hood on in any situation.
Truth.
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