For as long as I can remember (okay, my memory is pretty short but my experience is about 35 years long), I've always bought a lens hood for every lens. When a proprietary hood wasn't available, I've bought generic hoods. I know they work in keeping out stray light and help protect the front element but, dammit, they take up a lot of space in the bags! The hoods for wide angle zooms are the worst--they're the size of dinner plates! Even "normal" hoods sometimes prevent storing lenses in the compartments of smaller bags. I end up with lens hoods loose in my bags, lying on top of everything. I have to dig around them to get to equipment and sort out the hoods as to which one fits the lens in use. I'm frustrated! I started shooting occasionally without a hood and, thus far, I've had no ill effects. As of this weekend, I'm leaving them off all lenses to see just how much of a benefit they are. My guess is that I can shade the lens with my hand or my hat just as effectively.