How much are lens hoods usually? I know they can very in price, but what is the average prices?
Welcome to apug, Tiara. Check www.bhphotovideo.com for prices and varieties of hoods. They become more expensive (as do filters) as the size increases, and are more costly when proprietary than when generic. Compendium hoods are adjustable and suited to the rectangular format of the camera for which they are intended. They are more expensive as a single purchase, but not necessarily more expensive when compared to outfitting a number of lenses with proprietary, large circumference hoods. (The compendiums are usually only made for certain medium and large format cameras.)
The Lee hoods store fairly flat. One hood can do for a lot of lenses and not take up your whole camera bag. Other system hoods are probably similar. If you don't use the square Lee style filters, you can get rid of the filter clips and shrink the package, which makes it a better hood for extreme wide lenses.
I do have a collection of hoods but often don't use them. Sometimes but not always. If its a hood model that's not in the way I'll sometimes use it but most of the time with street shooting I just work around it. This is how I shot cine and its also how I shoot still. If I need some light control instead of a hood I'll pull out a compendium (Mattebox) and maybe even some French flags (what some people here using their darkslides for). I don't want to suggest that hoods don't have their use. They really do, especially onTLRs or some of the historical flare prone uncoated glass I like but if I think I don't need it I'll remove it and toss it into a bag...
OK, so lens hoods aren't essential and are a pain, as are filters, tripods, cable releases, cleaning cloths and brushes. Don't worry about that smudge on the lens, if you haven't bothered with the rest it won't matter. Perhaps an overstatement but you must get my drift.
I'm into painting with light - NOT painting by numbers!