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Thread: Lens hoods

  1. #1

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    Lens hoods

    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.

  2. #2
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Try a multi-position hood, like the one made by Hama, and use it for several lenses.

    If you just shoot for a weekend without one, you won't really be able to tell anything. Try making side-by-side shots, one with the hood, one without one using slide film or comparing results on contact sheets made at a uniform exposure. In many situations, a proper hood (and often, even the manufacturer's hood is insufficient, particularly the hoods for zooms), will improve contrast.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  3. #3
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    For some time I've been buying cheap metal lens hoods from India - I always have a hood ready-fitted to every lens in my bag. This not only guards against flare but means I can put lenses down on rocks etc, out of doors by standing them on the hood and know they will not be damaged, Furthermore, should I drop a lens (fortunately I haven't) the hood will make a handy deformation zone!

  4. #4

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    When I was a working JP I never used a hood, got in the way, lost them, no room in the bag, the only issue I noticed with flare occured when I used a wide angle such as 24 or 28mm. But with my new zooms lens for my SA7 and 9 35 I find that, at least with Sigma, zooms are much prone to flare so I keep a lens on at all time when shooting. Over the past 20 years I have just gotten in the habit of using a hood even with my Pentax primes.

  5. #5
    Curt's Avatar
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    When I went to Brooks Institute of Photography I was taught a technique for large format photography. It was to use the dark slide as a lens protector. Hold the slide to shade the lens. If you hold it up and just out of the field of view you can cast a shadow on the lens. It's cheap and available plus no storage or loss problems.

    Curt
    Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it. - Paul Strand - Aperture monograph on Strand

  6. #6

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    I also have used the same technique Curt suggested. Learned it in the same place. As a result, I have several otherwise fine 4x5 images with darkslides protruding into the frame. While a darkslide will work in a pinch, I bought a Lee lenshade and a couple of adapter rings and have had zero problems since. The Lee shades are adjustable, too. Might be a bit big for 35mm, but good for medium and large formats.

    Peter Gomena

  7. #7
    eddym's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgomena View Post
    While a darkslide will work in a pinch, I bought a Lee lenshade and a couple of adapter rings and have had zero problems since. The Lee shades are adjustable, too. Might be a bit big for 35mm, but good for medium and large formats.

    Peter Gomena
    I have a Lee shade too, and it is very good. I'd like to use it on my Rollei 6003, but can't find an adapter to fit the Rollei bayonet. Anybody know if they make one?
    Eddy McDonald
    www.fotoartes.com
    Eschew defenestration!

  8. #8
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    The darkslide technique will keep sunlight (or studio light) from falling directly on the lens, but it won't restrict the excess image circle on all sides of the frame, which is another source of flare.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  9. #9

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    My dark slide and lens hood will now be a cheap straw hat or a "gimme" cap.

  10. #10

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    One of the nice things about the Leica R system is that a lot of the lenses have slide out hoods that actually form part of the lens.

    David.

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