Lens Hoods Required?
Lenshoods: Required or excess baggage?
After reading about how important it is to have a good lens hood for my Mamiya RB camera, I looked around at prices. (wow$$!) I was also out and about Unv. of Toronto on several weekends when all the pro wedding photogs were out. They all have this monsterous bellows style lens hoods. Some even looked bigger than the camera!
I have only noticed one flare in my 6x7 negs. I have used my hat a couple of times to shade the lens, but most of the time it's never been an issue. All my Mamiya lenses are "C" models, having been told that the non C are prone to flare. Generally I have an orange filter on the end too (unless shooting colour, then no filter).
So my questions are:
Who here owns and actually uses these things?
Do I really need one?
Small rubber ring or monster bellows?
I do, all the time
I use lens hoods a lot of the time, generally when there is bright sunlight or rain, anything in between and I don't bother. I also always have a skylight filter on my lenses, purely as protection from the elements.
I own various hoods. I even use them when I remember.
Need? Depends. Certainly doesn't hurt. Some things will make them more needed then others.
Like I said I've got various. The easier to use are the factory ones for each size lens. Check Keh and if you're lucky you might find them for a fraction of the new price. I've also got a bellows hood. It's nice with a built in 3x3 filter holder. OTOH I can't see using it handheld. Also can be cheap used. The generics will never be "perfect". My hoods are all shaped like the negative. They are the right distance but not too far. Plus used they didn't cost any more then a generic rubber hood. OTOH even a small rubber hood shouldn't hurt.
I use a lens hood for every shot (with view camera lenses, I leave lens hoods attached so that I can put lenses down quickly on the front rim of the hood and know that I won't damage them). 99% of the time the hood probably makes no optical difference but gives good physical protection.
Original manufacturers' lens hoods are often very expensive - on the other hand, this supplier
has metal hoods in useful sizes (like the 77 mm you need) for about £2.50 plus very reasonable shipping. I have bought quite a few. When I bought my RB outfit, I included a Mamiya compendium hood, which is a thing of wonder but which I have never used (too bulky, can't stand the lens on it).
I have a 645 and use either the rubber hood or, with my 150mm, the built in hood. I agree that they are really worth it. One thing that is more subtile, is that very slight flare may not show up so much as flare, but a general reduction of contrast.
Check out KEH, they have rubber hoods for next to nothing and bellows hoods for as little as $30-$50. Here is their RB hood page.
Most of the time I use a lens hood. The only cases where I don't are when I just don't have one that works (and I have many), or when I'm using a very wide lens and there really isn't a lens shade that wouldn't vignette (i.e., the filter rim is as much lens shade as there can be).
A lens shade always will give you better results by reducing flare and restricting the image circle of the lens to keep non-image light in the camera to a minimum.
You don't really need the huge bellows thing. I just put normal screw on hoods on the filter screw. They don't cost much.