Why would you NOT use a lens hood
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Old 02-13-2008   #1
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Default Why would you NOT use a lens hood

Flare protector, lens hood, lens shield, whatever you call it, why do photographers not have it fixed on their lenses at all times?

What are the disadvantages of the lens hood that would make you take it off or fit it on backwards? The way I see it, it just helps. What am I missing?

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Old 02-13-2008   #2
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Default Re: Why would you NOT use a lens hood

They get in the way and increase bulk. They affect your use of filters. When reversed they often cover lens controls. Take up too much space in the camera bag. Can slow you down if you fit to lens reversed to save space. Many times you don't need them, so given the cons, why not leave it off, unless you need it. Even then you can often shield the lens with a spare hand.
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Old 02-13-2008   #3
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Default Re: Why would you NOT use a lens hood

Seems reasonable. Thanks.
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Old 02-13-2008   #4
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Default Re: Why would you NOT use a lens hood

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deefstes View Post
Flare protector, lens hood, lens shield, whatever you call it, why do photographers not have it fixed on their lenses at all times?
...excellent question, beats me too...

Quote:
What are the disadvantages of the lens hood that would make you take it off or fit it on backwards? The way I see it, it just helps. What am I missing?
I only take mine off for cleaning, or to put back on reversed to store the lens, or to put on a circular polarizer. Setting up ('turning') the circular polarizer can often be done with the hood attached, but sometimes requires you to take it off... and if you use a Cokin filter system you either have to buy the special Cokin (square) hood, or do without, the 'standard' hoods wont fit anymore... I once had a Cokin system for my Canon FD system, with the hood...

...0.02...

Kindest regards!

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Old 02-13-2008   #5
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Default Re: Why would you NOT use a lens hood

I'll add two:
If you are shooting with the pop up flash, some hoods will throw a shadow on the subject that is really ugly!

When shooting macro, a hood can take up so much space between lens and subject that it is hard to get light on the subject. Sometimes, the plane of sharp focus is even inside the lens hood making the only light available from the back.

Those are very special circumstances. The answer to whether you should use a hood or not is yes except when using it ruins the picture. Sometimes it makes little difference but that is a small problem compared to what it can do for you. If it saved one shot in a hundred it would be worth the trouble.
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Old 02-13-2008   #6
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Default Re: Why would you NOT use a lens hood

you could poke someones eye out...
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Old 02-13-2008   #7
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Default Re: Why would you NOT use a lens hood

Quote:
Originally Posted by kevgermany View Post
They get in the way and increase bulk.
Not if you use the proper 'travel mode' and put the hood on backwards when not shooting.

Quote:
They affect your use of filters.
No: UV or CP filters (never stack filters) are not impeded by a hood. Cokin-type filters and filter holders and hoods don't work together well, but with digital you don't need those physical filters, because you can add 98% of those filter effects in post production (and that also saves you a lot of time, hassle and fidgeting with them on location!).

Quote:
When reversed they often cover lens controls.
So what? You don't need lens controls when you're not shooting. And since you should always use the hood when you are shooting, it cannot be reversed at that time, so it cannot be covering lens controls.

Quote:
Take up too much space in the camera bag.
Not when reversed in 'travel mode'.

Quote:
Can slow you down if you fit to lens reversed to save space.
So anticipate! Think ahead: if you might want to shoot at an instant's notice you need to switch on your cam in anticipation anyway. That is also the moment you should fix the hood (correctly).

Quote:
Many times you don't need them, so given the cons, why not leave it off, unless you need it. Even then you can often shield the lens with a spare hand.
Hoods are useful on a lens. They are useless in the bag.
Shielding with a spare hand means compromising camera stability!

Doug's comment on the pop-up flash is valid of course. But how sensible is it for people with 2,000 bucks worth of camera in their hands (or more) to use that peanut flash?
For 'serious' photography I use a 'serious' flash gun.

Doug's comment on macro and hoods is entirely valid of course. But then, macro is a very special situation, where there usually is plenty of time to set up. Enough to add-on or take-off the hood as the situation warrants.

So for me the rule-of-thumb is:

Never shoot without a hood!
(unless there are very special circumstances)
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Old 02-13-2008   #8
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Default Re: Why would you NOT use a lens hood

Macro, blocking the pop-up flash, CP on a long lens, and to prevent from scaring babies. I probably go hoodless less than 1% of the time. My thought is that many are using consumer grade lenses that do not come with them, and do not buy the hood, or feel they are an inconvenience.
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Old 02-13-2008   #9
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Default Re: Why would you NOT use a lens hood

Quote:
Originally Posted by W.Smith View Post
You don't need lens controls when you're not shooting. And since you should always use the hood when you are shooting, it cannot be reversed at that time, so it cannot cover lens controls.


Quote:
Never shoot without a hood!
(unless there are very special circumstances)




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Old 02-13-2008   #10
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Default Re: Why would you NOT use a lens hood

Yeah, I hate those stupid focusing and zoom rings and goofy IS power buttons. I wish Canon would develop telepathy based controls for their lenses.


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