Lens Hood

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Socrates, Mar 11, 2008.

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  1. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    I've long believed that a lens hood is especially important when a filter is being used. I remember being told something about the flat surface of a filter (compared with the curvature of a lens surface) making a hood more critical.

    First, is my belief correct?

    Second, is my belief correct if the filter is a polarizer?

    My reason for asking is that I have a Nikon dSLR and I recently purchased Nikon's 18-200 VR lens along with Hoya's Pro-1 circular polarizer (at 72mm, it ain't exactly cheap). In any event, the hood does not mount on the filter threads and it's quite difficult rotating the polarizer when the hood is attached. Right now, it appears that I may have to adjust the polarizer with the hood removed and then attach the hood prior to taking the photo, which is not exactly convenient.

    Bottom line question: What is your judgment regarding the importance of the hood when using a polarizer?
     
  2. EOS_JD

    EOS_JD TPF Noob!

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    Really depends on what you are shooting.
     
  3. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    Such as?
     
  4. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    I've noticed that the effect of adding a filter to the front of a lens varies from lens to lens - it does appear to have something to do with the relationship between the front element and the rear of the filter, as well as the two or more parallel planes of the filter itself.

    It's also strongly affected by the lighting conditions, of course. A lens-filter combination that shows no obvious degradation most of the time might be noticeable some of the time and disastrous on rare occasions.

    A high quality circular polarizing filter is a laminate of four layers: glass; linear polarizer; delay plate; glass. There are more opportunities for internal reflections than in dyed-in-the-mass glass filters. The linear polarizer and delay plate are usually bonded closely, but the glass-foil interfaces may not be.

    Though I'm keen on the use of lens hoods, I often don't use a hood with a polarizing filter, because the rangefinder cameras I use for much of my landscape work have swing-out polarizers that prevent the use of the dedicated hoods.

    Adding a screw-in hood, possibly an adjustable one like the Nikon or a compendium shade, is an option for SLRs and large format, but I don't always bother.

    That 18-200 zoom of yours doesn't have much of a lens hood anyway, does it? It's probably not a lot of use once you have zoomed in from 18 mm a little. Couldn't you get your finger in one of the cutouts to rotate the filter?

    Give it a go, and find out how your combination behaves. That's one of the benefits of digital - these trials are quick and cheap.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  5. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    :thumbup:
    Thanks for your insight. Possibly the most significant point in your post is that the 18-200 doesn't have much of a hood, anyway. Thinking about it now makes me realize that there's no way that Nikon could have given it much of a hood. If the hood's effective at 200mm, it would block much of the image at 18mm.

    I expect that I just won't worry about the hood when I'm using the polarizer.
     
  6. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No offense but I am not sure why you would put such an expensive polariser on that lens.
     
  7. schuylercat

    schuylercat TPF Noob!

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    My 70-210 lens was HORRID when it comes to flare and washout. Big ol' 77mm barrel doesn't help. Oddly, using a poliarizer (I have a Tiffen - doesn't matter, prolly) actually reduces flare and washout issues.

    My 28-70, on the other hand, starts to vignette with the polarizer on it - I have to take off the UV, which is really just a protector, anyway. To Helen's point: I wonder if a polarizer would almost act like a shade at the WA end of your lens?

    And I think what JD is saying is what Helen said: go try it. Every lens will differ a little, and it gives you the opportunity to play more with that big old expensive VR lens you got!
     
  8. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    No offense but I use expensive filters all the time for a very simple and logical reason. Whatever quality a lens can produce will be reduced by a filter, any filter. I want to minimize that reduction. Of course, many others don't care about maintaining quality.
     
  9. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Many of us are quite aware of your crusade against the 18-200mm lens. However, since this is a done deal with Socrates, perhaps get off your horse and let it have a drink of water once in a while. :er:
     
  10. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    :hail:
     
  11. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  12. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Socrates, the lens hood is mostly to reduce lens flare and that happens when you are pointing within a limited family of angles towards the sun. Outside of that area, a lens hood does limited good.

    You use a CPL (circular polarizing filter) to maximum effectiveness when you are 90 degrees to the sun (or there abouts).

    Feel free to take off the hood when you are not shooting in a manner that flare becomes an issue, and enjoy that polarizer within that range. ;)

    Concerning the incessant anti-18-200 remarks, it was fun for a while, but I think I am starting to get tired of them a little as well.

    As I said in another thread... you don`t have to respect his choice of lenses... but you NEED to learn to respect people`s choices and stop bashing when it is not appropriate.
     
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