What are Lens Hoods for?

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by DRB022, Jul 16, 2009.

  1. DRB022

    DRB022 TPF Noob!

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    Title says it all. I bought a Nikkor 55-200mm lens and it came with a Lens Hood but I don't notice any difference in my photos whether it's on or off. I only used it indoors, though.
     
  2. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    A couple of really good uses for a lens hood that only become apparent when the need jumps out at you.

    First it protects the front of the lens from bumps, scrapes etc. Some people like glass filters to do this, some don't. I don't. Personally I always use a hood, but that is a whole other debate.

    Second, ever drive east about an hour before sunrise or west about and hour before sunset. The sun that is shining indirectly into your eyes making it harder to see is the same kind of thing that light in front of the lens will cause producing lens flare. A hood can help reduce the likely hood of lens flare.
     
  3. Ebag17

    Ebag17 TPF Noob!

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    They add a few mega pixels.
     
  4. Sachphotography

    Sachphotography TPF Noob!

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    Are you Serious? What are visors in cars for?
    They block unwanted light.
     
  5. bhop

    bhop No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    They can also improve contrast, although, that probably only matters if you're shooting film since you can boost contrast easily with software these days.
     
  6. Restomage

    Restomage No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I hear if you put a lens hood on your lens it makes you a 4% better photographer.
     
  7. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    ...um. No. Just no.

    Lens hoods primarily prevent lens flare, as gryphon noted. That's why I have hoods on all of my lenses. I'll be damned if I take a great action shot and then get flare across my entire photo that ruins it.

    In rain, it can also keep a bit of water off, but you'll still have to wipe the front element regularly.
     
  8. JamieR

    JamieR TPF Noob!

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    Aren't you the comedian.
     
  9. Steph

    Steph No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Why so much sarcasm? That's a genuine question and your answers were far from helpful. To the OP, a lens hood will block some light that does not contribute to the formation of your image, thus reducing the risk of unwanted reflections in the lens (flare) that tend to decrease image quality (very often decreasing contrast).
     
  10. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    Lens hoods are designed to block light comming in the lens at an angle. Their length (and shape for wide angle lenses) is so that they will not casue vignetting of your picture, but also block light from entering at an angle.

    Why do you want this? If the light is a stong light. It can enter the lens and bounce around (reflect off glass elements in the lens). This reflected light will cause funny shapes and light patterns in the shot. Obviously this is unwanted in the final picture.

    And as mentioned earlier, they are good for lens protection as well. You can have a hood on a lens all the time. The only reason to remove one is for room in the bag. Other than that, they could stay on all the time.
     
  11. benlonghair

    benlonghair TPF Noob!

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    They're for turning around on your lens when you see ken rockwell coming, just to irritate him. (3/4 of the way down)
     
  12. JFew

    JFew TPF Noob!

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    I'll just add my two cents because...well I'm rather bored. :)

    A lens hood creates a slight shadow over the front element of your lens, effectively eliminating things like lens flare (see: http://i44.tinypic.com/1zx4lzm.jpg).

    Also, this guy "Ken Rockwell"? What's his problem? He sounds like an elitist jerk that needs to be taken down a few notches. Did you see where he linked a picture of someone's gear?? Ridiculous, it's obvious the person that owns that gear took a piece of sandpaper and rubbed the paint off to make it LOOK well-used. You can see the pits and lines from the grit of the paper! LOL! How amusing!
     

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