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Author Topic: Who uses lens hoods?  (Read 10207 times)
michel
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« on: May 08, 2005, 10:23:23 AM »
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just forget: thanks for the lens hood link. red once the article but did not bookmark it. was searching since months.
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regards

michel

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didger
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« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2005, 04:29:49 PM »
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If the lens is totally in the shade, it doesn't matter if that shade is under a tree, under a lens hood, or under your hand; total shade is total shade, and in fact you can more certainly provide that shade with your hand than a lens hood (if you're very careful).  I'm not talking about just eliminating the sun from where it hits the lens at an angle so that direct sunlight actually hits the sensor (disaster!!), but any direct sunlight hitting the glass from any angle.  Wide angle lens hoods tend to be either not totally effective to provide this glass shade or they tend to cause a little vignetting.  In any case, for me to carry around big lens hoods is pretty prohibitive, since I carry my lenses in my pants pockets so I don't have to take my pack off to take a picture.  Those zoom lenses I'm using now are about absolute max for pants pockets as is.

When you shade a lens with your hand in a situation where you're shooting more or less into the direction of the sun, you can really see the difference and you know if your shading is effective even without looking to be sure the glass is really completely out of direct sunlight.  There may be some situations (that I've never seen) where extremely bright light other than from the sun could hit the glass from a direction that your hand isn't shielding, but I think that would be noticeable.  Sometimes I use my hat to provide a larger shade area than my hand if I'm shooting right into the sun pretty low in the sky.

I'm NOT suggesting that dispensing with hoods is a great idea for everybody.  It's just a great idea for my siituation and it doesn't seem compromise image quality, though it makes some shots take more time and care if you use a hand or hat for shade.
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didger
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« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2005, 07:22:35 AM »
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do be aware of flare by direct sun and fog by stray light.
Yeah, that's the kernel right there. These undesirable effects are definitely visible in the viewfinder and if you're shooting landscape with a tripod you can take the time to look carefully and to take necessary remedial measures. If you're doing sports action or "event" photography, you'll certainly want the most effective hood you can manage and you probably won't be shooting very wide very often either.

It's more of an issue of common sense and the combination of shooting circumstances and style and what lenses you're using than of some general conclusion (must ALWAYS use a hood) based on tests that prove that less stray light is better. Of course it's better, but we have to shoot in the real world with a variety of lenses and circumstances.
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2005, 10:58:32 AM »
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I (almost) always use the hood for the reasons already mentioned.  Add one more to the list...

Mike.
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2005, 05:04:50 PM »
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I use the hood that was made to go with each lens.  For wide angle lenses, it's certainly not as effective as the deep hoods for telephoto lenses, but it's better than nothing...

Lisa
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2005, 08:56:18 AM »
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I'm sure that I spend more time in the field than any two other people on this forum or anywhere else and that I also get to more challenging places more of the time than anyone else anywhere.

Well, with, let's see here... 25+ years experience working in fisheries and wildlife biology, having worked with freshwater fish, aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates, small mammals, songbirds, wildlife rabies, bears, moose, habitat inventory, resource extraction, environmental assessment, etc. etc. I'll take that bet.  Will that be cash or cheque?

(no, I don't expect you to pay up - just lightening the mood)

Mike.
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2005, 09:00:02 AM »
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I use lens hoods for about 99% of my shots. They help control stray light and protect the front lens element from impact damage. Didger is correct about hood limitations on really wide angle lenses, but they do still help some and I use them anyway. And I generally do not use UV filters unless there is a lot of ambient flying mud or whatever.
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wolfy
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« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2005, 09:12:05 AM »
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The linked article affirms lens-hood use.


I am curious as to the number of LL members/DSLR users who advocate/actually-use hoods.
There is a "hassle" element, to be sure, but I'd like to hear opinions as to the "It's worth it!" effects on the finished product, ...a better image.

http://www.vanwalree.com/optics/lenshood.html

Thanks!
 
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Ken
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« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2005, 11:24:08 AM »
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The biggest impression for lens shade use was made on me about three decades ago at a Hasselblad/Zeiss seminar. At the meeting room entrance was a life-size enlargement of a model. People were climbing all over it with their pocket magnifiers, talking excitedly about crispness and detail down to the finest clothing threads.

The first part of the presentation was about lens flare, glass coatings, baffles, interior paint, etc. Just before the break, they brought in an enlargement of a shot made a few seconds after the one at the entrance, but this one was shot with a lens shade. No other changes. They put it up next to the first one. Mind-boggling! Instantly, the first print became "ordinary."

If you want to squeeze out everything the finest lenses can give you, use a lens shade. Even if you're after a soft, ethereal look, shoot it sharp at least once so you'll have it. In Photoshop, you can soften a sharp original, but you can't reverse a soft one.
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wolfy
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« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2005, 08:16:44 PM »
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If the lens is totally in the shade, it doesn't matter if that shade is under a tree, under a lens hood, or under your hand; total shade is total shade, and in fact you can more certainly provide that shade with your hand than a lens hood (if you're very careful). I'm not talking about just eliminating the sun from where it hits the lens at an angle so that direct sunlight actually hits the sensor (disaster!!), but any direct sunlight hitting the glass from any angle.
My reading of the linked article(and others) suggests that the writers would disagree ...they would likely propose that *darkness* is total shade.

And that any light, other than that which actually forms the desired image, would be prevented from entering the lens by the "ideal" hood, and thence could not reflect/bounce around to degrade the image reaching the sensor to ANY degree.

I.e., ...it is not only 'direct sunlight' that is undesirable. Huh
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boku
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« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2005, 07:05:54 AM »
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From Obviousville here...

Zooms, by their very nature, will never have a lens shade that is optimal. Use what works for you in a given situation, but do be aware of flare by direct sun and fog by stray light.

I use shades sometimes, my hand sometimes, a hat sometimes, and nothing other times.

But - the shades I use the most are for my 100mm macro and my 300mm tele. Not zooms.
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pobrien3
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« Reply #11 on: May 09, 2005, 10:32:35 AM »
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Watch your TV with sunlight falling obliquely across the screen, then watch it in darkness.  Easy way to illustrate why you should minimise unwanted light across the lens, however you manage it.  Always stick the hood on, additionally shade it in other ways if you can / feel the need - why wouldn't you?  If you need to twiddle a polariser, stick it back on afterwards or poke your finger into the hood.
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didger
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« Reply #12 on: May 09, 2005, 05:32:29 PM »
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it's better than nothing...
But not better than your hand or your hat, and it's not better than leaving out the extra bulk if you're carrying lenses in your pants pockets.

Uh, when I set my camera down somewhere, I NEVER set it down onto the front element of the lens.  It's SO hard to keep the camera from tipping over that way.  Morever, I AM quite lens cap compliant and conscientious.

As of today, however, I'll be partially hood compliant.  My 35mm f2 Nikon prime came with a lens hood and the whole thing still fits into my pocket along with a zoom.

Our of respect to Ralph Waldo Emerson, I'll NEVER be completely hood compliant.  Boku, Ralph, and me against the world; take that, ye foolishly consistent.
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didger
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« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2005, 11:07:18 AM »
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Well, let's see here, cash will be fine, PayPal also accepted. I've got 40+ to your 25+ and much of the same sort of professional experience (including a long herpetology expedition as a field assistant in the hinterlands of Ecuador about 1962) plus lots private wilderness endeavors from mid fifties on. In any case, I was referring to photography, not biology, and not to lifelong miscellaneous wilderness time, but amount of wilderness photo shooting currently. I did say SPEND time, not HAVE spent time all my life, though that might also be a safe bet. I'm pretty confident that I "field tripping" one way or another when you were still in diapers or earlier, unless you started your biology field career rather late in life. I did that research as an undergrad spending every possible spare moment in the desert for two years (around '63, '64) and published two papers in the American Midland Naturalist in '65 while a grad student at UC Berkeley.

Need my PayPal account info? How much you want to send me? The more you send, the more my mood will be lightened.
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audiopile
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« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2005, 11:37:44 PM »
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OK - this should upset everyone. I use plumbing fixtures as lense hoods. i think these things are called belke fittings? At any rate they are the Rubber/plastic fittings used to couple two dissimilar diameter pipes to each other. cost 7 or 8 bucks. Idea is not mine - ran into a news photographer in the 60's who made up a similar (really ugly) flexible lens hood out of several different diameters of inner tubes. he had trashed a fair number of lenses over the years - mainly by wacking the front of the lense into something ( usually the deck) - he always carried at least three cameras - but usually  didn't have spare lenses and this was before zoom overlap was a possibility.
   As far as the need for lense hoods - especially trying for birds in flight - it seems like a necesity.
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Lisa Nikodym
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« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2005, 10:02:03 AM »
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While I haven't done any tests to see what effect they have, I virtually always use a lens hood made for specifically whatever lens I'm using.  They don't take up any space in the camera bag, since (at least for the ones I own) they fit backwards on the lens for storage (and I only rarely switch lenses).  The only significant inconvenience is that I have to take them off to adjust, put on, or remove a polarizer, but I found that temporarily stashing the hood around my wrist (rather like a bracelet) during the filter adjustments minimizes the inconvenience, and it takes only a second or two.

Lisa
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didger
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« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2005, 03:06:07 PM »
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The main purpose of a lens hood is to keep direct sunlight from shining on the glass.  I always shoot with a tripod and I find I can shade the lens more effectively with my hand, including in situations (esp wide angle) where a lens hood wouldn't quite do it.  That much less cumbersome bulk is significant for my situation.  To protect the glass a lens cap is better than a lens hood.
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didger
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« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2005, 09:10:57 PM »
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There's a bit of a conflict here; wide lenses are most subject to flare and also to any sort of light hitting the glass causing a sort of bright foggy low contrast look (esp. sky). Quite a few shorter lenses (like my 50mm Canon Compact Macro) are so deeply recessed that you'd never need a hood. On the other hand, wide lenses and most zooms have very minimal hoods that under no circumstances keep the glass in anything like total darkness "in a deep well". Even if you made a hood 3 feet deep, if it flared wide enough not to cause vignetting, your lens still wouldn't be in the "deep dark well" that would be ideal. In any case, I've never noticed the slightest hint that I'm getting less contrast or any sort of "foggy" look with my wide lenses only shielded carefully by my hands or hat, compared to my 50mm macro or 70-200 with huge deep hood.

With my D2X, the 3 lenses I have are 105 prime and 12-24 zoom and 28-75 zoom. The 105 has very deeply recessed glass, so you wouldn't gain much extra shading with a hood and the two zooms have such minimal hoods that they would not contribute anything significant to effective shading under any circumstances. The top and bottom petals project about 1/2 inch and the side petals 1 inch and the corners are about flush with the edge of the glass. What good is such a "hood" except maybe to give you the mental satisfaction and peace of mind that you ARE using a manufacturer provided (and therefore useful and correct) "hood" with your lens?  Reality check time.

How would you ever achieve this shooting from a deep dark well benefit with wide zooms? I've personally never had any experience that makes me suspect any need to do this, but how would you do it in any case?

If it ain't broke, don't fix it, I reckon, especially if it's in any case impossible for the wide zooms that would benefit most from being shielded from all extraneous light and that I use for about 90% of my shooting.
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BJL
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« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2005, 09:31:39 AM »
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I was converted to lens hoods and away from prophylactic use of UV filters by one of Michael's articles; the combined advantages of physical lens protection, flare reduction, and avoidance of possibly image quality degradation from an unnecessary UV filter win out over the few seconds of extra effort when changing lenses. The hood does have to go away when I use a polarizing filter, which is the only filter I use with my DSLR.
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Paul Sumi
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« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2005, 03:09:29 PM »
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Lens hoods are good for more than blocking stray light.  In inclement weather it can help keep those pesky drops of moisture off the front element.  Obviously, this works best with the deep hoods for teles.

Paul
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