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Thread: Camera hood - to use or not to use - that is the question!

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    Ausphotography Veteran tandeejay's Avatar
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    Camera hood - to use or not to use - that is the question!

    I've been reading a few lens reviews, and noticed that Ken Rockwell always makes comments like this:


    "I'd leave either an 86mm Hoya Super HMC UV on the lens at all times. I would leave the hood at home."
    "I never mess with hoods. I'd leave it in the box for resale time."


    Why the aversion to hoods? This seems to go against others recommendations


    I've always preferred to use them to cut out stray light.
    John Blackburn

    "Life is like a camera! Focus on what is important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives, and if things don't work out take another shot."


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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    How eclectic!*

    *Eclectic" - read "confused".
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    How eclectic!*

    *Eclectic" - read "confused".

    Exactly my point

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    The Commander mikew09's Avatar
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    There has been two sides to this point of view for as long as I can remember LOL. Hoods are designed and included with most pro lens for very good optical quality reasons. I did some testing with my earlier 70-200 some yrs ago and found there was definite advantage in using the hood when shooting at an event with little control over the position of the sun in as much as unwanted lens flare or glare into the lens. However, to be honest; the main reason I never venture out without a hood on my lens is protection of the front element. When I bought my first piece of Canon L glass I was paranoid about damaging the front element. I was advised by a professional photog during a discussion over the impact to image quality of using a UV filter for protection - at the time I had used a mid range quality UV filter for protection and after investigations to some IQ / focus issues found it was due to the filter. At the time he pointed me to a video showing the testing of the protection a filter actually gives and the testing revealed if the filter is impacted and breaks it is more likely to damage the front element than protect it. He went onto add that his belief was that sales people used the old "UV Filter to protect your element" phrase as nothing more than an edge to sell some more extras :-).
    To be honest, I really don't care what others do ;-), I have found the hood to not only assist with lighting conditions but also a valuable aid in protecting the front element end of the lens. Just my personal point of view, not trying to convince anyone this is the best option ;-)
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    Thanks Mike. That is what I've been told too, and it makes perfect sense. I was just puzzled when I saw Ken Rockwell so dead against lens hoods. Maybe he has shares in filter manufacturing companies

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    ^ I think Mike sums it up well.
    I started a thread like this ages ago and the comment by someone that sticks in my mind was that the manufactures of the lenes wouldn't make hoods if there was no reason to use them. Front lens protection is an added bonus.
    And John, stop noticing Ken.
    Last edited by Mark L; 27-09-2016 at 9:19pm.

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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    I've heard comments that hoods impact bokeh when the lens is wide open (I.e. Wider than f/5.6) so you should avoid using them when not necessary.
    Fuji XT-2, Fuji VPB-XT2, Fujinon 16-55 f/2.8, Fujinon 50-140 f/2.8, Fujinon 23 f/2, Fujinon 35 f2, Fujinon 90 f/2, Yongnuo YN560 IV, Yongnuo YN560 TX, Benro C3580T
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    The Commander mikew09's Avatar
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    Yea, I am sure Ken has his own good reason to make that statement in his own experience but I think he is a minority and it does puzzle me also. Then you have the other extreme which has caught on a bit - I remember 2 or 3 yrs ago seeing a video of that HDR guy (his name momentarily evades me), a brilliant HDR photography; who didnt use any protection at all, not even lens caps on the front when in his bag. From memory, his take was the element on quality lens was extremely tough and could cope with day to day general abuse without damage. Another theory I am not prepared to test with my gear. Took me 3 yrs to save enough to upgrade my old 70-200 so I treat it, and my other gear to that point; like a new born baby :-)

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tandeejay View Post
    ..... I was just puzzled when I saw Ken Rockwell .....
    An all too common situation!

    How can you not be puzzled when a so called landscape photographer advises not to use a tripod, and just shoot at ISO6400!
    How can you not be puzzled when a so called lens reviewer strongly advises to avoid third party lens manufacturers and stick only with the branded stuff, and then exclaims loudly how good Tokina lenses are and says stuff like
    ".. the Sigma 18-35mm works fantastically well today .. "
    .. !

    Reading any KR, will inevitably only result in puzzlement!

    The general consensus seems to be that if KR said it, then almost certainly it'll be best to do the opposite!

    We should call it something .. I'm thinking something along the lines of the Inverse Ken Law.

    ie. Inverse Ken Law: 1/Ken = nonsense; 1/Ken = makes sense!
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    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    Ausphotography Regular paulheath's Avatar
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    some of my " favourite " IKN quotes.........

    " Fixed focal length lenses aren't needed, except for macro or super tele. The faster f/stops of fixed lenses aren't needed with digital's high ISOs.
    The only pro use of the smaller [35mm] formats is news and sports "

    "I know no pros who own a tripod. Why would they want one? Who wants to carry it around, much less have his compositional options encumbered by having to move this big rig from spot to spot?"

    "I use mostly the P (Professional) mode"

    "This 105mm VR Micro is built as well as the $1,700 70-200mm VR, and except that this 105mm can't zoom, it does exactly what the 70-200mm VR does, but better."

    I could go on and on and on and on and on .......




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    Ausphotography Addict Lplates's Avatar
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    I always use my lens hood for the reasons Mike has mentioned but have never used a UV filter. There always seems to be a debate about the value of a UV filter. In our camera club there are some who always have one on their lenses saying it's to protect them and a couple of times they have dropped/bumped the lens and the UV filter has cracked and lens remained perfect. I think it was Arthur who posted a video showing a guy testing both UV filters and lenses by dropping a weight on them. The UV filter broke most times and the lenses remained undamaged.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    I like Mike(w09)^^ (well, there no more Ike, so...)

    If in doubt, try an ultra-wide without a lens hood
    You'll soon notice a flare (-up)!

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    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    Hoods are ALWAYS on my lenses, they increase contrast and protect the lens front element from damage. Never use "protection" filters as they have the ability to reduce IQ, and a hood can work just as well for protection.

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    New Member Physioz's Avatar
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    I'm not yet at the level where I *always* remember to put my lens hood on. I have even been stopped (twice) by people who knew what they were talking about (sounded like it at least) and told to put my lens hood on. I kid you not, one of them, a large barrel-chested guy could have been a RSM in the special forces **; he started with a stern dressing down and told me that I didn't deserve to own a good lens (Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS II) if I couldn't be bothered to put a hood on it. I was gobsmacked and gasping a bit like a fish out of water. He mellowed, told me he was joking, and proceeded to tell me why I really should considering using it all the time - flare/protection! I'm much better at remembering now.

    ** Maybe he was; close to Swanbourne Beach in Perth at the time.
    Last edited by Physioz; 28-09-2016 at 1:41pm.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Physioz View Post
    ...... he started with a stern dressing down and told me that I didn't deserve to own a good lens (Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS II) if I couldn't be bothered to put a hood on it. .....
    LOL! that could have been me!(obviously in another healthier, much, fitter life! )

    But I've done that myself to some tourists that I've helped along the way.
    One Japanese couple in the botanical gardens one day, they asked me to take their photo with their lil D3000-ish camera, and I told them "should leave hood on .. this way"(and put it on the correct way).
    They wanted me to take their photo in front of a particular scene, and I oriented them a little to the left and mentioned "that the sun will make image look bad" .. I'm pretty sure they kind'a understood.
    Hopefully they took some of that info on board.

    Another time at Wilsons Prom, a euro couple happened along at a spot I was taking some sunset shots. They didn't even have the hood on the lens, but packed in some inaccessible spot in the van.
    Told them don't shoot directly into the sun, use an angle here, lens hood shades the sun, better images .. etc.

    Basically as Lance said .. lens hood offer contrast increases that can be significant for many situations.

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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance B View Post
    Hoods are ALWAYS on my lenses, they increase contrast and protect the lens front element from damage. Never use "protection" filters as they have the ability to reduce IQ, and a hood can work just as well for protection.
    Things couldn't really be this simple could they??
    And there's really nothing else to say for most of us.

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    Ausphotography Regular Hamster's Avatar
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    Camera hood - to use or not to use - that is the question!

    Quote Originally Posted by MissionMan View Post
    I've heard comments that hoods impact bokeh when the lens is wide open (I.e. Wider than f/5.6) so you should avoid using them when not necessary.
    Really? How does that work then?

    Quote Originally Posted by paulheath View Post
    some of my " favourite " IKN quotes.........

    " Fixed focal length lenses aren't needed, except for macro or super tele. The faster f/stops of fixed lenses aren't needed with digital's high ISOs.
    The only pro use of the smaller [35mm] formats is news and sports "

    "I know no pros who own a tripod. Why would they want one? Who wants to carry it around, much less have his compositional options encumbered by having to move this big rig from spot to spot?"

    "I use mostly the P (Professional) mode"

    "This 105mm VR Micro is built as well as the $1,700 70-200mm VR, and except that this 105mm can't zoom, it does exactly what the 70-200mm VR does, but better."

    I could go on and on and on and on and on .......
    Don't forget this one from his site

    " I have a big sense of humor, and do this site to entertain you (and myself), as well as to inform and to educate. I occasionally weave fiction and satire into my stories to keep them interesting. I love a good hoax....... A hoax, like some of the things I do on this website, is done as a goof simply for the heck of it by overactive minds as a practical joke. Even Ansel Adams kidded around when he was just a pup in the 1920s by selling his photos as "Parmelian Prints." I have the energy and sense of humor of a three-year old, so remember, this is a personal website, and never presented as fact. I enjoy making things up for fun, as does The Onion, and I publish them here — even on this page."


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Last edited by Hamster; 29-09-2016 at 8:29am.
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  18. #18
    It's all about the Light!
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    Ken Rockwell????????????? FLIP CHICKS!!!

    All KR references should be removed as they are notoriously unreliable.

    Refer http://www.kenrockwell.com/about.htm quote:
    This website is my way of giving back to our community. It is a work of fiction, entirely the product of my own imagination. This website is my personal opinion. To use words of Ansel Adams on page 193 of his autobiography, this site is my "aggressive personal opinion," and not a "logical presentation of fact."
    not a "logical presentation of fact." sums up KR
    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
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  19. #19
    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    Camera hood - to use or not to use - that is the question!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hamster View Post
    Really? How does that work then?



    Don't forget this one from his site

    " I have a big sense of humor, and do this site to entertain you (and myself), as well as to inform and to educate. I occasionally weave fiction and satire into my stories to keep them interesting. I love a good hoax....... A hoax, like some of the things I do on this website, is done as a goof simply for the heck of it by overactive minds as a practical joke. Even Ansel Adams kidded around when he was just a pup in the 1920s by selling his photos as "Parmelian Prints." I have the energy and sense of humor of a three-year old, so remember, this is a personal website, and never presented as fact. I enjoy making things up for fun, as does The Onion, and I publish them here — even on this page."


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    http://photo.stackexchange.com/quest...m-bokeh-effect

    Have a look at where the graphic called optical vignetting and then think of a hood in place and how this could impact it. As mentioned, not sure if it's correct. Only reason I knew about this was when I got my 70-200 I was confused about the cats eye bokeh on the edges when wide open and some of the responses seemed to indicate the hood could have an effect. If you think about the shaped bokeh lens hoods you can buy that make heart shapes, diamonds etc then there could be some truth because even when the hood is out of view, it still impacts the bokeh


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited by MissionMan; 29-09-2016 at 8:55am.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Ta for the illustration, MM.

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