Who Doesn't Use Their 12-40mm f2.8 Lens Hood? Who Does? Why?

Carbonman

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I shoot close ups without the hood and find myself doing other shots without it. My off-the-cuff estimation is that the lens performs quite well without the hood and am considering putting it back in the box to reduce clutter in my camera bag.
Other shooters that have used this lens extensively may have differing opinions. Please fire away.
 

Grinch

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Always, always, always use a hood. Go ahead take it off...but when you screw up the front element we'll see you posting again about how much to fix,replace, or repair. I never use uv filters( protective filters) as they degrade quality, but a hood has never degraded quality and saves the front element every time.
Just my 2 cents, but those cents add up and that's how I could afford the 12-40.
 

OzRay

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Not using a lens hood is a bit like taking the safety guard off a bench grinder, it still works, but you might get a few strays headed your way.
 

David A

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I keep it on, inside or outside, to help reduce stray light and protect the front of the lens. I only remove it if I'm trying to create a flare in the photo.
9155209.jpg

I didn't have to take it off to create a flare :)

It's always on my lens but sometimes I have to admit to being one of those people who use it in the reversed storage position. It was in the proper position for this shot, and it is usually in the active position for me.
 

Replytoken

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I use it mostly to give the lens a bit of "cushion", but it is so shallow that I do not find it very useful for flare.

--Ken
 

Carbonman

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I've shot with everything from a 15mm fisheye to 400mm lens over the span of 40 years and never damaged a front element. I've used hoods and left them off, used filters and never damaged them either, so protection isn't a big concern for me. I appreciate the cautions from all of you though.
I'm trying to determine whether the hood actually makes much difference in image quality. David A's photo shows how much contrast and how little flare there is in a head-on shot of the sunrise. Replytoken's comment addresses what I'm wondering. Who has found flare issues with bright light from oblique angles?
I've found with film camera equipment that the hoods for wide angle zooms were pretty useless because they had to be cut back so much to accommodate the wide angle. I still used hoods when it was convenient, but wonder about how effective/ineffective it is with this particular lens.
 

MAubrey

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I don't have the 12-40mm, but generally I don't use hoods unless I'm using a classic lenses--which I do regularly. The coatings on modern lenses I've found to be "good enough" that I'm happy without the hood for my native glass. And when I'm backpacking, every ounce counts and I'd much rather bring my tripod and block the sun with my hand than waste weight that could be used on food or another lens.
 

EarthQuake

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I don't use uv filters for protection on any of my lenses, because of the added cost, bulk, weight, and increase in flare they generally cause. I'm not concerned with them for use as protection, lens coatings are very hard and durable these days.

I don't use lens hoods very often. Only when I'm shooting something professionally do I use a hood, and I don't do that very often, just some portrait sessions for friends and family a couple times a year.

When I'm out and about shooting for fun or on vacation, I find hoods to be a needless annoyance and again, add more bulk and weight to my bag and tend to be in the way more than anything when I want to grab a lens out of the bag to quickly catch a moment, so they just sit at the bottom of my bag 95% of the time. I've stopped bringing them along at all unless I'm shooting professionally for these reasons.

I personally don't find that filters or hoods add much protection, more so a false sense of security. If i want to make sure my lenses are protected, I put the caps on.
 

Clint

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I've shot with everything from a 15mm fisheye to 400mm lens over the span of 40 years and never damaged a front element.
Wow! I wished a could say that. Though the protection is for more than just the front element, such as the lenses filter threads, taking some of the blow of being dropped, etc.

In my 45 years I've had lenses roll down stairs, dropped them though 30' of scaffolding, down mountain sides, dropped two that ended up going over 5,000+ft cliffs on mountains (one was never recovered and the other was actually returned to me over a year later and it still worked), rolled out of the camera bag under police cars, and others. In my latest lens tragedy the camera bag fell over with camera and lens falling out and off a 28" counter and hitting a tile floor. There was no dent, scratch or anything else on the lens or camera (I suspect the lens hit the floor first on the hood) except for the rear mount separated from the camera.

However with today's coatings lens hoods don't seem to offer the same benefits as they used to many years ago. I like to use creative flare coming in from the corners of an image, but that is very hard to get (even on purpose) with today's lenses and especially the 12-40.
 

BAXTING

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I rarely use it or any hoods for that matter. On the rare occasion Im getting some flare I might throw it on, but take it off right after. I often have a CPL attached and need to be able to access it as well. If I have my camera out, Im taking pictures and it is in my hand. If Im not taking pictures I put everything away. It would be difficult for me to damage the front element knowing that it is there without being careless. If I were on an African Safari bouncing around in a jeep, or running around a racetrack with several bodies hanging then yea I might leave the hoods on for protection. For my general use they get in the way.
 

OzRay

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Maybe that's why a lot of lenses no longer come with lens hoods as standard; from reading forums, manufacturers realise that they are a waste of time. ;)
 

Replytoken

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If flare is really a concern when you are not shooting longer lenses with longer hoods, and you are not shooting under very pressed conditions, then I find that flagging the light source is most effective (and is usually quite easily seen in the EVF). Sometimes I use a hand, other times anything that will block the light and is easy to hold. Hoods on normal length lenses are a bit like bumper guards for me.

--Ken
 

pdk42

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Setting aside usage of hoods for protection or vanity (making the lens look big!), the OP was asking whether the 12-40's hood is effective in reducing flare/loss of contrast etc. I think the answer to that has to be 'only sometimes' for the simple reason that hoods for zoom lenses offer little shading on the wide end. The 12-40 has a FOV range of 30-84 degrees. A hood that doesn't vignette at 84 degrees won't offer much shading at 30 degrees.
 

eteless

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I use the hood on the 12-40 so I can quickly put my hand over the front of the lens and cover it so that things don't hit it without putting fingerprints on the filter. As mentioned previously the lens itself is pretty unlikely to flare and thus it isn't really a huge problem. Finger prints (oil) on the front of the filter or element make far more of a difference flare wise than the hood(Dust doesn't make a huge difference imo).

With the 25mm and 45mm I use the lens hoods because they are so small it gives me a bit more to hold onto and steady the camera. Lets me wedge my hand between the hood and the grip, it's far more comfortable to use with the hood on (and again, prevents my fingers touching the front if I need to cover the lens).

Given what I've said you might think I clean my lenses and keep them pristine, I actually try to never clean them... and it's rare that I actually *need* to clean them because I never touch them. With no oil on the front any dust can easily be blown off as it has nothing to stick to. With the 25 and 45 I also tend to use lens caps which fit inside the hoods and leave the hood on the camera, rather than lens caps which fit inside the filter ring (I threaded the end of the hood to allow the lens cap to clip in and stay). It's easier to get rid of the caps that way and I don't have to stuff around with reversing the hood or anything like that. with the 35-100 f2.0 I have a Schneider lens cap which automatically gets pushed off when I undo the hood to put it on the correct way, so again I don't need to put my fingers near the lens.
 
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