Your thoughts on lens hoods?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by GnedTheGnome, May 21, 2015.

  1. GnedTheGnome

    GnedTheGnome Mu-43 Regular

    I just picked up the P14-140 f3.5-5.6, and it is wonderfully light, and reasonably compact, given its range. But the lens hood that comes with it is HUGE. It easily adds half again to the length and 1/2" of girth to the lens, completely undermining the lens's pocketability.

    So, how important/effective do you think these lens hoods are? Would I get flare for days if I just left it at home? Would a collapsible lens hood work as well or better? Are there better solutions?
    Last edited: May 21, 2015
  2. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Yes, they make a noticeable difference, but it's not that often and really obvious when it happens. In such cases, you can shade the lens with your hand until the flare disappears. I personally don't use them often, and only for impact protection rather than shading. I find getting at lens caps and polarising filters under the hood annoying. That said, they're good for when you don't have time to shade with the hand, e.g. moving birds, people, cars, etc.

    Hoods for superzooms are the least effective because they have to ensure no vignetting at the wide end, thus compromising on shading ability at the telephoto end. In some respects the extendible rubber hoods are better shades for such a lens, but not so great for impact protection. Because they tend to screw on, it also makes polarising filter use a bit awkward.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  3. listers_nz

    listers_nz Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 22, 2013
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Real Name:
    I have the same 14-140 lens, and when I first got it I used to use the hood all the time, but find that I rarely use it now (despite usually carrying it). If I'm carrying the 100-300mm it tends to get stored over the end of that in the bag. By the way, if you think the 14-140mm hood is large, the 100-300mm hood is positively huge!
  4. MarkoPolo

    MarkoPolo Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 25, 2014
    Greeley, CO
    Real Name:
    Mark Brown
    I always try to have the lens hood on. It does help with flare but there are times it's not enough, especially with wider lenses. I wear a wide brimmed hat to use to cast a shadow on the front element in those cases, but mostly it is to protect the front element. Sort of feel "nekked" without one on the lens:laugh1:
  5. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Real Name:
    Andrew Lossing
    My EM10 got dropped onto concrete and it actually damaged the shutter mechanism, which I had to have fixed. I had the 25mm f1.8 on the camera with lens hood, and the hood got a little dinged up, if I hadn't had it on I'm sure the front element or at very least the filter threads would've suffered.

    IQ-wise I think it depends on the lens. Some seem to be more susceptible to flare than others.
  6. tyrphoto

    tyrphoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2014
    Seoul | NYC
    Real Name:
    I always use lens hoods for two reasons.

    1. Cut down glare from the sides entering the lens, although some lens hoods are more effective than others. Regardless of it's effectiveness, I'll still use it for the second reason.

    2. Protect the front end of the lens against bumps and bruises. When it gets bumped, I'd rather have a replaceable hood damaged over the lens.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  7. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Hoods suck. I hate the size penalty, it makes it harder to use filters and lens caps and the situations in which they provide benefit are few and far between. I never use lens hoods unless I am specifically planning on shooting in flare prone situations. My hoods usually sit in a stack on the shelf and never make it into my bag.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  8. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    I never, never (ever) use the lens hood on my 14-140, because I tend to use it when I want to keep a compact kit. I didn't experience many (if any) issues with flare while I was in the Galapagos (and didn't even bring the hood with me, let alone mount it).

    On the other hand, ironically, I almost always use the lens hood on my Olympus 11-22...I figure since it's a massive enough, serious enough lens (and flares much more severely) that it's worth it. But I don't think it's even that effective, so it might be more placebo effect than anything else.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I tend to use hoods all the time since they definitely do make a difference to flare in some situations. They also offer protection against bumps without the downsides of filters (potential hit on IQ, additional flare generator, probably worse than nothing in a hard impact). However, I admit that ergonomically they are a PITA.
  10. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Real Name:
    I use them when I shoot in congested environments and the front element might get bumped by a passer by.
  11. zeb

    zeb New to Mu-43

    May 13, 2015
    Real Name:
    I use hood only if it is reversible like the O25 hood.
  12. lomomentum

    lomomentum Mu-43 Regular

    I use them as protectors more than anything else. And short metal aside angle screw in ones so that they can 'control' a fiddly polarising filter. Much easier to turn using the hood.
  13. Jerp31

    Jerp31 Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 15, 2015
    Real Name:
    Like some people here have said, right now I just use them mainly for glass protection. I've ordered the cheap metal vented lens hoods in black and silver for 46mm and 52mm on eBay from China. They run about $1 or $2 each (free shipping), don't add much length to a lens, and do what I need them to do.
  14. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    No reason to ask opinions on this. Just test for yourself. Shoot with/without the hood in various situations with the sun closer and closer to being in the frame. Test large and small apertures and also at wide and long zoom settings.

    I have done such testing and not seen much difference, hood or no hood. The previous point about the hood really only being effective at full wide zoom is also valid and probably says that hoods are more useful on primes. Finally, I am sure that the black/light absorbing internal coatings have been improved over the years since I was shooting Nikon primes always with hoods. This reduces the need for hoods.

    Protection is a big factor for me and old habits die hard, so I'll confess that I generally use 'em. But I can't defend them on zooms with much enthusiasm. In a low contrast situation (like an overcast day) I would not hesitate at all to leave mine at home.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  15. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Real Name:
    Andrew Lossing
    I much prefer hoods to filters when it comes to protection - they're cheaper and actually have the potential to improve image quality instead of degrading it.
  16. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I guess I don't care enough about my lenses, because I'd rather scratch one that use hoods all the time.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    It's not only scratches that are the risk. A few years ago my G1 with 14-140mm jumped off a table onto a concrete floor padded only slightly by glued down industrial carpet. The hood was reversed so the UV filter took the hit; filter ring bent and glass shattered to shards and powder. Probably without the filter it would have shattered the front element. Had I had the hood turned right side out for use, I think the hood would have absorbed the impact and just bounced, protecting both the lens and the filter.
    Last edited: May 22, 2015
  18. GnedTheGnome

    GnedTheGnome Mu-43 Regular

    You're right, of course. Except, the camera I originally bought was defective, and I'm still awaiting the replacement, so I currently have no camera to test it with. :'(

    Being the impatient person I am, I decided to get some other people's experiences in the mean time.
  19. Jfrader

    Jfrader Guest

    I never go outside without the hood on any lens. Indoors, not so much. That has been my rule since the film days. The only exception is some types of street photography when I'm trying to be discrete.

    And yes, they do improve IQ through reduction of glare and flare, even when it isn't seen.

    You won't find agreement on this. It is almost as contentious as the "protection filter - no filter" debate.
  20. piggsy

    piggsy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 2, 2014
    Brisbane, Australia
    I think all mine have hoods either on them, or on the way for ones that don't.

    Pretty simple test -

    (some pictures so ordinary they are not really worth sharing but are illustrative)


    Hey this no-hood thing is working out pretty good and this is an almost not entirely ruined picture.


    Oh wow I moved 5mm and now there is veiling flare (?) all over everything. Good thing this wasn't actually a picture worth taking in the first place :D
    • Like Like x 1