Many amateurs use a lens hood on their lens (especially since it sometimes already comes with the lens in a kit), but practice shows that not everyone knows exactly why they need it after all.
At the end of the article is how to get a very cheap (actually free) lens hood for any lens.
Some of the most popular reasons for using a lens hood on an SLR camera lens include the following:
- A lens with a lens hood looks "more professional" and cooler (i.e., longer).
- A lens hood can provide extra protection for the lens when dropped.
- The hood partially protects against drips on the front lens when shooting in the rain.
- Using a lens hood avoids glare on the lens when shooting at a wide angle.
Of course, there are good reasons to use lens hoods for all of these reasons. However, its original purpose was to cut off light that was irrelevant to the scene, but could be caught by the lens. To put it simply, it's the same function as the palm of your hand that we place "visor" over your eyes when we're trying to see something in the bright sun. After all, when direct sunlight or other sources hit the lens (especially in multi-lens zooms) light spots and flares are formed due to light reflection and may appear in the image.
In addition, direct rays of bright light may strongly emphasize the dust on the surface of the front lens as a bright spot.
Short-throw lenses in particular suffer from the problem of side (upper/lower) light reflection.
Manufacturers offer different types of lens hoods in terms of size, material (mostly plastic, less often metal), and shape: with a smooth round edge and shaped edges. The deed of shaped edges of hoods arose from the desire to provide full coverage of the lens from unnecessary flare and not to let the edges of the hood get into the frame when shooting at wide angle.
So if you're going to shoot on a bright sunny day, or in a room with mirrors, mirrored floors or ceilings, you should consider using a hood.
Disadvantages of hoods: When using a built-in flash, part of the frame may be darkened because the hood cuts off some of the light. The solution to this problem is simple enough - remove the hood, or use an external flash (or a taller on-camera flash).
The cheapest lens hood is free
An enthusiast from www.lenshoods.net has decided to come to the aid of those photographers who need a hood not for "show off" or "extra protection" of the lens, but to use it for its direct purpose - to protect against glare and flare in the images. His website provides "patterns" for making cardboard hoods for many of the most used lenses from different manufacturers. So, anyone can get a hood for the price of a sheet of cardboard, i.e. almost for free.
All you have to do to have a lest hood is to download the .pdf file, print it on cardboard at 100% scale (i.e., without shrinking or stretching, so as not to get the wrong size of the hood).
Best, of course, is a black hood. But printing a "pattern" on black cardboard is almost useless. Therefore, you can either use dark gray cardboard, or you can paint your hood after it is printed and assembled before mounting it on the lens.
After the hood is printed and cut out, all you have to do is bend and glue it together.
In order to fix such a hood on the lens more firmly, you can use a rubber band of the appropriate size over the petals, or duct tape.
So download the patterns for lens hoods and hide your lenses from glare!
(don't forget to download our free gray exposure card)
The most popular Nikon hoods::
Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 D lens hood
Lens hoods for Nikon Micro Nikkor AF-S VR 105mm f/2.8 G IF-ED Macro
Nikon AF-S VR Nikkor 200mm f/2 D
Nikon AF Zoom-Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 G IF-EF DX
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 18-200mm DX VR f/3.5-5.6 G
The most popular Olympus hoods::
Olympus ZUIKO Digital 14-45mm f/3.5-5.6
Olympus ZUIKO Digital 18-180mm f/3.5-4.5
Olympus ZUIKO Digital 35-100mm f/2
Olympus ZUIKO Digital 35mm f/3.5 Macro
Olympus ZUIKO Digital 50mm f/2 Macro
The most popular lens hoods for Pentax::
Pentax SMC 100mm f/2.8 D FA Macro
Pentax SMC 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 DA AL
Pentax SMC 100mm f/2.8 D FA Macro
Pentax SMC 50-200mm f/4-5.6 DA ED
Pentax SMC 50mm f/2.8 D FA Macro