When Should I Use a Lens Hood?

  • Thread starter JGaulard
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I've got a new one for you. It's snowing in the northeast today and my lady is outside taking pictures of birds as I sit here and type. She asked if she should use her lens hood. I didn't even think of that. I answered that she should. That's genius! Use the lens hood to keep snow off the camera lens. I'll have to add this one to the list of lens hood uses.

I wrote a post yesterday that covered some reasons why camera lens hoods are important. They really do have so many purposes. We already have the snow thing, but did you know that lens hoods can protect the end of your lens from damage? Think about it - it's a big piece of plastic that covers the side of the lens, where the glass is. Since that's such a sensitive area, it's important to protect it whenever you can.

The most important reason to use a lens hood (tulip) is to shield the camera's sensor from light that reflects in and through the lens tube from an angle. This type of light can cause ghosting and flares. If you've ever looked at your shots after a photo shoot and saw weird spots on them, those are most likely flares. Those aren't supposed to be there.

Now, sometimes flares are very cool looking and if you're going for that type of a look, then, by all means, don't use a sun shield. But if you want clean shots, keep that shield on your camera as much as possible. Even when you're not shooting on a sunny day.

Reminder, a lens tulip (shield or hood) won't protect your photos when you're shooting and the sun is actually in your shot. That's another story in and of itself. That's a special type of photography that we'll talk about another time.

Questions? Comment? Please share down below.
When Should I Use a Lens Hood? was posted on 11-16-2018 by JGaulard in the General Photography Talk forum.