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LENS HOODS?

I recently saw a YouTube video about lens hoods and why you should or shouldn't use them. I suppose any channel that is related to photography, at some point will make such a video and usually they're biased, I just want to get pure information with no personal misinformation. So I thought why not do my take on it since everyone else is doing :) My personal experience is that yes, lens hoods are great and I'll explain why through my personal experience. I'll get the one thing that is the only drawback out of the way right off the bat though. Lens hoods do take some valuable space in your camera bag. Now, can you complain about it? Sure, but for me these hoods are crucial. It's not so much that I am worried about getting lens flares, because a lot of the time I like to shoot against the light source to begin with, but of course, occasionally that helps as well. For me it's literally to protect the front element of the lens. Two instances where I find this useful is when I'm hiking and when taking photos of concerts. When I'm hiking, I usually have my camera bag on the back and a camera on a neck strap on the side. Sometimes I'm going through some rougher terrain and my main concern is not to scratch the front element even though I do use a UV filter, when you're in the middle of nowhere, you don't want to take any chances. However, if the circumstances get too intense, I will put the camera in the bag so I can use all my extremities for climbing or keeping better balance and not worry about my gear. I suppose it's the same type of concern when taking photos of concerts, because I have a camera on each side of me and it's quite likely that the camera will get some bumps if I'm trying to crawl in some odd space to get a unique angle. So again, it's the protective value of a lens hood. Imagine trying to quickly switch from one camera to the other and getting your greasy fingers on that front element. If there is a smudge, no way you wanna keep shooting like that, but cleaning takes time, time equals to shots missed, potentially the best shots of your life. Also, if you don't have a lens hood on, it might happen that you hit the side of the UV filter(or whichever filter you may use) and dent it. With my understanding, that might also cause some damage to the lens itself. Come to think of it, the only lens for which I don't use the lens hood is my Canon 16-35 L f2.8….Mark I…? Not sure. The hood of that lens is ridiculously large and awkward. The more gear I accumulated in by bag, then more often I would leave it out of the bag. Also, that is not the lens that I use while hiking or in concerts that often. If I do, I'll swap out the lens for the shot that I have in mind and that's it. If I want to use a wider angle for some landscape, these days I go for a panoramic stitch anyway. At the end of the day I think that to a certain degree it's a personal preference of using a lens hood. I really try to keep my gear in good condition, because this stuff ain't cheap and I don't do photography full time, so I want it to last as long as possible. Also, if you have a lot of money, you can skip the whole hood thing :) Oh, I almost forgot! My 50mm L f1.2 had a nasty, roughly 4m (13ft) fall from one staircase to another. While the lens was airborne, I closed my eyes and turned away, because I couldn't bare the sight of it and I couldn't do anything about it anyway, but I could still hear that emptiness and then bam-bam-bum-….rattling down the stairs, once it hit them…. I went down to pick up a jigsaw puzzle, but everything was in its place, including the hood. I quickly put the lens on the camera to check the autofocus. Oddly enough, everything was fine and the lens seemed sharp. Only the hood had some very minor dent. Now, if that hood was not in its place….who knows…. I do have to say that the 50mm has a very dense hood and because of the diameter not being too large, it's very sturdy and solid (clearly)!!! Regardless, I took the lens to a shop to test the glass. I was told that there was some minor shift, but that was an easy fix. I guess it was so minor, that I didn't even notice it, since the lens is a bit soft to begin with, which, I then learned, is not that uncommon for L series lenses. Didn't expect that. Unexpected shit happens… take care of your gear :)

All photos are copyrighted by Jānis Porietis © 2010-2020