Even while you frequently see individuals with DSLRs or mirrorless cameras in public places or at tourist attractions, you hardly ever see them with lens hoods. This is unfortunate because a lens hood is a crucial accessory. Mohit Bansal Chandigarh has outlined the key justifications for using a lens hood in this piece, especially for novices.
What is a lens hood?
Beginners and even some more experienced photographers frequently forget to use a camera lens hood. Many people believe that this simple piece of plastic or metal that connects to the front of your lens is only there to make you and your equipment appear more professional, but it may really have a significant impact on the quality of your photographs.
So what is the purpose of a lens hood?
There are several reasons why you ought to utilize one, especially when shooting outdoors or in any setting where working with powerful light sources is involved. The main purpose of a lens hood is to exclude stray light from entering your lens, which can result in lens flare and reduce contrast in your photographs. When shooting into the sun or with a bright light source in front of the lens, this typically occurs. There are several situations in which a lens hood might be helpful because the majority of photographic techniques fundamentally entail chasing light.
Reasons Why You Should Be Using a Lens Hood
- Adds Image Contrast
Lens flares and intense glares that strike your lens practically obscure your view. They lessen contrast and image quality overall by washing out your image and maybe even causing discolorations. You may protect your lens from stray light and guarantee that it has a clear view of a scene by using lens hoods. You may try this on your own, just make sure the comparison photographs all have the same exposure settings.
- Protects the Lens
Another perk of utilizing a lens hood is that it shields the front element of the lens from damage. When it comes to external lens protection, many photographers make do with camera filters or even a lens cover. When shooting in adverse weather, lens hoods provide greater protection against accidental drops, scratches, fingerprints, and even falling snow and debris due to their exterior positioning and material. A lens hood won’t prevent your lens from breaking if it’s dropped, but it has a high chance of minimizing the damage. In the event of a shooting accident, a fractured lens hood is preferable to a broken front glass element. Given this, many experts advise leaving it on even if you aren’t bothered by outside illumination.
- They Block Light
To prevent stray light from hitting the front of the lens element, many photographers choose to employ a lens hood. Lens flares often result from light striking the lens element from outside the picture region. Most of us want to stay away from lens flare unless we’re aiming to be like J.J. Abrams. Once more, I’m choosing well-known filmmakers. But seriously, lens flare may sabotage a beautiful image. When I purposefully added lens flare, I used to believe I was being creative. In actuality, I shudder a little when I look back at some of my older pictures.
- Helps in Keeping the Lens Clean
A lens hood will serve as a useful barrier for our fingers, just like it did for reason two, shielding them from harm. Water splashes, a bubbling pot used to illustrate a food blog post, and even rain are examples of additional items that can get on a lens while it is in use. When my lens has a hood on it, particularly a hard hood, I discover that I am more aware of where the front of my lens is. I am less likely to unintentionally touch the front of my lens as a result. Another method we keep our lens clean is when it’s foggy outside, when sand is blowing, or when it’s raining. The lens hood can be used as the final piece of our protective foul weather clothing after placing our camera within a waterproof or weather-resistant bag.
- Eliminate lens flare
A lens flare is precisely what Reflection and refraction allow light sources that aren’t really in the picture region to collide with a lens element and enter the image. Lens flare can appear as a bright spot in the shape of the iris opening of the lens aperture or as a beam of light. Lens flare often worsens an image, except in some artistically inclined photographs. In addition to the actual light artifact, it also reduces contrast and increases dust scattering highlights.
How to Use a Lens Hood
The front of your lens is where lens hoods are attached. Just tighten the screws until the mount is stable before you start shooting. Some photographers store their lenses by removing the hoods from each one and stacking them on top of one another to simulate a long, wide lens. You may save up bag space by passing the camera strap through stacked hoods and fastening them outside the camera bag. Just be careful not to fire when the hood is in backward. You won’t receive any benefit from it, and it could even partially obstruct your focus or zoom rings. It will also make you appear like a total beginner.
When to Use a Lens Hood
It’s advisable to use a lens hood unless you’re trying for a specific aesthetic, like in this picture. In general, you should always utilize a lens hood. With absolutely no trade-offs, they enhance the quality of your photographs and somewhat increase the safety of your lenses. The major drawback is that they add some heft and are difficult to carry.
However, the following are the only circumstances in which a lens hood should not be used:
- As a creative effect, lens flare is what you desire.
- While utilizing a tripod, the wind is present (a lens hood could catch the wind).
- The light source is nearby and you’re using the macro setting on your camera.
- The filter holder stops you from mounting a lens hood when using filters.
- Use your lens hood, if you have one, in all other shooting scenarios. At worst, it won’t do anything, and at most, it will save a shot.
Tips for Using a Lens Hood
The greatest advice is to always have the lens hood attached. However, in the real world, things may become complicated. Lens hoods are cumbersome, heavy, and another item you need to carry about.
Here are some pointers and things to think about while using a lens hood:
- Don’t forget: A lens’ hood may be attached backward to reduce the amount of space it takes up in your backpack. Keep it in your camera bag if not. They are the type of item that may disappear in a drawer.
- Consider keeping the lens hood off if you want to keep things discreet or avoid drawing attention to the fact that you are a journalist. It makes your camera larger and more noticeable. This can be crucial when crossing borders internationally.
- If you’re shooting pictures directly in the sun or a floodlight, you’ll still get a lens flare. It only works on light sources beyond the frame.
- Even if it won’t be immediately noticeable, you should nonetheless use one: Even if you’ve managed without a lens hood up to this point, your upcoming session may be the one when you need one.
This article should have helped you understand when and how to use a lens hood for your photography. Although using a lens hood is easy, it may dramatically improve the quality of your images and may even prevent damage to your lens in the future.
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