Lens Hoods: Why, When, and How to Use One in Photography

You will often get a lens hood free of charge when you purchase a new lens. While many people leave the lens hood on and don’t think twice about its purpose, this handy tool is not just for show.
Lens hoods are essential tools to help achieve the best results in your photos by eliminating unwanted glare or flare. They also protect your lens from damage. What situations should you use your lens hood in? When should it be taken off? Let’s see.

Table of Contents

  • What’s a Camera Lens Hood?
  • Why Use a Lens Hood?
  • Why Should You Use a Lens Hood.
  • Why Should You Use a Lens Hood?
  • How to Purchase a Lens Hood
  • How do you use a Lens Hood?
  • How do you store a lens hood?
  • Lens Hoods are more useful than you might think

What is a Camera Hood?

An accessory that attaches to your lens’ front is the lens hood. It is usually made from metal or plastic, but you can make it yourself with any light-blocking material.

There are two types of lens covers: petal and tube. Tube lens hoods don’t have corners. The shape of your camera’s sensor and the type of lens you attach to it will determine which lens hood you choose.

Why should you use a lens hood?

Reason #1: Unwanted light

A lens hood’s main purpose is to block light sources that could cause glare and lens flares.

Each lens hood’s design allows direct light to enter the lens from the angle of the view, while blocking any stray light rays coming from the outside.

Tube and petal lens hoods are effective in stopping light from entering the lens. This makes it possible to get your shot even when there is excessive lighting.

Reason #2: Protection against Damage

Lens hoods can be used to protect your lens from damage and from the elements. Lens hoods protect your lens against damage that could cause it to stop working properly.

The lens hood will be the first thing to fall if your camera is dropped. Even if it does break, replacing it is far less costly than replacing or repairing a lens. The lens filter can protect your front glass element from scratches and cracks in the event that the lens is accidentally thrown or collides with another object.

Reason #3: Keep the Lens Clear

To take better photos in adverse weather, you can use your lens cover. The cover will protect your lens from rain, making it more difficult for the precipitation to enter the camera. This will allow you to concentrate on taking the shot you want.

What is the best time to use a lens hood?

This article explains the basics of a lens cover and why it is important to use one. It’s important to consider the various situations where a lens hood can be useful.

If you want contrast in your images

You’ll be able to recognize the challenges of creating contrast images if you have ever taken photos on sunny days.

By keeping your lens hood on, you can avoid losing contrast. This means that you will only need to make adjustments during post-production.

In conditions with many light sources

Photography is all about lighting. However, too many sources can cause unwanted light to leak into your images. It doesn’t matter how well your composition is, it can be hard to fix a photo that has light issues in post production.

In rough and rugged locations

Photographers love the stunning natural landscapes in countries like Iceland and Norway. You might find yourself in places like these, where you could be at risk of dropping your camera or bumping into rocks.

Your lens hood can provide some protection if you are worried about your camera falling. You might consider using a lens hood for protection when hiking on rocky terrains or indoors on hard (and possibly slippery) floors.

To better secure your camera, you should also consider purchasing a sturdy and secure strap.

Why should you use a lens hood?

While there are many benefits to using lens hoods in certain situations, it is worth considering whether you should.

Windy Weather

Even the most skilled photographers can find it difficult to photograph in windy conditions. High winds can cause camera shake and blurry images. They could even cause your tripod-mounted camera’s toppling.

If you are using a slow shutter speed and a more telescopic lens, it may be a good idea to take the cap off. You can stabilize your camera using a tripod (possibly weighted) or another flat surface if your images are still blurry.

Dry Weather – Overcast but Dry

A lens hood may help to keep water out of the glass but it is not their primary purpose. Overcast weather causes lighting levels to drop and lens flare doesn’t become as severe.

You can leave your lens hood off if you are photographing in cloudy conditions and it is not raining. It can be kept in your bag for any eventualities.

If You Want Lens Flare in your Images

Sometimes lens flare can improve the appearance and feel of a photograph. For example, think about golden hour. This is when the sun shines through your photo.

You want lens flare for your photos. A hood can block your creativity vision. Remove it and get shooting.

How to buy a Lens Hood

It is essential to ensure that you have the correct lens hood for your specific lens model if you don’t already own one.

Search engines or online camera stores will provide the right lens hoods for you by entering the model name and the words “lenshood” into a search box. Double-check the description to ensure that the lens hood you are purchasing is correct for your lens. Lens hoods are made specifically for your lens’s angle.

How do you use a lens hood?

It doesn’t matter if you have a tube or petal lens hood, it is easy to use. Simply place it on your lens, and then rotate it until it makes a clicking sound.

You will find indication markings on your lens barrel as well as the lens hood that indicate where they should be aligned before you rotate.

Some lens hoods have locking mechanisms that use screws, other features or both to stop the lens from being accidentally removed from the lens. Others are held in place by friction.

If the lens hood falls off easily, it is likely that it was not properly mounted. You can then take your camera with you.

How do you store a lens hood?

Modern lens hoods can be removed and stored in your camera bag. To lock your lens hood in place, simply position it on your lens’ front and rotate it as normal. The hood will cover the barrel of your lens, not extend outwards.

Lens Hoods are more useful than you might think

Now you are familiar with what a lens cover is and how to use it correctly. A lens hood will allow you to take the best shots possible and reduce damage to your equipment.

Lens hoods are great for most photographers. However, some prefer to leave theirs at the house. You can experiment with both approaches to determine which one is best for you.