Why Use a Lens Hood?

Lens hoods: do they really make a difference? Actually, there are many benefits to using one. David Bergman from Adorama shows you how lens hoods work and why he uses them all the time:

Reasons to Use a Lens Hood

  • It reduces lens flare and improves contrast. Lens flares appear as random bright spots or streaks of light and are caused when a direct light hits the front of a lens at certain angles. Lens flare can also cause the final image to look washed out and flat. A lens hood prevents the light from directly striking the front element of the lens and can help in reducing or eliminating lens flare and improving contrast.
lens flare without lens hood

Lens flare causes the image to look faded and washed out.

  • Lens hoods offer lens protection. While you’re walking around, your camera sometimes bumps into things. The lens hood can act as a shield for the lens and protect it from any possible damage.

lens hood protects

Reasons to Remove a Lens Hood

  • To use lens flare creatively. If you want to use lens flare creatively, take the hood off and angle the lens just right to get some lens flare or a washed out look.

using lens flare creatively

  • When using a pop-up flash. Lens hoods can sometimes block the light from the pop-up flash to the subject and create a shadow in the middle-bottom section of the image.

Bergman suggests that you put the lens hood on to the lens and let it be. It has almost no disadvantages.

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One response to “Why Use a Lens Hood?”

  1. Joe Switzer says:

    Nice post.
    As a professional photographer, I know it very well that how important lens hood is. It prevents light from hitting the front lens element from the sides – reducing contrast and creating flare.

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