The too-often-overlooked lens hood.
Does this sound familiar? You go out and buy a news lens. You unpack it with bated breath. You can’t wait to try it out! You carefully pick it up, treating it like a fragile newborn baby. You gently attach it to your camera…Then you toss the lens hood it came with into your closet and set off to capture the perfect image…
But a lens hood is an important piece of photographic equipment, one that can both improve your images and protect your camera.
A lens hood has two purposes.
Its primary function is to shade the front of the lens, blocking light and stopping it from hitting the lens from the side. This shading reduces or eliminates lens flare and results in clearer, crisper images that have richer, more saturated colors.
Secondly, a lens hood helps to protect the front elements of the lens from fingerprints, scratches, dust and accidental bumps and bruises.
The video below is a great guide to using lens hoods. Everything you ever wanted to know about them is here. In it, Phil Steele of Steeletraining not only makes a compelling case for shooting with a lens hood, but he also gives lots of great tips on the practical aspects of carrying one more piece of equipment.
I think you’ll find it very informative.