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Digital Photography Basics - Understanding The Camera Lens Hood

- - Sanny Tendilla

By Dan Fieldman



Basics Of Photography - Free Digital Photography Book



A camera lens hood is a cylindrical piece of plastic, rubber, or metal which fixs over your lens to prevent light from shining straight into it. The hood may screw into the front of the lens or some hoods are attached to the lens and can slide out like a sleeve.

Initially when I first got my DSLR camera I had no idea what a lens hood was. I purchased my camera used from a friend. It had 2 lenses. One of the lenses had a hood. I do not ever used the lens hood at first. Yes, I had a film SLR camera when I was younger and I should have known what a camera lens hood was, but I don't ever used one hood then either. One day I decided to use the hood to see if it made a variation and it did. Now I use my camera lens hood regularly.

Hoods can come in a variety of shapes and lengths. They are normally cylindrical, but they may also be square. The edge of the hood could be straight or flowered. Flowering of the edge should aid prevent vignetting when the hood is on properly. Hoods are made for each kind of lens. Make sure you use the hood that was made to be used with your lens. If you use a different hood you might get difficulties, like vignetting.

Digital Photography Principles - Improve Your Photographs

Lens hoods help reduce the shapes and streaks of color that bright light might cause in your picture called lens flare. But that's not the only thing a hood can do.

Using a lens may also help make the colors in your photos look richer. It helps prevent you from getting blown-out pictures.

If you wish to use flare as a creative effect in your picture you won't use a hood, certainly.

Digital Photography Basics - Protect Your Lens

As the hood stands apart from the front of the lens the way it does it may aid protect your lens from damage. That isn't the objective of a hood, but it can work as additional protection to prevent things in contact with the glass at the front of the lens.

It can also protect your lens from getting dust or water on the front element.

Digital Photography Principles - Potential Problems with Lens Hoods

Often hoods can cause problems with your pictures. If your hood is too large it may block your camera's built-in flash. If that's happening you'll notice that your photo is darker at the bottom.

Often you might notice vignetting when you use a particular lens hood. This all depends upon the lens your using and the size of hood. Lenses with a wider field of view can't use longer hoods. If you use a hood made for the particular lens your using, you wouldn't have this issue.




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