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Essential Top Tips On Using Camera Lens Hoods

Camera lens hoods in photography might seem a simple thing, but they're a really great tool that some overlook so here are a few tips on using these basic tools so you can get the best results from your photography.

|  General Photography
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Lens Hoods are inexpensive tools that a photographer can actually make a great deal of use of and that's why our friends The School of Photography have put this great tutorial together that explores all aspects of using lens hoods when capturing photos. 

For those who are visual learners, there's the video tutorial you can hit 'play' on above or you can take a look at The School of Photography website where you'll find the handy tips written down in more detail.

Should you want to skip to a particular section of the video, here are the timestamps:

  • 00:25​ - Why use a lens hood?
  • 00:50​ - Lens hood vs no lens hood
  • 02:58​ - When should you use a lens hood?
  • 03:50​ - What types of lens hoods are there?
  • 04:59​ - Which lens hood should I buy for my camera?

 

So, what's a lens hood used for?

Well, the main reason is to stop stray light from reaching your lens which can introduce lens flare and images won't pop as much (you can also use lens flare creatively but you'll find advice on this in one of our other photography tutorials). By stopping light from crossing the front element of your lens, you'll create photos with strong contrast, colours and tones. 

The most common time lens flare can appear is when you're shooting into the sun or have a strong light source in front of your lens but we recommend you carry your lens hood in your camera bag as even when you're indoors, oy capturing images under lights at night, you can get stray light that might spoil your shot. 

 

Lens Hood

 

Are there different types of lens hoods?

Yes, there are and they come in the form of cylindrical or petal shapes. Petal shape hoods are best used on standard zoom lenses or wide-angle lenses as without the cutouts, you'd see the edge of the hood on your photos when using wider lenses. You still should check the frame when using super-wide lenses as you still might be able to see the hood in the shot even if it's a petal-shaped one. Longer primes and telephoto lenses can be used with the cylinder-shaped hoods as their focal lengths are at a point where you won't be able to see the edge of the lens hood. 

You'll also need a lens hood that's designed for the lens you're using as it's not a 'one size fits all scenario'. Some lenses come supplied with a lens hood, too, so do check your box. To find the lens hood that fits your lens, you just need to know the name of your lens which you can pop into Amazon or any other shopping-based website. 

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