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When should I use a lens hood?
When should I use a lens hood?

Dave Fiala - September 2020

People have often asked. When should I use a lens hood? The short answer is, almost always. A lens hood is used to reduce or eliminate unwanted lens flare. Using a lens hood will increase contrast and give you better color.  

There are times when you might want to introduce lens flare to a picture to add a dramatic or mysterious element to the image but this is an exception to the rule.
Lens hoods also provide a little extra protection for your lens. A hood is not intended to act as a shock-absorbing bumper. However, there have been many times when lens hoods have offered their valiant service for that purpose.

When using a lens hood you should check and make sure that it is not blocking your built-in flash. Make sure you zoom your lens all the way through its range to be sure that the hood is not interfering with the flash.

Many manufactures include the correct hood with the lens. Tamron for example invariably packs the correct hood with all of their lenses so when you buy a new Tamron lens you automatically have the hood. If you have a lens that did not come with a hood and you want one just make sure you get the correct one for your specific lens. With some exceptions, lens hoods are not an expensive addition to your collection of necessary accessories.

You could say that a lens hood is like a pleasant smile. It is one of the things in life that costs the least and does the most.

Check out our large selection of lens hoods here