How to Use a Lens Hood

Written by linda mitchell
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How to Use a Lens Hood
Some photographers use round hoods at times to create artistic vignetting. (vignette 100 image by jimcox40 from Fotolia.com)

A lens hood is a tubelike camera accessory that helps keep unwanted and overly bright light out of particular shot. It also protects lenses from unsightly fingerprints, dust and scratches. A hood easily attaches onto a variety of lenses. Photographers use them most often with telephoto lenses due to the reduced field of view with these long-distance shots. Most hoods are either round or flower-shaped and both help to prevent light rays and lens flares from entering a shot.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Find a lens hood that matches your existing lenses. Look for the hood and filter size on the side or front portion of a particular lens. You can also take your camera into a retail shop to ensure you buy a hood that will attach onto the lenses you already own. Flower-shaped hood are more common when using telephoto lenses because round hoods may hinder the shorter field of view.

  2. 2

    Attach the lens hood to your camera by screwing it onto the front portion of your lens in a clockwise direction. To remove the hood, screw in the opposite direction.

  3. 3

    Shoot photographs with and without your lens hood attached to get a feel for the increased richness and sharpness you can achieve with a lens hood in bright-light situations. The lens hood will not hinder shutter speeds or aperture settings in any way.

  4. 4

    Practice taking photographs with both types of hoods. Flower-shaped hoods are common because you can use them with telephoto and wide angle lenses. Round hoods, on the other hand, tend to keep more stray light out of a shot but can cause vignetting. In essence, there is no ideal lens hood, so practice using both of them so you know which one to use in real-life settings that are often far from ideal.

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