Hi Steve,

Question:  I have a bunch of L lenses and each came with a lens hood.

I have never used a lens hood and am wondering just when I should use it.  I know this might sound amateurish but I really don't know when it is needed to be used!  I guess in bright sunshine to keep flare out - but even when shooting in the sun, I have zero problems with flare that I think a lens hood would solve.

Stick
 

Stick –

Lens hoods have several purposes.

1.  Depending on the individual lens design flare could be an issue as light enters the lens at certain angles.  I can tell you from experience that it’s very hard to predict when this will happen looking at the light around you.  I never was very good at geometry..

2.  Lens hoods protect your expensive investment.  Of all my lenses, if I damaged my exceptional 24-70 I think I'd cry.  I can replace the four times more expensive average 300/2.8 IS (they're all great) or my more expensive 85/1.2.. but my 24-70 is freaky sharp and we're best friends.

That said, you should realize that a soft pliable plastic lens hood will bounce off doorframes, tables, food vender carts and the such as you walk through crowded areas.  Even when fiddling around the studio it's easy to knock an unprotected lens on a table edge and ruin the lens.

Of course you're careful with your lenses and have probably developed techniques for safe carrying in such situations, we all have.  Some techniques are better than others.  Still, if your lens isn't protected by a hood then it's just a matter of time until you lose your best friend.

I hope this helps.

Steve
 

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