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Purpose of lense hood

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Dave B
Purpose of lense hood
on May 26, 2005 at 2:05:54 pm

Sorry for the simple question....but can someone tell me the purpose of a lens hood? They seem to be on all the pro cameras. I'm using a Panasonic DV-PV953 and am wondering if a lens hood will help improve my shots.


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Leo Ticheli
Re: Purpose of lense hood
on May 26, 2005 at 2:39:23 pm

A lens hood helps prevent stray light from causing flares by striking your lens surface; other than that, it will not make your shots better.

Of course it might make you look more professional and cooler, and that might affect your confidence; it's probably as effective as wearing one of those, "photographer's vests," but doesn't have all those helpful pockets. Even more helpful would be increasing your skills in composition and lighting.

A lens hood also helps protect the lens surface and it's lighter than a matte box, but probably doesn't offer as much flare protection. Lens hoods are lighter and some have a provision for holding filters, though not as many as a matte box, and lens hoods may cause vignetting with wide angle shots.

Good shooting!

Leo
Director/Cinematographer
Southeast USA



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Dave
Re: Purpose of lense hood
by
on May 26, 2005 at 3:01:52 pm

Thanks Leo. Looking cooler at the very least will make it worthwile.


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Bob Cole
Re: Purpose of lense hood
on Jun 7, 2005 at 1:06:16 pm

The lens hood has a drawback in that it sometimes makes it harder to see the front of your camera lens. Okay, I'm speaking personally here: I put on a lens hood once and as a result failed to notice that the front element had a piece of gunk on it. It was almost impossible to see, until I saw the footage on a big monitor.

With small cameras, one of the biggest shot-killers is that tiny piece of gunk on the front lens element (or filter). It will be enough in focus on bright exteriors, that it will ruin your pretty scenic pans by staying in exactly the same place while the scenery moves.

I don't know your camera, but if it doesn't have a filter wheel with ND, an easy-to-add ND filter would be another good accessory for your lens hood or matte box. The ND will make you use a wider aperture, throwing any front-element gunk out of focus.

-- BC


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Leo Ticheli
Re: Purpose of lense hood
on Jun 7, 2005 at 6:05:59 pm

A dirty lens can be cleaned; a scratched lens is another story. Don't toss your lens hood unless you're replacing it with a matte box.

I always carry a flashlight, really, two; one on my key ring, a Photon (everyone should have one), and a larger one, a SureFire. A good camera light is one of those little doctor's penlights with the momentary button on the base; they're light-weight, compact, and just the ticket for checking the lens.

Good shooting!

Leo
Director/Cinematographer
Southeast USA




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