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Do You Need a Lens Hood?

While lens hoods come as a free accessory with many cameras, you may find that your camera comes without one. If you've never given thought to using a Nikon lens hood, you might not know the advantages that come of it. A 72 mm lens hood attaches to your compatible camera lens so they stick outward, and they are usually a durable plastic.

What Are the Advantages of Using a Lens Hood?

There are two reasons why photographers like to use a lens hood:

  • They block strong light: The main reason for using a lens hood is that they prevent light from hitting the lens from the sides, so you don't get pictures with contrast, bright spots, or flare. This is particularly useful when you are shooting outside on a bright sunny day, where taking a shot without a lens hood can result in unwanted light entering the lens causing ghosting and flare. Taking the same shot but with a lens hood on results in a clear image since there is no unwanted light.
  • They provide protection to your lens: When you are shooting in dusty or slightly wet conditions, dust or water can easily get into your lens and cause damage. The lens hood offers protection to the lens when the lens cap is off, so this risk is minimized. The hood also helps to protect against scratches to your lens, which can come in handy if you are carrying your camera through the forest or a place where other items could come into contact with your camera. You also have some impact protection should you drop your camera or knock it with force.

Are There Different Types of Lens Hoods?

Even though their purpose is the same, there are different shapes of Nikon lens hoods that suit certain types of lenses. You will find mainly three types to choose from in different mm sizes:

  • Round hood: A round hood is the most common hood type that you will find, and it often goes with standard or telephoto lenses.
  • Square: Photographers mostly use a square lens hood when they have a wide-angle lens on their camera. The square corners stop you from seeing it in your photos.
  • Petal-shaped: Petal-shaped lens hoods also commonly work with wide-angle lenses, and their unique shape avoids part of your picture cutting off.

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