Lens Hoods, are they really necessary?

lens hood

 Just about all my lenses are fitted with lens hoods. Some either came with them, as in the case of the Sigmas. And some hoods I had to purchase separately as Canon does not ship their entry level lenses with them. Lens hoods serve a few purposes. First and foremost they block out unwanted light and can improve saturation of a photo. Think of a being outside on a bright sunny day with out anything covering your eyes. Then being out on a bright sunny day then putting a ball cap on, how it makes looking at things easier. Or sometimes you even put your hand up to your brow. The same thing happens with using a lens hood. Sometimes you catch the sun when taking a pic and get unwanted flaring across your subject, a lens hood can help you avoid that. Another thing a lens hood can help do is protect the lens. Now this isn’t technically the purpose but it does help. Now I don’t normally use any kind of filters on my lenses. Its just my preference, I prefer to shoot with out them. So the element on the front is always exposed to everything. Having a hood on keeps my fingers away from the lens. I don’t use a conventional neck strap, I use a shoulder strap that lets me hang the camera at my side. Sometimes I’m reaching blindly and it helps keep my fingers off the glass. There was another time I was climbing up some rocks and my camera swung around and hit one. The edge of the hood took the nick and not the lens. If you are on a budget or not it is a good accessory to have. Factory ones are in the $30-$35 range while you can pick up aftermarket (what I use ) for $12-$18.

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