Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital SLR and Interchangeable Lens Cameras > Olympus dSLR

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jan 18, 2008, 6:03 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 68
Default

Hi everyone. After floating around these forums for over a year, I have finally gotten an E510 to shoot with. I've had it for two days and love it!

But what's with the lens hood? I have no idea what they are good for, other than perhaps keeping out the sun. I'm taking really low light photos mostly in black and white, indoors usually. wider angle shots as opposed to zoom. Would the lens hood do any good for me?
Pickwick is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Jan 18, 2008, 6:45 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
tkurkowski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 3,625
Default

Pickwick wrote:
Quote:
But what's with the lens hood? I have no idea what they are good for, other than perhaps keeping out the sun. I'm taking really low light photos mostly in black and white, indoors usually. wider angle shots as opposed to zoom. Would the lens hood do any good for me?
Hi!

The purpose of a lens hood is to block off-axis stray light coming into your lens (i.e. light from directions other than that which your lens is pointing at). That off-axis light tends to bounce around in the lens and thus reduce the contrast in (muddy up)your photos.

If you were an amateur astronomer using a telescope to look at extremely faint objects this would be ahuge issue for you - you would be anal about off-axis light. For terrestrial photography a lens hoodis most effective when you are imaging in sunlight, and it's image improvement is way more subtle in other lighting situations. But the professional photographers I know, always use the lens hood. So I guess they figure it can't hurt in any situation, especially since, um, it's not a huge effort to add the lens hood.

You're welcome to make your own choices in other-than-sunlit situations <grin>, but do use it in sunlight.

By the way, you might wonder why modern lens hoods have that "flower-petal" shape. The idea there is that if the lens manufacturers provided an old-fashionedround lens hood, they would need to make it shorter to avoid vignetting the corners of the rectangular image. The "flower-petal" shape allows them to make the "petals" of the lens hood longer, blocking more stray light without vignetting the corners. So the flower-petal lens hood needs to be mounted on the lens with the longest "petals" in the horizontal (left-and-right) direction. OlyDSLR camera lens hoods (and I assume most other manufacturers) tend to force this mounting orientation by the way their mounting slotsare designed to couplewith the slots that the lens hood mounts on the lens with. (Hope that makes sense.)

Ted
tkurkowski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 18, 2008, 11:05 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Mikefellh's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Posts: 1,707
Default

It's also useful indoors for avoiding stray light sources, especially stage lighting.
Mikefellh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 19, 2008, 8:48 AM   #4
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 68
Default

Thanks for the response. Great answer!
Pickwick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 19, 2008, 12:51 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Scouse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Camano Island, WA.
Posts: 2,328
Default

tkurkowski wrote:
Quote:
Pickwick wrote:
Quote:
But what's with the lens hood? I have no idea what they are good for, other than perhaps keeping out the sun. I'm taking really low light photos mostly in black and white, indoors usually. wider angle shots as opposed to zoom. Would the lens hood do any good for me?
Quote:
Hi!
The "flower-petal" shape allows them to make the "petals" of the lens hood longer, blocking more stray light without vignetting the corners. So the flower-petal lens hood needs to be mounted on the lens with the longest "petals" in the horizontal (left-and-right) direction.
Quote:
Ted
Yeh, I found out the hard way that they have to be mounted how Ted said. I took some indoor wide angle shots of a bathroom that I'd done up and for a while I couldn't figure what this half moon shadow was at the bottom of my photos.

Being a quick and as bright as I am it only took a couple of hours :?to realize thata combination of the cameraflash and the hood being 45 degrees out, did it to me.

Scouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 21, 2008, 6:53 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
tkurkowski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Maryland, USA
Posts: 3,625
Default

Mikefellh wrote:
Quote:
It's also useful indoors for avoiding stray light sources, especially stage lighting.
Good point.

I should also add that one problem with most lens hoodsis that they tend to make it difficult to rotate a polarizing filter. The pro-level Oly lenses (at least the 35-100F2) include a little sliding door in the hood that allows you to rotate the filter. (Maybe that's why that sucker is so expensive <grin>.)

The interesting thing about polarizers is that they aren't as effective in making a blue sky more blue, as they used to be years ago. As far as I can tell, this is because blue skies aren't nearly as blue as they used to be. In countries that have a lot of jet aircraft in the sky, the water vapor combustion product from the engines has accumulated enough that blue skies are now just pale blue. This was demonstrated dramatically in the few days after 9/11. The grounding of jet planes at that time left the skies a much deeper blue - this was noted by many meteorologists.

Maybe this strays pretty far from the original question, but I just thought I'd mention it...

Ted


tkurkowski is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 6:31 AM.