Last updated: August 9, 2021

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Welcome to our big lens hood test 2021. Here we present all the lens hoods we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information for you and also added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should pay attention to if you want to buy a lens hood.




Summary

  • A lens hood prevents unsightly coloured spots on your photos, which can be caused by shooting against the sunlight.
  • You can also distinguish between lens hoods by their shape. There are tulip-shaped and enclosed lens hoods.
  • When buying a lens hood, you should pay attention to the material. It can not only improve the quality of your photos, but also protect your lens.

The Best Lens Hood: Our Choices

Buying and evaluation criteria for lens hoods

In the following, I will show you some criteria that make a comparison and evaluation of lens hoods possible. Based on these factors, it will be easier for you to decide on the right lens hood for your SLR camera.

In summary, these are:

In the following paragraphs you can read about the individual purchase criteria and how you can classify them.

Shape of the lens hood

The shape of the lens hood must be adapted to the lens of your SLR camera. There are different types and shapes of lens hoods. For example, there are the tulip-shaped attachments. These also often differ in terms of length.

This has to do with the focal length of your camera. The longer the focal length, the longer the lens hood can be without causing vignetting.

But there are also closed lens hoods. These are mostly used with telephoto lenses. They look like an extension for your lens. So if you have a telephoto lens, I recommend a hood.

With other lenses, a tulip-shaped hood is more suitable for taking optimal photos.

Dimensions of the lens hood

Again, the size or dimension of the lens hood must be adapted to the lens of your SLR camera. When buying a lens hood, make sure that it actually fits your lens.

I advise you to buy the lens hood directly from a specialist shop. There you have the opportunity to try it out on your camera.

Of course, it is more convenient to order the lens hood on the Internet and have the option of returning it free of charge. This way you don't have to carry your camera to a shop.

Make sure you buy the right aperture for your camera. Other camera models require different apertures.

Lens hood weight

No one likes to lug around unnecessary ballast. Of course, the weight of a lens hood is not even close to the weight of a lens, let alone a digital SLR camera.

Nevertheless, it is always good to know how much the hood will weigh. The lighter the better. Because that way you can hold your hands more steady and won't blur your photo.

Lens hood material

There are two or three types of lens hoods on the market. On the one hand, there are hoods made of solid plastic or metal. These are usually found in the middle to upper price range. On the other hand, there are mouldable hoods made of rubber.

The different materials have to do with protection from the weather, among other things. A metal screen is more protective than one made of plastic.

Metal encloses the camera better. This gives you better protection against moisture. However, metal is heavier and therefore weighs more on your (V)DSLR.

Whether you choose a rigid or foldable lens hood depends on how you want to store the hoods. With fixed hoods, you either have to leave them on the lens or have an extra place in your camera bag.

A rubber hood can be conveniently folded. The foldable hood is more flexible and does not need extra storage.

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying lens hoods

What is a lens hood?

A lens hood is a photographic accessory. You can also call it a lens hood or a lens shade. The purpose of a lens hood is to prevent the quality of your photo from deteriorating. With a lens hood, light coming in from the side cannot reflect off the photo lens.

If you take photos without a lens hood, lens flares can occur. This means that optical overlaps occur. Disturbing circles in rainbow colours can be seen in the photo.

In addition, you can no longer distinguish the dark and light colours in your picture so well. Your photo will therefore have less contrast than with a lens hood. Another advantage of a lens hood is that it protects against external influences. For example, against light rain, spray, etc.

gegenlichtblende

Lens hoods prevent light from the side from being reflected. (Image source: Anestiev / pixabay)

There are different types of lens hoods. For example, there are the tulip-shaped (also: kidney-shaped) attachments. These also often differ in terms of length. This has to do with the focal length of the respective camera.

The longer the focal length, the longer the lens hood can be without darkening the edges of the photo (vignetting).

However, there are also closed lens hoods. These are mostly used with telephoto lenses. They look like a simple extension for your lens.

You can also buy lens hoods for compact cameras and bridge cameras. These are correspondingly smaller. In addition, the choice is much smaller than for digital SLR cameras. Because there are also fewer people interested in them.

Mostly, only passionate hobby photographers and professionals buy lens hoods. And they usually own a (V)DSLR.

Lens hoods are available for most types of cameras. Depending on the model, the attachments have different shapes.

How do I use a lens hood?

Because of the different manufacturers, there are also different ways to attach the lens hood to your lens. With older models, you have to screw the hood directly into the filter thread.

More modern models have a bayonet mount. So you have to put the hood on the lens and tighten both components in the opposite direction.

If you are using the lens hood or want to protect your lens, attach the hood so that the "leaves" of the tulip-shaped hood face away from the camera. If you just want to carry the lens hood, you can simply put it on your lens upside down.

You can almost always leave the lens hood on your lens. Except when taking pictures using the built-in flash or an external flash. This is because the hood can cast unsightly shadows in such shots.

How much do lens hoods cost?

Lens hoods can be bought at different prices. The brand has the greatest influence on the price.

The following table shows you how the costs can differ:

model price
"No Name Models" 5€ - 10€
brand names 20€ -30€

You can already get lens hoods relatively cheaply from manufacturers with unknown names. Lens hoods from well-known manufacturers are sold at somewhat higher prices.

What types of lens hoods are there and which is the right one for you?

Basically, you can distinguish between two types of lens hoods:

  • Kidney-shaped lens hood
  • Closed lens hood

A lens hood prevents stray light and lens reflections on your pictures. It is very important that your lens hood fits the focal length of your lens, otherwise the hood cannot fulfil its purpose.

That is why every manufacturer offers a matching lens hood for your lens. This way you can get the best effect.

Lens hoods differ in their shape and their affiliation to a lens and can thus be assigned to a camera of a manufacturer. In the following section, we would like to introduce you to the different shapes of lens hoods, as well as their advantages and disadvantages.

Cardioid lens hood

All lens hoods differ from each other only in their shape and lens compatibility, as the effect always remains the same.

The lens hood described has a kidney-shaped or tulip-shaped design and is mainly used with digital SLR cameras, but is also common with bridge and compact cameras.

The longer the focal length of your lens, the longer your lens hood should be.

If you buy a lens hood made specifically for the lens, you can be sure that the length of your lens hood fits your camera perfectly.

Advantages
  • Best for wide-angle lenses
Disadvantages
  • Plastic models can break more easily
  • an improper lens hood will create the vignette effect

Since the lens hood also provides protection for the front lens, you should consider what material your hood should be made of.

A rubber or hard plastic lens hood will have the same image effect as a metal lens hood, but a metal hood is only found in the higher price range.

Enclosed lens hood

Closed lens hoods are characterised by the fact that they do not have the tulip shape, but are completely closed at the outer edges. This is often used with telephoto lenses and should also be used with the corresponding lens.

Advantages
  • Also very stable in plastic version
Disadvantages
  • Only well suited for telephoto lenses
  • An unsuitable lens hood produces undesirable effects

The type of use and the effect always remain the same, regardless of the shape.

Can I only take good photos with a lens hood?

In principle, every photographer decides for himself what constitutes good and what constitutes bad photos. But if we had to choose between a lower-contrast and a higher-contrast picture, we would both probably take the higher-contrast one.

Because more contrast usually means more expressiveness in the picture. And such a picture is easier to take with a lens hood.

In an emergency, larger objects can also replace a lens hood. So if you are sitting in the shadow of a big tree or house, no disturbing light can reflect from the side.

If you are patient, you can also wait until the clouds move in front of the sun. However, this has the disadvantage that the entire photo will be darkened.

Another possibility is to put your hand protectively around the outside of the lens. To come back to the question: Yes, you can still take good photos.

But if you really want to always take good photos without lens flares, then you should consider getting a lens hood.

Image source: Popov / 123rf

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