When to Use a Camera Lens Hood for the Best Shots

When to Use a Camera Lens Hood for the Best Shots

A camera lens hood can be an essential piece of equipment for any photographer. But when should you use it? And how can it help you take the best shots?

In this article, we will discuss the benefits of using a camera lens hood and provide some tips on how to get the most out of yours!

What is a Camera Lens Hood?

A lens hood, also called a lens shade, is a piece of equipment used on cameras to block out stray light that might otherwise cause a lens flare.

Lens hoods come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and they can be attached to the camera lens in several different ways. Some lens hoods are permanently attached to the lens, while others can be removed when not in use.

In general, lens hoods are used when shooting outdoors or in other situations where there is bright light. When used properly, lens hoods can help to reduce lens flare and improve the overall quality of your photos.

What Does a Camera Lens Hood Do?

Here’s what a camera lens hood can do for your camera lens and why you should consider investing in one.

Protects Your Lens From Accidental Damage

A lens hood can help protect your lens from potential damage by providing a barrier between the lens and the outside world.

If you’re shooting in a crowded area, for example, there’s a greater risk that your camera could be bumped or knocked. A lens hood can help to cushion the blow and prevent your lens from being damaged.

Reduces Lens Flare

In addition, a lens hood can help reduce unwanted light. It does this by blocking stray light from entering the camera lens.

Lens flares can occur when light hits the camera lens at certain angles, and they can often be seen as streaks of light in photos.

While lens flares can sometimes be used to create a certain effect, they are generally considered to be undesirable.

Keeps the Lens Clear

A lens hood can also help keep the lens clear from things like dust, dirt, and water droplets.

This is especially important if you’re shooting in a dusty or dirty environment, or harsh weather conditions. By keeping the lens clean, you can ensure that your photos are free from blemishes that could create blurry images.

Adds Contrast to an Image

A lens hood can help add contrast to an image by blocking out stray light. This can be particularly useful when shooting in backlit situations.

For example, if you’re taking a photo of someone standing in front of a window, using a lens hood can help to prevent the light from the window from washing out the subject of your photo.

Overall, a camera lens hood is a worthwhile investment for anyone who wants to protect their camera lens and ensure optimal image quality.

When Should You Use a Camera Lens Hood?

Here are some scenarios where you will want to use a lens hood on your camera lens.

In Harsh Outdoor Environments

If you’ve ever taken landscape photos in harsh conditions, you know that the elements can wreak havoc on your camera gear. Sand and dust can quickly get into the lenses and sensors, while high winds can knock over tripod-mounted cameras.

One way to protect your gear is to use a camera lens hood. Lens hoods are designed to shield the lens from the elements, and they can be particularly useful in windy or dusty environments.

So the next time you decide to do landscape photography, make sure you have a lens hood on your camera to prevent any damage.

In Conditions with Many Light Sources

A lens hood is an important piece of photography equipment that helps to reduce the amount of unwanted light that hits the lens.

In conditions with many light sources, such as bright sun or fluorescent lighting, a lens hood can make a big difference in the quality of the resulting image. By blocking out some of the excess light, a lens hood allows the photographer to capture a more accurate representation of the scene.

In addition, lens hoods can help to reduce lens flare, which can be caused by light bouncing off of the lens surface.

By using a lens hood, photographers can ensure that they are getting the most out of their camera equipment.

When You Want Contrast in Your Images

If you want to ensure contrast is maintained in your images in bright environments, you’ll want to use a lens hood. This is because the sun can sometimes create a “washed-out” look in your pictures. Another option would be to buy a polarizing filter as they prevent glare and reflections.

By using a lens hood, you can block the sun’s rays and get better contrast in your images. In addition, using a lens hood can help to prevent glare and reflections.

So, if you’re looking for better contrast and sharper images, be sure to use a lens hood.

When Shouldn’t You Use a Camera Lens Hood?

Here are some circumstances where it might not be necessary to use a lens hood.

When You Want Lens Flare in Your Images

You might want to avoid using a lens hood when lens flare is your desired effect. Lens hoods can cast shadows on the lens and block some of the light that would otherwise hit the lens directly, meaning a lens flare effect is less likely.

The Lens Hood Blocks Your Built-In Flash

A camera lens hood can also block your camera’s built-in flash, so if you’re trying to take a flash photo, you might want to remove the lens hood first.

The Lens Hood Shows In Your Photos

If you’re using camera lens hoods and you notice that part of it is appearing in your photo, you may not want to use that camera lens hood.

Some camera lens hoods are designed to be used with specific lenses, so make sure you’re using the correct one for your camera.

You Can’t Attach the Lens Hood

If you are unable to attach your camera lens hood, it may not be a good idea to use one. The lens hood may be difficult to keep in place and could end up falling off and getting lost.

You Want to Shoot More Discreetly

Let’s say you’re the designated photographer for a wedding or family gathering. This will likely be a circumstance where you’ll want to blend in with the background.

In this case, you may not want to use a lens hood because this may draw a large amount of unwanted attention to you and your camera.

The Lens Hood Gets Caught in the Wind

You’ll want to avoid using a lens hood if you’re finding that it gets caught in the wind which could easily cause an unwanted blurry shaking effect in your images. For example, if you’re shooting in a windy storm or at high altitudes, this may not be the best time to use a lens hood.

You should also be mindful of this when using your camera with a lens hood on a tripod in windy conditions. Once again, not only can this cause a blurry effect in your photos, but your lens hood could get caught in the wind and your camera could fall causing damage to your expensive equipment.

Even if your camera lens hood causes an unwanted effect on your images, it’s nothing that can’t be fixed in Photoshop. Photoshop is constantly improving its software and incorporating advanced AI features, so there’s nothing to worry about!

Types of Lens Hoods

When it comes to camera lens hoods, there are three main types: round, petal, and square.

Cylindrical Lens Hood

cylindrical lens hood

Round (or cylindrical) lens hoods are the most basic type and they screw onto the front of the lens. They’re typically made from metal or plastic, and they work by shading the lens from stray light.

Cylindrical lens hoods are often used with lenses with longer focal lengths like a telephoto lens because they can be more effective at blocking out unwanted light since they are fully enclosed.

Petal Lens Hood

petal lens hood

Petal lens hoods are slightly more advanced; they’re usually made from plastic and they have curved notches that are spread out like a flower in a petal shape.

Petal lens hoods are better used with wide-angle lenses and zoom lenses because the curved edges allow more light to enter the lens, which can be helpful when shooting in low-light conditions.

They’re also less likely to cause vignetting (when the corners of the image are darker) than a round lens hood because they are shorter and have curved edges which allow more light to enter.

Square Lens Hood

square lens hood

Finally, square lens hoods are the most advanced type; they’re larger than both round and petal hoods.

Square lens hoods are best for ultra-wide angle lenses because the corners prevent vignetting and they are generally shorter than other hoods. They are also very effective at preventing unwanted glare and reflections because the squared shape allows the hood to cover a larger area of the lens.

What Do You Look For When Buying a Lens Hood?

When purchasing a lens hood, there are a couple of things to consider: shape, size, and material.


When purchasing a lens hood, be sure to choose one that is specifically designed for your camera model. Most manufacturers will list the compatible lens hoods for each of their lenses on their website.

Lens hoods come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so it is important to select one that will not block your viewfinder or interfere with other accessories, such as filters or extenders.

Remember the different types of lenses and which type of lens hoods you should use with it:

  • Cylindrical: Lenses with long focal lengths like telephoto lenses
  • Petal: Lenses with wide-angle and zoom lenses
  • Square: Ultra-wide lenses


camera lens hood size

When choosing the right lens hood size for your lens, the easiest way to do this is by looking at your filter thread size diameter on the front of the lens or consulting your camera’s instruction manual.

Once you have the correct size, simply screw the hood onto the front of your lens.


In addition, consider the material of the lens hood.

Plastic lens hoods are lightweight and inexpensive, but they can be more susceptible to damage.

Metal lens hoods offer greater protection, but they may also add significant weight to your camera.

Ultimately, the best lens hood for you will be the one that meets your needs in terms of function and form.

How Do You Use a Lens Hood?

To attach a lens hood, simply align it with the bayonet mount on your lens and twist it into place. When not in use, lens hoods can be reversed and stored on the front of your camera body.

Some photographers prefer to leave their lens hoods attached at all times to protect their lenses, while others only use them when shooting in bright conditions or when they are particularly concerned about reflections.

Ultimately, it is up to you to decide whether or not to use a lens hood, but it is certainly a useful piece of equipment to have in your camera bag.

Is a Camera Lens Hood Necessary?

Some photographers argue that lens hoods are unnecessary because they can be inconvenient to carry around and take up space in your camera bag. Others argue that lens hoods are essential for preventing lens flare, which is when bright light reflected off the surface of the lens causes a haze or wash of light over the image. In low light conditions, lens flare can be especially troublesome, as it can make an otherwise clear image appear fuzzy or distorted.

Ultimately, whether or not to use a lens hood is a matter of personal preference. However, if you find yourself frequently dealing with lens flare, it may be worth investing in a lens hood to help improve the quality of your photos.

Do Lens Hoods Work?

Most lens hoods do work. They help to reduce glare especially if your lens has less advanced anti-glare coatings, and they help to prevent scratches. However, they are not 100% effective, and some lenses may still experience some glare without a lens hood.

Overall, though, most lens hoods do help to reduce glare and protect lenses.

Can you use a UV filter and lens hood simultaneously?

Many photographers are faced with the question of whether or not they can use a UV filter and lens hood simultaneously. The answer is yes, you can use both a UV filter and lens hood at the same time. Using both can help to protect your lens from both UV rays and physical damage.

Using a high-quality UV filter helps to reduce the amount of ultraviolet light that reaches the sensor, minimizing the risk of image degradation. A lens hood, on the other hand, blocks out unwanted light and helps to reduce glare.

Both UV filters and lens hoods are easy to attach and remove, so you can experiment with different combinations to find what works best for you.


Camera lens hoods are a great way to improve your photography, but only if you use them in the right situations:

  • In harsh outdoor environments
  • In conditions with many light sources
  • When you want contrast in your images

You may not want to use a lens hood in these situations:

  • When you want lens flare in your images
  • The lens hood blocks your built-in flash
  • The lens hood shows in your photos
  • You can’t attach the lens hood
  • You want to shoot more discreetly
  • The lens hood gets caught in the wind

By understanding when and where to use a camera lens hood, you can take better photos with less effort. However, whether or not you choose to use a lens hood is up to your personal preference!

Have you tried using a lens hood before? What tips do you have for other photographers?

Author Bio

Janine Heinrichs is a graphic designer who writes at Janine Designs Daily. Her mission is to show people that the faster and more effective way to become a graphic designer is not by getting a degree; it’s by being bold and putting your work out into the world. Her work has been featured on popular design sites like Creative Boom.

Read next: The Best Cameras for Streaming

One Reply to “When to Use a Camera Lens Hood for the Best Shots”

  1. This is an excellent article. Thank you for sharing these tips with us. I adored the way you presented the content. Thanks for the useful information and advice provided in your article, I’ve learned a lot.

Leave a Reply