A camera lens hood might seem like a puzzling accessory to beginner photographers.

There’s a bit of a debate out there: some think lens hoods don’t really boost your photo quality much, while others swear they’re absolutely essential for photography.

In this guide, you’ll learn what a camera lens hood is used for and how you can pick the right one for your photography adventures.



Why You Need a Camera Lens Hood

The primary function of a lens hood is to block stray light from entering the lens, which can cause lens flare and reduce the contrast in your images. This issue is particularly prevalent when shooting towards the sun or when a bright light source is directly in front of the camera.

Protection Offered by Lens Hoods

Beyond controlling light, lens hoods serve an additional, crucial role: they provide an extra layer of protection for your lens. They shield the lens from accidental impacts, scratches, fingerprints, and environmental elements such as rain, snow, dust, and debris. This protective feature is especially valuable in harsh weather conditions, ensuring that your lens remains unscathed and your photography undisturbed.

Enhancing Image Quality

Lens hoods significantly improve image quality by preventing lens flares and strong glares that can wash out your photos, leading to discoloration and reduced contrast. By effectively blocking stray light, lens hoods ensure that your photos maintain clarity and vibrant colors.

Practical Comparison

To truly appreciate the difference a lens hood can make, conduct a simple test. Take comparison photos with and without a lens hood under the same exposure settings. This direct comparison will help you see the clear benefits of using a lens hood in maintaining image quality and contrast.

camera lens hood


When Should You Use a Lens Hood?

Lens hoods are beneficial in the following photography scenarios:

  • Backlit Subjects: Improving clarity when the subject is illuminated from behind.
  • Strong Light Sources: Reducing flare near intense lights, such as low sun, street lamps, and vehicle lights.
  • Extended Photoshoots: Protecting the lens during prolonged use without putting the camera down.
  • Off-Camera Lighting: Minimizing lens flare from external light sources.
  • Discreet Shooting: However, be cautious as lens hoods can draw attention, potentially disrupting natural, candid captures in social settings.

camera lens hood how to use


When To Avoid Using a Lens Hood

There are specific situations where a lens hood may not be necessary or even counterproductive:

  • Artistic Glare: When intentionally seeking a glare for creative effects.
  • Incompatible Equipment: If the lens is for a smaller sensor or the hood obscures the shot.
  • Using Certain Filters/Accessories: Some attachments may prevent the hood from fitting properly.
  • Adverse Wind Conditions: A lens hood can catch the wind, risking blurry images.

camera lens hood usage on the sunset

Pro Tips

  • Protect Your Lens Like a Pro: Think of lens hoods as your lens’s best buddy! They’re there to take the hit so your lens doesn’t have to. It’s a smart move that saves you money and keeps your gear in top shape.
  • Keep It Clean for Top-Notch Shots: A little lens TLC goes a long way. Keeping your lens spotless, along with using a lens hood, really cuts down on glare and pumps up the contrast, making your photos pop.
  • Play with Light: Don’t shy away from lens flare; make it your friend! Adding a bit of flare here and there can bring a magical touch to your portraits and landscapes, giving your work that extra sparkle.
  • Flash Wisely: When you’re using the built-in flash, remember that the lens hood might get in the way and cast a shadow. But no worries—if you’re using an external flash, it’s usually high enough to clear the hood, so you’re all good to go.


How To Use a Camera Lens Hood

Using camera lens hoods is straightforward. Just twist the lens hood onto the front of your camera until it’s firmly attached, and you’re ready to start shooting.

Keep in mind, lens hoods can be quite bulky when transporting your gear. For a more compact solution, just flip the hood around and attach it backward on your lens. This trick significantly saves space. This reversible feature is available for almost all lens hoods, except for some wide-angle lenses with built-in hoods.

But, make sure to flip the lens hood back to its proper position before you begin taking photos!


How To Choose A Camera Lens Hood

Choosing the right lens hood for your camera involves understanding the differences between the types of hoods available and matching one to your specific photography needs and lens type. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you make an informed decision:

Determine Your Lens Specifications

Look at the front of your lens or underneath the lens cap for markings indicating the diameter (e.g., Ø58mm) and model. This information is crucial for finding a compatible lens hood.

Decide Between Petal and Cylindrical Lens Hoods

  • Petal Lens Hoods: Ideal for wide-angle lenses, petal (or tulip) lens hoods have curved notches designed to prevent vignetting while maximizing coverage. They are particularly effective in blocking stray light without reducing the frame size, suitable for lenses used with full-frame sensors.
  • Cylindrical Lens Hoods: Best suited for longer lenses with narrower fields of view, cylindrical hoods protect the lens and reduce stray light without the risk of appearing in the frame. They offer a more uniform shape compared to petal hoods.

Align and Adjust the Hood Correctly

  • For Petal Hoods: Ensure the notches are correctly aligned to maximize light blocking without interfering with the image. This might require rotating the hood to the optimal position.
  • For Cylindrical Hoods: Simply attach the hood; there’s no need for rotation adjustments.
types of camera lens hoods

Petal hood is captured on the left photo and Cylindric on the right one



Best Camera Lens Hoods

Here are some of the best camera lens hoods that I recommend:

KUVRD – Universal Lens Hood (S|54) 

KUVRD - Universal Lens Hood (S|54) - Fits 99% of Lenses, Element Proof, Lifetime Coverage, Fits 54mm-76mm, Single Lens Hood - (S)
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KUVRD - Universal Lens Hood (S|54) - Fits 99% of Lenses, Element Proof, Lifetime Coverage, Fits 54mm-76mm, Single Lens Hood - (S)
  • Packable - The only lens hood that's easy to pack, easier to install and funner to...
  • Easy To Use + Maximum Security - When in installed, it’ll securely grip your lens,...
  • Versatile - Easily stretching and fitting over 54mm-76mm lenses, it makes it...

The Packable KUVRD – Universal Lens Hood (S|54) stands out as the only lens hood designed for simplicity, ease of use, and versatility. Its unique accordion-style foldability allows it to collapse easily, making it a breeze to pack and carry in any bag or even your pocket. Once installed, it offers a secure grip on your lens, ensuring it stays in place to block flares or fold back for elemental protection, all without disrupting your workflow.

Durable and backed by a Lifetime Replacement Warranty, it’s built to withstand heavy use. This hood is incredibly versatile, stretching to fit lenses from 54mm-76mm, making it suitable for a wide range of lenses including micro 4/3, mirrorless, vintage, and SLR lenses. It excels in eliminating glare and reflections, particularly when shooting through glass or other transparent surfaces. However, it’s important to note that vignetting may occur with ultra-wide or fisheye lenses with focal lengths >20mm, such as the Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Lens at its widest zoom.

Altura Photo 58MM Tulip Flower Lens Hood for Canon

Altura Photo 58MM Tulip Flower Lens Hood for Canon EOS 77D 80D 90D Rebel T8i T7 T7i T6i T6s T6 SL2 SL3 DSLR Cameras with Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 is Lens and Select Nikon Lenses
  • NOTE: Altura Photo lens hood is compatible with all 58mm lenses. Please verify your...
  • Compatibilities: Canon Rebel T8i T7 T7i T6i T6 T6s T5i T5 T4i T3i SL3 SL2 SL1, Canon...
  • Also Compatible with Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.8G, 50mm f/1.4G, 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G and New...

The Altura Photo 58MM Tulip Flower Lens Hood is designed to enhance your photography experience with Canon EOS models like the 77D, 80D, 90D, and Rebel series (T8i, T7, T7i, T6i, T6s, T6, SL2, SL3), as well as with select Nikon lenses. It’s crucial to check your lens’s thread size before purchasing, which should match the 58mm compatibility of this hood, indicated by a “Ø” symbol on the lens or lens cap.

This non-reversible hood is perfect for a variety of cameras and lenses, including the Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.8G, 50mm f/1.4G, 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G, and the new AF-P 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED. However, it’s important to note that it’s not recommended for wide-angle shots below 25mm due to vignetting. Altura Photo guarantees satisfaction with this product, backed by a 90-day satisfaction guarantee.

JJC Camera Lens Hood Shade

JJC Camera Lens Hood Shade Fits for Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM & Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 is II Lens Replaces Canon ET-60 Hood Reverse Attaching -Black
  • Compatibility: The lens hood for Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III lens, EF 75-300mm...
  • Flexibility: Ф58mm filter and Ф58mm lens cap are allowed to attach. Reversible...
  • Professional Design: Non-glare matte finish on the interior surface to further...

The JJC Camera Lens Hood Shade offers an excellent compatibility range, fitting well with Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III, EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM, EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS, and EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II lenses, serving as a perfect replacement for the Canon ET-60 lens hood. It accommodates Ф58mm filters and lens caps, boasting a reversible design for easy storage.

The professional construction includes a non-glare matte finish inside to reduce lens flare without causing vignetting. Besides enhancing image quality, it also offers physical protection against impacts and environmental elements. However, it’s important to note its incompatibility with the Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM and Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM lenses, so double-check your lens model before purchasing.

50mm Reversible Lens Hood Shade 

50mm Reversible Lens Hood Shade Fit for Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens Replaces Canon ES-68 Hood Tulip Flower Design -Black
  • Compatibility: The dedicated lens hood is designed for Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens,...
  • Flexibility: Ф49mm filter and Ф49mm lens cap are allowed to attach.
  • Professional Design: Non-glare matte finish on the interior surface to further...

This 50mm Reversible Lens Hood Shade, with its sleek black tulip flower design, is specifically crafted for the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens, serving as a direct replacement for the Canon ES-68 Hood. It supports the attachment of Ф49mm filters and lens caps, enhancing its flexibility.

The hood boasts a professional design featuring a non-glare matte finish on the interior to minimize lens flare, ensuring clear images without vignetting. It offers robust protection against accidental impacts and environmental hazards, safeguarding your lens during use. However, it’s important to note that this hood is not suitable for RF 50mm lenses, nor the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 or Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II lenses, ensuring users check their lens compatibility before purchase.

Veatree 58mm Lens Hood Set 

Veatree 58mm Lens Hood Set for Canon EOS 77D 80D 90D Rebel T8i T7 T7i T6i T6s T6 SL2 SL3 DSLR Cameras with EF-S 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 is STM & EF-S 18-55mm F4-5.6 is STM & RF 24-50mm, Replace Canon EW-63C
  • COMPATIBLE With: CANON Rebel (T8i T7 T7i T6i T6 T5i T5 T4i T3i T3 T2i T1i XT XTi XSi...
  • ULTIMATE LENS HOOD SET YOU NEED, Set include: 58mm 3 Stages Collapsible Rubber Lens...
  • 58mm REVERSIBLE TULIP FLOWER LENS HOOD: Unique design for quickly detaching and...

The Veatree 58mm Lens Hood Set is an essential accessory kit for Canon EOS series and Rebel series cameras, including models from the EOS 77D, 80D, 90D to the Rebel T8i, T7, and beyond, as well as compatible with certain Nikon lenses. Designed for lenses with a 58mm thread, this set enhances photography by including a 3 Stages Collapsible Rubber Lens Hood for versatile shooting, a Reversible Tulip Flower Lens Hood that allows for the use of a lens cap while mounted, and a Center Pinch Lens Cap for easy protection.

A Premium Microfiber Lens Cleaning Cloth is included for upkeep. The tulip hood’s unique reversible design and the rubber hood’s 3-in-1 functionality cater to a wide range of shooting conditions, preventing lens flare and protecting against physical damage. Remember to check your lens’s thread size, marked by a “Φ” symbol, to ensure compatibility with this comprehensive lens hood set.




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I hope this guide helped you to understand why and how to use camera lens hood and which one to choose 🙂 

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