Monday, February 29, 2016

A Thought From A Lens Hood Addict

I think everyone should practice safe photography and always use a hood.  Shooting naked will make you vulnerable and exposes you to all kinds of nasty negative side effects, like flare, damage from unintended impact to your lens, not to mention the disapproval and even wrath from fellow photographers who religiously practice shooting with hoods.

A hood is not just a practical tool, it mates to your lens like two lovers with a kindred spirit, sharing a single purpose for that perfect union.  A lens with a hood tells the mindset of the photographer that s/he is serious, cares about his/her art, and the attention to details.  Even if you lack the original hood, and you improvised a Frankensteinish contraption equivalent, it's made with love, to perfect the sacred act of art creation with photons (or silver halide).  In fact, it would draw awe from fellow hood addicts with admiration, and respect for your unyielding dedication.

Mery-Optik Trioplan 10.5cm f4.5 with the perfect hood!

We don't know what the lens designers were thinking when they drew up the lens design, some lenses were never designed with a hood in mind, let along came with one.  If you possess one of these lenses, it's usually a time of frustration, at least initially, because nothing seems to fit.  No amount of glue, electrical tape would help.  If you have one of these lenses from hell, don't despair, persevere, and you will eventually see the light, and could even be intervened by the divine! I will give my personal experience for such a lens.

The Meyer-Optik Trioplan 10.5cm f4.5 is lens that is not kind to hoods. None of the 253 [figuratively speaking, could be more, or less] hoods I have fits.  I tried Krazy Glue, LOCTITE, JB-Weld, metal screw but nothing helped.  Electrical tape is out of the question as there is nowhere for the tape to adhere to.  Time to give up?  No way!  Nothing can stop a hood addict from mounting a hood on the lens, however impossible it might be.  Eventually, after months, I was directed to a piece of brass rod.  A perfect piece of rod that's correct in size, length, and is blackened inside, and most important, it fits perfectly.  Tears filled my eyes.  It's clearly a sign of divinity. There is a Lens God that listens to prayers and pleads from frustrated hood addicts.  Morale of the story?  If all else fails, don't give up.  Pray to the almighty Lens God.  In other words, keep looking until you find what you are looking for.

Anything Goes.  Minolta hood on Leitz Lens.


  1. That's the perfect hood indeed for that Trioplan, Yu-Lin!

    Great insights - I absolutely share your feelings :-)

    You remember I aquireed that LOMO KO-120M 120mm ƒ/1.8 projection lens recently? Well, no filter thread and no fitting hood between my 253 [figuratively speaking, could be more, or less] hoods :-( What to do?

    Well, I'll tell you, but don't tell anybody else: I cut a fake leather lens case from an old GDR lens (don't remember which) into the perfect form and taped it to the LOMO with ... guessed it: photographer's best friend, gaffer tape. So after all those sleepless nights with a LOMO w/o hood I could finally sleep again :-)))

    Works perfect, btw!

    Keep on rocking, my friend - of course with a hood :-)

    1. Wow, that's a nice tip, Mike! now I know what to do with the two boxes of lens cases :)

      You are on a roll, Mike. Love your recent pictures from the projection lenses. Just awesome!

    2. Glad to be of assistance to a fellow addict :-)

      Those cases are quite sturdy - and oc they are black inside, so no reflections.

      Thanks my friend, glad you like my proj. lens results.

  2. my approach to lens hood-dom is a bit more invasive and maybe frowned upon: I use epoxy glue. While not 100% permanent (a really hot hair drier/heat gun will make the glue soft enough for removal) the epoxy bonds really well to metal or plastic surface. I find the closest step-up ring that will fit near enough around the lens' barrel and then Dremel out the correct diameter to slip it on. Add a few drops of glue and I have a thread at the end of my projection lens that will now take a standard lens hood.

  3. LOL I have a lens hood disease. I'm buying rare and cool looking lens hoods on ebay even of I don't have lenses to put them on. When I see paper cups I always think to myself: if I cut out the bottom it would probably slip on so and so lens and make a good hood..