Lens hoods are not just an accessory but a necessity when taking quality photos with a good lens. However, there are quite a few different hoods on the market. But is there a lens hood that fits all lenses?
No, there is not one lens hood designed to fit all lenses. This is because a quality fitting lens hood depends on the following factors of your lens:
- Field of view
- Weight capacity
- Price Point
There are nearly as many lens hoods available as there are lenses. Continue reading to learn how the above factors affect the fit of a lens hood and make it impossible for a single hood to fit all lenses.
Diameter of Your Lens
One of the most observable reasons why lens hoods do not fit all lenses is the diameter of a lens. Because this piece of equipment is meant to attach to the end of the lens, its size depends on the physical dimension of the lens itself.
As such, the larger the lens, the larger the lens hood is needed, and vice versa. If a lens hood were to be designed to fit all lenses, it would either be too small for some or too big for others.
Due to this reason, all high-quality camera designers create a lens hood for each of their lenses.
There are some after-market manufacturers of hoods for camera lenses, but they usually do not fit the camera lens as well as the specific hood designed for it.
The job of the lens hood is to protect your lens from overexposure, so it is only as good as its quality of fit around your actual camera lens.
Field of View
Another factor that makes it impossible for a lens hood to fit all lenses is the field of view of the lens. Each lens has a different field of view, and the hood must be designed to not interfere with that.
For instance, many lenses with wide-angle fields of view tend to catch the tulip-shaped hood lenses in the captured image. As such, no wide-angle lenses come with lens hoods designed that way.
Because each lens has a slightly different field of view, it is best to go with a lens hood designed by the same manufacturer as that of your lens. Choosing a hood that is not created specifically for your lens will result in poor results.
Check the View
When looking at a lens hood for your camera, be sure to actually look through the viewfinder. Do not simply check that the hood fits the end of your lens properly, but actually, check your camera’s field of view.
By checking the viewfinder with various lens hoods attached, you will quickly see that there is no way a single lens hood could fit all camera lenses.
Looking through the viewfinder will allow you to see things like shadows and other field of view interferences that are not translated to the tiny screen of the camera.
The viewfinder giving a more accurate view of what the camera is capturing is the reason you see professional photographers rarely use the screens of their digital cameras.
Dimensions of Your Lens
The physical dimensions of your lens are also a reason that not all lens hoods fit all lenses. Some lenses are designed with the same dimensions around the entire lens, while some lenses have slightly different measurements on the top and bottom or on the sides.
Because lenses have different dimensions, there are different lens hoods designed to match them. A perfectly round lens hood will never fit a lens that is not perfectly round, no matter how hard you try to make it.
If you choose to try to go with a lens hood not designed specifically by your lens manufacturer for your lens, make sure to check the dimensions of your lens and of the hood you are buying.
Many lens manufacturer websites will allow you to put the model number of your lens in a search application, which will provide you with a list of compatible hoods for your specific lens model.
The hood connection your camera lens has on it also makes it impossible for all hoods to fit all lenses. Some lenses have snap-on connections for their hoods, while some lenses have grooves for twist-on connections.
Lens hood connections do not necessarily vary by lens manufacturer. The same manufacturer will have lens hoods with:
- Snap-on connections for shorter lenses.
- Twist-on connections for longer lenses.
The connection is another factor to be sure to check when buying an after-market lens hood. To check the type of connection your lens needs, check with the manufacturer of your lens.
You may find a lens hood that matches the diameter, field of view, and dimensions of your equipment perfectly, but it will not attach to your lens because it is a different connection.
Because a lens hood is attached to the end of a lens, the lens must be able to hold the weight of the actual equipment. However, each lens has a different capacity of weight it can physically hold, which is yet another reason there is not a single lens hood that fits all lenses.
In general, you want the lightest hood possible for your lens, which is what the manufacturers of your lens try to do. Nevertheless, because a lens hood is built to match the diameter of a lens, some hoods weigh more than others.
In general, the larger the diameter of the lens, the larger and heavier the hood. Be sure to check the weight capacity of your lens before attaching an after-market lens. You can permanently damage a lens by attaching something heavier than it can handle on it.
If price is one of the most deciding factors for you, then consider purchasing an after-market lens hood. However, be sure to check that the lens hood is designed specifically for your lens.
The best way to make sure the lens hood is designed for your lens is to visit or call a camera shop and ask about lens hoods for your lens specifically. You can also read online reviews regarding the lens hood to ensure that it fits your lens well.
Some manufacturers even offer compatibility charts for their lens hoods. One such after-market company is Vello, which has a compatibility chart for nearly every major lens currently manufactured.
Though lens hoods are an added expense, and it may be tempting to choose one at a lower price point, you will not be able to capture pictures in the highest quality possible by doing this.
Moreover, you will probably go back and buy the proper lens hood, which will be even more of an investment. You are much better off going with a lens hood that is made for your lens from the start.
There is no single lens hood that is designed to fit all camera lenses. Just as camera lenses vary in diameter, field of view, dimensions, and weight capacity, so do lens hoods.
Though you will need to purchase separate lens hoods for each of your lenses, they are a worthwhile investment. A quality fitting hood for your camera lens will help keep stray light from affecting your shot by creating an unwanted lens flare.
Most professional photographers agree that lens hoods are necessities when taking photos. A good lens hood is a difference between a good shot and a great shot.