When you purchased a lens, it probably came with a lens hood. If it didn’t, it is a good idea to get one that is made for your lens. They come in many shapes and sizes such as Petal, used for prime lenses, and Cylindrical, used mostly with telephoto lenses.
Yes, there are professional sports photographers who do not use a lens hood and well, good for them.
I never leave home without mine and would advise you do the same. But, if you want actual reasons, here are my two reasons you need a lens hood.
- They prevent lens flare – This is the main purpose of a lens hood. It blocks light from hitting the glass at the front of your lens from an angle which causes lens flare. Lens flare is basically random bright spots on your images. This flare will reduce the contrast of images. There are times when you may want this flare effect but, as an aspiring sports photographer, you need to worry about the basics first. Think about the times you have been out in the bright sun and have to shade your eyes with your hand or a hat. This is the same basic idea.
- Protection – The lens hood offers your glass protection from bumps, dirt, fingerprints, etc. This one really needs little explanation because it’s common sense. I can tell you that on many occasions I have had to move my camera out of the way of incoming players at basketball games and it’s nice to know I have less worries about my lens being damaged. I also know of photographers who shoot football using a monopod and have been taken out by players. Their monopods were broken but their lenses were protected by the lens hood.
So, grab that lens hood you set aside and put it back on your lens.
If you have any questions, please contact me.
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