* Prices may differ from that shown
DSLR users and perhaps high end bridge camera users will no doubt already be familiar with a lens hood but some of you just getting into photography at the higher end might not. A lens hood has many purposes and is something you should definitely think about buying if your lens does not come with one as standard.
A lens hood will help you to prevent unwanted stray streams of light from entering the lens at awkward angles therefore allowing you to capture a high contrast quality image, it will also allow you to shoot in windy and dusty conditions a little more comfortably because as long as you are not shooting into the wind it will largely prevent dust and debris being blown onto your glass.
Its third and most simple use is to avoid you damaging the glass by bumping into things with it when shooting, catching your glass could cost you a huge amount of money. I have lenses that cost me over £1000 which if I scratched or broke I would be devastated but if I catch my 20 or 30 pound lens hood and break it, I will not be quite so upset!
The particular lens hood I am writing about today is the Canon EW-78 II, which as from the name I am sure you can see is designed for the Canon camera. Some lens hoods are designed for specific camera brands, some are even designed for one particular lens and others are universal. I have a few universal ones and also a few Canon ones.
The Canon EW-78 II, costs between 25 and 35 pounds depending where you buy it and it is specifically designed for the Canon EF 35-350mm f/3.5-5.6 L USM Lens although it can be used with other Canon zoom lenses. It is a sturdy lens hood that feels very well made and I can vouch for its durability having given it a few knocks and scrapes over the ten months or so that I have owned it.
This lens hood is black in colour as almost all are and it is made of hard plastic, some lens hoods are rubber but most often they will be made of durable plastic. This particular lens hood screws on to your lens although you do get others that clip on like a lens cap and also some of the rubber ones pop on. I would always recommend sticking to a screw on hood as the pop on or clip on ones can be knocked off with impact leaving the lens once again vulnerable.
If you own a Canon camera then I would suggest you get a Canon lens hood as they are some of the best hoods available and whilst there are tons of universal ones available it will only cost a few pounds more to get A canon one designed for your particular lens and you really do get the good quality you are paying for.
Almost every lens maker now make their own brand of hoods now but some are no better than the universals so unless you are using Canon then you could be forgiven for going with a non brand universal hood.
Whichever hood you go for make sure you remember to fit it especially on outdoor shoots, keep your lenses good and they will last you a lifetime but abuse them and you will constantly be throwing money at photography and who has money to waste these days?
Thanks for reading!