Always use a Lens Hood – but it doesn’t have to be from Fuji

In previous articles, I spoke about the advantages of always using a Lens Hood. In addition to providing physical protection to the front element, it can help to cut down on unwanted flare. While I love the quality of both the build and optical performance of Fuji’s XF lenses, I haven’t always enjoyed using their lens hoods.

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Fuji XF 23mm f1.4 with its factory hood

 

 

The original XF lenses from Fuji, the 18mm & 35mm, had excellent, functional, compact hoods.   The issue is that some of the later lenses are supplied with plastic, petal hoods.  While still functional, they are very large compared to the lenses they are protecting.

A contributor on one of the Fuji X forums suggested a great solution: if you don’t like the Fuji factory hood but still want the sensible protection that it provide, go with an aftermarket hood.

An excellent example is Fuji’s superb 23mm f1.4. This lens gets glowing reviews and it’s well deserved. It’s an astonishingly great piece of glass.

Its factory hood, however, is massive. Kind of reminds me of the sand worms from Herbert’s novel, Dune (see photo at the beginning of this post). Not exactly the type of gear you want to be carrying, when trying to photograph on the street.

There is a simple and cheap solution. Go to Amazon and get a machined, aftermarket, metal hood.

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If you use an X-Pro series camera and wide to normal focal lengths between 18mm (roughly 18mm) to 35mm (about 50mm) get a model that’s vented, so it doesn’t interfere with your optical view as much. The vented hoods are visually similar to old school, Leica M hoods and they do an OK job in reducing visual blockage in the OVF.

For all of the other Fuji X cameras that use EVF or when using the EVF on an X-Pro series, hoods without vents will do fine.  If you’re using lenses longer than a 60mm or shorter than an 18mm on an X-Pro1 or Pro2, vented hoods aren’t important either, as those focal lengths are beyond the frameline capabilities of the OVF on the X-Pro cameras anyway.

For easy comparison, here is the photo of the 23mm with its factory hood again, followed immediately by an aftermarket, vented metal hood:

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Fuji XF 23mm f1.4 with its factory hood

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Much smaller & more compact: aftermarket vented hood

 

The overall length is reduced significantly.  The lens with the aftermarket hood is a lot less noticeable on the street.  The vents doesn’t block the frame line when using OVF.  Yet, having even this minimal hood really reduces the amount of contact on your front lens element (or protective glass filter, if you use one – recommended, with wide angle, shallow hoods).

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Another angle of the aftermarket, metal, vented hood for the XF 23mm f1.4

In the spring of 2016, Fuji came out with a beautiful, metal, accessory hood for the 23mm f1.4 (not included with the lens – it only gets the plastic, petal one here).  But it’s very expensive, compared to the aftermarket vented metal hoods available on Amazon.  The price differential is anywhere between 7 to 9 times more expensive for Fuji’s, compared to the aftermarket one.

I’ve bought a similarly inexpensive hood for my XF 90mm too.  The aftermarket version is much smaller.  It meant the difference between fitting vertically on an X body, in my Billingham 225.  Yet it still provides significant protection.  Since it’s still quite deep, I don’t bother with a protective filter for the 90mm, as it’s very recessed from the front edge of this hood.

Rather than re-invent the wheel and expand further on this subject, I refer everyone to Rene Delbar’s superb article, here –

http://fujixtras.blogspot.ca/2015/08/all-about-that-hood.html

Rene does an outstanding job of going over which type, size and thread of aftermarket lens hood are ideal for many of the Fuji XF lenses.

 

 

 

 

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