Today’s Question: I broke the hood for one of my lenses by bumping it into a wall. Fortunately the lens was not damaged. Do I need to buy the replacement hood from the lens manufacturer? I saw that there is a generic lens hood available that is supposed to work with any lens that has the same diameter.
Tim’s Quick Answer: I highly recommend purchasing a replacement lens hood that is specifically designed for the lens you will use that hood with, especially for wide-angle lenses. Purchasing a replacement lens hood from the lens manufacturer obviously helps to ensure you are getting a hood designed specifically for your lens, but if you can find an alternative that has the exact same shape as the original, that would work fine also.
More Detail: Lens hoods are specifically designed for the lens they will be used with. Admittedly, for a telephoto lens this is not a significant concern. You’ve probably noticed that for lenses with a relatively long focal length the lens hood has a very simple shape, similar to a basic cylinder.
For wide-angle lenses the shape of the lens hood is actually quite important. The “funny” shape of these lens hoods is a result of attempting to shade the lens as completely as possible without allowing the lens hood to actually encroach into the field of view of the lens.
Because of the importance of the shape of the lens hood for a wide-angle lens, I do recommend purchasing a replacement lens from the same manufacturer as that lens, just to be sure you are getting a lens hood that is optimally designed for the lens you’ll use that hood with.
Also, be sure to check out the latest episode of Tim Grey TV, which also features lens hoods. You can watch that episode here: