Lenz N the Hood

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With apologies to John Singleton

A trend I’ve seen with some new photographers (especially pros), is to forego the use of a neck or hand strap. While nobody will accuse someone doing so of storing up treasures on earth, I suspect the motivation behind it is to exhibit a carefree attitude. Or maybe they don’t like neck straps and don’t know hand straps are available. Regardless, it’s a questionable practice when you’re handling a camera-lens combination that would cost over $2000 (and probably more) to replace.

I’m a risk-averse person, but I still had a camera hit the floor a few years ago. I had (unwisely) hung it on a hook by its strap, so the lens was facing down. It came off the hook and fell a couple feet, and I heard glass break as it hit the ground. My heart sank, but when I looked at the lens I was relieved to find that the only damage incurred was a broken UV filter. The filter had taken the brunt of the impact, saving the lens.

The same could be true of a lens hood, which could act as a “crumple zone” for a lens in the event a tripod toppled or some other unfortunate event occurred. So I always keep a lens hood on, even when shooting in the dark!



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