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26/02/2009 – Space Saving Packing Tip : Shorten Your Lens Hood
Since the late 1990s it has seemed that the size of ‘longer lens’ lens hood have been growing in length. I have always ignored the longer lens hood to save space, often opting for the ‘older’ metal screw in lens hoods when available. Until very recently the lens hood of choice for my Canon 70-200f2.8L had been the same lens hood I used when I purchased my first Nikkor 80-200f2.8 AF lens back in 1992 (the Nikon HN-28). I chose the Nikon screw in lens hood because it is roughly half-the-length of the lens hoods supplied with the Canon 70-200f2.8L and the current Nikkor 70-200f2.8.
I have occasionally used the Canon supplied hood when I knew I’d want to quickly swap my hood on and off, and not bother with screwing and unscrewing the metal lens hood. In the field however when shooting and when packing up, I really hated the longer lens hood. Having used the ‘shorter’ Nikon lens hood and ‘longer’ Canon lens hood on the same lens, under the situations, under various lighting situations I found no difference in flare, and only an increased frustration in dealing with a longer hood.
A longer hood when packing especially takes up more space. When using a pouch the longer hood must either be reversed, or you must use a longer pouch. When packing and stacking lenses to conserve space a longer hood is not as easy to work around when laying lenses over each other. When using a smaller equipment kit, I’d find myself shedding the lens hood all together rather than use the longer hood.
So what was my solution? Take a Canon hood and cut it down to size.
When selecting a lens hood I opted to use the lens hood from the (now discontinued) Canon 28-70f2.8L to cut down. Why this lens hood? Because this hood perfectly fits the 70-200f2.8, it is narrower than the 70-200f2.8… and used it only cost me $16! (For non-Canon users, just slice down your original hood). Cutting the hood down to roughly 1.75″ (4.44cm) I now have a compact, quick to use, easy to pack hood that effectively does the job of a lens hood…the hood block lights flare and it protects my lens when in use.
I know there are many purists out there who would never think of modifying Nikon/Canon OEM equipment. Personally, I view my camera equipment as only a tool, and sometimes modifying my tools is required to meet my needs.
Below are four photos of the Nikon HN-28, modified Canon EW-83B cut down and original OEM EW-83 hood for the 70-200f2.8, together and attached to the lens. This six following photos are of my friend Rich demonstrating how quick and easy it is to cut down the hood to size.