I’ve said it a hundred times… then didn’t do it!

I’ve told students and fellow photogs over and over that the best protection for your lens is your lens hood.  In fact, I’ve written about using the lens hood and NOT a protective filter.  Well, yesterday, during my street photography class, I let someone shame me into not using my lens hood because Jay Maisel says it is the only way to shoot street photography.  In this rare instance, I acquiesced and paid the price… dearly.  Walking along with my camera at my side and my Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 attached, my camera brushed by a tree.  Honestly, it seemed to be barely a tap.  Well, upon inspection of my lens, the filter ring portion of the barrel had a 1/2 inch chip taken out.  Had I had the lens hood attached, nothing would have happened and all would be well.  The initial estimate from Nikon… $350-700!  Lesson learned the hard way.  So my point here is to always, always have your lens hood on your lens. 

By the way, because I have an insurance rider on my homeowners covering my gear, insurance will cover this.   Another lesson to be learned.  Check with your homeowners insurance company.  It’s well worth the price.


7 thoughts on “I’ve said it a hundred times… then didn’t do it!”

  1. To the best of my knowledge, Jay Maisel has never said a word (at least a publishable word!) about whether or not it is advisable to use a lens hood as a means to protect a lens. What Jay has said, and what I have found to be true, is that a lens hood is rarely necessary in street photography, and many times would actually only make a photographer more visible with an overly extended lens.

    That being said, your advice on getting a photographic equipment rider on your insurance policy is a very good idea- and cheap as I understand it. So I am phoning my agent first thing tomorrow morning

    1. Chris, I didn’t say Jay said to use or not use the lens hood as protection. I said he said NOT to use it when doing street photography. While I get his reason, my argument is the lack of protection above. I typically go with a smaller lens when doing street but for some reason, I decided to use the 24-70 yesterday which is why I took the hood off.

  2. Pingback: Lens hoods?
  3. I’ve never had issues with UV filters. In fact, they’ve saved my lens multiple times.

    Once was during an assignment covering local building construction. A welder’s torch popped and sprayed sparks and several hit the filter. Had there been no filter, the lens would’ve been toast. It melted parts of it.

    Another covering a mudslide on Highway 82 east of Aspen. Several cars were trapped and when one gunned their engine to try to get out, it spray mud and rock at me hitting the lens covering it.

    But, I will say this, I get close when shooting. Lately, I’ve not been using filters as most of the time my gear is on a tripod rather than hand-held shooting news.

    And it is super important to have insurance. How else are you going to cover your gear if it is damaged, lost, or stolen?

    Thanks for the post Alan.

    p.s. You coming to the May SMUG featuring John Keatley?

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