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.