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Thread: New Lens or Lens Hood?

  1. #1

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    New Lens or Lens Hood?

    So...

    I've been using a Schneider Kreuznach Symmar 180mm since I started shooting 5x7. I got it for $100 and have been generally pleased with the results I've gotten.

    That said I'm slowly realizing that my images lack contrast and have a lot of flare...I'm kinda guessing that these things are related. I end up doing a lot of photoshop to be able to make nice prints of them.

    I have heard this lens is prone to flare. The kind of shooting I do is generally wandering around stopping strangers and asking them if I can take their portrait. So...I'm open to using a lens hood, but I'm wondering, could I get really nice results with a much nicer lens and no hood? The hood thing would just add an element of futzing around to what already can be a somewhat awkward experience.

    Short answer: do I need to use a lens hood with a modern 210mm lens on 5x7? Could I get great results without one?

    And any particular 210mm lens you'd recommend as a balance of quality and price?

  2. #2

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    Re: New Lens or Lens Hood?

    Instead of crying for help, why don't you make a simple lens hood for your lens and see for yourself the difference?

  3. #3

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    Re: New Lens or Lens Hood?

    Thanks! That's really helpful.

  4. #4

    Re: New Lens or Lens Hood?

    "Short answer: do I need to use a lens hood with a modern 210mm lens on 5x7? Could I get great results without one?"

    There is a good reason Hollywood uses really tricked-out lens shades with baffle plates: they work very well, even with super multi-coated lenses. Even one of the collapsible rubber lens hoods would work better than nothing.

  5. #5

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    Re: New Lens or Lens Hood?

    Quote Originally Posted by sully75 View Post
    Thanks! That's really helpful.
    Isn't it? You can make (out of paper) a simple and very effective lens shade in about 30s. Then you can take a picture and compare it with your non shaded lens. Nobody else can do this for you.

  6. #6
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Re: New Lens or Lens Hood?

    A larger hood made of mat board and attached to the front standard of the camera requires a little more effort, but could be much more efficient. It might also be more intimidating to strangers, though.

  7. #7

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    Re: New Lens or Lens Hood?

    Quote Originally Posted by sully75 View Post
    So...

    I've been using a Schneider Kreuznach Symmar 180mm since I started shooting 5x7. I got it for $100 and have been generally pleased with the results I've gotten.

    That said I'm slowly realizing that my images lack contrast and have a lot of flare...I'm kinda guessing that these things are related. I end up doing a lot of photoshop to be able to make nice prints of them.

    I have heard this lens is prone to flare. The kind of shooting I do is generally wandering around stopping strangers and asking them if I can take their portrait. So...I'm open to using a lens hood, but I'm wondering, could I get really nice results with a much nicer lens and no hood? The hood thing would just add an element of futzing around to what already can be a somewhat awkward experience.

    Short answer: do I need to use a lens hood with a modern 210mm lens on 5x7? Could I get great results without one?

    And any particular 210mm lens you'd recommend as a balance of quality and price?
    Is your lens hazed inside? This lens is NOT prone to flare, although a decent hood ALWAYS helps, at least somewhat. Which version Symmar do you have? I use a 150 convertible that is sharp and contrasty, even with a crappy rubber screw in (or no) hood.
    One man's Mede is another man's Persian.

  8. #8

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    Re: New Lens or Lens Hood?

    The deeper (longer) the lens shade is (and consequently also larger) the more efficient it is. Additional efficiency is reached with a shade that corresponds with its sides ratio to the film format (unless you use movements but that eliminates a lot of the shading efficiency of a fixed lens shade.) Black flocking paper, bellows folds also help the good result.

  9. #9

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    Re: New Lens or Lens Hood?

    If you're shooting where sunshine enters the front of the lens, then you can hold the dark slide in the air, out of the image, but close enough to shade the lens. That goes a long way to reduce flair.

  10. #10

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    Re: New Lens or Lens Hood?

    Quote Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh View Post
    Is your lens hazed inside? This lens is NOT prone to flare, although a decent hood ALWAYS helps, at least somewhat. Which version Symmar do you have? I use a 150 convertible that is sharp and contrasty, even with a crappy rubber screw in (or no) hood.
    This is I think the original Symmar?


    Eastman View Camera No.33 by Paul McEvoy, on Flickr

    It's in that picture. That's funny, I've heard it mentioned a few times that this lens actually is prone to flare.

    I totally get that using a lens hood with this lens would significantly reduce potential flare problems. In thinking about it though I'm just wondering if there's a lens where I could get a super contrasty flareless image without a hood. A hood would definitely slow me down for the particular kind of image I'm trying to take.

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