I use a lens hood All the time. It prevents flare and ghosting and as an added bonus provides additional protection for the front element of the lens. I usually don't use a hood when using my R1C or a polarizer. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
I always use hoods, for protection and shading the lens from stray light. I only remove the lens specific hood when using a polarizer or grad filter, both of which fit on a Cokin holder, and so prevent the regular hood from being used. Even then I usually add on the square Cokin hoods that are designed to attach to the holder.
I use the hood pretty much all the time. The exceptions
- a couple of my lenses have the front element so deeply recessed that there's no reason to use the hood. For example, the 55/f2.8 AIS Micro has the front element recessed at least an inch, deeper than the hood would be anyway.
- I use a set of Lee filters for grads and ND; I use the hood of the Lee system instead of the lens' regular hood in these cases.
- I pretty much always use the regular hood even with flash. In some cases the built-in flashes would cast a shadow; in those cases I use an external flash, period. This exception isn't even an exception for me.
- I have one lens that I bought 30 years ago and which did not come with a hood. I don't use it much and as it happens this particular lens (a Tamron 28/f2.5) is extremely resistant to flare. Since I haven't found a good hood that fits its very small format (49mm filters) this lens does without a hood.
- Finally, I have one lens, the 8mm Sigma circular fisheye, that simply cannot use a hood at all, since it would actually be in the image.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
Most of the time I use lens hoods designed for that specific focal length. (When I was using film cameras long back I was a fan of against the light pictorial photography. i.e. the Sun would be in front of you but just outside the viewfinder area. Zoom lenses even with hoods would give you dome ghosts. Prime lenses do not. But when you include the Sun into the picture - say well inside the frame, then the hood serves no purpose. You have to necessarily shoot with a prime lens only.)
I do not know how these new digital camera zooms with to-days high technology behave, I am yet to experiment with them as I have only switched over to digital just recently and trying to find time to do photography,