I always use the hood on mine. Why not? It stores reversed on the lens and takes up almost no space, so whenever I mount the lens I just turn the hood around and mount it for shooting. I confess that I don't always use the hood on some lenses that aren't so easy (for example, hoods that screw on to the filter threads), but on this lens I've never shot without it.
What about indoors? I have never used the hood on my AFS 35G. That said, about 95% of it's use is shooting indoor basketball under the hoop. I don't recall ever having a ghost or glare problem in that use of the lens. Might it improve contrast in that setting?
Also, I didn't realize that it attached backwards (like the hood on my AFS 70-300 VR, which I use 100% of the time on that lens).
Yes, it might. Any bright light slightly outside of the field of view can possibly reduce contrast, even if it isn't in a position to cause visible glare or ghosting. So, depending on exactly how the camera is pointed for any particular shot the lens hood can improve contrast. I look at it this way: Use of a lens hood can reduce the likelihood of glare or ghosting and improve contrast but, as far as I know, it can never make any of these situations worse. So, to me, there is a potential (and probably an actual) gain by using a lens hood but I know of no downside.
The above is one of the main reasons why I always use a lens hood.
I don't have this particular lens, but I pretty much always use a hood unless I have a compelling reason not do so. Examples of such reasons: the use of filters, particularly large rectangular neutral density ones that are (much) larger than the hood's form factor; on the 60/f2.8 AFS Micro where the hood is literally longer than the required working distance (I do use this hood at longer distances, which is most of the time); on the 8/f4 circular fishsye, which physically cannot accommodate a hood due to its FOV.
As noted, other than situations such as the examples above, there is basically no down side to using a hood and lots of up side in terms of image contrast, lack of flare, and lens protection.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
I always use a hood on this lens and any other lens I have a hood for (pretty much all). I generally will leave the hood off when shooting in doors and with a flash. There are some instances where the hood acts like a good sun shade but generally I find it's true value is in protecting the lens. In 50 years of shooting with 35mm cameras I can only recall one accident that made my heart skip a beat. My AFS 17-35mm lens fell out of my bag when I was leaning over to take a close-up photo. It landed on the concrete sidewalk and fortunately right on the still attached hood. The hood was badly gouged up but the lens had only one tiny scratch mark. Other than that the lens was perfect. I ended up buying a new hood though.
The closest I ever came to losing a lens,...a hood would not have saved it. I was standing on the balcony/whispering gallery in St. Paul's Cathedral in London, about 100 feet above the nave floor. I was changing lenses. I stepped forward with the lens in one hand and the lens cap in the other. I forgot there was a step, and lost my balance. My left wrist, with the lens cap in that hand, hit the railing, and the lens cap shot from my hand and floated down to the floor below. The low "click" as it hit the floor among the seats below made my knees weak. That was 25 years ago, and recalling it still gives me chills. Had I fallen the other way, and had it been the other wrist that hit the railing,...well, no hood would have saved that lens.
That said, I'm going to try the hood on my 35 f1.8 this weekend and see if it makes a difference. Does anybody know if the AFS 50 f1.8 uses the same hood?
Had I fallen the >other way, and had it been the other wrist that hit the >railing,...well, no hood would have saved that lens. > >That said, I'm going to try the hood on my 35 f1.8 this >weekend and see if it makes a difference. Does anybody know >if the AFS 50 f1.8 uses the same hood?
Ryan, the hoods are different. The 50mm hood is deeper. But the numbers are close, HB-46 and HB-47.
And you certainly got lucky 25 years ago. I can image how many pieces of that lens would be scattered over the floor after falling 100 feet. It might even disintegrate.