November 14, 2018

Ultimate Lens Hood Review

Ever struggled taking photographs through glass?

During my Switch to Manual workshops, we walk past many shops with interesting window displays. I’m often asked what’s the best way to take a photo through glass without getting reflections and until now my answer has been to go inside the shop. Now there is a new answer which is relatively cheap, and light called the Ultimate Lens Hood.

Ultimate Lens Hood Versions

The Ultimate Lens Hood comes in two different versions, the ULHmini, designed for lenses with a body diameter less than 60mm and the Ultimate Lens Hood which will fit pretty much any DSLR lens.

This review uses the larger version which fitted quite snuggly onto a Canon 70-200 lens which has a diameter of 77mm and also the 24-70 lens which has an 82mm diameter. It did, just about, fit onto the 11-24 but only if the hood was attached before attaching the lens to the camera. However, I’d really struggle to see a need to attach the hood to this super-wide lens as the wide angle of view is going to mean your photos will include the inside of the hood.

Fitting the Hood

The Ultimate Lens Hood is made from a flexible rubber which means you can attach it to the lens by placing your hand through the hole in the middle and then allowing the rubber to fit around the body of the lens, with a bit of practice it can be done quite quickly and easily, even when the lens is attached to your camera.

Using the Hood

To use the Ultimate Lens Hood you’ll need to be comfortable holding your camera with just one hand so that your other hand can keep the hood attached to the glass you are shooting through. I did find this quite difficult to work with, particularly when the reflection needs both sides of the hood to be held to the glass to prevent reflections. This is a first version being sold so hopefully, this will improve. I wonder if it would be possible to create more suction between the hood and the window with a thicker outer edge so that the camera could then be operated with two hands?

You will need to experiment with the placement of the hood, depending on where the reflected light is coming from to block out any reflections. After a short-while, I soon got the hang of using the hood and I started to get photographs shot through glass with no annoying reflections.

Does it work?

The two images below show a before and after view of the chimpanzees at Edinburgh Zoo. The first shot has glass reflections falling across the face of the chimp. The second image has removed this through using the Ultimate Lens Hood. It must have done a pretty good job as this image was used by The Times newspaper the following day! I think that can be classed as a good result.

Is it worth it?

I guess it depends if you often find the need to take photographs through the glass. It would definitely be badged as a gadget you could waste money on and never use. The company producing the hood kind of recognise this too. They suggest it could be used in reverse as a handy rain protector and also a rubber mat to place gear on in the field when changing lenses. It’s a good effort to solve a problem but I’m not 100% sure its ease of use is as good as it could be. I’d give it 7/10 as a good starting effort with room for improvement.

Many thanks to Ger Harley of Edinburgh Elite media who helped with the images of me using the Ultimate Lens Hood.