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I got a new 35mm f/1.8 lens for my D40 and I am shooting all the pictures with the lens hood. Should I leave it on the lens all the time or are there some situations where I would need to take it off?

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Unless the lens hood is in the way (for example if you are using a polarising filer that you need to access, or when putting the camera in a camera bag), there is no reason to remove it.

On the contrary, it does offer some protection for the front lens element, so leave it on as long as you can. Unlike for example an UV filter, it doesn't introduce any more glass in the light path, so there isn't even the smallest negative effect on the image quality. Any optical effect at all (reducing lens flare) is only positive.

  • If its not petal shaped, will it not create black spots in corners in low light situations ? – GoodSp33d Jan 4 '13 at 7:02
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    @2-Stroker: No, it's large enough not to interfer with the light path in any setting. – Guffa Jan 4 '13 at 7:40
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    It's possible that it will slightly increase vignetting when the lens is wide open, but since it's the official lens hood it should be matched so the effect will be minimal. – mattdm Jan 4 '13 at 12:44
  • @mattdm: Thanks for bringing it up. I will certainly look out for vignetting. – Animesh Jan 5 '13 at 13:44
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If it is not interfering with your on-camera flash, no, you don't need to remove it at all. I'm not sure about this hood, but you can usually put them in reverse position when packing the camera to make it smaller.

Hoods are actually more useful than UV filters to protect the lens because they don't reduce the image quality. so use it if you can :)

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    That is, a lens hood offers only protects a little against dust, an UV filter still offers better protection there. :) – Guffa Jan 5 '13 at 13:59

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