Normally I use lens-hoods on every of my glasses (flairlight blocker, lens protection). Some days ago a bought the Canon EF 40mm STM (Pancake-Lens). So I look for the fitting lens-hood and found the tiny ES-52.

Honestly I can't imagine that this tiny piece mounted on the lens can really block sun or protect the lens very well. Maybe in very very extreme situations with light coming from a nearly 90 degrees angle, but this can't be all.

I don't want start an opinion based discussion - I'm searching for facts. Do I miss here something or is the lens-hood “useless” (yes I know this sentence is a little bit overpraise, but I think you know what I mean).

  • \$\begingroup\$ "useless" is a pretty subjective term, so it's hard to see how you can really get fact-based answers. Michael Clark's answer is a good one, but you should consider editing your question to match the quality of his answer. Maybe change the wording to something like: How does ES-52 lens hood prevent lens flare or protect the lens? \$\endgroup\$
    – Caleb
    Commented Jan 17, 2014 at 15:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Caleb: Good input - Thanks. I have change the title of the question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Micha
    Commented Jan 20, 2014 at 6:15

2 Answers 2


The ES-52 works a little differently than most lens hoods we are accustomed to seeing. Instead of blocking off-axis light by extending a cylinder or cone perpendicular to the image plane and centered around the optical axis, The ES-52 blocks extraneous light by placing a smaller circular opening parallel to the image plane. Due to the difference in design, perhaps it doesn't offer as much hazard protection as a conventional design would. This is balanced by the fact it preserves the compact size of the EF 40mm f/2.8 STM which is one of the drawing points of this lens.

As with all lens hoods designed for EF lenses, the OEM hood is designed for the angle of view needed for use on a camera with a full frame sensor. If you are using an APS-C camera, the hole on the middle of the hood could be even smaller since the angle of view needed is narrower. This would be the same as aftermarket conventional hoods for other lenses that extend further out for use on APS-C cameras.


I have seen a few reports that the ES-62 hood (including thread adapter) designed for the EF 50mm f/1.8 II will also fit the threads in the 40mm pancake lens, but you then lose the compactness of the 'pancake.' Since the EF 40mm f/2.8 STM provides a narrower FoV on an APS-C camera than the EF 50mm f/1.8 II does on a full frame camera and the front element of the 50mm lens is recessed from the hood mounting point and wider than the front element of the 40mm lens there should be no issues with vignetting if you choose this option. Without comparing them side-by-side, though, it would be hard to say which one provides the narrower and wider angle of protection from off-axis light when mounted on the EF 40mm f/2.8 STM.


Here's a very crude conceptual drawing that illustrates how each type design blocks extraneous light. Please note that this is not to scale for either of the actual hoods. Light from point sources outside the yellow lines of each cone but inside the orange ones would fall on part, but not all, of the front element. Light from outside the cone formed by the orange lines would not fall on any part of the front element.


  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for you answer. Did this mean that ES-52 is as effective as other "conventional" lens hoods in term of blocking flare-lights? Very interesting point for ES-62 (+1 for that). \$\endgroup\$
    – Micha
    Commented Jan 17, 2014 at 7:36
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The ES-52 will limit light entering the lens to a "cone" that can be drawn by drawing lines from the edge of the front element to the inner edge of the ES-52 and would be just as effective as a hood that creates a similarly shaped "cone" created by a more conventional design. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Jan 17, 2014 at 7:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Micha no, the short ES-52 hood is not as effective as a the longer conventional hood, shown in the diagram, as stray rays of light can easily enter the lens that a longer hood would block, see this updated diagram: mattgrum.com/photo_se/hoods.png \$\endgroup\$
    – Matt Grum
    Commented Jan 17, 2014 at 10:40
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Matt, the drawing is nowhere near being to scale for either hood. As the answer already points out, without having the actual dimensions of both it is not possible to definitively determine the comparative effectiveness of the ES-52 and ES-62. The drawing is a simple attempt to illustrate how either type of design could be used to give roughly the same effectiveness. Yes, the rays should also 'cross over' for both designs. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Jan 17, 2014 at 10:51
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @MichaelClark Designing a shorter hood that is as effective as a well designed longer hood is a geometric impossibility. There will always be an angle outside the field of view that you cannot block without making the hood longer. It is however possible to badly design a longer hood that is no better than a shorter hood... \$\endgroup\$
    – Matt Grum
    Commented Jan 17, 2014 at 12:27

I remember a lengthy discussion about lens hoods on a forum where many pro photographers frequent. Michael gives you a good summary of all intended advantages of the lens hood. Meanwhile, the participants of the discussion described themselves using the lens hoods (of the large variety) on every lens that wouldn't get adversely affected by it restricting the field of view (pretty much everything but fisheyes). Reason?

When your camera falls lens-down without lens hood, the lens (which costs a fortune) gets damaged beyond repair.

When your camera falls with the lens hood on, the cheap lens hood gets shattered but the lens usually survives.

Other than that, it doesn't impair picture quality in conditions when it's not necessary. And cameras with them on look rather stylish.

In essence, the "stray light blocking" effect is considered completely secondary. They are commonly used as physical shock protectors to save lenses from fall damage though. There were quite a few stories where $10 lens hood saved a $1000 lens.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for your answer (+1 for that). As mentioned in my question I also use lens-hoods to protected my gears. So I can promote your point of view. \$\endgroup\$
    – Micha
    Commented Jan 20, 2014 at 6:25

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