lens hoods on the cheap with bonus conversation

Neil pointed me to a site featured on PhotoJoJo:

Genius idea. So simple and so effective. And so FREE. Of course I immediately downloaded the template for my Canon 350D (the Rebel to the American market) and constructed my paper lens hood. Not bad, but I wanted a less conspicuous colour of stock so whilst in town I wandered into the local art shop for some black card stock.
That’s when I got to thinking- craft foam.
It comes in black, is waterproof, more rigid yet lightweight- perfect! I added a small amount of adhesive-backed Velcro to hold it together and TADAH! we have a rockin’ lens hood. (lenshoods.co.uk reckons you can use black electrical tape for a nicer look than rubber bands to hold it on.)

So why bother with this when I could get the real deal from any number of vendors?
Let me break it down…

I bought an A3 (approximately 11×17 inch) sheet of black foam for 99p. By my estimation, using the free template, I can get six lens hoods out of 99p worth of foam. To put this into perspective, the Canon hood for this lens retails for around £20 and each lens has its own specially designed hood — some at a price several times over the above mentioned hood. The lovely lenshoods.co.uk site has templates for most hoods and also a custom hood creation tool. Sweet!

After I finished the project, two peckish geeks gathered in the kitchen…

As discussed over a quick snack of pretzels and hummus:
J: I’m so glad you found that lens hood article on PhotoJoJo.

N: It’s only because I booted up my feeds today.

J: I’ve got them in my RSS feeds too, but I forget to look at them. I’ve got so many I read…

N: I look at them everyday; they’ve got some really cool stuff in there.

J: True, but I can be relied on for the latest on Britney Spears.

N: You should blog this because for once I’m not going to look like the dumb one.

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UPDATE: Check this blog post at Photography Resource Weblog for a fabulous (and essentially free) home-made plastic bottle lens hood.