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Nikon HB-69 Bayonet Lens Hood Review.
on 6 February 2016
PACKAGING & CONTENTS.
The HB-69 Comes supplied within a retail style thin cardboard box bearing the traditional Nikon black and gold design, there is almost no product information on the packaging and no illustrations.
Inside the box the hood is wrapped in a clear plastic bag and there is nothing else to be found within the box.
The HB-69 lens hood is designed for use with the Nikon AF-S DX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II lens. The fitting is 52mm and it will fit on other lenses, but it is specifically designed for use with the above lens.
Having made a significant investment in my D3200 that is only used for product reviews I have whenever possible tried to pair my camera with official or at least high quality compatible accessories. The price of the hood compared to alternatives is, by anyone's standard rather high.
Now obviously Nikon has had to make an investment in terms of R&D to develop this product while competitors have likely just copied the design. Even factoring this in and the high quality plastics clearly used in construction, its still an overpriced piece of kit.
Now I have to confess that I do not own any professional studio quality lighting, all of the bulbs in our home at LED / CCFL and using just a single speedlight the hood offers no noticeable benefit. As its winter and here in England its dull, wet and windy so I am sadly not able to currently offer any with / without images for your comparison.
While I may not gain the main benefits from the HB-69 until summer arrives there are some secondary benefits that it offers.
When the hood is deployed, installed facing outwards, it serves to protect the lens from rain drops when your camera is setup with a rain hood. It also protects the glass somewhat from impacts when filming up close and from errant fingers.
When the hood is installed inverted it also serves to hold the camera level when placed on a surface. While I have a kit bag more often than not my camera sits beside my laptop and without the hood it sits tilted forwards. Now with the hood it sits level, it's a small and insignificant thing, but I'm happier that's it sits balance and level and that the lens isn't in contact with my computer table.
The quality of the plastics honestly couldn't be better and sat with the weight of the lens on the hood there is no evidence of any detrimental effect such as warping.
Now, as some have commented the fit of the hood isn't brilliant. I wouldn't say that it was loose, but its also a million miles from snug or secure. It screws on easily, but doesn't lock or tighten when installed. Using your DSLR in camera mode this isn't an issue, but I have noticed that when recording video footage and conditions are windy there is about 1mm to 2mm play in the hood which does result in some rattle noise being picked up by the onboard microphone.
For the price and the fact it is specifically designed for this lens that's just unacceptable.