A few months ago, I came across a couple of images of Fujifilm X100s with lovely square lens hoods, from the appropriately named SquareHood in Sweden.
Lens hoods are important to me.
I’m not the kind of photographer to leave the camera in the bag until finding the right composition; you’ll more likely find me trudging with one or more cameras dangling on straps and so I need the physical protection of the front element that a lens hood provides more than their side-light-blocking properties (which are of course handy too).
I do also love a good lens hood design, and particularly a square one. I have a couple of Fujifilm’s offerings: on the 16/1.4 and 56/1.2 (using the hood intended for the 23/1.4—pro-tip!) but hadn’t found anything for the smaller lenses.
So when I found the SquareHood offering for the X100 series cameras, I was pretty excited. The design and fit on the cameras looked great, and it turned out they also made a similar hood for the XF27 ƒ/2.8 pancake lens.
Not cheap by any means, but after mulling over for a few days I decided to order the pair.
And they’d sold out.
At first it looked like the wait for new stock would be a few weeks, which turned into a couple of months; all understandable in the current circumstances. Eventually though, they came back in stock and I immediately put down my order.
The hoods arrived recently, and I’m really impressed.
The hoods look great on both the X100F and the XF27mm.
They’re very compact, actually making the overall cameras feel considerably smaller compared to standard lens hoods (or even the flared hood I’ve had on the X100 and X100F for years).
For the XF 27mm in particular, it gives the lens back the pancake feeling while still having the protection of a hood and the style of the SquareHood. Really nice!
My one gripe appearance-wise is with the colour match of the silver hood: on my X100F, the silver of the hood is a bit lighter that of the camera.
Both are still new, so I of course can’t comment on longevity and wearing in.
The hoods grip to the threaded rings with a couple of screws which feel like they could potentially loosen over time, though that may be unfair—as they are now, I can pick the camera up by the lens hood alone and there’s no movement at all.
As far as I can tell so far, they do a good job of not introducing any vignetting, which might have been an issue with such tightly designed hoods.
The rubber hood caps stick into the squared opening by friction. Again, as new objects the fit is strong. I just tested—carefully!—picking up my X100F by the pull tab on the rubber lens cap and it held, picking the whole camera up with it.
Hopefully that strong fit lasts. Given the tightness required for that fit though, it can be a little fiddly making sure you’ve got it fully attached along all edges at times. It was reassuring on the beach last week though, as high wind blew mini sandstorms over us and the cap went straight on to protect the lens.
Being rubber, I am a little concerned about the amount of lint they’re likely to pick up over time. I usually throw lens caps in a pocket while I’m using a lens, but I’ve been a lot more self-conscious with these rubber caps as they’re liable to pick up dust.
I’m very happy with my two SquareHoods so far. The colour mis-match for the X100F is annoying, but also not really that big a deal.
The hoods seem very well made and look brilliant on the cameras.
They are expensive at €60 each, putting them squarely (ha, ha) into luxury item territory but I’m plenty happy with my purchase.