Why it matters: Traditional lens hoods do a decent job of limiting lens flare in normal shooting conditions but if you're pressed against glass, they're not much help. This simple solution eliminates the issue both during the daytime and at night.
UK product designer Josh Smith has come up with a clever photography accessory that you probably didn't even know you needed.
The Ultimate Lens Hood is a black silicon cone that stretches to fit over the lens of most any digital camera. Its primary purpose is to block unwanted glare and reflections when shooting through windows but as Smith highlights on his Kickstarter page, the accessory can also be flipped backwards to protect your camera from the elements and makes a great changing pad.
Because the accessory fits to your lens rather than attaching to the glass you're shooting through, you're free to move around, adjust your angle and tweak settings without having to detach anything.
Smit said he came up with the idea for the peripheral after spending a few days exploring Tokyo in 2015. Almost all of the photos he snapped from inside observation decks / towers were marred by glare during the day and reflections at night. His creation solves both of those issues.
The Ultimate Lens Hood is being offered in two sizes. If you have a DSLR, mirrorless or bridge cameras, you'll likely need the full-size variant. Smith says the mini version is best for smartphones and point-and-shoot cameras.
About the only shortcoming I could see with the ULH is that it might interfere with zooming or when using the manual focus ring on your lens. Otherwise, it seems like a pretty nifty invention.
If you interested in backing the Ultimate Lens Hood, a pledge of around $20 will get you on the list for a mini version while $40 should cover the full-size variant. Both are expected to ship in October.