The VALOO - Coolest Hood Ever
Having said that..let's talk about the coolest hood ever - the VALOO ! :)
Ever since I got my Elmar 50/3.5 and realized that I really liked how it performed (the jury is STILL out on the 90/4..hmm..) I wanted to find new/interesting ways to use the combination of filters and hoods on it.
For those that are not familiar with the lens you adjust the aperture with a small tab located on the front of the lens right next to the glass. This design brings a number of challenges with it - it's easy to get fingerprints on the glass - especially if you're using a hood like a FISON or FIKUS - and if you have a clamp-on or push-on filter you have to take it off every time you want to adjust the aperture.
I'm sure Leicas customers at the time let the company know about these issues since there are a number of options available to work around this design. The three most common solutions are;
1) Use a FISON hood with a VOOLA aperture adjusment ring,
2) Use an 18.5 screw-in filter (that is so small it only covers the glass and allows you to adjust the aperture without taking off the filter, or
3) The VALOO hood.
I opted for trying out option # 3 and I got to say that it looks like a winner (having said that I'm enough of a gear-greedy-geek (GGG) that I will most likely try to get my hands on both option # 1 and 2 as well in the near future.
I should be ashamed...
The really neat things about the VALOO hood are;
A) It allows you to adjust the aperture by turning the front of the hood (no more reaching into the hood trying to avoid the glass) - and the set aperture is conveniently displayed in a small frame/window inside the hood, and
B) It has a threaded front so it allows for 34mm filters to be screwed on (and you can ofcourse still adjust the aperture by turning the front).
Cool? Oh yeah...
Some photos to show it in all its glory:
The VALOO fitted on my Leica III (F)
This shows how the set aperture is displayed inside the hood. Nice.