Olympus makes great lenses. Only problem is they don’t supply lens hoods with them unless you buy one of the pro lenses. I find that unfortunate. All lenses should come with a properly design lens hood that works efficiently. We can dream can’t we?
Anyways, have you seen the price of some of the lens hoods Olympus offers? Exactly. If you went browsing on Amazon or other retails you will immediately come across third-party lens hoods that are significantly cheaper than the Olympus hood for the same lens. I have to admit..I do own some of these. And for the price (generally under $15 US) I had to give them a try. How different could they be? Everyone likes to save a little money right?
I bought the JJC brand lens hood for the Olympus 17mm, 45mm, and the 60mm macro. The JJC hood for the 17mm is nice. It is metal and works great. I was quite surprised. The JJC hood for the 45 works well too and is similar to the Olympus…but the fit is not 100% perfect. It locks on and works fine…but you know its not 100%. And then we came to the 60mm macro hood.
Both hoods look very similar. The hood does actually fit well and locks into place. That is where the similarity ends. The interior of the olympus has grooves all around and seems to be more “matte” than the JJC. The JJC seems to have more interior reflection.
The other big difference was in the sliding mechanism. The 60mm macro hood works just like the 40-150 Pro sliding hood except you don’t need to twist anything. You just push to slide it down over the lens, and then pull out to lock it back into place for use. (this is the only multi-piece hood that hasn’t exploded on me yet…)
The JJC hood is a nightmare to slide. It sticks and just doesn’t have a smooth motion at all. It is rather difficult. The Olympus need a firm push or pull to initiate and then slide smooth as butter. It locks into place with confidence.
I was surprised how different this was. The Olympus is worth the money in this case if you want the sliding action.
All in all, third party hoods seem to be a hit or miss depending on the model. If all the JJC hoods were like the 17mm hood, they would have been a first choice for the price. Sadly it seems more trial and error. Then again, for the price maybe it works for you. For the pro lenses, I haven’t tried any other hoods since Olympus supplies them. So far so good there. Have you tried any third party hoods? Had any different experiences with the JJC branded hoods? Drop me a line in the comments below!