This morning, I went along to watch my grandson play soccer. Naturally, I took my Nikon with my 200 - 500 lens.
I was standing at the fence looking through my camera when something hit me - hard. I was a soccer ball that had been kicked from about four metres away. Then I noticed the lens hood:
It had clearly acted as a "crumple zone" for the lens - which mercifully seemed to have only suffered a few scrapes.
I've always been aware of the usefulness of the lens hood as a means of keeping sticks, leaves and fingers away from my glass, but had never thought of one protecting me from projectiles. Lesson 1: use your lens hood.
The second lesson came from searching for a replacement. The recommended retail price of the lens hood in Australia is AUD69, and some retailers sell it for around AUD59.00. However, I checked on eBay (just in case - after all, it's a bit of black plastic) and was astounded at some of the prices:
It's always been unwise to assume eBay is cheap, but AUD157.70 (plus postage) for a AUD69 lens hood?
You've been warned!