Leitz Wetzlar Summilux 50mm F/1.4 (I)

Standard prime lens • Film era • Discontinued

Model history

Leica II

35mm MF film rangefinder camera

Also known as:Model D
Announced:1932
Mount:M39
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Mechanical
Speeds:1/20 - 1/500 + B
Exposure metering:No

Leica III

35mm MF film rangefinder camera

Also known as:Model F
Announced:1933
Mount:M39
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Mechanical
Speeds:1 - 1/500 + B
Exposure metering:No

Leica IIIa

35mm MF film rangefinder camera

Announced:1935
Mount:M39
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Mechanical
Speeds:1 - 1/1000 + B
Exposure metering:No

Leica IIIb

35mm MF film rangefinder camera

Announced:1938
Mount:M39
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Mechanical
Speeds:1 - 1/1000 + B
Exposure metering:No

Leica IIId

35mm MF film rangefinder camera

Announced:1939
Mount:M39
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Mechanical
Speeds:1/30 - 1/1000 + B
Exposure metering:No

Leica IIIc

35mm MF film rangefinder camera

Announced:1940
Mount:M39
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Mechanical
Speeds:1 - 1/1000 + B
Exposure metering:No

Leica IIc

35mm MF film rangefinder camera

Announced:1948
Mount:M39
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Mechanical
Speeds:1/30 - 1/500 + B
Exposure metering:No

Leica IIIf

35mm MF film rangefinder camera

Announced:1950
Mount:M39
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Mechanical
Speeds:1 - 1/1000 + B
Exposure metering:No

Leica IIf

35mm MF film rangefinder camera

Announced:1951
Mount:M39
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Mechanical
Speeds:1/25 - 1/1000 + B
Exposure metering:No

Leica IIIg

35mm MF film rangefinder camera

Announced:1957
Mount:M39
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Mechanical
Speeds:1/30 - 1/1000 + B
Exposure metering:No

Leica M3

35mm MF film rangefinder camera

Announced:1954
Mount:Leica M
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Mechanical
Speeds:1 - 1/1000 + B
Exposure metering:No
Dimensions:138x77x33.5mm
Weight:580g

Leica M2

35mm MF film rangefinder camera

Announced:1957
Mount:Leica M
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Mechanical
Speeds:1 - 1/1000 + B
Exposure metering:No
Dimensions:138x77x33.5mm
Weight:580g

Leica M4

35mm MF film rangefinder camera

Announced:1967
Mount:Leica M
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Mechanical
Speeds:1 - 1/1000 + B
Exposure metering:No
Dimensions:138x77x33.5mm
Weight:600g

Leica M5

35mm MF film rangefinder camera

Announced:1971
Mount:Leica M
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Mechanical
Speeds:1/2 - 1/1000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Dimensions:155x84x36mm
Weight:685g

Leica M4-2

35mm MF film rangefinder camera

Announced:1978
Mount:Leica M
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Mechanical
Speeds:1 - 1/1000 + B
Exposure metering:No

Leica M4-P

35mm MF film rangefinder camera

Announced:1981
Mount:Leica M
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Mechanical
Speeds:1 - 1/1000 + B
Exposure metering:No

Leica M6

35mm MF film rangefinder camera

Announced:1984
Mount:Leica M
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Mechanical
Speeds:1 - 1/1000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Dimensions:138x77x33.5mm
Weight:585g

Leica M6 TTL

35mm MF film rangefinder camera

Announced:1998
Mount:Leica M
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Mechanical
Speeds:1 - 1/1000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)

Leica M7

35mm MF film rangefinder camera

Announced:February 2002
Mount:Leica M
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:32 - 1/1000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Aperture-priority Auto
Manual
Dimensions:138x79.5x38mm
Weight:610g

Leica MP

35mm MF film rangefinder camera

Announced:March 2003
Mount:Leica M
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Mechanical
Speeds:1 - 1/1000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Dimensions:138x77x38mm
Weight:585g

Leica M-A (typ 127)

35mm MF film rangefinder camera

Announced:September 2014
Mount:Leica M
Format:36 × 24mm
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Mechanical
Speeds:1 - 1/1000 + B
Exposure metering:No
Dimensions:138x77x38mm
Weight:578g

Leica M9

35mm MF digital rangefinder camera

Announced:September 2009
Mount:Leica M
Format:35.8 × 23.9mm
Resolution:5212 × 3472 - 18 MP
Sensor type:CCD
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:32 - 1/4000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Aperture-priority Auto
Manual
Image stabilizer:-
Dimensions:139x80x37mm
Weight:585g

Leica M9-P

35mm MF digital rangefinder camera

Announced:June 2011
Mount:Leica M
Format:35.8 × 23.9mm
Resolution:5212 × 3472 - 18 MP
Sensor type:CCD
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:32 - 1/4000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Aperture-priority Auto
Manual
Image stabilizer:-
Dimensions:139x80x37mm
Weight:585g

Leica M Monochrom (typ 246)

35mm MF digital rangefinder camera

Announced:May 2012
Mount:Leica M
Format:35.8 × 23.9mm
Resolution:5976 × 3992 - 24 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:60 - 1/4000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Aperture-priority Auto
Manual
Image stabilizer:-
Dimensions:138.6x80x42mm
Weight:680g

Leica M (typ 240)

35mm MF digital rangefinder camera

Announced:September 2012
Mount:Leica M
Format:35.8 × 23.9mm
Resolution:5976 × 3992 - 24 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:60 - 1/4000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Aperture-priority Auto
Manual
Image stabilizer:-
Dimensions:138.6x80x42mm
Weight:680g

Leica M-E (typ 220)

35mm MF digital rangefinder camera

Announced:September 2012
Mount:Leica M
Format:35.8 × 23.9mm
Resolution:5212 × 3472 - 18 MP
Sensor type:CCD
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:32 - 1/4000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Aperture-priority Auto
Manual
Image stabilizer:-
Dimensions:139x80x37mm
Weight:585g

Leica M-P (typ 240)

35mm MF digital rangefinder camera

Announced:August 2014
Mount:Leica M
Format:35.8 × 23.9mm
Resolution:5976 × 3992 - 24 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:60 - 1/4000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Aperture-priority Auto
Manual
Image stabilizer:-
Dimensions:138.6x80x42mm
Weight:680g

Leica M Edition 60

35mm MF digital rangefinder camera

Announced:September 2014
Mount:Leica M
Format:35.8 × 23.9mm
Resolution:5976 × 3992 - 24 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:60 - 1/4000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Aperture-priority Auto
Manual
Image stabilizer:-
Dimensions:138.6x80x42mm
Weight:720g

Leica M (typ 262)

35mm MF digital rangefinder camera

Announced:November 2015
Mount:Leica M
Format:35.8 × 23.9mm
Resolution:5976 × 3992 - 24 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:60 - 1/4000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Aperture-priority Auto
Manual
Image stabilizer:-
Dimensions:138.6x80x42mm
Weight:600g

Leica M10

35mm MF digital rangefinder camera

Announced:January 2017
Mount:Leica M
Format:36 × 24mm
Resolution:5976 × 3984 - 24 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:8 - 1/4000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Aperture-priority Auto
Manual
Image stabilizer:-
Dimensions:139x80x38.5mm
Weight:660g

Leica M10-P

35mm MF digital rangefinder camera

Announced:August 2018
Mount:Leica M
Format:36 × 24mm
Resolution:5976 × 3984 - 24 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:8 - 1/4000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Aperture-priority Auto
Manual
Image stabilizer:-
Dimensions:139x80x38.5mm
Weight:675g

Leica M10-D

35mm MF digital rangefinder camera

Announced:October 2018
Mount:Leica M
Format:36 × 24mm
Resolution:5976 × 3984 - 24 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:8 - 1/4000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Aperture-priority Auto
Manual
Image stabilizer:-
Dimensions:139x80x37.9mm
Weight:660g

Leica M (typ 240) E Edition

35mm MF digital rangefinder camera

Announced:June 2019
Mount:Leica M
Format:35.8 × 23.9mm
Resolution:5976 × 3992 - 24 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:32 - 1/4000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Aperture-priority Auto
Manual
Image stabilizer:-
Dimensions:138.6x80x42mm
Weight:680g

Leica M10 Monochrom

35mm MF digital rangefinder camera

Announced:January 2020
Mount:Leica M
Format:36 × 24mm
Resolution:7864 × 5200 - 41 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:16 - 1/4000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Aperture-priority Auto
Manual
Image stabilizer:-
Dimensions:139x80x38.5mm
Weight:675g

Leica M10-R

35mm MF digital rangefinder camera

Announced:July 2020
Mount:Leica M
Format:36 × 24mm
Resolution:7864 × 5200 - 41 MP
Sensor type:CMOS
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:16 - 1/4000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Aperture-priority Auto
Manual
Image stabilizer:-
Dimensions:139x80x38.5mm
Weight:675g

Leica M8

APS-H MF digital rangefinder camera

Announced:September 2006
Mount:Leica M
Format:27 × 18mm - 1.33x
Resolution:3936 × 2630 - 10 MP
Sensor type:CCD
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:32 - 1/8000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Aperture-priority Auto
Manual
Image stabilizer:-
Dimensions:138.6x80.2x36.9mm
Weight:590g

Leica M8.2

APS-H MF digital rangefinder camera

Announced:September 2008
Mount:Leica M
Format:27 × 18mm - 1.33x
Resolution:3936 × 2630 - 10 MP
Sensor type:CCD
Shutter type:Focal-plane
Shutter model:Electronically controlled
Speeds:32 - 1/4000 + B
Exposure metering:Through-the-lens (TTL)
Exposure modes:Aperture-priority Auto
Manual
Image stabilizer:-
Dimensions:138.6x80.2x36.9mm
Weight:600g

Designed for

Features highlight

Ultra fast
Manual
MF

Specification

Some basic information is missing as it was not provided by the manufacturer.

Production details
Announced:1959
Production status:Discontinued
Production type:Mass production
Order No.:SOWGE / 11014
SOOME / 11114
Original name:LEITZ WETZLAR SUMMILUX 1:1.4/50
Optical design
Focal length:50mm
Speed:F/1.4
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount:Leica M
M39
Flange focal distance:27.8mm (Leica M)
28.8mm (M39)
Diagonal angle of view:46.8° (35mm full frame)
36° (Leica M APS-H)
Lens construction:7 elements - 5 groups
Diaphragm mechanism
Diaphragm type:Manual
Number of blades:<No information>
Focusing
Coupled to the rangefinder:Yes
Closest focusing distance:1m (coupled focusing)
Maximum magnification ratio:<No information>
Focusing method:<No information>
Focusing modes:Manual focus only
Manual focus control:Focusing ring
Physical characteristics
Weight:325g (mount not specified)
Maximum diameter x Length:⌀53×?mm (mount not specified)
Accessories
Filters:Screw-type 43mm
Lens hood:OLLUX 12522
12586
XOOIM 12521

Manufacturer description #1

Indispensable whenever dim available light must suffice without the use of flash, this ultra-high-speed lens was a favorite of professional photo-journalists and adventurious amateurs who regard difficult lighting conditions not as a barrier but a challenge. Its advanced design and rare-earth glass construction yield surprising crispness and freedom from vignetting at full aperture. With its tremendous speed and excellent quality this "night-and-day" lens makes available light color photography a practical reality. The lens was supplied with its own special reversible lens hood and lens-hood cap.

Manufacturer description #2

The SUMMILUX is a 7-element Gauss variant with 5 members. Excellent correction for coma as well as outstanding contrast rendering and freedom from reflections at full aperture f/1.4 deserve special emphasis.

Although the SUMMILUX is designed above all for exposures in poor lighting conditions, because of its large maximum aperture, it offers excellent general performance, suitable for all purposes within its focusing range. It is not, however, designed for use on close-focusing devices or for reproduction purposes (copy work).

From the editor

Introduced as a replacement for the Summarit 50mm F/1.5. Another modification of the Xenon design.

The M-mount version was introduced in 1959. The screw-mount version was made from 1960 to 1963 in a small batch of only 548 copies.

The number of aperture blades could be 12 or 16.

Typical application

landscapes, interiors, buildings, cityscapes, portraits, street, travel

Lenses with similar focal length and speed

Sorted by manufacturer name

Comments

Beautiful imaging, with highlight flare at f1.4 , portraits are gorgeous, stopped down this lens is very sharp. The updated (1962-1994) Summilux has improved imaging at f1.4, eliminated the flare and the character at that aperture, at f5.6 the lens doesn’t achieve the sharpness of the 1959 Summilux. This is one of the most disregarded lenses in the Leica system and prices remain relatively modest by Leica standards. Build quality is the peak of Leica manufacturing, M3 era, solid and heavy feel. If you are considering the Summarit 50mm f1.5 (1954-1960) purchase this lens, it has a similar optical formula without the soft glass, and build quality is a quantum leap forward.

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35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm

Travellers' choice

Note

Among autofocus lenses designed for 35mm full-frame mirrorless cameras only. Speed of standard and telephoto lenses is taken into account.

One of the best fast standard primes

According to lens-db.com; among lenses designed for the same maximum format and mount.

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You are already on the page dedicated to this lens.

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Cannot compare the lens to itself.

Quality control issues

The manufacturer of this lens does not provide adequate quality control. If you do decide to purchase this lens, do not order it online, but choose the best copy available in the store. In any case, there may also be problems with the build quality, and warranty repairs can take months.

Unique Leica Look

Leica lenses are one-of-a-kind optical masterpieces that are impressive because of their unique Leica Look. This is ensured through exceptional optical design combined with selected materials and the highest quality standards.

Leica lenses reveal their full potential only when mounted on Leica cameras, since only these have sensors precisely matched to their optical characteristics.

Image stabilizer

A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film.

The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

MF

Sorry, no additional information is available.

MF

Sorry, no additional information is available.

Original name

Lens name as indicated on the lens barrel (usually on the front ring). With lenses from film era, may vary slightly from batch to batch.

Format

Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),

where:

CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.

Mount

A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance from the lens mount to the film or sensor can also be different.

Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

Flange focal distance

The flange focal distance (FFD), sometimes called the "flange back", is the distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane.

Focal length

The focal length is the factor that determines the size of the image reproduced on the focal plane, picture angle which covers the area of the subject to be photographed, depth of field, etc.

Speed

The largest opening or stop at which a lens can be used is referred to as the speed of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture is, the faster the lens is considered to be. Lenses that offer a large maximum aperture are commonly referred to as fast lenses, and lenses with smaller maximum aperture are regarded as slow.

In low-light situations, having a wider maximum aperture means that you can shoot at a faster shutter speed or work at a lower ISO, or both.

Closest focusing distance

The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

Closest working distance

The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. For example, a magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size".

Electromagnetic diaphragm control system

Provides highly accurate diaphragm control and stable auto exposure performance during continuous shooting.

Convex protruding front element

The convex front element protrudes from the lens barrel, making it impossible to use filters.

Manual diaphragm

The diaphragm must be stopped down manually by rotating the detent aperture ring.

Preset diaphragm

The lens has two rings, one is for pre-setting, while the other is for normal diaphragm adjustment. The first ring must be set at the desired aperture, the second ring then should be fully opened for focusing, and turned back for stop down to the pre-set value.

Semi-automatic diaphragm

The lens features spring mechanism in the diaphragm, triggered by the shutter release, which stops down the diaphragm to the pre-set value. The spring needs to be reset manually after each exposure to re-open diaphragm to its maximum value.

Automatic diaphragm

The camera automatically closes the diaphragm down during the shutter operation. On completion of the exposure, the diaphragm re-opens to its maximum value.

Number of blades

As a general rule, the more blades that are used to create the aperture opening in the lens, the rounder the out-of-focus highlights will be.

Some lenses are designed with curved diaphragm blades, so the roundness of the aperture comes not from the number of blades, but from their shape. However, the fewer blades the diaphragm has, the more difficult it is to form a circle, regardless of rounded edges.

At maximum aperture, the opening will be circular regardless of the number of blades.

Weight

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

Weather sealing

A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.

Filters

Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

Lens hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.