LH-XF16 – Fuji’s $100 lens hood!

Fuji LH-XF16

When the Fuji 16mm f1.4 was announced, they also announced an accessory lens hood to go with it. This seemed a little strange, as the 16mm comes with a perfectly good lens hood as standard. The standard hood is a modern tulip design, fairly deep and reversible. It’s made of high quality plastic, with an open design that allows you to mount circular filters inside it if you so desire. So why release another design of lens hood? Is this just cynical profiteering on poor users infected with gear acquisition syndrome? Lets take a look at the LH-XF16.

Fuji LH-XF16

Looking at the Fuji lens lineup, two very early lenses, the 18mm and the 35mm, were shipped with square metal lens hoods. Unfortunately, they also came with rubber front caps, that are renowned for falling off the hood as soon as they are touched. Also, the front lens cap cannot be fitted with the hood attached, and I can forget about using filters. The filters I use are 72mm diameter with step rings to adapt them to the various lens sizes. The upside to these lens hoods is that they are compact and unobtrusive, snapping onto the bayonet mounts of those lenses with satisfying security. Oh, and they work. I’ve both of those lenses and despite the shortcomings of the annoying hood caps, I keep them on all the time.

Fuji LH-XF16

The Fuji 16mm shipped back in April of 2015. I’ve used it with my X-Pro1 and keep it in my bag with the standard hood reversed. Now December 2015 rolls around and the accessory hood, the LH-XF16 starts to ship. It’s available first in Japan, popping up on EBay for over $100 plus shipping! For a lens hood! It finally arrives at U.S. vendors, retailing at $89.99 plus tax and shipping, depending on where you live and your vendor of choice. Ouch! I bought mine from Uniquephoto in New Jersey, for $72.00 with no tax and free shipping, but still!

What makes this lens hood so special? Fuji addressed the biggest failing of the original square metal hoods, the rubber cap, with a slide on plastic cap. This is very secure and will not come off accidentally. The build quality of the hood is superb. It is very solid, metal and plastic construction that is surprisingly heavy. The build quality is most noticeable when you install the hood on the lens. It snaps into place like a beautifully machined component, and that’s when you realize it’s worth the money.

Fuji LH-XF16

So despite the fact it’s not reversible, you can’t use the original lens cap, I can’t use my filters and it’s very expensive, it is worth it. The hood works, and it’ll probably never leave the front of my lens (except when I do want to use a filter). I much prefer this lens hood than the tulip design, as the overall length is shorter and just isn’t as obtrusive. I feel less conspicuous with the square hood installed, which makes for a more relaxed shooting experience. I prefer to always have a lens hood installed, apart from the obvious benefits of improving image contrast, lens hoods protect the front element very well, particularly as I’m not a fan of screwing a cheap glass “protection” filter in front of my carefully engineered and optimized lens. The less time I spend attaching and removing that lens hood, the less the process gets in the way of the image, which is how I try to work. Now, I’d really like to see an LH-XF23 for the 23mm lens. If it has the same build quality as this one, it’s a guaranteed seller.

Fuji LH-XF16

More to come…….

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  1. Steven Dempsey

    I’m sorry but I think that’s just an absurd amount of money for the additional benefits over the original hood.

  2. I would like to see how much one hood obscures the OFV versus the other. Also, you can buy vented metal hoods for so little, in fact I use them on my 23 and 56 as they are smaller and still protect the lens. I t would be nice to see how they work with the OVF as well. I use an X-E2 and T1 but am waiting for the XP2 so this matters 🙂

    Thanks for sharig JAson 🙂

    • Bradley,

      The LH-XF16 does obscure a little more of the viewfinder. The standard hood extends into the closest focusing bracket, and the new hood extends to the top left corner of the closest focus bracket on my X-Pro1. It doesn’t make a significant difference to me, but your mileage may vary. I like the new hood because it’s compact and when attached, takes up less space in my bag. If you look at the standard hood, the depth of the new hood is the same as the short petals, if that gives you a clearer idea.
      I’ve not tried a vented metal hood for the 23 or 56. The only ones I’ve seen are screw in and I dislike screw in hoods, they are slow to attach. I’ve got an aftermarket vented hood for the X100s, but I usually use a printed square hood instead, it’s a lot less hassle. I keep the screw in vented hood on my WCL-X100 instead. I’m also waiting for the X-Pro2, but not holding my breath 😀


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