How To's

Zeiss 15mm Hood Removal

Published January 9, 2013

This isn’t a general interest post. It’s simply answering a request for some people who want to remove the hood from their Zeiss 15mm lenses so they can cut the petals off and use filter holders.

Obvious disclaimer applies – doing this voids every kind of warranty, is probably a bad idea, and we don’t recommend doing it.

But if you want to, and are handy, taking off the hood / distal barrel piece isn’t hard and does not affect lens alignment or centering. So here we go.

The most difficult part, and the only part requiring some special equipment is removing the front cosmetic ring. It’s metal and screws off, but is also glued in place. Some Isopropyl alcohol or a thin glue remover needs to be applied around the edge of the ring. A drop or two is enough. We use a syringe but a dropper would work fine. Let it soak in for 10 minutes.


Next you’ll need a soft rubber friction tool to unscrew the front ring. We cut the center out of a $5 rubber stopper, but there are a lot of options, including some premade hollow rubber rings.

Use it to unscrew the makeup ring counterclockwise a half-dozen turns or so. This was the hard part, the rest is easy.

With the ring removed you can see the 3 screws that hold the hood / distal barrel on. They are the ones OUTSIDE of the silver ring. The ones inside the silver ring are for the front element. Don’t mess with them unless you want to recenter the lens (you don’t want to recenter the lens, I promise).

A closeup just to emphasize which 3 screws you remove.

Once the 3 screws are out the hood comes off and you can go mutilate the petals to your heart’s content.

Roger Cicala and Aaron Closz

January, 2013

Author: Roger Cicala

I’m Roger and I am the founder of Hailed as one of the optic nerds here, I enjoy shooting collimated light through 30X microscope objectives in my spare time. When I do take real pictures I like using something different: a Medium format, or Pentax K1, or a Sony RX1R.

Posted in How To's
  • Gianluca Catania

    But after where I can buy alternative lens hood without external parts? I need for videomaking using matte box.

  • edward de bruyn

    Nice and thanks for this “how to remove the hood” procedure for the Zeiss.
    But for the moment I’m waiting for samples of the new E-mount Voigtlander lenses, (10mm, 12mm and 15mm) in order to test it on my Sony A7r2 because I’m not sure about he IQ on the A7r2.
    If the IQ is okey the only thing that would retain me to buy one of these lenses is the problem with the use of my LEE filters on the lens.
    So it’s a very similar problem with these lenses but from what I can see it’s only the 15mm which will have the possibility to place a filter.
    So do you

  • carlos

    does anybody know if once the hood is out, if we can use the lee 100mm holder and not vignette ?

  • Terence

    But the point is, after hood removing, how can we use Lee ND filters? By making a new hold?

  • Jens

    Great work!
    Is there any vignetting with Lee 100mm filters?

  • Heiko

    I believe the idea is to mill the petals while the hood is off the lens. And to mount it back afterwards.

  • NoiseJammer

    Thanks for the how-to. It looks like removing the hood from the ZE 2,8/15 (or the ZF) removes the filter threads too… Is there a lot of point if you’re left with no mounting arrangement for filters or filter holders? (Personally, I think CZ goofed when they limited the photographer’s options with this lens.)

    @Ethan – Edmund Optics has several models. I use this one… .

  • Alan

    Roger, you’re a brave man. Perhaps not as brave as the first Frenchman who discovered snails were edible, but you’re a brave man.

  • Ethan

    Hi Bluto,

    Where did you get the a lens wrench with the single bar type? Do you mind provide the link? Thanks in advance.


  • I’d be interested in a way to do the same thing to the DX Fisheye-Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8G ED , so as to use it in a full frame camera.

  • venkman

    noob question: why isn’t the lens hood removable like with every other lens?

  • Rob

    Great stuff, not that this lens was on my shortlist but the fixed hood was an insane decision.

  • Roger Cicala


    I never have. I think Canon was showing someone the insides of the camera and saying they couldn’t take pictures. I don’t think anyone could stop a person from taking pictures of equipment they own.

  • Nqina Dlamini

    I meant to say release, not realise in the second last sentence.

  • Nqina Dlamini

    I was reading a CanonRumours post about someone opening the 1Dx and being told by Canon that if they discussed/showed pictures of the opened 1Dx, Canon would throw the book at them. (along the lines……we will realise our dogs of war upon you and your kind). Do you ever get those threats?

  • Roger Cicala

    Bluto’s list is a good one. I’d also add silver and black sharpies to leave landmarks as you disassemble (which way a helicoid screw is turned, what distance marks initiy focus). etc. I’d also suggest a camera. If a project takes more than a day, it’s amazing how all rememberence of where that silver shim went, or which set of screws was used to hold that piece on vaporizes. Some pictures will guide the reassembly.

  • bluto

    My short list of tools are:
    a lens wrench/spanner (get a good one, the single bar type seems much more stable than pairs of rods, with a few types of tips) If this slips you’re almost certain to ruin something, and old lenses are frequently gummed in the threads (so it’s easy to slip if these aren’t tight)

    a good set of jewelers screwdrivers

    a few sizes of rubber ring removers (those yellow dishwashing gloves work surprisingly well, too).

    A bin or box larg enough to work in with high sides (lots of small parts you don’t want to find in the dust on the floor in the rear of many lenses)

    A soft (microfiber or cotton) towel or two to serve as a pad for elements that were removed.

    One thing that’s proven nice to have is an ultra sonic cleaner when cleaning sand.

    One thing I’d like to find would be those cotton gloves assemblers always wear in the factory (without them it’s a pain to keep prints off inner elements during reasembly).

    I’d reccomend finding some old, worthless lenses to begin, ideally primes as they were generally more simple designs (no one will miss one of the many fungus coated 135mm f/2.8 primes unless it’s a Leica or Zeiss). The trick is, one of the more tedious jobs is resetting the focus helicoids to allow infinity focus after disassembly, but cleaning and regreasing them is a job that many older lenses need.

  • Now you really do have me curious (as well as in awe of your bravery).
    Favour please, would you list /identify, the basic toolkit you use for these adventures into camera destruction that you avoid… and others may fall into?

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