07-31-2017 11:24 AM
A lens hood is still highly recommended. My preference is for a collapsible hood that I leave on full time.
If you were getting reflections on the glass filter, then the sun is hitting the front of the lens. Try this, take a shot normally, in the bright sun. Then hold a piece of regular, kraft (brown) cardboard over top of the end of the lens to shade it. Check the quality of the two shots. If there is any washed out areas or reflections in the first shot then get that lens hood.
If they are both washed out, bluish tint, way over contrasted, or whatever, check your WB (white balance). Put it on auto. That satisfies 99% of people. To be more exact before each shot, you could manually set it each time to the ambient environment. I leave mine on auto as I don't want to have to take several minutes setting up a shot.
If your shots still seem over or under exposed, and often a second opinion helps on subjective observations, then adjust your exposure. Try it in half step increments with a variety of shots for each step until you are happy. Remember that there is your eye, the computer's monitor, the ambient light, and the viewer's subjective interpretation. They can all help influence what is or isn't a decent exposure. And, while photographers like to be perfect and create perfect shots, viewers are much more lenient in their judgement.