Lens Hood: Take it or Leave it?

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This strange looking device is called a "lens hood" and is technically supposed to block sun flare from entering the lens. The reality is, it's rather awkward, takes up valuable space in a bag, and only works if you are shooting directly into the sun. Even then, it's not very effective. You may be wondering then, should you take it with you or leave it home?
 

My recommendation: Leave it home